This video was made with the moral intent of no longer stealing pictures from very helpful dictionary services. I decided to make my own sign language visuals. This also helped me learn about how I could improve with letter formation. I branched out and tried a new video making program: flipagram. It was really easy to use – just take the pictures, and upload to the site (which probably now has full rights to my hand photos so something to be cautious about with students), add 30 sec. of free music, crop if need be, and upload to Youtube. Check it out and feel free to comment!
Time to put it all together! I decided the best way to overview my learning was to pick out words from my word wall and make an alphabet song! This is not an inclusive list of what I have learned because there are more “s” words than “x” words, for instance. But I do think it highlights the many categories I studied. Please bare with me internet people!
My purpose for this video is to a) gain competence with basic signs that a teacher needs to communicate with someone who signs, b) gain competence with introductory signs that I could teach early childhood education learners or those who need to use ASL as a form of communication, and c) work on better video production (which, I mean, I can only go up!)*.
*note: I was clicking through word cards on my computer and tried to edit a bit of the awkwardness of this out… without 100% success.
This is beautiful. The amount of work for the community to come together is immense but it would definitely be worth it! This video also highlights the possibilities created when technology (cameras, Samsung services, Youtube, etc.) is coupled with traditional learning (sign language courses taken by community members). The possibilities of learning are endless. Better yet, the possibilities of creating an inclusive society are at an all time high thanks to technology! 🙂
Taking in the feedback I have received, I decided to change things up this week and have more of a conversation. In this video I talk and sign simultaneously about my family. Give it a view and as always, comments and feedback are more than welcome!
I got the idea to do this from a fellow classmate, Rebecca, who is also learning sign language. She is doing quite an awesome job. Check her blog out! I look forward to collaborating with her later on in the semester.
Some of the resources I used to practice/learn how to make my video are:
I am getting the hang of this learning online thing. I am even starting to enjoy it! However, my video making skills are maybe 2 out of 10. I often cut my body off and this is a big deal when communicating via eyes and hands. I don’t want to make edits because i think that is a less truthful representation of what i know. For instance, when i paused to think of the “t” sign, I think that is an honest representation of where I’m at and how learning takes place. I also think by not editing things out i will be able to see my progress. Learning is not just about the end product, but rather the process, after all. However, i would love to figure out how to make the video bigger, brighter, and louder? Any tips are welcome! As for the sign language, I have what I’ve practiced down and just need to work on adding more speed.. this will come with time! Thanks for watching! 🙂
Over the last couple days I have really being feeling the benefits of online learning. I think these photos from my Twitter account show the possibilities that are present when we learn online; collaboration, connection, and networking are just some of the benefits that these photos display. Ironically, technology is often blamed for causing a lack of connection but I am feeling quite the opposite – people who don’t even know me are willing to help, offer resources, and encourage me on my learning passion. Glass is definitely half full today! 🙂
ASL University – I have been using the quizzes to test myself. For instance, on February 20th I got 70% on fingerspelling test one and today (February 23rd) I got 100%. It is starting to feel good to see this success and I can feel it getting easier. It also allows me to practice interpreting (listening with my eyes) instead of just speaking with my hands, as true communication requires both parts. I try to complete one of these quizzes a day, as it is helping my retain what I have already learned and is allowing me to accurately self-assess if I am on the right track. For instance, I noticed that I need to spread my fingers more for “f” and that letters “e,” “a,” and “t” trick me sometimes when listening. I am so used to getting feedback and not having to self-assess/self-correct so I am thankful for this resource.
I am currently practicing time signs so stay tuned and feel free to leave some feedback in the comment sections!
For my major project I am moving on from the alphabet (insert slow clap) and onto family signs. So far Bill Vicars is the best teacher I have found. He has many ASL teaching videos on Youtube. I find it amazing how he offers his knowledge to anyone for free. In the video I have imbedded he teaches a student – and in turn, anyone else who watches the video – a 100 basic ASL signs. First they go over them together with the words on the computer screen and then she does it by herself when prompted. I have been taking it slow and repeating the same section over and over so that it hopefully sticks. My plan is to work on a section or two a week. After a day or two of working through the video, I will test myself (probably via flashcards to bring back Old School so it doesn’t feel like I am cheating on it with all of this cool New School internet/technology) and post the video.
Challenges: Now that I have found two sources that I really like, I have encountered other road bumps. For instance, watching these videos almost makes me go crazy because of the lack of verbal cues/sound (disclaimer: the jury is out for the ‘almost’ crazy assessment). I realize that this is a more realistic representation of how someone who is deaf or hard of hearing communicates, but I never realized how much I take hearing for granted. In school, we rely a lot on oral instructions to learn new information and share our ideas. I never viewed oral learning as one of my strengths but after playing this video for a while, I may have to start adding it to my usual “visual learner” self-assessment.
Another issue I am having is that I can’t figure out which hand to sign with. It is supposed to be your dominate hand, yet it feels more natural for me to sign with my left hand. However, if I start signing with my left hand than it gets complicated because most people sign with their right hand and I would have to reverse the signs. I already have troubles with signing things backwards/facing myself instead of outwards to the person I would be communicating with, so I think it is best to keep my right hand dominate. It is a bit confusing to watch someone sign and then repeat the action, but facing them.
Overall, I think I am doing alright. I really enjoyed learning family signs! Any feedback is welcome: How do I compare to the exemplar video? Do I need to slow down or speed up? Is everything clear? Any mistakes noticed? What could I do to create more engaging video? Etc. 🙂
For my major project in ECMP 355 I am going to attempt to cross something off of my bucket list: learning American Sign Language! As a future inclusive educator, a tutor for those with varying abilities, and an employee at Camp Easter Seal in the summers, I feel that sign language is a skill I need to truly include all of my learners. I know that in 50 hours I will not be fluently signing even though I have used the basics at work and have a strong grasp of the English language. There is a common misconception that ASL is simply signing English words and phrases when in fact, an entire new set of grammatical rules governs the language. It takes just as long to master sign language as it does to learn a new language. BUT I am up for the challenge and so far these are the resources that I have found that will assist me on my learning journey:
Start ASL free online classes, resources, dictionary, product reviews, deaf culture information, course search, and workbook.
I am also purchasing this book: Talking with Your Hands, Listening with Your Eyes: A Complete Photographic Guide to American Sign Language by Gabriel Grayson and I have the ASL and LearningSignLanguage applications.
I think I am all set for resources. The biggest challenge will be focusing, directing my own learning, and selecting the right resources. Wish me luck!