Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trace effect

In class today a played a game called "Trace Effect", and we saw a movie called "Edward Scissorhands". It is a very cute movie, and I recommend everyone to see it! The game is made by the U.S. state department, and it is meant to tech students from age 12 to 16 about American English language, and American culture and society. It is also a way of for English learners abroad to use the language in a new way. If you want, you can try it for yourself here: http://americanenglish.state.gov/trace-effects

When you enter the game, you have to make an account. When you have done that, you have to wait for ages for the game to load so that you can start playing. It took way to long time to load, and I spent quite a lot of time waiting and eating chocolate. When it finally loaded in, I was pretty excited to start playing. But, I was quite disappointed. The plot is that Trace, a student from the future uses a time machine, and travels back to 2012, out time. But, the machine gets broken, and he has to find a girl called Emma Fields to be able to travel back. To find this girl, you have to complete many tasks. The game was very slow, and it consisted of a lot of walking around. Just walking and walking, looking for people, and looking for places. I was supposed to find a girl named Kit, and to do that I first had to find a library. Then I had to go to an office to get a student ID, an after that go back to the library. I thought I had completed a task, but then I had to go to a sandwich shop and deliver sandwiches. I did not really understand why I had to do this, and I really found it pointless, so I gave up after that.

I think the games used way to long time to start up. I waited and waited, and when I finally entered the game I expected it to be interesting. I think the game was to slow, because you have to walk around a lot, and it was repeating itself too much. However, I think it is a good idea, and that it could be a great alternative to regular learning/teaching if it is developed a bit more. I think it can be a great variety in school work, especially for younger kids. I think the age group is a bit wrong. It fits better for kids aged 10 to 12, even if it is a bit boring.

I will give this game a two on the dice, simply because it was to boring! Everything took way too much time, and I was bored to quickly. Also I believe the age group is wrong, but it is a good idea!

                                                          A two for now, but...

                it could get a five if it changes a bit, and changes age group to around 10 to 12.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maria's story

I just read a story from WW2 called Maria's story. It was a very sad story, although it had a happy ending. Maria was 16, and lived in Poland with her family. They were not Jewish, but they lived in a Jewish neighborhood, so Maria had Jewish friends, and she spoke Jewish along with German, Polish and 3 other languages. The family had got on well with the Jews, as well as the Germans that lived in the area. Her father even owned a business along with a Jew. As the war started, the family sold their business, and moved to the countryside to a farm. One day, her mother was told that the SS was going to take her brother. He hid at another farm, but instead the SS took Maria. She was sent to a camp in Germany, and set to work at a factory along with many other girls. They were working under terrible conditions, and got only a slice of bread and some soup a day.
After four years as prisoners, they were freed by Americans. Many of the girls went to America and Canada, but Maria wanted to find her family, so she stayed at the camp and worked as interpreter at the red cross hospital for a year. During that year she met a young English man. they fell in love and got married, and moved to England together. After some time the Red Cross found her family in Poland, and they were all reunited.

On the pictures: polish refugees

If you want to read this story by yourself, here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/65/a3864765.shtml

Trafalgar Square Christimas Tree

Every year a huge Christmas tree is given to London, from the city of Oslo in Norway. This has been given since 1947, which means that this year’s Christmas tree will number 66. The tree is a gift and a token of friendship, a way of thanking for the help Norway received during WW2. The Norwegian king, Haakon VI, escaped to England when the war broke out, and the Norwegian government was set up in London. Many Norwegians escaped to Britain during the war, and great parts of the resistance movement was lead from London. 

The tree is called "The Queen Of The Forest", and it is usually a ca. 50 years old spruce, at around 20 to 30 meters high. It is cut already in November, in a ceremony attended by the Oslo mayor and the British ambassador to Norway, before it begins its long journey over the sea to Immingham in England, and from there by lorry to London. It is set up 12 days before Christmas, and that day is an important day of Christmas for many Londoners. It is a signal of the countdown to Christmas. There's carol singing, poetry performed, and the tree is decorated in a traditional Norwegian style, with hundreds of white lights. 

This sign is placed beside the Christmas tree. 

Approximately 3000 from the Norwegian military died during WW2, and in total approximately 9 500 Norwegians died during and because of the war. This is 0.32 percent of the population in 1939.
Britain, however, had 382 700 military deaths, and in total 449 800 deaths.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

11th Hour

Today, I saw the movie "11th hour". It is a documentary about environmental issues, how the nature works, and what we humans do to it.  It tells about global warming, and the fact that we humans are destroying our planet, without giving it a second thought. We are poisoning the seas and the air, and we are way too many people. Before the industrial revolution the only energy we used was the current sun light. This limited how much food we could produce, and we were never more than a billion people. Now we use ancient sunlight, oil and coal, we have much more energy to use. What will happen when we run out of these resources? I actually learnt a bit from the film. I did not know that deforestation is such a huge problem, and I did not know that the global warming has such consequences.

During the film, I tried taking notes. It was pretty difficult, because the film was about such a complicated and important subject. I tried writing by hand, on my computer, and on a shared Google document with many others.

I like wiring on my computer, using One Note. One of the reasons why is that I can edit my notes both during and after i'm done. It is easier to understand what I have written, because when I write quickly by hand, it often looks terrible. However, with a computer, I will always understand what I have written! Many computers also have some sort of auto correction system, so that if a make small typing mistakes the computer will fix them for me.

I also like writing by hand. I do not know why, but I feel like I learn much more by doing it that way. It may be just out of habit, because we always wrote like that on school before, and I am simply used to doing it that way. The problem with this way of taking notes is that I either spend too much time trying to write nicely, or I write quickly and end up not being able to understand my own notes a few minutes later.

I did not like writing on a shared document. We were too many writing at the same time, and all the notes ended up being deleted. It didn't really work, because there is always someone who doesn’t work.