For all of those students who have yet to take the Senior Capstone course, here is a list of some things I wish someone would have told me beforehand:
- Think of ideas prior to taking the class
- Do some brief research on your own
- Be vigilant
- Peer editing is key
- Make sure your topic is one you are fully invested in
- Be self motivated
- Come prepared to work
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Meet with your teacher for help
- DON’T PROCRASTINATE
And finally, here are my 3 Yeahs and Nays as far as this course goes:
- Choosing your own topic
- Use of technology
- Blog posts
- Not enough in class research time
- Capstone night organization
Finally: What seems live a never ending journey has finally completed itself. Capstone night was last night and a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. While we were giving roughly the same presentation last evening as we did in class, expo night had a different vibe to it. Being dressed up, around students from different classes, and presenting information to adults who you do not know was definitely a change of pace.
Overall, I thought Capstone Night was pretty successful. Despite some minor technical difficulties, my presentation went off smoothly and without a hitch. I altered my power point a bit with the help of some peers in order to make my presentation as flawless as possible.
As far as presenting to strangers, I thought of it as no big deal. I don’t typically become nervous or anxious when doing presentations, and the fact that it was a stranger whom I’ve never met calmed any nerves that might have existed. Overall I think I did better in my in class presentation than my Expo Night. I was more thorough and focused I believe during the in class one rather than capstone night. The only suggestions I would have for Expo Night in the future is to try and consolidate the time a bit, we were sitting in our room for about 45 minutes with no community reviewer.
When I heard we were going to watch a TED Talk I was intrigued because while I am not too familiar with them, I have seen bits and pieces and know how interesting they are. The one in particular that we watched dealt with the concept of an educational cloud, moving away from traditional educational procedures.
I think some pros of the conceptual educational cloud would be an advancement towards the future. With all of the advancements in technology and such, we are becoming more adapted towards technology and its place in our daily lives. While some are very in touch with technology, I would say it plays a somewhat average role in my daily life. I do have a smartphone and check twitter religiously, but I am also a creature of habit and use some “archaic” items such as this thing called a planner. So for me in particular I would say that the move toward an educational cloud would not be too ideal, due to the fact that I have thrived and excelled with the more traditional route in schooling.
Capstone presentations are upon us, and lucky for me I am the second presenter tomorrow. Here’s my view on some questions posed to us in class today:
- What are some potential problems I may occur while preparing? Some problems I can foresee are having too much information, and possibly not engaging the audience enough.
- How will you engage your audience throughout your presentation? I will try to engage my audience by making the power point visually appealing, walking around the class and possibly a demonstration of some sort.
- What is your plan for your visual aid? My plan for my visual aid is a power point. In order to avoid presenting a boring power point, I am trying to limit the amount of text and insert graphs and images in order to draw attention.
- Think of your audience. In order to excite the audience and keep attention, I plan on editing my power point to make it interesting and appealing.
Looking back on it, this class has really flown by. It seems only a week ago we were drafting our topic questions, trying to find the perfect topic to research. Fast forward four months and we are finally done. Sort of. Although I feel like I just finished a marathon and I’m stopping to take a breath, but I’m not done yet! Presentations are taking up the next 2-3 weeks of class. For some that means 2-3 weeks to make an awesome presentation, yet I volunteered to go on the first day, so yes my weekend will consist of preparation. But if all works out well I will present on Tuesday and take it easy until expo night.
For being a teenager, I would say I have a higher than average interest in politics than my peers. I tend to lean right, and consider myself the republican/libertarian type. That being so, finding non biased websites isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, by reading a Ted blog about the 100 most useful websites, I was able to find what seem to be some impartial political websites I think anyone with any ideology should check out.
The first website is Change.Org. Despite being a liberal or a conservative, we all have issues that we relate to and are important to us. Change.org gives anyone the ability to start a petition, regarding any topic they choose. Their website advertises that they are used in more than 196 countries, over 157 million signatures, and thousands of victories. Some topics that have been petitioned and won are students with downs syndrome being able to play sports, getting firefighters government healthcare, and calling on magazines to stop photo-shopping models. Anyone can truly petition anything.
The next website I visited was people-press.org (Pew Research Center). This site has become one of my favorites due to the variety. Basically, there are unbiased polls on anything under the sun. Impartial polls collect data to gauge how Americans and people across the world feel about the issues that are important to them. For instance, according to some of the polls, the majority of people support the legalization of Marijuana, and most Americans believe that North Korea’s recent threats should be taken seriously. Literally any topic that is important.
The most stressful part seems to be behind us. The section four rough draft has been completed and turned in. What a relief. I must say though, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The only part that I found to be a little difficult were the citations, given that I probably was not as organized as I should have been. I was able to find some very good sources and incorporate them into my paper. For instance, I was able to find a source that provided statistics and polls from around the country showing where gun support is strongest and weakest, and I was able to build a potential “profile” on the type of person that would accept/reject the idea of guns in schools.
While the worst part is over, there is still more work to be done. I hope to finalize an interview in the coming week, collect any last minuet research or sources to include in my paper, and double check to make sure my sources are cited correctly.