My Independent Learning Project

For my independent learning project for the Literacy in the Digital Age class is how to become a better barrel racer/rodeo athlete.


The above photo is a picture taken of me by Geraldine Ruetuer, riding my horse Hobby.

If I could spend my time learning anything in the world I would devote my time into learning drills, researching professionals, and practicing to become a better rodeo athlete. I think that this project for the class is wonderful.

Even though I want to learn more about this and implement it into my life, now I will have to and be receiving a grade for something I want to do and something that I enjoy personally. I think that this assignment will make this class enjoyable and we will learn a lot about each other, and a lot about something that we all want to learn about and enjoy individually.

One of the most important things in my life is rodeo. It is something that I do to make money, it is something that I do to relieve stress, it is something that I do to meet new people and to socialize with my friends, it is something that I do to keep me in shape, and most importantly it is something that i do to make myself happy.

I would love to spend more time learning new drills, new things to teach my horse, practicing with my horse, and talking to professionals to better myself. This is important to me as a college student as well. My freshman and sophomore year college rodeo paid for my tuition, books, and fees through a rodeo scholarship. This is important to me as a future teacher simply because it is what makes me happy. If i am happy in my class room I can teach my students in a better mood and in a better way.

There are many different ways that would be a good use of my time for this project. I can spend my time watching video tutorials of problem solving, of mental focus, of different drills, and more. I can also spend my time communicating with my idols. Some of my idols include Martee Pruitt, Ashley Schaffer, Cheryl Robinson, and a few others. I would really enjoy every second of this learning experience because every aspect that I learn will contribute to becoming a better rodeo athlete, and achieving my dreams. Below is a picture of the barrel horses that I am trying to make into  all-stars currently. The gray horse on the right is Reno and the black horse with the amazing heart on his forehead is Gus.



Blog Response to TED and Hacking

There really are a lot of great ideas in the TED video as well as the reading. In the video it talks about the nine therapeutic life style changes by Roger Walsh 1) Exercise 2) Diet and Nutrition 3) Time in Nature 4) Contribution and Service to others 5) Relationships 6) Recreation 7) Relaxation and Stress Management 8) Religious and Spiritual. These therapeutic lifestyle changes are all ways that contribute to being happy and healthy.

Being happy and healthy is the most important thing in life. Today education is geared towards making a living rather than making a life.ed49

I inserted this picture because it is “my happy” it has my dogs, Ruger and Patron, two of my horses, Reno and Pedro, and the love of my life, Denum.

After watching this video, I realized it will affect my teaching in many ways. I will try to incorporate that being healthy and happy is a huge part of life. I will teach my kids to become happy learners and healthy learners, not just learners that want to get by in life.

What kids are going to be in life should have a very different meaning than what they are going to do in life. Kids need to hack their lives into making themselves happy and healthy. By hacking i mean fiddle the process or program to improve it.

I enjoyed the diagram in the speech that had hack shooting tied to the happy and healthy 8 TLCs, creativity hacker mindset, experiential classes, and technology and online resources.

This video kept me engaged the entire time and I found it very interesting. It made a lot of sense to me and I agree with everything that was said.

The reading of the blog post by Bud Hunt was also very interesting and fun to read for me.I loved the introduction and how he tied it to lenses. How you see is shaped by how you look.

Learning happens when we make things. Students learn more and better and fuller and richer when they are making something to demonstrate their learning.  Or making something to share their learning. These things are all so true for me because I am a very visual hands on type of learning. So making things helps me learn but it will also help me to teach in my classroom.

Hacking things was also a term used in the article as it was in the video. The original definition of hack is a fiddle that improved a process or a program. The article also states that the definition of play is the search for freedom within constraints. With all 3 of these components one can see through the correct lens. I found this reading and this video very intriguing and I enjoyed and agreed with every bit of the both of them.


I have inserted this picture because it has everything to do with my happy and healthy. It is what I am going to do that makes me happy and also what I am going to be to make me happy and healthy.

Digital Literacy


Some may ask what does digital literacy mean? To me, digital literacy means that it is one’s own ability to understand information. This seems like a pretty broad definition, digital literacy goes a little deeper than this.

Digital literacy also evaluates and integrates information in many different ways using a computer. An important part of digital literacy is interpretation. One cannot understand information they find on the internet without evaluating its sources and placing it into context. Placing it into context ties into the idea of digital fluency. Digital fluency defined as “the aptitude to effectively and ethically interpret information, discover meaning, design content, construct knowledge, and communicate ideas in a digitally connected world.” (according to

There are said to be 8 elements of digital literacy. The first one is cultural. This means moving easily from different digital environments, for example in this class is using twitter for my personal and social connections, and using it for my academic course.

The second element of digital literacy is cognitive. To me the cognitive element is simply learning and training myself on the different types of technologies and becoming diverse in the digital world.

The third element of digital literacy is constructive. This includes a lot about plagiarism, one needs to understand how to take existing resources and remix them to make it into something new that benefits their own learning and can also benefit others learning.

The next element of digital literacy is communicative, this simply means that one needs to understand the importance of networks and different communication devices.

Another digital literacy element is confidence this means in order to be a proficient user of technology, one must have the courage and confidence to dive into the unknown, take risks, make mistakes, and display confidence when “messing around” with new tools. After this comes creative. From his research, Doug says “…..the creative adoption of new technology requires teachers who are willing to take risks… a prescriptive curriculum, routine practices… and a tight target-setting regime, is unlikely to be helpful.” Conlon & Simpson (2003).

 The second to last element of digital literacy is critical. Digital literacy involves an understanding of how to deal with hyperspace and hypertext and understanding it’s “not entirely read or spoken.” Can we critically evaluate the technologies we’re using?

Last but not least the last element of digital literacy is civic many schools are beginning to embrace technology to improve our lives and the lives of others in the world. I want to leave this site link here, as I found the 8 elements of digital literacy here.

I think that I know how to use social media and communicate within digital literacy very well. There is a lot I want to learn when it comes to digital literacy. I want to learn how to research better. With researching better I want to learn how to understand the information that I find to its fullest effect. I also want to learn more types of digital literacy and become more effective using them. I expect to learn how to be more effective and efficient while using different types of digital literacy. I think in order to become effective learners and leaders we need to communicate. I strongly believe that communication is key in everything.

How I became Emily Wolf

There are many things that have shaped me into the person that I am today. Some of these learning curves that I have endured have been both failures and successes. I would have to say my first huge learning experience in my life would be getting my first horse. My first horse was named Booger (his name describes him entirely). My parents got him for me when I was 6 years old. Booger taught me so much about life. He taught me that I could always have a best friend, I always had someone to talk to, and i always had a soft neck to cry in. He also taught me great deals of responsibility. Even when it was snowing, raining, or 101 degrees out he still needed to be watered and fed. Booger taught me a lot about life, he is where my passion for rodeo began. He made me into a responsible, punctual, timely, learner. The photo below is of Booger and I when I was 8.19076_1270493715702_5509087_n

I would have to say the next biggest learning curve in my life would be 4-H. This program also molded me into the person that I am today and also had many learning experiences within one program. Through 4-H i showed my horses, cattle, and hogs. I showed in the market divisions along with showmanship. The market end of things taught me a lot about financial management. I would sell my animal at the end of the year and have money to buy another animal at the beginning of the next year and feed it throughout the year. It also taught me people skills. Through showmanship I had to answer questions to the judge and explain what my project was about. 4-H also made me a very organized learner, we had to keep record books of our projects on the time we spent with our animal, what we fed them, medications we fed them, costs of the project, and more. 4-H made me a driven, optimistic, and organized learner. Below is a picture of me practicing showmanship with one of my steers, his name was Houdini.36029_1393315546171_3900261_n Another learning experience that changed my life forever happened when I was 16. I was at a horse show with my mom when I saw her face drop while she was on the phone. When I asked her what was wrong she told me that we needed to leave because there was a fire in the high mountains on my uncle’s land, and that we needed to go help him evacuate his cattle and horses. Little did I know this fire was soon to be named the High Park Fire and it would burn my childhood home to the ground.

As the day went on we helped my uncle and the community get everything they possibly could out and safe.As the night came the fire grew larger and began to move faster. It then moved several acres and miles and was headed for my grandparents land. We began cutting trees and getting everything out. I will never forget that roar or that smell. Let alone the fear that I had never seen before in my father’s eyes. We got everything we could before it came through and burned their place also. We did not sleep that night. The fire just got larger and moved faster. We were housing all of my cousins and my grandparents at this time.

By early morning we had to be evacuated as well. Mind you we lived about 30 miles from my grandparents and never thought it would make it this far. We began packing all of our things and getting all of our animals out as well.

Time went on and we did not know what was happening because no one was aloud in there due to the danger. Days went by. My uncle’s step mother burned up in her home. My uncles home and several cattle were burned and killed, his house was gone and so was my grandparents’.

The worst news struck me like a truck. My childhood home was gone. The house that my dad built with his own two hands was gone. The arena that we built to ride our horses in was gone. Everything was gone.I will never be able to explain to you the feeling I still feel inside of me after this happened. My dad had alfalfa farms here in Nebraska and decided to cut ties with land and move up here. At 16 years old this was devastating. Moving from everything I ever knew, my friends, and my family was going to be hard. This made me who I am today in many ways. I cherish the people I meet. I cherish the place that I live, and I especially cherish my animals. I take every chance that I get to go back to Colorado and visit. I take everything more seriously now in life. Below is a picture of the place I grew up in. The place I will never be able to show my children someday. And the place I would do anything to walk into again. It may not look like anything, but it is everything to me. 1918292_1322349852073_8082444_n

One of the next largest learning experiences I had was coming to college. Leaving home was hard for me because I am a “daddy’s girl.” Although my dad had taught me financial management and how to be independent this was one of the hardest things in life. Leaving him behind and making decisions on my own was hard for me. It taught me that phone calls are important and that time management is huge in school. Going to college shaped me into a driven, empathetic, and serious learner. Below is a picture of my dad, my mom, my brother and I on my high school graduation day. The day I decided that I would begin my college career in Torrington Wyoming.1010101_10202801260725848_3855104146453175914_n

The most recent learning experience I have had is meeting Denum Santero. Even though I lost everything in the fire, moved to a completely remote are, and was completely discouraged in life he turned it around. Little did I know after all of this happened I would meet the love of my life in an area I would have never considered staying. This made me realize everything truly does happen for a reason. My dad had land here for a reason. Our house burned down for a reason. We moved here for a reason. I am now engaged and getting married. I love living here. Yes I miss Colorado, and my home, but this is where and who I am meant to be with. And I would not change it for the world. This learning experience has made me look for the good in everything. It has made me learn and take new things on with a positive attitude. Below is a picture of Denum and I.13920782_10208225824256546_1057604765178607461_n