Twitter Expert Connect Reflection

Twitter Expert Connect Assignment

(Bruns, Joshua.)

All the people I followed during the “Twitter Expert Connect” assignment were connected to Marine Biology. Marine Biology has always been a passion of mine, and given the chance to explore anything I wanted it had to be related to something blue. Given that I wanted to invest my time in marine biology, I chose and followed a host of specialist engaging in various aspects of it. I followed marine biologists such as @rachel_marine, @AlexDavidRoger, and @SylviaEarle, and advocates like @4kgjerde, @FCousteau, @celinecouseau. Another major group I followed were professors, like @Prof_CallumYork, and @ProfMattEngland. Finally, I also followed a BBC correspondent, @MattMcGrathBBC and a leader of a climate organization, @Oceana_Andy. I chose a variety of people working on marine biology so as to get the greatest diversity of opinions, and information on the trade.

The field of experts I chose during the “Expert Connect Assignment” is conveniently related to my Genius Hour Project, about threats the ocean faces. All the experts I followed in some way help protect our oceans, whether it be through advocacy, research, etc. Judging by their jobs and role in protecting the ocean these people fit perfectly under the criteria of my Genius Hour Project and would have useful knowledge about the threats the ocean faces. Most marine biologists could easily identify threats to the ocean and are therefore already connected to my Genius Hour Project. By having my Genius Hour Project, and Twitter Expert Connect assignment project so closely related the knowledge I gain in one can easily be applied to the other.

(Mierement, Ben.)

The themes of the questions I asked my experts about during the Expert Connect Assignment, had to do with dangers to ocean biodiversity. I included many questions asking about, ocean damage they’ve seen physically, their opinions on what is the oceans biggest threat, and finally asking about individual topics and how harmful they are, e.g. plastic pollution. Additionally, all the information requested related to my Genius Hour Presentation and connected to threats the ocean faces.

(Brooks, Leon.)

The questions I asked my experts were tailored to their professional research field. As I was following a diverse group of experts I could, in turn, get information from many points of views. I picked the style of the question I asked an expert based on their profession. An example of this, is that I asked all the Marine biologists and advocates about things they physically see in the field. Whiles, when talking to CEOs of environment groups and scientist my questions generally had to do more with, “what threats the ocean faces from human activity?” and, “how biodiversity loss will affect humans?”

The potential information collected from the Twitter questions I asked could have been very beneficial to Genius Hour. As my Genius Hour and Twitter Connect Assignment are so closely related I can apply information from one to the other. Genious Hour also requires a lot of research, sometimes just to even identify the subjects you’re project will discuss. It makes life so much easier if an expert can help nudge you in the right direction, either by giving you their input into important aspects of the topic or by providing you with their opinions and data. Many of the experts I approached have various degrees and years of experience. What they believe to be important usually is, and therefore is worth contemplating and even focusing part of my Genius Hour Project on. The advice/answers of a PhD holder is a useful resource that can, in turn, elevate the quality of your own work.


(Bruns, Joshua.)

From the ten questions I sent out, I got two responses, and a like on one of my tweets. The two people who responded were, @ProfMattEngland, a scientist at the University of Sydney, and @FCousteau, the grandson of the marine pioneer Jacques Cousteau. Although both of them responded to my questions it was @ProfMattEngland who gave me a quality answer. In response to my question about, “what was the most impactful threat on our seas,” he gave me a multi-sentence response tweet totalling at 207 characters. @FCousteau also gave me a response, the question was also about the biggest threats to marine ecosystems. He simply replied, “humans……”

Only one expert followed me back throughout the whole project, this was marine biologist @rachel_marine. She had followed me since the beginning of the assignment, starting just after the introductory tweet. Surprisingly, the one and only tweet of mine she responded to was my introductory tweet, where she told me about her job as a sponge researcher in the artic. Throughout the project, she also liked a series of my tweets, including the question I tweeted to her.

(Bruns, Joshua.)

The only expert who seemed to offer assistance to me was @ProfMattEngland. I thanked him for replying to my question, he in return continued the conversation saying, “Happy to assist @21joshb…..!” before talking more about the subject of ocean acidification. Although he was the only expert I continued the conversation with, I also responded and thanked @FCousteau for his response, I also included a follow-up question asking about what human activity causes the most marine harm, in order to clarify his first answer. So in all, the only person who not only offered assistance in some way but also continued the conversation was @ProfMattEngland, although I hope @FCousteau will respond to my reply I ‘m not optimistic, as it has been two weeks since I sent it.

Before this project I never imagined using Twitter, I just never connected with it, it was never fun for me to use and I didn’t need it as a resource. Yet, this project has changed all my views on the platform, it really can be used for good and to source quality information. Knowing that there are so many experts connected to it, ready to help and answer the questions of average students like me, Twitter seems more like a database then social media. I surely will be using Twitter more often in the future during research projects, it is truly amazing how it enables one to connect with real-life experts whose job it is to research the topics you’re simply looking at in class. Students like me can really find another side of Twitter that can help advance our education and give us good quality research.

(“Twitter Bird.”)



Image works cited


Brooks, Leon. “Pacific Ocean up Sun from the Rocks.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, 28 Feb. 2013,

Bruns, Joshua. “Twitter Image.”, Twitter, 21 Jan. 2018,

Mierement, Ben. “reef2129, NOAA’s Coral Kingdom Collection.” NOAA Photo Library,,

“Twitter Bird.” Pixabay, Pixabay, 4 Aug. 2014,


Genius Hour Blog Reflection

O’Sulivan, Olissa. “Genius Hour.” Mrs. O’Sullivan, Westcoorparation, 6 Nov. 2011,

In digital citizenship, we conducted a project called Genius Hour where we researched any topic we wanted and then presented the findings to the class in a graded presentation.

I chose to research clean transportation, basing my project on what clean transportation is and its potential global implications. Going more in-depth, I looked at various forms of transportation that are considered clean, and assessed their positive and negative impacts. I also looked at our current transportation industry and how it compares to clean transportation.

I chose to research this topic because CO2 levels and air pollution are rising in urban centers. I wanted to look at one aspect that is fueling the rise of both these environmental issues, and I found that in the form of the transportation industry. I chose to focus on transportation as it not only accounts for a third of CO2 emissions, but vehicles such as cars and buses are what billions of people around the world use to get around. Given that so many people use such harmful and dirty vehicles to travel I wanted to find out if there were any cleaner alternatives. I decided then that I would look at the clean transportation industry, defined as “transportation modes that don’t involve the use of non-renewable resources.”   Clean transportation offers an alternative to the current and environmentally damaging transportation system.

Ejaugsburg. “Environment.” Pixabay, Pixabay, 18 Apr. 2014,

My research question was, “How can clean transport impact the world around us?” This was an appropriate research question as it allowed me to go in-depth into the various factors of clean transportation and how it is more environmentally friendly than conventional transportation. The question not only made me look into the current transportation systems impacts as well as various ways clean transport can have negative social or environmental impacts.

I felt the project not only helped me learn about clean transport but also helped me develop my presentation and organization skills. Most importantly I was able to learn about a topic that I found interesting and that I didn’t have much prior knowledge about. I learned about more than just, “electric cars.” I learned the most common modes of clean transportation, and how they are more effective for the environment. I also learned more about misguided labeling, Clean transportation isn’t all positive, certain aspects of the industry can be just as damaging if not more than regular vehicles impacts. With such a positive connotative name the project has taught me to look more closely into a subject and go beyond first impressions. Finally, overall the process I feel has helped develop my presentation skills. By going through the full process individually I feel it has helped develop and work on my individual skills as a student and figure out my strengths and weaknesses.

Puri, Ritika. “5 Presentation Design Rules Worth Breaking.” TNW, Maxcon, 15 Sept. 2015,×681.jpg.

By researching our effects on the environment, we can directly learn how to minimise the negative impact. I feel that by learning more about clean transportation allows me to make eco-conscious choices in the future and spread awareness about the issue to my classmates. In the future, this could be beneficial as they too would know more about our impacts on the globe and also make more eco-savvy choices in their daily lives. Only 0.2% of light-duty passenger vehicles are electric.  To lessen our dependence on non-renewable resources, that number needs to rise. Hopefully, by bringing this issue to the attention of younger people we, in turn, can make a difference when we grow up.

For my next Genius Hour project will also deal with the environment and also have a similar goal of spreading awareness on an important issue. I plan to do my next Genius Hour on the oceans and the threats they face. I feel that the general attitude towards the ocean, including here at ISD, is that the oceans are a massive expanse and that our daily activities don’t affect it. As a result, I feel many people are ignorant of our oceans plight. By researching and hopefully creating a good and meaningful presentation I can hope that I will be able to convey the message that the oceans are under threat and further educate my peers on the issue.

Rabibiana, Lisha. “Blue Oceans Dark Blue.” Pexels, Pexels, 7 Sept. 2015,


My presentation



I read 3 blogs from the Flipboard magazine for my SBC8 challenge, they were all different but unique in their own way. I found each blog on the Student Flipboard magazine. The first blog I read was called MINECRAFTART by a student named Jori ( His post was about climate change and what his school had done to combat it. I commented on how I felt about the positive steps he and his school were taking.

The next blog I read was from another student named Kait, her blogs name was Kems Animal Blog ( Her blog featured an informative and short poster on women’s rights. I left a comment on her blog talking about how easy it is to forget issues that aren’t important to you and also about women’s rights in Senegal.

The final blog I visited was Farrah’s blog(, she had a well-written poem on the issue of global hunger. It put a fun and interesting twist on another very serious issue. I put a comment on her blog congratulating her for achieving this feat.

All of the links above lead to their blogs, check them out!


Technology At ISD,


Rajowskis, Olav. “Computer, Desktop.” MAX PIXEL,, 8 Nov. 2004,

I found Mai Tao’s blog post very interesting, in regards to my own school life I find that technology has a massive role. For better or worse technology has seeped into everyone’s lives, it plays an instrumental role in leisure, school, and research. In regards to Mai Tao’s questions, my school and education has a very large technological aspect.

At my school, ISD we have Chromebooks, we are expected to bring them and most often we use them for at least two periods. Nearly every school project involves the use of technology in some form, as a basis for research or as the platform it’s presented on. I can thoroughly say technology has invaded my life! Whether that’s a good thing, well, that’s up to the person.


SBC5, School

School is stressful, all that work, it just gets too much. This and that, finish this by then, do this, do that, so many orders and stuff to cram into my brain. The perfect afternoon for me would to just recover after school, yet alas, the bain of all existence, homework. To start off with, my ideal afternoon after school would be work free, just my own chillout time. Firstly I would hit the gym, pound a few km’s on the treadmill. After working out and getting that great sense of physical accomplishment I would then proceed to ruin it all. Along the walk home I would stop at Yogurtlandia, I would get a small cup of yogurt with caramel, and all their toppings. After such a delicious sugar rush I would then make my way home begin watching random vines. It’s always good to add a bit of humor to your afternoon. I would then read a book for an hour or so, a few of my favorites are “into the wild,” and historical novels by Steve Shienkin. After reading a few chapters or so, and convincing my mom that I can do something constructive I would then proceed to play FIFA until dinner.  After a nice meal I would then proceed to do the only family activity I would want to do that day, watch stranger things in the living room. That’s my ideal Afternoon, what about yours? leave in the comments below


Climate change is a global issue, and it needs a global solution. Imagine a desolate planet, no water, no life, searing temperatures. That could be earth, with global temperatures rising 0.8 celsius or 1.4 Fahrenheit annually it’s only a matter of time before the damage done to our atmosphere is irreplaceable. Each living and breathing moment climate change gets worse. More and more carbon is pumped into our atmosphere, 2.4 million tons a second to be exact. We are pushing the world and our atmosphere to new breaking points, climate change threatens mass climate disasters, droughts, fires, and flooding.  And with those disasters come death, mass immigration, suffering, and potentially wars over dwindling resources. Even if we halt all carbon emissions anyone reading this post will still be affected by global warming for the rest of their lives, it takes over 100 years for carbon to disperse in the atmosphere. The more carbon we pump into the atmosphere the worse the situation gets. We humans, as a species, must work together to prevent the impending doom we currently are fashioning for ourselves. We have to make sure that our world is a livable place for future generations, but every day we inact against climate change the possibilities of that grow slimmer. This is the only world we have, let’s not let the technology and lives we’ve built finally destroy us.

SBC3 Picture Story

This is the picture Story I’ve created, if you can’t guess what it’s about than I clearly haven’t done my job

Sunnyseth. “Pilot Going Down.” Openclipart,, 19 Mar. 2017.


US Navy. “Navy Patrol Squadron Locates Lost Mariners.” Flickr, Yahoo, 8 Dec. 2013.

Walsh, Shelby. “Castaway.” Flickr, Yahoo, 14 Aug. 2010,

Justine. “Ocean.” Flickr, Yahoo.

Week Three Challenge: Story

Photo by Matthias Heil on Unsplash
Heil, Matthias. Mountain Sounds. 27 Aug. 2017.

The sky was dimly lit, as if a mountain storm threatened this early in the season. Lois knew better than to assume anything major,  maybe a flurry he thought to himself. It had been unseasonably cold that autumn, and the residents Sitka had already confined their cabins and log fires. The Waterfront at lake Johnston, less than a month ago bustling with children splashing about stood erie and gray as if time forgot about it’s shores.

Despite his bleak surroundings Lois was excited, tomorrow was a school trip. Two days hiking Mount Hood, although it had been sunnier and warmer in past years Lois was happy to take any break from the stuffy classroom and Mrs. W’s lessons on blogging. As the evening ticked along Lois paced around his small room packing anything he deemed important for the trip, It was his fifth trip, nothing could go wrong, he knew the trail like the back of his palm. Later, as he drifted into sleep under his heavy duvet he dreamed of all the Kraft macaroni and goldfish that he would indulge in.

The next morning as Lois woke up the air was cold but he forced himself out of bed to school. He clambered onto the bus just as it was pulling out of the school lot to the bane of his P.E. teacher, Mr. Brown.  As the bus drifted into the backwoods Lois chatted with his friend Mark, “how would they get into the same tent” was most of the conversation during the ride.

When they arrived at the deserted trail head Mr. Brown assembled the shivering children in a semicircle around him. He then proceeded to lecture them about safety and what to do in case of getting lost on the trail. Lois, naturally “above” this briefing was busy scanning some moose scat and doing his best to ignore Mr. Brown. Soon they were off, by midday the weaker students were complaining but a beautiful vista had  already opened up, a green, lush, and cloud filled valley below. Soon they arrived at camp, set up tents and huddled around a fire.

It was around midnight and the two mugs of hot chocolate Lois had drank were ready to come out, he clambered out of his and Mark’s tent. There was a porta potty but instead he opted to, against the rules to go in the woods, the porta potty smelled bad. He traversed his way along the moonlit forest floor down into a secluded gully, the perfect place to do his business. After he began to climb the embankment again, and when he reached the top he clambered into his tent. But what he fell into was not a thick sleeping back but a clump of leaves. He stood and looked around, not a tent to be seen. He squinted again but the moonlight had since vanished, he could see nothing. He began panicking and started shouting to see if anyone was around him, no response. He played that game all night and into dawn. By mid-morning after trying to find the trail Lois thoroughly accepted, he was lost……………..


You can finish the story if you like and comment if you would like




About Me

About Me – Joshua B.

Dear fellow Blogger,

My name is Joshua Bruns, and I am a 14 year old student living in Dakar, Senegal. In this short bio I hope to tell you readers some interesting information about me that can help us relate and break a bit of the ice surrounding our identities.

I’m a 14 year old freshman going to the International School of Dakar, or ISD in the Republic of Senegal. I am from the U.S. and was born in London, England. Despite holding an American passport I’ve only ever lived in the U.S. for two years, the rest or my life I’ve lived in Africa and the Middle East. Yet despite living in many nations around the world I can still only speak my native English, but I’m learning french (my friend Lois would have a few negative things to say about that).

History aside I have lots of interests and activities I participate in. In academics my main interest are the sciences, I also enjoy learning about history, and writing. Outside school I participate in lots of sports, to name a few I’m on the school swim team, and play Ultimate Frisbee. Outside of sport I like debating and just like anyone else having a good time with friends.

Thanks everyone for taking time to find out about me. As you’ve already read about me and where I live please feel free to comment or ask any questions about me or what living in Dakar is like. I know I haven’t explained anything about Senegal or life here, but it is a interesting place and I can give first hand insight to what living in Africa’s western most city is like.

Insights into a New World

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