The Maker Movement

This week, I just started my new class CEP 811 Adapting Innovate Technology to Education.  It has pushed me a lot, from researching about the Maker Movement to using new technologies such as WeVideo.  I have spent countless hours on YouTube and Vimeo whether it was watching videos about Remix (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4), the Maker Movement, or how to use WeVideo.

When learning about the Maker Movement, I was fascinated with the idea that Dale Dougherty (2011) said, “Everybody is a maker”.  I have never really took the time to think about this, but in today’s world where we are all recreating, bouncing ideas off each other and taking something original and changing it or remixing, in order to fit our needs.  I see this every day in my very own classroom.

I currently teach kindergarten where play, trial and error, and creativity are a HUGE part of the curriculum.  My first year teaching I definitely struggled with letting my students experiment in order to understand the process of trial and error.  I also wanted their projects a certain way not allowing for their own creativity to come out.  However, I can now say that I have learned that I needed to let go of some control.  I needed to question my students, give them time, allow them to find the answer, as well as express their creativity by allowing them to complete something on their own using their own ideas.  I have found that they are a lot more engaged, excited about learning, and becoming risk takers.  They aren’t afraid of trying and failing.

This is so important to keep in mind within the classroom.  Allowing our students to try and fail before succeeding helps them gain a lot more knowledge than if they were just told the answers.  I experienced this first hand over the past couple of days when making a remix video about the Maker Movement using WeVideo.  I have used iMovie but not in a few years.  I turned to YouTube for help.  I looked up and watched several videos on just how to use WeVideo before starting my project.  I played around with it a bit, researched Creative Commons videos, and then got right to work.  Throughout the process, I still looked to YouTube to answer some questions of how to add sound, multiple videos, and finally to publish.  It took me several hours to import videos, sound, and time everything just right.  It was a long process, but a very engaging one that had me using new technology to remix and answer questions about the Maker Movement.

Take a look at the video I remixed using WeVideo.  I focused on what the ‘Maker Movement’ is, who makers are, and what qualities people need to be makers.

With today’s advancements in technology, the question that still resonates with me is, “How can we create with the patent laws in our way?”  This will be something that I continue to research and understand.  Hopefully the laws will start changing as technology has surpassed them.

References:

Atmel. (2014). “Atmel: The Heart of the Maker Movement” [Video File] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlIaNKgu6a0

Doherty, D. (2011). “We Are Makers” [Video File] Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/dale_dougherty_we_are_makers

Doherty, D. (2015). “Maker Movement Goes Global”, Dale Dougherty (Founder and Executive Chairman, Maker Media) [Video File] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlAYeIdtucQ

epSos.de (2013). “Beautiful Children Play on Wet Water Playground” [Video File] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTPuV5s2274

Hariharan, Anoop. “Lightning-Upbeat Background Music [Creative Commons] [Music File] Retrieved from: https://soundcloud.com/anoophariharan/lightning-creative-commons

Smith, Drew (2012). “What are the skills you need to thrive in the creative industry?” [Video File] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RIn5BDXEH4

Hi!  My name is Laura Brown.  I am currently in my third year of teaching.  I teach Kindergarten in L’Anse Creuse Public Schools.  I am in my first year of my Master’s program, obtaining a degree in Educational Technology.

With technology’s constant advances, I want to be able to offer my students the ability to interact with these technologies and use them in order to help gain more knowledge, play, and work through trial and error.  Through my courses, I will be documenting different technologies, how I have used them, and how I can use them in my own classroom.  Feel free to leave comments!  Enjoy!

CEP 810 Reflection

Over the course of the past 7 weeks, I have been busy teaching at a new school, with 26 new students, new staff and started my first semester of grad school.  If I were to explain how overwhelmed and exhausted I am, it may take me some time.  However, I am so happy to say that I throughly enjoyed taking my first course, CEP 810, Teaching for Understanding with Technology.  It was such an engaging class even though it was solely online.  I was able to communicate with classmates via Twitter, Zoom, ShareTracker, and blogs.

This class has taught me so much from reflecting on my learning through my own personal blog, using Wunderlist to keep track of my lists and “to-do’s” to creating a PLN using Popplet and how to repurpose tools that we do have in order to fit our needs (TPACK).

Not only did I learn new things, but was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone when having to learn something new only using YouTube and help forums.  I chose to knit an infinity scarf, something I have always wanted to do, but never found the time to do it.  I watched various YouTube videos in order to help me understand how to begin  knitting as well as finish it off.  It was incredible to experience this type of learning first hand and makes me want to implement in my classroom.

One other project that got me really thinking was the cooking with TPACK.  I loved the experience of only having three tools and going through the thought process of how and why I repurposed each tool in order to fit my needs.  It was interesting to see my reaction when playing the video back at how surprised I was that my bowl was able to cut my sandwich in half.  This was a great learning experience in remembering that although we may not always have the tools and technology that we need, we can repurpose the tools we have, in order to complete the same task.

In relating this back to my own classroom, I am excited to bring new ideas and technologies to my students.  The one I foresee starting with right away is Popplet.  The reason being is that it is colorful, easy to maneuver, drawing and text options are available, as well as the fact that I teach kindergarten.  We are currently working a lot with life cycles (apples and pumpkins), that I think this would be a great activity to use with Popplet.  It’s a more engaging, fun, and unique way for students to show me what they understand.  I also want to try something close to the cooking with TPACK with my students as well.  I think this would be a great way for me to show them how to repurpose or adapt their tools or technology to fit their needs.  Since I do teach kindergarten, getting them started with this mindset of repurposing at a young age will only benefit them in the future.

Some technologies that I have added for the parents use in my classroom this year are Remind and SignUpGenius.  Remind helps me to communicate with parents quickly.  I can send out class reminders as well as “chat” with parents about questions or concerns via Remind also.  Signupgenie is another technology I started this year with parents in signing up for volunteering or bringing items in.  It has worked out tremendously and saves me a lot more time and effort from sending papers back and forth to parents about these same things.

After taking this course, my hopes are to continue adding new technologies to the classroom.  I want to give my students the opportunity to learn in a new and innovating way with trial and error, creativity, and thought.  Since I do teach students at such a young age, I often find myself asking the question, “How can I teach this to 5 year olds?”  I think I get so caught up in their age, not realizing that many already have prior knowledge on using technologies.  I need to get in the mindset that they do have a little background working with technology and the more opportunities I provide them to continue using it will only enhance their learning and understanding.

With all this new technology and wanting to try it, I do have some frustration in that I have not had a working Elmo, Smartboard, or iPads for the first 6 weeks of school teaching kindergarten.  I want to try these new ideas and give my students opportunities, but right now am limited in that area.  I hope to continue learning technologies and playing around with them to gain more knowledge so that when I do have the technology available I can serve my students needs better.  For now, I will continue coming up with lessons that involve technologies and serve the purpose of enhancing my students knowledge and gets them excited about learning!

Cooking with TPACK

This week in my CEP 810 course we watched a discussion by Dr. Mishra.  You can find the video here.  In this video, Dr. Mishra discusses the importance of technocentrism.  He talks about the importance of changing our mindsets as teachers to use technology in the classroom in ways that are meaningful to our students.  We need to repurpose technology and design our lessons around them rather than just integrate technology because we have it.  Technology is at the fingertips of this generation and we need to help teach them how to use it and make their learning more meaningful.IMG_2570.JPG
In order to see this first hand, this week we were challenged to cook with TPACK.  My boyfriend chose three things from the kitchen for me to use without knowing what I had to make with the items.  One item needed to be a plate, a bowl, and a IMG_2569.JPGkitchen utensil.  He chose a small dinner plate, a mixing bowl, and a pasta server.  Then I asked him to draw a number from a
different bowl.  He picked #4 which meant I had to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using these kitchen tools he had already chosen for me.  You can see my adventure in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich down below.

IMG_2568.JPGAs you can see in the video, it wasn’t too difficult for me to accomplish this task, however I had to “think outside the box”.  I had three tools and used them in ways I wouldn’t have normally thought of.  In the process, I didn’t even think I would use the mixing bowl and while completing the task, I ended up thinking of a way to use it (to cut the sandwich in half).

This lesson helped me to see the importance of giving my own students the opportunity to repurpose technology and see in what ways they can accomplish a given task with the use of minimal materials/technology.  I am excited to try this with them and see all of the different outcomes that the students have.  We each think differently and this lesson helps to push students way of thinking in a different direction.  Interested in experimenting yourself?  Here are the rules of the game from my CEP 810 course.  Give it a try!

Knit Wit!

IMG_2514This is the end of Week 5 (3 weeks in to our Networked Learning Project) and I am so happy to announce that I have successfully completed my infinity scarf!  Although this was challenging only being able to use YouTube and help forums in order to complete my Networked Learning Project, I did it!  I couldn’t be happier with my results either.  Interested in the process?  Check out my video
below to see a snippet!

IMG_2517
Finished product after sewing the ends together.

Now you might be thinking, “You did that all by watching YouTube videos and reading help forums?”  Yes, I did!  I can’t believe how much information is really out on the web.  By watching videos and reading forums, I learned how to choose yarn and needle size from (ralvery.com forum), casting on, knit stitch (from knittinghelp.com), combining spools of yarn (when one is finished – from Sheep and Stitch)  and sewing together the ends (from Simply Maggie) to create the infinity scarf.  I learned all of that in three weeks time, on top of having a full-time job along with all the other craziness going on in my life.  I will never use the excuses of not having time or not knowing how to do something.  I have a mass amount of information, help forums, videos, etc. at my fingertips, so why not use it?

While completing this project, I have found myself going back to YouTube to watch videos on how to use planbookedu.com, Evernote, Wunderlist, and the list goes on!  I am amazed at how much one source of technology could help me learn all sorts of other trades and technologies.  I am a very visual learner and YouTube videos are great for that.

Having said all that, why not use it in my classroom?  I think showing students what is out on the web and how to navigate to YouTube and help forums would be a huge benefit to them.  Not only will it help them in researching certain topics in school but also learn how to do something, use a new technology, and much more.

One way, I would incorporate the Network Learning Project in my classroom would be to watch a video on ‘how to carve a pumpkin’.  Since it is that time of year, this would be a great way to incorporate YouTube and help forums in my classroom.  Now, I do teach kindergarten, so I may have to navigate for them, but just showing them will help them to gain an understanding that they have access to millions of different activities and the how to’s.  By using YouTube they can later share the information at home with friends and family when wanting to learn a new task.

I am so excited to find something else to learn.  The holidays are coming up and I think a holiday wreath might be my next adventure!  I encourage you to choose something you are interested in learning how to make, build, or use, and give it a try!  What do you have to lose?

Popping with Popplet in Kindergarten!

This week, in week 5 of my CEP 810 course we were asked to design a lesson plan that involves a technology that we have learned so far this semester.  Immediately I felt a little bit overwhelmed.  My first thought was, “I teach kindergarten, how am I going to create a lesson integrating a new technology I learned?”  Well, I thought it over a couple of days and then it popped into my head.  Earlier in the semester, we were asked to create our Personal Learning Network using a new technology called Popplet.  When I was exploring Popplet, I came across the life cycle of a pumpkin that was created by another individual.  This is when it hit me!  It is that time of year, where I will be teaching about pumpkins and the life cycle of a pumpkin in another week.

pumpkinlifecycle
Picture taken from MsFultzCorner on Teachers Pay Teachers.

How perfect!  I got back on Popplet and decided to play around with it.  I ended up deciding to create my lesson so that students could use the drawing tool in Popplet and draw the 6 stages that a pumpkin goes through.

Before having my students just jump into using Popplet, I need to stimulate their prior knowledge.  My plan is to do this by listening to a song by Harry Kindergarten that will introduce pumpkins, create a chart with all of our thoughts and also by watching a YouTube video about the life cycle of a pumpkin, jotting down what we saw.  This allowed me to give students the access to the information, analyze the information that was given and then create their own understanding of the information through Popplet (Hobbs, 2011).

The purpose behind this lesson is to have the students learn a new technology, allow them to play, and most importantly, how to CREATE.  When creating the lesson I wanted my students to learn how to compose content using their creativity all while being aware of the purpose and audience with whom they will be sharing with (Hobbs, 2011).  I strived for my students to learn how to generate content that represents their learning (Thomas & Brown, 2011) in a fun, engaging, yet meaningful way.  With having kindergarteners, sometimes it is difficult implementing technology, however Popplet allows for students to have fun, play around with the tools, and create using the drawing tool.

What I learned from this, is that by incorporating technology, I am able to allow my students to show more of what they know individually, giving them the chance to learn, play, create, and work through trial and error.  Having them share with two other students when finished gave them a reason to strive for theirs to be great and proud to show off their work.  I am so excited to try this with my students and see how well they portray the life cycle of a pumpkin!

Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.