Reflecting on CEP811

As I am typing this, I feel a little bit of sadness in that this class is coming to a close.  I had the opportunity to learn so many new and exciting technologies that I spent countless hours learning and making.  It was a trial and error process that tested my patience, perseverance, and overall willingness to complete and grasp new ideas and concepts.  I have learned so much over the last seven weeks and have made a file in Evernote to refer back to when needed.

To sum up all of the things I learned in CEP 811, I went back through my notes from all seven weeks and picked out the  main ideas, repeated words, etc. and created a Word Cloud (something I have not done in YEARS).  I ended up using the website wordclouds.com to create the word cloud for free.  After exploring some of the other websites, I found this one to be the most simple and user-friendly website.  Here are the main ideas I took from CEP 811.

WordCloud
Created on word clouds.com

As you can see, including maker education into the classroom using new technologies helps to extend one’s creativity.  This is a movement that is going to continue excelling and we, as teachers need to convert these 19th century classrooms to the 21st century.  Better late than never…

CEP 811 has taught me to get out of my comfort zone and CREATE.  I now have new thinking when it comes to technology and have been trying to let my students explore more with technology in the classroom.  I am learning to let go of the reins per say and allow for my students creativity to come out in their projects.  It is difficult to do at first, but I must say I am so pleased with their work when it is completed, that I get a wonderful sense of satisfaction as do they, with the finished product.

This new way of thinking will only help me to continue letting go and become more of a coach when it comes to technology integration rather than the teacher.

The assignments in CEP 811 have all taught me to struggle, pursue, and push myself beyond limits in order to be successful and creative while using new technologies.  I don’t anticipate introducing all of these technologies to my class this year, however, it is somewhere for me to start.  I believe by creating a project that will allow for my students to experience the same things that I did throughout this class will help them to be better problem solvers, work collaboratively, and build confidence in their own learning.  I am so excited to get started and having gone through the experiences myself, I know what is acceptable or not to ask of my students.

Two classes in to my Masters of Educational Technology, and I am still thrilled to be learning all these new technologies that I can take back in the classroom.  I have made a great choice and am excited to continue taking classes towards my degree!

 

 

 

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Assessing Creativity

creativity

This week in CEP 811, we were given a few different articles to read pertaining to the assessment and evaluation of creativity as well as project based learning.  I think a lot of different important points were brought up and it definitely made me reflect on my own assessments I use with my students.  Something Grant Wiggins stated in his blog post was that, “…we recognize creative thinking immediately when we see it – much more so, then, say “organization” in writing or “effective collaboration”(2012).  I found this to be very true, and so began my questioning of why don’t we assess on creativity?  It is something that we can easily see, understand, and determine quickly.

For example in James Gee’s Video on Evaluation and Creativity, he relates video games to assessments.  This is a wonderful comparison and makes complete sense in that kids are drawn to video games because they are given immediate feedback.  Playing video games is constant assessment; you fail and you try again (Gee, 2008).  Gee then goes into describing video games as language that is needed just in time (2008).  He explains that reading the manual before playing the game doesn’t do you any good; you don’t understand it.  Once playing the game and having experience with the language and then going back to the manual, you are able to have a better understanding of the material because you have had experience with the language (Gee, 2008).

Relating this back to maker-inspired lessons, students need to play with the materials, get immediate feedback and work through trial and error in order to understand the materials they are working with.  Once their is an understanding, the language starts flowing and making sense.  The learner has produced more knowledge and in today’s time this is done collaboratively (Gee, 2008).  Prompting your students to then be creative with the maker-inspired lesson, your students are going to produce more creative work because they have had practice learning from trial and error, self-evaluation, and self-assessment of using the tool at hand.

A few questions that I had for myself after reading the blogs and articles were:

  1. Do my activities allow for students to show their creativity?
  2. How would I assess their creativity?
  3. What guidelines (if any) do I need to set for the activities?

In thinking about these questions, I decided that as an educator charged with assessment of students learning, I would assess creative problem solving during maker-inspired lessons in the following way:

  1. Is it engaging? (color, content, creativity)
  2. Did it meet the criteria of GRASPS?
GRASPS
Example retrieved from here

My Kindergarten Example using GRASPS:

GRASPS

The design of these assessments is justified by the following connections to learning theories, and/or to the ideas presented by Wiggins in that he states, “The idea of focusing on impact is actually key to student autonomy, reflected in self-assessment and self-adjustment” (Wiggins, 2013).  I find this to be very true, in that students take on more responsibility for their learning when they are given the opportunity to let their creative sides show.  Grading on creativity (is it engaging?), pushes students to think “outside the box”, self-reflect and self-evaluate their work.  In the end, the work they produce is something that reflects them as a student, learner, and teacher.  It also helps the student to create more engaging and creative work!

As for my reasoning of using GRASPS, Wiggins states that”…when the student has clarity about the Goal of the task, their Role, the specific Audience, the specific Setting, the Performance particulars, and the Standards and criteria against which they will be judged, they can be far more effective – and creative!” (2012).  Guidelines are given, yet still allow for the student to show their creative side, work through trial and error, as well as collaborate with others in order to create an engaging piece of work.  I believe that this will not only produce creative work, but quality work that engages the learner and the reader.

Let’s allow our students to be CREATIVE, learn through collaboration, and be responsible for their own learning through self-assessment and self-evaluation.  Engage students in the work and more engaging and creative work will be produced!

REFERENCES:

Dios, A. (2014, February 22). Philippine Basic Education: Philippines DepEd Failed to GRASP k-12 Grading System. [Images]. Retrieved from: http://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2014/02/grasps.html

Gee, J.P. (2010, July 20). James Paul Gee on Grading with Games. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU3pwCD-ey0

Lacey, C. (2014). Quotes that Will Inspire Your Creativity as a Student. [Image] Retrieved from http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/2547/20140917/quotes-will-inspire-creativity.htm

Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). On assessing for creativity: yes you can, and yes you should. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/on-assessing-for-creativity-yes-you-can-and-yes-you-should/

 

#Makerspaces and The Maker Movement Manifesto

This week in my CEP 811 Course we were asked to create an infographic.  After exploring the suggested websites to use, I ended up choosing piktochart.com.  The reason for that was it seemed easy to manage and had free templates that were very appealing to the eye.  After several attempts at using a pre-made template, I ended up creating one from scratch.  Having never made a infographic or having any experience using piktochart, it took me a few hours of just playing around with it, to really feel comfortable using it.  Through the process, I really enjoyed creating this infographic and had a lot of fun doing so!

When getting started, I didn’t have an idea I wanted to run with.  I reviewed our past assignments, readings, videos, etc. in hopes of something sparking.  While doing that, I stumbled upon some other great articles that I was able to tie into my infographic.  I felt as though I know a lot about the Maker Movement but not on how to develop a makerspace for my students.  I started with the three challenges that teachers often face that Richard Culatta discussed in his TedxTalk video.  I then moved into how we can inspire students to learn and create Fleming, L. Kurti, D.L., Kurti, S.R. (2015).  I then went into a list of things that you ask yourself when creating a makerspace, using the information provided by MakerMedia in their book Makerspace Playbook: School Edition.  Lastly, I reviewed Mark Hatch’s (2013) nine key principals in creating a Maker Movement Manifesto.  Take a look at how it all came together below or by clicking on the link provided.

#MakerSpace-2.png

Feel free to comment with any thoughts or ideas of your own!

The 21st Century Classroom

4csIn my CEP 811 course this week, we were asked to redesign our classroom for 21st century learners.  When given this assignment, I immediately got excited.

For the past two years, I taught in a large classroom that was in the shape of a rectangle and  was almost too big (unbelievable that I am actually using those words – but it’s the truth).  This year, I was placed into a classroom that is an odd setup.  It’s still in the shape of a rectangle, however has a smaller rectangle attached to it with room for a bathroom and a computer lab.  In my classroom, there are five doors (YES – FIVE!).  I think this has been the biggest inconvenience in that I cannot have anything covering those doors and it takes away from the learning spaces that could potentially be built within the classroom.

This project has helped me to think outside the box, generate new ideas of what I would want, what I would add/change to fit the needs of my 21st century learners.

Here are pictures of what my classroom currently looks like:


 

I love the hexagon shaped tables in the room because it gives the students their own individual space, but I feel like there is not enough room.  I love having computers in the classroom and am thankful that I have them, however, I wish they were more visible and accessible to the students, rather than being in it’s own room.

As Trung Le stated in his article A 21st Century School on the Cutting Edge of Learning, the classroom setups of today are for the 19th century learner, it’s “what academics call age-specific grouping, contain and control, didactic instruction, prescribed knowledge, uniformed progression, fixed schedules, and standardized assessment through memorization” (2105).  As the Maker Movement becomes more prominent and the main focus in the 21st century, our classrooms should start reflecting it as well.  Keeping that in mind, I wanted to create more space, color, comfortable spots in the room and accessibility to resources (ex: computers, whiteboards, etc.) for the students.  As stated by The Third Teacher (2010) we need to cherish children’s spaces, make peace with fidgeting, swivel to attention, think hands-on, and let the students lead.

While playing around with SketchUp Make, I recreated just that.
IMG_2759.JPG IMG_2758.JPGIMG_2757.JPG

I spread out the tables so there was plenty of room between them and changed the chairs to swivel chairs so it would allow students the ability to move around.  I added yoga balls for students to sit at, bean bags, comfortable chairs, as well as taller tables where they could stand and work.  Each child learns differently and having the opportunity to move about and find a comfortable place to learn, I believe it will help students to focus better, be more engaged and involved in their own learning.

I have envisioned a 21st century classroom to better fit the needs of all my students.  It allows them the chance to move, collaborate with their peers, use their resources and most of all – build a sense of community.

With renovations, comes an expense.  The swivel chairs are a cost of $1,900 with each chair costing around $70 each.  Bean bags can be purchased from Meijer or Target for $20 each, so for 4 bean bags that’s $80.  Child size yoga balls run about $25 a piece so for 10 balls, that would be $250.  The standing tables are about $50 a piece, for 3 tables that’s $150.  Lastly, for the comfortable chairs in the room, it is about $30 (staying on the cheaper side) so another $90.  Plus the paint for the walls and the carpeting.  I am looking at a remodel of about $3,000 total.

With funding constantly being cut in schools, I find that I am only dreaming when it comes to recreating my classroom.  This revision would not have to happen all at once.  It could be a progression with reaching out to other resources like applying for a grant or go on Donorschoose.org.  I am going to start small, with the yoga balls for instance, and see if I can slowly add to my classroom each year, hoping to create the best learning environment for my 21st century learners.

References:

Kolk, M. (2011). The 21st century classroom – where the 3 R’s meet the 4 C’s! [Online Image] Retrieved from: http://web.tech4learning.com/blog-0/bid/45149/The-21st-century-classroom-where-the-3-R-s-meet-the-4-C-s

Le, T. (2015). A 21st Century School on the Cutting Edge of Learning [Slideshow]. Retrieved from: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662762/a-21st-century-school-on-the-cutting-edge-of-learning-slideshow

OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching & learning. Retrieved from: http://thethirdteacherplus.com/s/Ch2-TTT-for-Web-0y6k.pdf

 

Hungry for Syllables!

IMG_2704.JPGIn creating a lesson plan for kindergartners with Makey Makey I almost thought it was going to be impossible.  However, after much thought, collaboration with my colleagues in my CEP 811 course, and brainstorming different ideas, I found a lesson plan applicable to my students.

I have been teaching about syllables and how to count the number of syllables in words.  We have been using the clapping method with a saying that goes “Words go up, Words go down, This is how ____ sounds”…and then clapping it out.  The students really enjoyed this and picked up on the “chunking” very quickly.  However, I still wanted to add something more and what better way than to incorporate a new technology with a topic that the students already have had some background knowledge and prior experience with.  I decided to grab an old game, Hungry Hungry Hippo, that I tested out in Week 2 and run with the idea.

Once writing my lesson plan, I got stuck on the fact that I only have one Makey Makey and cannot afford to buy 4 more in order to make this work.  That’s when the brainstorming and collaboration came into play.  I run Daily 5 (literacy centers) and figured that I could use that time (1 hour and 45 minutes) to conduct this lesson with each group on a different day of the week.  I have 5 groups of students so this was perfect, I could see one group of students each day of the week to work this through AND provide immediate feedback to the group.  Check out my full lesson plan for using Makey Makey with Hungry Hungry Hippo in teaching syllables!

Please feel free to leave comments or feedback!

References:

Brown, L. (2015). “Makey Makey Meets Hungry Hungry Hippo” [Images]. Retrieved from: personal photos

Brown, L. (2015). “Makey Makey Meets Hungry Hungry Hippo” [Video File]. Retrieved from: personal videos

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H.. (2007). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research77(1), 81–112. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4624888

JoyLabz LLC. (2012-2015). “HOW TO: Quick Start Guide” [Website]. Retrieved from: http://makeymakey.com/howto.php

JoyLabz LLC. (2012-2015). “Piano” [Software]. Retrieved from: http://makeymakey.com/piano/

Foundation of Learning

feedback
Photo courtesy of premasaga, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0

This week in my CEP 811 course, I had the opportunity to watch Richard Culatta’s Tedx Talk on Reimagining Learning.  Culatta brought up three main challenges that teachers face.  He claimed that 1) We treat all learners the same despite unique needs and challenges, 2) We hold the schedule constant and allow learning to vary, and 3) Performance data comes to0 late to be useful to the learner (2013).  I found the third one resonated with me the most.  As stated in Chapter 3 of How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School “Feedback has long been identified as important for successful learning…”  (Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R., 2000).  One way to help students be successful is by providing immediate feedback.

In the article, The Power of Feedback by John Hattie and Helen Timperley they discuss the importance of providing students with feedback.  It is stated in the article that, “…the type of feedback and the way it is given can be differentially effective” (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).  The authors discuss three questions that both teachers and students need to keep in mind, 1) Where am I going?, 2) How am I going?, 3) Where to next? (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).  Then it breaks down into four different levels of feedback that can be provided and which ones are the most beneficial to students.  They are feedback regarding the task, process, regulatory, and self-levels (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).   It was stated that effective instruction followed by feedback is a powerful influence on the students learning (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).

check
Doub.co, TR. Creative Commons licensed.

To add to that, in the article Test Anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique by David DiBattista and Leanne Gosse, they discuss the idea of students getting anxiety before a multiple choice test and how their anxiety is lowered when they know they will receive immediate feedback (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  In the study they conducted, there were 215 students (185 who used the IFAT system) and 167 of the participants (90%) were female, with the ages ranging from 19-43 in a psychology class (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).

The study began by first introducing the students to the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IFAT) three weeks prior to using it (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  The system included 1.0, .25, .1, 0 marks being awarded for the first, second, third, and fourth attempts on a 37 multiple choice question test.  Students ended up scoring 6% higher on the test using the IFAT in comparison to not using the IFAT (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  When using IFAT, 20% of students said they liked learning the right answer (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  More than half of the students agreed that IFAT reduced their anxiety (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  Providing immediate feedback helped in this situation and allowed for students to earn partial credit and reduce anxiety.

After reading these articles, a faster way to provide feedback is through technology. For example, in the Tedx Talk with Culatta, there was a great example where students were given three questions at the end of each lesson, then the app generated each student’s lesson for the next day, based on what was learned and understood from the previous day’s lesson.  This was a great way where students were given immediate feedback and it played directly into the following lessons, just like the immediate feedback given using the IFAT system.  The ‘Maker Movement’ will hopefully keep this objective in mind, creating more technologies that will help students to be successful and create lessons at the pace that each student needs.

I know as a student, I like feedback in a timely manner so that I can apply the feedback to my work right away.  Feedback that is received late, becomes useless.  I say provide feedback in a timely manner, don’t go too in depth, and allow the student to fix their answers.  After all, that’s how they will actually LEARN and RETAIN their misinterpreted ideas.

So the next question to ask ourselves is…what is effective feedback?

References:

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309070368.

Culatta, R. (2013). Reimagining Learning: Richard Culatta at TEDxBeaconStreet [Video File]. Retrieved from http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Reimagining-Learning-Richard-Cu

DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006). Test Anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. The Journal of Experimental Education74(4), 311–327. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20157434

Doub.co, TR. Check Mark. [Image]. Retrieved from https://thenounproject.com/term/check-mark/33848/

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H.. (2007). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research77(1), 81–112. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4624888

Premasaga. (2010). Feedback from Around the Web. [Image]. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/team8project9440/resources/project-updates

Makey Makey Meets Hungry Hungry Hippo

Two weeks ago, prior my CEP 811 class starting, I needed to order a maker kit.  After a lot of research and evaluation, I ended up choosing the Makey Makey Classic kit.  The reasoning behind my choice is that the Makey Makey kit seemed safe, easy to use, and age appropriate for kindergarten.  This week in my class we were asked to put our maker kits to use. I began by first looking up Makey Makey on the direct website, reviewing all the different tabs and really seeing how people “played” with Makey Makey.  I started documenting different pages using Evernote, that way I had all of my resources in one area that I could then refer back to when needed.  Once I felt ready, I got my Makey Makey kit out and made sure that I had all the correct items inside of it.  I needed to experiment with it in order to see how it worked through my own experiences, trial and error.  During this time of research and play, I continued to brainstorm ways that I could use the Makey Makey in a lesson when teaching my kindergartners.  I have recently been teaching about syllables and how students can count the number of syllables in a word.  I was hoping that I could relate this project to syllables and create a lesson for my students using the Makey Makey kit.  So my adventure began…

During the week, I visited two different Salvation Army stores in my area.  I didn’t quite have anything in mind exactly, but was hoping for a game that my students might know that I could adapt and use with the Makey Makey kit.  I browsed through both Salvation Army stores without any inspiration or ideas but was hoping something would catch my eye.  I was wanting an “Aha!” moment and for a wonderful idea to pop into my head.  Although we would all like for assignments to be that easy, it doesn’t always happen.  Unfortunately, I walked out of both Salvation Army’s with nothing in hand and no brilliant ideas in my head.  At this point, I was feeling discouraged, stressed, and thinking that this assignment was impossible.  I gave myself some time to think over the next day or so, continued to watch YouTube videos trying to get more ideas and hoping to catch something that would spark an idea.  I knew I wanted to do something with syllables, wanted to make it fun, and do something that I hadn’t seen yet.  It wasn’t until late Thursday evening, the game Hungry Hungry Hippo popped into my head.

This is a game that I played as a child and LOVED!  The only problem was, I did notIMG_2692.JPG own the game nor know anyone who did.  I went back to the Salvation Army to see if I could get lucky in finding it, now knowing what I was looking for and had no luck once again.  I then turned to social media and put out the question for my friends to see, hoping my personal learning network could be of some help.  With nobody knowing what I needed the game for, I had some funny comments about other games like Pretty Pretty Princess or an adult version of Hungry Hungry Hippo (which was hilarious).  However, these comments didn’t lead me to get my hands on the game at all.  Luckily, I work in a school, was talking about my assignment and my idea when the after school care worker overheard me and said “I think we have the game in the closet.”  I got extremely excited and walked with her to check and see.  A few minutes later, a big smile on my face, and Ta-Da! I had the game in my hands!  Now, it was on to trying to figure out a way to use it to create a lesson using Hungry Hungry Hippo and my Makey Makey kit.

Here is a step-by-step how-to guide in getting my prototype setup.

Materials needed:

  • Laptop
  • Tin foil
  • Makey Makey Classic kit
  • Hungry Hungry Hippo game

Directions:

  1. Take out the Hungry Hungry Hippo game and remove the marbles.
    IMG_2694.JPG
  2. Go to a virtual keyboard, drum, etc. on your computer.  I chose the Piano for this lesson, but you may choose whichever.  You can find others that work with Makey Makey here.  Scroll down to Try Out Software and chose the one you wish to use.
  3. Open up your Makey Makey kit and take out the red USB cord.IMG_2699.JPG
  4. Plug it into the USB drive in your computer.IMG_2695.JPG
  5. Then hook the other end into the maker board (a red light should come on once connected).IMG_2696.JPG
  6. Next, take one alligator clip and hook it into the Earth section on the board.  IMG_2698.JPG
  7. Take the other end of the alligator clip and connect it to yourself (you can do this by holding the metal part between your fingers).IMG_2701.JPG
  8. Next, cover each handle on the Hungry Hippos with tinfoil (in order to make it a conductor).IMG_2700.JPG
  9. Then take a new alligator clip and place it on the arrow pointing left on the maker board.IMG_2702.JPG
  10. Now connect the other end of the alligator clip to the hippo that is to your left on the Hungry Hungry Hippo game.IMG_2703.JPG
  11. Repeat with the rest of the arrows on the maker board (connecting them to the matching hippo).IMG_2704.JPG
  12. Now we are ready to test it out!  With your piano (or whichever musical device you chose) pulled up on your computer, give it a try!  Be sure you are “grounded” (have the alligator click connected to earth in-between your fingers).  Tap the tinfoil on the Hungry Hungry Hippo and you should hear the piano play a tune!

Now moving to the classroom aspect of this.  I have created this to use when teaching syllables.  I currently use a saying “Words go up, words go down, this is how ______ sounds” as my students and I clap out the word.  Over the past two weeks we have been focusing on syllables and they have been doing an excellent job.  In order to make it a little more fun, interesting, and integrate technology, my goal is to use the Makey Makey and Hungry Hungry Hippo together!

When I practice these skills with students, I usually have a small group at my table consisting of 4-6 students.  In this case, I would only be able to have 4 with me.  Each student will take a turn.  I will give them a word such as ‘cupcake’ and they will have to tap the tinfoil on the Hungry Hungry Hippo for however many syllables are in the word (in this case 2 times).  If they get it right, I will then allow them to push the handle completely down, releasing the Hungry Hippo all the way.  If they answered incorrectly, the next student will be given the opportunity to try it.  We will continue going around in a circle, counting out the syllables in words, hearing the piano play as we tap the hippo.  This allows for the students to hear the syllables (with the piano noise playing), tap it out, and then have an incentive of pushing the handle down completely when answering correctly.  It also allows me to work with four students at once rather than one on one using the Makey Makey.  Check out my video below for a demonstration.

I am so excited to try this in my classroom, see my students reactions, and most importantly identify any issues that arise and determine how to fix them.  If you are interested in trying this out yourself, please do!  I would love some feedback and details on how you adapted this to fit your own classroom needs.  Good luck and have fun playing!


Multimodal elements:  Multimodal elements help for readers to see first hand how to recreate what I have just done using Makey Makey and the Hungry Hungry Hippo game.  The pictures enable a visual learner more understanding as well as the video.  Viewers are able to get more of a first hand look and experience with my project than if it were just reading.  The pictures and videos also help to break up the reading and keep the viewer interested.

References:

Brown, L. (2015). “Makey Makey Meets Hungry Hungry Hippo” [Images]. Retrieved from: personal photos

Brown, L. (2015). “Makey Makey Meets Hungry Hungry Hippo” [Video File]. Retrieved from: personal videos

JoyLabz LLC. (2012-2015). “HOW TO: Quick Start Guide” [Website]. Retrieved from: http://makeymakey.com/howto.php

JoyLabz LLC. (2012-2015). “Piano” [Software]. Retrieved from: http://makeymakey.com/piano/