#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.


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.


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!


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

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).

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?


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


  1. Take out the Hungry Hungry Hippo game and remove the marbles.
  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.


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/

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.


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!

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?