Friday, February 27, 2015

Blended Learning Curriculum Design

BLC = blended learning curriculum
VLE = virtual learning environment

Teacher activities

Pre-analysis -
prepare the students for the lesson
Demonstrate what you're looking for

Instructional design -

Assessment -

Student Activities
Lead in, Define the task, explore resources
Plan, describe the problem, brainstorm
Act, research, write
Review, present, critique, reflect

I think, overall, this makes sense. It seems to work for expanding college education opportunities and having larger class sizes at Chinese Universities. Would it work in the US? US students seem to excel in smaller, more personal classes. Just a thought...

Storify about BLC

Friday, February 20, 2015

ED 722 week 7 Rogue Reflection

Please discuss the most potent points in the discussion this week.
What instructional and pedagogical opportunities are out there to build student voice, choice, and agency? How will you create learning experiences for your unique learners?


Teach like a pirate! We watched two Google Hangouts this week. I pulled out my knitting and took some notes. 
- Create an experience
- You will have some failures...keep going
- Look to alternative assessments for memorable understanding
- Build up to a great it. 
- Passion for teaching is critical!
- Triple Venn Diagram
- Teachers are willing to take risks and sail into uncharted waters.

THIS WEEK's REFLECTION is a Powtoon presentation. I need to practice for an upcoming PD.

My Storify for this week

Dave Burgess focused on the performance aspects of teaching. His premise is that students need a "hook" to draw them in and make them want to learn. Creating an experience, rather than simply teaching a lesson, is an important way to differentiate instruction.

The experience could be the way a room is set up to engage the students. One of the SSCHAT teachers talked about eating gluttonously during a lesson. Dave talked about a "life-changing" sight and sound experience revolving around the moon walk. When more senses are engaged, students will learn more deeply.

The experience is not only what the students passively absorb, it can be the projects they create alone or together. The gamifiers talk about minecraft. Another SSCHATter had students recreate the map of the middle east in mud behind the school. Many teachers talked about projects that involve collaboration.

This week in health class, the teacher asked me to show the students "something different from Power Point." Together, we looked at Haiku Deck and Prezi, but my dramatic build-up was to Powtoon. It takes longer to learn, but it is really fun to make an engaging, humorous presentation. The students were really absorbed in creating scenarios for their on-screen characters, cementing the information about steroids in their brains. Although students were responsible for individual projects, they collaborated while discovering different aspects of the program.

Would anyone pay admission to see one of my lessons? No. But it gives me something to aspire to. I'll need to practice.

Monday, February 9, 2015

ED 7722 Week 6 -

Should we actually be worried about big brother and privacy as we try to engage 21st century learners in a connected environment? Is the cloud the right way to go as we begin to embrace ubiquitous learning? Are there ethical and legal implications of this new embrace to connectivity? Please reflect on what resonated with you this week and why.


The three required videos were on disparate topics, so I cruised the additional readings, focusing on privacy.

I didn't follow the Edward Snowden situation when it first came out. I was aware of it. I listen to NPR. But my shallow and comfortable mental conversations sounded like, "Unless you are doing something suspicious, you have nothing to worry about. Let's see who posted for class today..." (I tend to focus on things that obviously affect me and that I can actually do something about.)

Like most aspects of technology, the laws and regulations cannot keep up with the constant innovation. The Security Now podcast made a good point. We want everything to be simple, but simplicity leads to unsecured information. NOTE: Update your computer as soon as you are notified of patches. The window between the new release and the time you update is when your computer is most vulnerable to hackers.

We want everything at the lowest cost. Some of the privacy issues revolve around targeted advertising (Solove.) In my opinion, ads are the price we pay when we have "free" access to the Internet items we consume. As we introduce technology into our schools, we are most likely to use free apps for cost savings. I know our system has received grants for hardware, but not for software or salaries for the extra technicians to keep the hardware working.

I don't see any obvious "Big Brother" issues with cloud and 21st Century learning. Closed programs like Google Classroom and Edmodo give an aura of security about student information. As long as students are following their teachers' guidelines and not seriously planning world-domination, there is no good reason for "Big Brother" to keep track of student work. The one area that could be an "issue" is parents who do not want their child to have a presence on the Internet.

It is disturbing that that US Government has created large storage facilities for huge amounts of metadata from billions of people (Gibson.) It sounds expensive. It is also disturbing that the entity that is supposed to be monitoring the activity, Congress, is being lied to... if the information about the situation is reliable. Maybe it would be OK to inform the public about the fact that the data is being collected and how, but that would cause those who don't want to be watched to figure out a way around "the system." What is right in one situation would be disastrous in another situation. It reads like a complicated espionage novel with no good solution.

Solove, D. The Year in Privacy 2013 and the Year to Come. LinkedIn. 12/30/13.
Gibson, S. Security Now. Episode 408: Security State. TWiT. 6/12/13.

As for the required videos:
Connected Learning: All of the narrator's examples focused on things done at home, one-on-one, that cause deeper engagement. The idea of implementing her solutions sounds amazing, and would be time consuming to translate into individualized experiences for students. As the narrator implied, as long as we continue to focus on test scores, we will not spark the curiosity to create the context for learning that gets students viscerally engaged.
Internships: The students who go on "Work Study" at my Technical High School learn so much about their trade. It would be ideal to offer these kinds of experiences to every student in every school, but is it practical or possible?
RSA Animation: Fascinating take on working environments. I wish we could do distance learning for snow days! I know some schools are working on it.

Link to my Storify this week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

ED 7722 Week 5 reflections

From the readings this week, explain what you find to be the most potent concepts that can be transferred into your own teaching practices and why. Remember to respond to at least two of your peers.

I took serious notes during the two videos about UbD (Understanding by Design) with Grant Wiggins. My teaching is all in collaboration with subject area teachers. I want to be able to more deeply engage students, as the topics I cover are necessary life skills for our time - Internet research, proper attribution, and such.

When Wiggins asked his pupils to write down a one sentence mission statement for their program, I didn't hesitate.
"Each student will become an independent researcher."
As far as an assessment (not a test), I came up with some thoughts, but for instruction, I drew a blank. I know where I need work.
Wiggins compared instruction to the video game, "Rock Band." How can we incentivize every lesson in every unit to keep students as engaged as they are in a video game?
I am not a video game developer.
I have more patience and self-motivation than the average student I encounter, and I'm not even sure what would keep ME that engaged? I stop playing my favorite games if an ad gets too long and I go back later.
Was education ever so exciting and engaging as today's video games? Is that attainable? I think pieces might be that exciting, but even a game like Rock Band can become dull over time.

When I initially read A Pedagogy is Emerging, I thought, "Oh no...same old same old..." and dismissed the article. After skimming some of my cohort's reflections, I thought I might have missed something, so I re-read the article, focusing on the point that it referred to post-secondary education.

There are three shifts in pedagogical trends in higher education right now. We are enjoying these trends in our sixth year program: flexibility, change in power between professors and students, and growth assessments. Because we in ITDML are all motivated learners who want to use the material, it works. As an adult learner, I appreciate the flexibility, rapport, and feedback and feel like I am truly learning the material. That said, I work with high school students. Until we hold them, rather than the teachers, accountable for their own learning, the pedagogical shift cannot happen.

Bates, T. A Pedagogy is Emerging...and Online Learning is a Contributing Factor. Contact North, 2015.
Wiggins, G. Understanding by Design videos.