To the future students of Leadership in Technology (IED 571) ,
I cannot tell you how lucky you are to be in this course and how exciting your experience will be . I'd really like to encourage you to take advantage of your studies in this course as much as you can because it can give you a gazillion eureka moments ! If I can describe IED 571 in short , it would be - A JOURNEY. It is a road to self-discovery. It takes you away from your daily routine with all the challenge it brings , but you are forced to stay on track because you know you have a great destination . A lot of videos and articles will have to be watched, read and reflected upon and at one point it may overwhelm you but don't let it get to you. The beginning is always the hardest but you can make a wise choice to put enthusiasm into completing your course requirements. A course outline and list of assignments will be given to you at the start of the course . Every week you are expected to complete 3 assignments. The assignments are given in a very predictable structure so that it is easy for the student to follow. Come to class with an open mind and you will find yourself breezing through the course. If you have extra time in your hands, it is wise to finish some tasks ahead of time . A quick trip to Starbucks on a weekend is a good way to accomplish things in advance. Just like any other journey, this course will give you a lot of opportunities to try different things. Often times, you will be challenged to think outside the box and create projects that are bigger than yourself. Don't be scared, embrace these moments because it will broaden your horizon . Stretch your imagination as far as you can and allow your mind to wonder ! Build great connections with your coursemates and professor and build ideas together. This course will not only teach you to leverage technology in your own community but it will give you confidence to take that big step and become a catalyst for change.
Oh the places you'll go ! “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” -Dr. Seuss
Good luck !
PS - Professor Mikton is awesome. really.
A wearable gesture interface is just what I need ! Wow, Pranaz Mistry is so innovative and inspiring. His vision of how to take his invention to the masses and let everyone use it to fill those missing sense like vision, hearing, touch is incredible. Connecting the physical world where we breathe, feel, touch and hear with the digital world is a great way to use technology in everyday life!
For me , the Internet has really changed the way I work . The internet provides a WEALTH of knowledge across our fingertips. What interests me most about the internet is the challenge it gives me as an educator - it pushes me to think deeper, outside the box : How can I use all these information to teach the best way I can ? How can I make these ideas my own ? Our class website, blogs, and digital projects have taken my teaching - and my second graders' learning to the next level . Of course planning for engaging activities and learning outcome has caused me sleepless brainstorming nights and long hours in Starbucks - but I enjoy every minute of it !
Pranaz Mistry's passion for endless possibilities is contagious !
image from: houseofart.net
What a powerful thing it is to be able to translate bits and pieces of knowledge and information into something bigger than myself. My desire to learn and grow in this Information age has sparked a certain transformation in my mindset - just like wax to crayons. It is now clear to me that I am a part of an evolving age and that I must choose to adapt to change in order to inspire my students and my community to thrive in this netgeneration.
I love crayons - they make such beautiful , versatile creations - all depending on the hands that hold it. I read once that crayons respond to our warmth by giving us more of their color. They last a very long time too. But what makes them more interesting for me is the process of how they are made . A process that is so similar to my role as an educator , a process that I now hold myself accountable for.
This is the process :
1. Wax and Color are simple yet the most powerful ingredients to create crayon.
The wax are this generations children . The digital natives that don't absorb water or information that has long been streaming. They want fresh ideas, tools to succeed, new ways to do things and endless possibilities. We , educators, are the color - one of the agents that wax absorbs . We come in different shades but with only one purpose - to give vibrance and depth .
2. Crayon factory heats up a bunch of wax in a tank.
As the factory gets the wax ready in a tank , so do our schools. There are millions of children waiting to learn, eager to receive information , and looking forward to use their minds. The tanks are deep - to make sure that it holds the wax and doesn't create any spills so that every single wax can reach its potential. Our schools promise children security, knowledge and a future.
3. Dye is added to give crayon its color.
Color Dye . Educators. The most important ingredient of all . We are the source of opportunities - whose job is to make sure every single wax in the tank is mixed with color . We impart what we know so that children can grow with global empathy , imaginative minds, and a solutionary mindset. We don't just make single colored crayons - we strive to make rainbows.
4. When the wax is really hot , it becomes liquid-like, so the machines can pour the hot liquid wax into small molds that are in the shape of crayons.
We mold and shape our students as we build on their knowledge and talents. We nurture ideas and critical thinking skills that will allow them to function in a modern society . We need to take advantage of this stage in the learning process because this is the perfect time to break bad habits and form new ones, the time to teach digital citizenship and caring about reputation.
5. Once the hot wax has been poured into its molds it cools down and hardens into crayons.
Crayons are now formed depending on its color and mixture . If the dye was mixed thoroughly and the molds were exactly how the crayons are meant to be shaped , then the factory will have a box filled with proud colors eager to serve its purpose. What we teach matters. In this age, we can influence students in ways we have never imagined and technology plays a big role in this. The habits of mind and act that we as educators value will determine the kind of students we produce.
6. The factory then labels the crayons, packs them into a box, and ships them to a store where you can buy the crayons and bring them home.
At last ! One batch of crayons are done . We are 21st century educators that make future leaders who are ready to face challenges and create new innovations . As students leave our classes, we need to make sure that they move on with confidence knowing that we have taught them enough to help them survive in this ever changing world.
Just like Wax to Crayons , the cycle repeats and we all walk forward with pride.
Four Things Every Student Should Learn
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy by Logan LaPlante (TEDtalk)
"Hackers are innovators . Hackers are people who challenge and change the systems to make them work differently, to make them work better. It’s just how they think, it’s a mindset."
I believe that I am a hacker in my own professional practice. Keeping my students happy while learning is probably one of the goals I hold close to my heart. Another goal I consider important is making sure that my students find personal connections or meaning to what I am teaching them - whether it may be in Math, Science, Social Studies or Language Arts. I actually overheard one of my students ask her specialist teacher ,"...but why are we learning this if we aren't going to use it in real life?" - That was truly a lollipop moment for me !
We just got back from a field trip for our Product and Development and Persuasive Writing unit . My teaching partner and I decided to take learning outside and allow the kids to experience what we are teaching in the real world. We brought our students to California Pizza Kitchen where they had a chance to create their own pizza in an assembly line, learn about different resources by looking at the restaurant's ingredients and understand product pricing by looking at resources. For our persuasive writing unit , each group of kids were asked to make ad posters for the restaurant to persuade customers to dine there. The ads are going to be displayed outside the restaurant and voted on by customers for 1 week , the winner will then get a gift certificate from the restaurant. This trip really empowered our students. Not only did they get to understand product and development firsthand, they also got to use their own voices to persuade other people.
Another thing that I do in class is having my students reflect on our lessons/topics and write about Real-world connections . This is a great way for me to allow my students to make sense of what they are learning and experiencing in their lives. We recently had a topic on probability in Math where I taught them the concepts of "more likely","less likely", "certain" and "impossible" . On our math board, we have a "real-world connections wall" where students can put their thoughts using our math vocabulary words and concepts . My students started posting connections on probability that really blew me away! There were responses like : If North Korea stops sending out missiles, there will be no war ; If you don't fight with friends, it is more likely that you will have a peaceful day ; and I am certain that Santa is real. (This is my personal favorite) .
Teaching is such an amazing profession because it allows us to inspire students and change lives. We should all strive to become educational hackers everyday .
Thank you John for sharing this video and thanks everyone, for all your wonderful responses in this thread. I enjoyed reading them!
Wiki International School (WIS) is a new school operating in Akucha, in Trikitistan (Asia) . Dr Tienitov is the school principal and he is planning to get an IT DREAM TEAM. JobPaki Inc. is an employment agency in Mirakapur, in Tikbuttu (Africa). Mr Jotajude is an agent with a mission: to help Dr Tenitov succeed.
I love signs and messages. Growing up, my mother would always tell me to take the time out everyday to pause and become more aware of the things I see and hear, to put meaning into the little things that happen in my day to day life - which I now figured to be those lollipop moments Drew Duddley was talking about. The impact of those moments , if we really pay attention , is massive .
Lollipop moments are everywhere. We just have to learn how to recognize them . It can happen directly to us or indirectly in the form of words spoken, eureka moments or other people's situations . Every now and then I try to list down moments that have impacted me . As I journey towards a greater purpose , I take with me some of the greatest lessons I've learned from the little experiences in my day to day life:
As A Student : When I started this course , I had all these ideas and I really wanted to create change in a large scale . One lollipop moment for me was when my professor told me during our skype session that I didn't have to do everything in a large scale in order to impact change . He said that I can start working with 1 or 2 people and their success will inspire other people to change . What he said really shifted my view and I have shared these with some of my colleagues. Because of this, I have started sharing my work in smaller groups- it has been a great journey and I feel good! So, thank you John for changing my perspective on that!
As A Leader : During the EARCOS conference, I was a facilitator for Grades 1 and 2 JobAlike session. It was my first time to lead a group of teachers (35 of them) from different International Schools. I had bouts of doubt after the session because I used a lot of movement and groupings which were not very traditional , I wasn't sure how I did . Later in the day and at the last day of the conference, I had doses of lollipop moments one after the other - teachers thanked me for facilitating an engaging session , others said they loved the exchange of ideas and the movement involved . I was so happy with all their feedback. I was able to thank them as they came up to me but I still want to thank them today. Because of those words of encouragement, I am more more motivated to lead workshops and inspire other people.
As A Teacher : Students , I feel , have given me the most lollipop moments. . A lot of my teaching principles, strategies and beliefs now were all shaped by my experiences with students. I have learned to value their feedback and use them as a means to evaluate myself. I have also learned to treasure those simple "thank you's" and "i need help" moments as I see them as windows of opportunity to create lollipop moments for them.
Top 4: This is a list of 4 lessons I've learned from my most recent lollipop moments (taken from my bucket(feel good) list)
1. Whistle while you work - put energy and enthusiasm into old routines! (when my boss was stressed)
2. Be tolerant of others - you too have a lot to correct. (Beijing subway)
3. When you're given an opportunity to see someone's weakness or pain, it's because you have the ability to do something about it . (a book)
4. Increase your energy by using it . (from my Zumba instructor)
Let us celebrate leadership everyday by recognizing and creating lollipop moments everywhere ! Have a great day !
I have read a lot of reflections in this course pertaining to game based learning so when I heard that there would be a workshop on this topic, I took the first seat in the lecture room. It was nice to know that the facilitator , Mr. Claro was a fellow Filipino !
Game based learning : WHY should we do it ?
Gone are the days when games are played solely for entertainment purposes. In 21st century learning environments , games are explored in unconventional ways and are used to engage (not enrage) and empower students .
According to Alan Gershenfeld, game-based learning promotes critical thinking , questioning, self directed learning , creativity, problem solving, non linear thinking and even language arts skills through creative story telling.
In Mr. Claro’s classroom in Thailand, they use GAMESTAR MECHANIC (for 4th grade) and KODU (for 5th grade up) . In his class, gaming has supported cross curriculum applications and the school ESLRs. It has also promoted system thinking and 21st century learning.
Gamestar mechanic allows students to participate in fun , game based quest and courses to help them learn how to design and create their own video games. As teachers , we too can design games in relation to our lessons! We can use this in any subject. The facilitator gave us many resources for game-based learning including lesson plans, design tips, rubrics and more which you will find a link to at the end of this entry.
We didn't have enough time to get in depth on KODU but from what I understood, it provides students with a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. . The program is designed to be child friendly and enjoyable for anyone. We got to try it out for a short while and I enjoyed it ! It wasn't the easiest thing to do but it did open my mind to a lot of new gaming possibilities in class!
Teacher Resources for Gaming
China . A very interesting country- rich in culture and advanced technology. I am blessed to be here to attend the EARCOS Teacher's Conference . In my next few blog entries, I will be talking about the different tech workshops that I have attended and my reflections on them .
The first pre-conference I attended was called Shift Happens: Are You In Denial? And For How Long? facilitated by Michael Boll and Michael Lambert . It talked about the shift that is happening in our schools today in terms of technology and the way schools and teachers function . The workshop presented elements that we must shift in order to take advantage of the incredible global revolution.
In the past years, there has been a lot of shifts in education such as:
-privacy to public
-etherpad for instruction
- back channels for students
-personal blog to course blogs
-2 to 3 books to personal mobile library
-Nanotechnology and 3D printers
-industrialist to individual
With all these transitions and advancement taking place, the big questions are: " What is school really for ?" , "How can we, as teachers, use this transformation to inspire and engage my students ? " , "What are we teaching to prepare our students to become digital citizens?" and "How can we help students adapt to the change or the shift?"
With the world wide web taking over and student's online reputation becoming more significant , it seems that one of the most important things that we should be teaching our students now is how to protect and build their TRUST value factor online. We need to teach kids to be responsible on the web , reflect on what they can contribute to the online community and focus on building their market value based on trust. On Rachel Botsman's TED talk, she mentioned that based on the current trend, one's online reputation is the new currency .
In Seth Godin's TED Talk for the youth, he talked about different strategies schools can use to prepare students for the future. I'd like to highlight some of these:
- homework during the day , lecture at night
- Open book , open value
-Access to any course
-Precise focused education
-Measure experience instead of test scores
-Cooperation instead of isolation
-CONNECT DOTS over COLLECT DOTS – put kids in a situation where they can fail.
Some applications that support the SHIFT in education are :
Ether Pad – google (internal server) , tighten pad :
Gravatar- globally recognized avatar (saves time logging in, anonymous comments)
Mozilla –Badging system for students
The shift in education is massive - and it should all start within ourselves. As soon as we accept that there is a shift happening , we will be able to adapt to it and be able to translate this first, into our own lives and then inside our classrooms. We can all be catalysts for this incredible change .
Rachel Botsman's TED talk
Seth Godin's TED Talk
I have never been so excited to do a GOOGLE SEARCH in my life !
Jeff Utecht's workshop on Power Searching really brought me deeper into the number one skill that all web users should have - to SEARCH ! In the fast changing world today , information is not getting less - it grows more and more every second!
At the beginning of the workshop, Jeff had us work into small teams to answer questions from A Google A Day . A Google A Day is a puzzle game activity created by google which allows for users to think critically and hone their search skills while finding answers to different questions on the site . Some of us progressed into the next questions but most of us were stuck trying to find answers . After the activity, we came together and reflected on what skills we thought people needed in order to do a search- and these are what everyone came up with:
SKILLS WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SEARCH
1. basic computer use
3. picking out key words
5. knowing google.com
6. copy paste
7. right click
8. new tab
9. boolean search terms
11. approximate spelling
12. critical thinking
13. Understand the question
14. Evaluation : credibility of a site , search page,
15. Guess and Check
Then came the BIG Question: In today's integration model, Where are we teaching these skills our curriculum ?
There is a big difference between searching for information and just simply finding information. Here are some power user tips that teachers can use to help their students search for information better :
For K-3 :
1.Anytime teachers do a search on the internet, show kids the process of searching on the screen.
2. Always identify the ADS on a website so the kids understand where NOT to click.
1. HW: GoogleADay.com – ask questions that makes kids think deeper than the first 4 results shown on the web
2. Remind students that Wikipedia resources can be a good START for their research . Explain the blue hyperlinks on the page and explain that it leads them to more resources.
3. Use boolean search terms - using OR, AND, NOT
4. Use Domain Extensions by country for more specific searches to teach kids perspective.
Example : Search on Effects of migration on students
for government sites: (Philippines) Effects of migration on students site:gov.ph
for education sites : (Philippines) Effects of migration on students site:edu,ph
5. Ask students to give relevant and recent information, at least within the last 18 months.
6. Teach students the reading level features in Google Search Tools
7. Use 15 minute FLIP teaching while doing a class search - teachers ask a question then give students 15 minutes to search for answers and share .
Technology allows us to be social with kids in a way we’ve never done before. Let us all work together in helping students and colleagues understand the importance of searching using critical thinking skills !
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
My e-portfolio is designed to showcase my collection of reflections, works , multimedia projects and resources from my Leadership in Technology Course as I journey towards being an immigrant in the digital world. May this site inspire people to explore , create, embrace and innovate technology in education .