This summer, we are reading a book written by Daniel T. Willingham called, “When Can You Trust the Experts?” Throughout the first half of the book, Willingham offers a solution for educators to discern which of the latest educational models, programs and approaches are worthwhile. It’s obvious that our education field is constantly changing and it seems like everyday we have the “latest and greatest” tools thrown at us. But how much thought are we putting in to agreeing with these theories, methods and tools? Are we just nodding our heads because it sounds good and”everybody is doing it?!”
In the first chapter, Willingham discusses how we are manipulated by advertisements and what others believe to be great (that is an extremely brief synopsis…). So in class the day after our reading was due, our quickfire was to create a “commercial” of some sort to sell a tool using the tactics Willingham proves we are driven by in Chapter 1. Now back to it being our second summer in Galway–the commercials we created were hilarious! We had such a fun time making them and were not afraid to make fools of ourselves. Our group decided to “sell” Plickers. You can see just how ridiculous the presentation was, here. We even added in a little dance move that unfortunately no one got on video, but instead you can see in the action shot you see below.
We kicked off the start of our MAET program with a Haiku Deck Quick fire! It was exciting, stressful, fun and a great resource to learn about. We had to create a presentation to introduce ourselves to the group in 45 minutes. Of course, the hardest part was picking a fun theme and pictures. However, a close second was following the guidelines of Haiku…using a few words as possible. It is an idea I completely agree with–nobody wants to attend a presentation where you just sit and read words a bunch of words on a screen–it is just easier said than done! Overall, I enjoyed the assignment and will use HaikuDeck as a resource in the future. Check out my presentation, here.
Additional lesson learned: Sometimes you just need to be done. I am a total perfectionist and if I was not cut off, I could spend hours and hours on a simple project. I have a feeling it will be something I will get really good at over the course of the next four weeks
MAKE A PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK
We had to create a visualization of our Personal Learning Network today! It was truly amazing to see how many people I connect with (on a professional and personal level) and how many different outlets there are to connect with them. We were given a list of resources to use and 40 minutes to complete the task (this was easier and less stressful than yesterday). Initially, I tried using Popplet, but unfortunately, the site was not cooperating with me–this was a bummer. My peers seemed to love it and the program had great reviews (I’ll try again later). Anyway, I did not want to waste any time stressing over that, so I quickly picked another from the list, Mind Meister. It took me about 5 minutes to get adjusted to navigating the site and I was thankful it provided hints and tips (very user friendly). After that, it was smooth sailing. I really loved the program and the end result. Check it out, here.
Today we played a technological version of taboo! We were all assigned a word and three words we could not use to describe it. Then, we could use a program like Wordle, tagzedo, Tagul, or any other word cloud generator. I chose to use Wordle because (shockingly enough) I’ve never used it before! See if you can guess what word I had:
DIY COOKING WITH TPACK
Can you use breakfast and TPACK in the same sentence? I couldn’t until this morning! Chris & Alison told us they would bring us breakfast today. Turns out, our quick fire was to actually make our breakfast! We had to blindly pick 3 utensils to make a breakfast dish…and we had no idea what that dish would be. Our group had a ladle, a knife, a pitcher, and 2 boxes of whipping cream–and our job was to make whipped cream for the fruit salad. Our group had to come up with a plan, repurpose the tools, and make it work! You might be wondering: what does this have to do with TPACK?
T: the tools we had to use
C: creating a breakfast dish
P: HOW we made the dish
It was a great way to relate TPACK to a real life situation. If we had known what we were making, we would have picked the correct tools and that task would not have been so meaningful!
PAPER CIRCUITS (AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MAKER MOVEMENT)
Today, we made paper circuits to “illuminate” a course concept! It was interesting to see how people went about their task. Some worked on their circuit first and then their idea, and others worked on their idea first and then proceeded to put together their circuit. I came up with my idea first (getting to know your students and their prior knowledge/experiences), then put together my circuit and used the time left over to add color and make it a little more visually appealing. Check out my circuit and others below!
POPCORN MAKER (REMIX!)
We had a discussion about remixes today. Kirby Ferguson does an amazing job of explaining how just about everything is a remix of something else. So, how does this apply to teaching? We are constantly collaborating and learning from each other. I get a lot of ideas from other professionals and peers (everything from an organizational tip to a lesson plan) and then turn them into my own. A remix of an idea! I would highly recommend watching the linked videos above as they are very entertaining, interesting and informative. Anyway, our quick fire challenge was to create a one minute video using the Mozilla Popcorn Maker about one of the buzzwords we found on the EdTech Cheat Sheet (another awesome resource). The hardest part was choosing a buzzword…it took me about ten minutes. I am the kind of person who needs to have a plan before moving ahead–so I had to pick a buzzword I knew I could find resources for. Unfortunately, my video is not something I am too proud of. Given the time constraint, I could not make it my version of perfect. And that is why it is a quick fire I need be careful where I am focusing my energy. You can watch my video, here, but I will definitely be going back later to fix it. I think I was able to get my point across though. I really loved using Popcorn Maker and would definitely use it to create my own digital stories in my classroom.
LEARNING THEORIES INFOGRAPHICS
Our quick fire today was to create an appealing and enlightening infographic that explained a learning theory. This was difficult for me as I usually create posters that are overwhelming…and I thinkmy poster was still pretty overwhelming. I chose the “Conditions of Learning” by Robert Gagnes and my idea was to create the “path of learning” to follow. I found a path-like poster using easelly and thought it would be great! It was great–but not necessarily for my task. The task required a lot of information and the poster did not support that–but unfortunately I did not realize that until about halfway through the task…and as you know quick fires have a time limit! I would definitely use this program again to practice my poster making skills.
CODING TO MAKE A MEME
We made memes today! This was a first time experience for me…our professor Chris provided us with a program that has you code to create a meme. I have not had much experience with coding, so it was two new things at once! We used Mozilla Webmaker to code and create our memes. What’s nice about this program is that it gives you step by step instructions to successfully create a meme, and also provides some other resources to support you through your coding journey. It was fun to see what memes my classmates could create–and myself as well. You can see mine below!
Using Classroom Architect, I had the opportunity to re-design my learning space (aka classroom). I am lucky to have a relatively large space to work with at my school and supportive administration. What you see above is similar to how my classroom was organized last year. I was consistently changing things to make the room more accessible for my students. After a year of experience, I know there are some major adjustments I want to and will be able to make! As you can see above, I included a Maker Space surrounding by technology. With the goal of having my students create aMakey Makey project, this space will be imperative to stay organized and promote a creative space. I also sectioned off my library and designated a space for writing. Another idea I got from this websitewas to put a piece of Plexiglas on top of my projector space to be able to write on easily. I would like to do that this coming school year and also mount my document camera on the wall (the light blue box in the picture above).
3 QR CODES, 2 TRUTHS, AND 1 LIE
As we continue our journey through the MAET program, relationships have been built and it would appear that we know each other very well…that was until this morning when we played 2 truths and 1 lie with QR codes! It was a ton of fun to play this game and learn even more about our classmates and (of course) do it with a little tech “swag.” For those of you who are unsure about what a QR code is, it is a 2 dimensional “Quick Reader” bar code that can be easily generated and decoded with a smart phone (or another device with a camera). There are various sites you can use to generate your QR code (QR Stuff, Kaywa, QR Code generator) and various apps you can use to scan QR codes (QR Code Reader and Scanner). Scan the three codes I created below and take a guess as to which one is a lie!
BAD PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT!
Would you come to my bad Professional Development?
This was a funny quick fire–we had to create a bad professional development ad for a technology integration session. Everyone shared their idea of bad PD and it was interesting to me that everyone had different ideas. There are so many PD opportunities out there that are not helpful to teachers–whether they be unrealistic, boring, repetitive or no applicable. I decided to advertise for a PD that was scheduled on a bad date, did not promote collaboration, did not have applicable facilitators and not at a convenient location. Educators attend PD on their own time and that is why it is so important to consider the audience and make it meaningful.
PQ/CQ stands for Passion Quotient/Curiosity quotient–and is a major part of today’s education. In anarticle written by Tomas Friedman, he discusses how our passion (PQ) and curiosity (CQ) for our chosen professions are just as important as our IQ’s in today’s technological world. This is especially true for educators as we are constantly reinventing and remixing to cater to our students learning needs. That being said, we were asked to create anything that represented our passion and curiosity quotients. I decided to go with an infographic as I usually default to videos for this type of project. It turned out to be a little overwhelming–but my passion and curiosity are overwhelming (in a good way, I think!). Check it out below.
Our last quick fire…so sad! We made postcards today to reflect our time here with the MAET program here in Galway. I chose to use a picture of my crossing the very intimidating bridge at Carrick-a-Rede as it reflects the mindsets I am leaving Galway with: growth, risk taking and confident. Last but not least, I am also leaving Galway with a new, amazing group of friends! Read my post card below.