Yesterday I gave a 3-minute video presentation to the ISTE Board on What’s the next big thing in educational technology?
Five thoughts from the first couple of days here at the 2015 ISTE Conference…
It’s Summer of Code at our house…
Phase 1 (Group)
Everyone works through Course 2, Course 3, and Course 4 at Code.org to ensure that we have basic conceptual understanding of key terms and ideas. I have a teacher account and can print certificates of completion!
Phase 2 (Individualized)
My youngest (5th grade) is diving back into Scratch, taking on more complex tasks and trying to create more challenging games (including, apparently, making Wack-A-Demon!). He likes to make his own board games so we may also try to figure out how to integrate our Makey Makey into his next one. If that works, maybe I’ll borrow my agency’s Hummingbird Robotics kit and see if we can go even further.
My two high school kids are learning Python. Here are some resources that we’re using:
We also found some additional Python suggestions from Carl Cheo:
Lately I’ve been trying to dream a little bigger about Iowa schools. Feel free to map this onto your own state or province…
Each of these would be big. Many of these together would be amazing… What do you think? What would you add to (or remove from) this list?
Katrina Schwartz said
Many students at [Los Angeles Unified School District’s Roosevelt High School] felt the news media had mischaracterized their school and its students as criminals for figuring out how to get around the iPad’s security features, often to access educational information.
“We were really caught up in how they kept calling Roosevelt ‘hackers,’” said Daniela Carrasco, a former student.
[Mariela] Bravo doesn’t understand why the district would give students iPads with so many limitations. Her peers were looking up homework help on YouTube – and yes, checking Facebook, too – but that’s part of life.
“They have to trust us more,” Bravo said. “We could surprise them and they could see that we are good kids.”
Students were frustrated that the district couldn’t see that negotiating distractions on the Internet is part of life now. “We should have been trusted with those websites,” Carrasco said. “Instead of blocking them, there should have been emphasis on how to use those websites for good.”
More nuanced responses from the students than the district…
A 2nd grade teacher told me – without any seeming embarrassment – that her students knew more about their iPads than she did. I thought in my head, ‘Really? They’re 7…’
As educators, shouldn’t we be embarrassed if we’re getting outlearned by 7-year-olds? (or 15-year-olds?)
I spent this morning at the Maker Tech Camp at Edwards Elementary here in Ames. Teresa Green is an innovative teacher who received a grant from the district last year to purchase various ‘maker’ resources. Since then she has been busy putting them and her students to work!
Today’s activity for the 2nd and 3rd graders was to build a Lego alligator and have it chomp down when it sensed a finger or pencil in its mouth. The students had to build the alligator – including the motion sensor – and then figure out how to use the Lego WeDo software to code it correctly. The Team Neutrino First Robotics student helpers from Ames High were of great assistance. My favorite kid quote from today was
We sent a message to the alligator and then the alligator said ‘Oh, I can do that!’
Other camp activities this week appeared to include making LED bookmarks, learning circuitry by playing with Makey Makey and other electronics, creating objects with the 3D printer, and goofing around with robots. Teresa and I talked about a lot of different things while I was there, including how to sell others on the educational value of this kind of learning, how to be less directive and enable the kids to explore more, and what ‘maker days’ have looked like at other elementary schools across Iowa. Teresa also shared with me that the Science Center of Iowa is hosting ‘maker chats’ on Twitter every other Tuesday evening this summer at 7pm CST using the #iamakerchat hashtag.
This is always good stuff. More of this, please.
Steve Carroll said:
When we transitioned to Common Core we did an unpacking the standards process. More importantly, after we got through that process, we started a backwards design where we developed questions and learning objectives based upon the standards themselves and then translated that into assessment. Probably the biggest gains came after we let students start developing learning objectives based on the standards. We would actually give the students the standards and ask them, ‘What would you have to be able to do show mastery of this?’ The students themselves developed learning objectives.
Below are my notes from Day 2 of our Northwest Iowa TICL conference…
Awesomeness 101 – Tim
Awesomeness 101 – Josh
Below are my notes from Day 1 of our Northwest Iowa TICL conference…
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