Category Archives: Course 4

Course 4: Final Project

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Wow! It’s time to wrap up Course 4 and plan for Course 5 – although you’re going to get a well deserved break before we start Course 5 in September. You’ve got plenty to do so I’m going to keep this post short and to the point. Course 4 has been digging in deeper about the effective use of technology for teaching and learning and to get you thinking about what you might do for your Course 5 project (although you are not limited to a topic from Course 4!). As you put together your plan for Option 1 or some ideas you are considering for Option 2, please review the Course 4 Final Project expectations and rubric. Overall, make sure you’ve completed and linked in the following items in your grade sheet…

  • One blog post for each week of the course plus one blog post reflecting on your final project (6 posts)
  • A final project embedded into your last blog post for Course 4
  • One comment for each week of the course (for a total of 5 comments)
  • GET: Completed Trainer video & application (Note: If you have not completed these or any other components for the GET, please work on getting them done before we start Course 5 in September 2018)

All course work should be completed by April 29 and I will finish with assessment and feedback and notify you of your final grade by May 6.

I’ll email more about Course 5 later but for those who want to look ahead, you can look over the Course 5 Expectations.

Have a great week and I look forward to reading about all your ideas and plans for Course 5!

Week 5: What is a Technology Rich Classroom?

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ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How can we maximize the potential of technology devices in a classroom environment?

Another big question for educators these days! And as you see from this week’s readings having access to technology and devices involves a lot of considerations including management, usage and balance. And with lots of news, research and variety of perspectives about kids and technology, educators must be prepared to justify how they use technology to support and enhance teaching and learning. There are many resources to guide teachers about how to manage devices….here are a few…

Classroom Management Tips for the Technology Rich Classroom (Edutopia)

5 Classroom Management Tips for Technology Integration (Mind/Shift)

And it’s also important to consider not only the benefits when using technology, but also the challenges…

The Pros and Cons of Technology (Edudemic)
How Much Screen Time? That’s the Wrong Question (Edutopia)

There’s even debate on if technology is even making an impact in student learning….

5 Problems with Technology in the Classroom (Teach Thought)
School technology struggles to make an impact (BBC)

And how do we combine traditional (effective) teaching strategies with technology? Larry Cuban asks in Technology “Disrupting” Teaching,  “Have the new technologies used by schools and in classrooms altered the practice of teaching and learning? While Kerry Gallagher (in EdSurge) explains “Why Effective Digital Learning Shouldn’t Disrupt Traditional Teaching Techniques”

And do the devices we provide in schools make a difference? Kim Cofino leads an online discussion asking “Why are we building 1:1 programs with laptops when kids are using mobile devices?” (Laptop Learning Curve) (blog post and video OR listen to it as a podcast here)

Lots of things to consider as educators….but also consider this perspective from this student

Course 4 Progress Check
We are wrapping up Course 4 in the next few weeks and by April 22 you should have

  • 5 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.

Week 4: The Future (is Now?)

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Essential Question: What is the future of education?

What a question! This week’s topic led me back to one of my favorite posts I wrote when I was a COETAIL participant five years ago (“Tomorrowland”) where I felt like I really started to recognize and articulate the shift I had made in my mindset about education. (And I reflected on my own 10 year old self being skeptical about the technological changes that could happen in my lifetime….boy was I wrong!)

This topic also reminded me of this video and although it is almost six years old, I find myself watching it at least once a year and thinking about, in my opinion and based on my experience, what progress has been made, what potential we have, and what challenges remain in education.

Although some of our readings for this week could be considered ‘dated’, perhaps some of these ideas were ahead of their time. Maybe some ideas have developed more fully than others; found a place in education. What were considered ‘innovations’ in the past might now be common practice or their time was short lived. Here are some additional resources based on our topics from this week…

Badges
Check out Jeff Utecht’s Shifting Our Schools recent podcast: Episode 43: It’s All About the Badges.

“…a conversation with Doug Belshaw from the UK. Doug has made his way from the classroom to being involved in multiple different projects including the Open Badge Alliance. A great conversation about digital badges and the future of where they are going.”

Global Collaboration
There are lots of resources out there about global collaboration but if it seems a bit overwhelming, here are a few resources with the basics

7 Steps to Starting a Global Collaboration Project (ISTE)
ISTE Global Collaboration Network
Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World (Edutopia)

A Recent Development: The Emergence of AR and VR in Education
And something that’s been gaining attention in education in the last few years…AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)…and its potential impact on teaching and learning.

Virtual Reality: The Next Generation Of Education, Learning and Training (Forbes)
10 Reasons To Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom
Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools are Using VR

Course 4 Check for Week 4
By April 15 you should have

  • 4 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 4 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam. (More details about the COETAIL/GET Requirements here.)

 

The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” – Stephen Hawking

“The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.” – Simon Sinek

Week 3: The Present

image by Skitterphoto via Pixabay

This week we are exploring emerging innovations (or re-invigoration) of the learning frameworks reverse (aka flipped) instruction, game-based learning and play based learning. As with all ‘buzzword’ initiatives in education, we must take some time and investigate what these types of learning frameworks entail and how they are applied appropriately and effectively. I’ve seen many examples of them used in very innovative ways that engage and motivate learners, I’ve also seen them applied in simplistic, superficial ways that, in some cases, created even more work for the teachers and the students and/or the focus on learning was lost or diluted. I think of the SAMR model when considering these (and any) frameworks. Is this type of instruction just a substitution or augmentation of a traditional, teacher-centered method? Or is the learning experience being modified or redefined for the benefit of the student? Has it taken on a life of its own through a variety of interpretations and re-iterations? Is the variation innovative or burdensome for students? Whichever learning framework you choose to explore, please consider how it is defined and how it can applied to enhance learning for our students.

Here are a few videos and additional resources you might consider in your exploration…

Reverse (flipped) instruction

Jon Bergmann’s site  (pioneer of Flipped Learning)
10 Pros and Cons for a Flipped Classroom

Simplifying Flipped Learning (Jon Bergmann)

Game-Based Learning and Gamification

The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning
Gamification, Game-based Learning, Serious Games: Any Difference? 

 

 

 

Play-Based Learning (not just for the little ones!)

Play in education: the role and importance of creative learning
Institute of Play
Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too

 

Week 2: The Past (aka Back to the Future)

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Course 4 Final Project

I know we’ve just started Course 4, but it’s never too early to review the Course 4 Final Project information. The main focus of this final project is to start making some decisions about the topic for your Course 5 project which will be done in the fall (September – December 2018). You may already know what you want to do or still need some inspiration. Either way, your final project for Course 4 will be your opportunity to share your ideas.

“X”-Based Learning

The Essential Questions for this week…
Does project-based, problem-based and/or challenge-based learning have a place in your classroom? What hurdles do you need to overcome to make it work in your school/classroom?

First of all, we have to sort out what these types of learning frameworks are. How are they related? How are they different? In terms of educational buzzwords, these (among other learning frameworks) can be easily be used interchangeably and applied misleadingly.

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL (Edutopia)

What’s the Difference Between Project- and Challenge-Based Learning, Anyway? (EdSurge)

And why would we focus on these in a unit called “The Past”? Aren’t these frameworks for learning the big buzzwords in education these days? Well, there have been educators advocating for these types of learning frameworks for YEARS! One educator referred to in this week’s readings is Seymour Papert whose theory of constructionism was influenced by Jean Piaget (a standard for all education students for his work in child development).

Lego Honors Seymour Pappert

In turn, Mitch Resnick of the MIT Media Lab (think Scratch coding and LEGO Mindstorms) talks about the influence Seymour Papert has had on his work, including his recent book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. This companion site includes a long list of influence for the book including many educators and innovators from the past and present.

(For an overview of the book, see the article “A Case for Lifelong Kindergarten” from Mind/Shift)

Kindergarten For Our Whole Lives | Mitchel Resnick (TEDx Talks)

So why the big buzz around these not-so-new ideas about learning? I think you have to consider about the influence of the growing abundance of digital devices and resources and how they are impacting the world our students are experiencing and the potential for these digital tools to support and enhance these types of learning frameworks.  

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.     –Seymour Papert

Course 4 Begins: What is Technology Integration?

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Course 4 Technology: A Catalyst for Learning

Is it Course 4 already?! As you read the description of this course you’ll notice it covers a variety of topics related to technology integration in teaching and learning which will help you start developing ideas for your Course 5 Project (Fall 2018).

Course description
Research based best practice for the embedded use of technology for learning will be shared and practiced. The focus will be on the habits that provide students with the ability to use technology for its greatest learning advantage. The best use of laptop computers, tablets, etc will be addressed as embedded tools to foster optimum learning of the curriculum. The optimal use of communication tools such as podcasts, blogs, social-networks, Google Docs, and videos will be addressed with tips for management and strategies to promote maximum learning in classroom.

But we must start with the Essential Questions in Week 1: What is technology integration and does it work? What is your definition?

It can seem like a simple question, but from my experience with COETAIL and as an eLearning/Ed Tech/Innovation/ICT coach over the past 6 years, there are a variety of perspectives on what ‘tech interaction’ is, who should integrate tech, when it should be integrated and how, and how we measure its effectiveness in teaching and learning. Many frameworks have been developed over the years regarding the integration of technology including SAMR, TPACK, TIM and more recently T3 Framework (which I first learned of from Sara’s Course 1 blog post here).

Which framework should we use? That is something for you to explore this week! I look forward to reading about your perspectives on ‘tech integration’ and what tools or frameworks you use for some self-assessment.

I’ll leave with a few additional resources you might like to explore…

Really? It’s My Job to Teach Technology? (Jeff Utecht)
Making It Work: Structuring Technology-Rich Learning (Kim Cofino)
Administrative Walk-Throughs in a Tech Rich Classroom (podcast episode with Jeff Utecht on Shifting Our Schools)
The Laptop Learning Curve  (podcast episode with Kim Cofino on Shifting Our Schools)
And because the title caught my attention (but content is very relevant!)… Peering Past the Pixie Dust of Technology (Jill Hobson)