I was honored to be chosen by the graduating class of 2021 at my school to give this commencement address. My goal was simple: Celebrate the "...unwanted Hero's Journey" that my students found themselves in and remind them that the have persevered and grown through a moment in history unlike any other students before them. See the video below if you would like to view the speech.
My "Engineering for Social Good" class just completed a three-week design cycle leveraging the MakeyMakey in the 100% distance learning setting. I have written about similar projects before, and I am, yet again, amazed by the power of the the "shelf" feature in Padlet for student public showcase, collaboration, and tracking of the design cycle. See embed the entire cycle below.
1. This Victor Wooten video got me thinking about how inquiry learning/curiosity can be applied to all learning mediums.
2. This is how I will be organizing my lessons as students begin to come back to class in our hybrid model. Some students will be at school and some students will be home via Zoom.
3. Leveraging "What if" thought experiments continues to be a powerful strategy for distance learning.
4. Using the "bookshelf" feature in Padlet to organize design cycles in my engineering class continues to be a powerful way to organize student work.
5. Keeping #1 in mind, I cannot get this Victor Wooten quote out of my head. Implications for learning and instruction are HUGE: "We accept their way of learning knowing they will learn our way later."
I recently discovered this amazing YouTube channel that proposes, WELL PRODUCED, video scenarios about perplexing "What if..." scenarios and then animates/describes what would occur? For example: "What if the oxygen disappeared from the world for 5 seconds?" or "What if the moon exploded?", etc.
Keeping "What if" in mind, I have been struggling with hands-on labs during distance learning, and have recently been experimenting with leveraging the scenarios described in on the channel to empower "Thought Experiments" rather than forcing distance learning labs while student are not in class. I did two "What if" thought experiments this week, one in my Chemistry class, and one in my Biology class. Students LOVED THEM!
The went like this:
Use "What if" thought experiments to spark curiosity about an upcoming unit (as I did above prior to a unit on Cellular Respiration), or challenge student's ability to apply learned content to a new, hypothetical situation. Either way, "What if" thought experiments have transformed engagement in my online classes this week.