As my first complete semester of 100% distance leaning comes to a close (last spring was triage at best), I wanted to share all of my resources for fellow STEM teachers. I am by no means proud or this work as my curriculum was cut significantly short as I negotiated the myriad of distance learning roadblocks I'm sure we all faced. Regardless, there are nuggets that I am proud of, and some you might (specifically, chem, bio, and robotics teachers) find useful if you dig around enough. I simply feel an obligation to share. Reach out here with ANY questions.
Chemistry Resources Robotics. Resources
I recently stumbled across this podcast between Tim Ferris and Seth Godin. About midway through the episode Tim begins to grill Seth about the concept of Pedagogy, and how he goes about thinking about learning and instruction through a lens of. cognition and motivation.
To quote Seth:
"We learn things by becoming momentarily incompetent"
This one quote summarizes so beautifully everything I tried to say here, and on my best days, what I try and do in the classroom (pandemic or not). That is, to carefully walk the line between the delivery, and the withholding of information. To have faith in the empty spaces. To honor the mystery box.
I encourage you all to listen to Tim and Seth's thoughtful conversation.
I am excited to announce that I have just completed a new book about my experiences, experiments, failures, and reflections during pandemic distance learning. While publishing is still a few months out, I will be sharing snippets of the book here. Below is the first of many:
From "Rule #2: Streamline Your Tech"
"Perhaps a quote by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke that was read at my wedding captures this concept best: 'Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.' While Rilke’s words relate to love between two individuals, the teacher in me also interprets this quote to embody a larger, more transcendent context where Rilke is referring to a relationship between any two living or non living things. In the context of Rule #2, I hear Rilke calling us, as educators, to embrace our dependence on technology during distance learning, by placing it at a distance, simplifying its use, and once we do that, we can see its purpose clearly. That clarity can then surface beautiful spaces where we can challenge our students in purposeful ways. Specifically, while many of my colleagues were creating new websites, attending Zoom workshops, and consuming themselves with learning a new way of teaching' in preparation for distance learning, I asked myself the following question: 'If I had to teach online tomorrow, what tools in my mission statement am I the most comfortable with and are the most device agnostic?' By asking myself this question, I knew I would create a system that, although on the surface would look basic, would be something that I would feel very comfortable implementing during a stressful time, would leave room for the pedagogical musings needed to maximize learning."
I was honored to give a presentation yesterday to colleagues in Utah on strategies to promote engagement in the sciences when teaching in a 100% distance learning setting.
Rather than share an exhaustive list og best practices (which are constantly evolving), I decided to give participants a snap shot of my current thinking on distance learning science pedagogy which is heavily informed by constant reflective practice.
Click here for a link to a PDF of the presentation which features my top four current strategies. I am sure these will change...but sharing reflection and iteration, I feel, is very powerful. At least for me. And it's my blog. :)