Building daily "Check Ins" for first week of classes using Google Forms. Although not new, falling in love again with the "Get pre-filled link" feature to help create templates to access student prior knowledge and decrease extraneous cognitive load in the online learning space. Click here for tutorial.
Today's post is simple. I find myself completely distracted perusing the homeschooling possibilities for science teachers using Google's Science Journal. I began using this 4 years ago but stopped for some reason. I revisited the app today only to find a plethora of incredible, crowdsourced activities. Not sure if I or how I will integrate but I see lots of possibilities. For a later post. Enjoy!
Today I spent sometime reflecting on the tools I want to leverage when designing my online learning infrastructure. In doing so, I went back and revisited a 2013 opening keynote presentation I gave at the Fall CUE Conference in which I challenge teachers, and myself, to develop an "Ed Tech Mission Statement". Click here to view the entire presentation.
The idea is simple: In order to not get overwhelmed with myriad of tools out there, many of which are being increasingly advertised to teachers given the current situation, as educators, we must decide on our respective, AUTHENTIC pedagogies, and choose tools that align with them.
For me, I am only looking for tools (as argued in the video), that relate to 1. Sparking Student Curiosity, 2. Tracking Student Curiosity and 3. Quenching Student Curiosity. For the past 10+ years I have been searching for tools that do the above three things well, and those things only. This has been my lens and this lens will not change as I move into this new phase.
Keeping the above in mind, below are the tools I will be exploring over the next nine days. My goal is SIMPLIFY and STREAMLINE the deliver. Thus, I am confident only a few of the below tools will ultimately be used, but for now, below are the contenders:
Google Drive (Tracking)
Google Docs (Tracking/Quenching)
Google Forms (Sparking/Tracking)
Circuits on TinkerCad (Quenching)
Reverse Engineering (Sparking)
PDF Element (Quenching)
I used to host an internet TV show called The Infinite Thinking Machine with my good friend Chris Walsh. This week, while away from my students and family, I spent time tonight reflecting on that period of time and the excitement associated with negotiating the ever changing educational technology landscape during the first ten years of the 21st century. My goal was, and still remains, to share my experiences in the classroom with others. Below is the first of many episodes seasons Chris and I recorded. Enjoy!
This year I am SUPER excited to teach a new class this year called "Engineering for Social Good". Click here for a short version of our class syllabus.
For each of the five projects I plan to facilitate in the course, I will post a similar blog post to share the successes and failures of the course as I modify it for future years.
For our first project of the year, we are leveraging the "Drawdio", a device imagined and designed by Jay Silver. Click here and here to learn more about the Drawdio circuit and here to view Jay's incredible TED Talk. Click here to purchase your own Drawdio kit.
After a brief live demonstration of how the Drawdio circuit works, I provided the students with the following prompt:
In 1979, Mattel created a game called "Electronic Connection". Using your Drawdio circuit, develop a game, made in the the spiriting of Electronic Connection, that helps young learners (4-5 years old) improve their fine motor control and handwriting skills. We will then deliver the games to local Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms. Go!
We finished prototypes today and I was absolutely blown away with the way the natural prototyping process happened seamlessly when the end user was clearly defined. The the low barrier to entry associated with this device and the "window" it opens to the subsequent learning of the interior electronics of the device make this activity one that acts as a perfect inquiry opening for this new course.
See videos of two student prototypes in action below:
See images of all students prototypes below: