Although difficult beyond belief, this time of distance learning/online teaching has inspired me to do a better job at sharing and curating my resources for fellow teachers. To that end, click here for a new page I created where I will be cataloging all my work and resources during this time of 100% distance learning. I hope you find it useful.
While PhET and cK-12 HTML5 simulations have proved to be essential in facilitating 100% distance learning in my chemistry and biology classes, creating a meaningful distance learning system for my robotics elective course was much more difficult to dream up.
First, although the new VEX VR coding interface provides a fabulous coding/simulation environment for teaching robotics in a distance format, the thought of not doing hands on robotics during this time, resorting only to online simulations does not sit well with me.
Because there are 20 students in my class, and we only have 10 sets of the VEX V5 system used in our traditional face-to-face course, current quarantine rules do not allow students to work in groups, and thus, creating take home kits composed of our pre-existing materials was not a possibility.
In search of a cost affordable option that could be easily packaged and delivered to student homes, contained the ability to learn skills in coding beyond drag and drop interfaces, and could be programmed on a myriad of different devices, I stumbled across Edison, and its Python (EdPy) coding interface.
Within a few days of discovering Edison I was able to secure enough funds to purchase one Edison and one add-on kit for each student. I am currently about to embark on Week 4 of the program, and although I haven't once seen students in person, they have interacted with their Edison Robot and the EdPy coding interface every day!
There have been no coding hiccups, uploading of code issues, or the many different technical malfunctions that are traditionally associated with learning a new robotic system. Distance learning in robotics, once the subject I feared the most teaching remotely, is not my favorite class to implement thanks to Edison!
Click here to scroll through the curriculum that I am currently implementing (scroll down through the document to see all lesson plans leveraging the Edison robot).
Below are links to examples of public Padlet boards used to house student products for each challenge. Check them them out and view student video products for a more observable/tangible idea of how Edison has been transforming my distance robotics class.
Although I am very much looking forward to jumping back into our face-to-face VEX V5 curriculum in the coming months (fingers crossed), Edison has provided added so much value to a class that I feared would struggle the most in the distance learning format.
Revisiting this post today while working with colleagues on inquiry lesson planning in the context of Blooms Taxonomy. Because I am finding this particular reflection and model useful, I felt it as worth sharing again. Enjoy!
I wrote daily about my experience during triage distance learning last spring here. My system in the fall was heavily dependent on Google Forms as the primary learning interface.
This year I have significantly simplified the system to involve weekly Google Doc "Notebooks" templates pushed out to students each Sunday. In this revised system, Google Doc responses and public products posted using Padlet (click here for an example in my Robotics class), provide the primary interfaces for learning and assessment.
Material is batched weekly as I do not know when we will be returning to school, thus a weekly gives me flexibility in planning a system that honors our content but is designed for the online learning structure.
I use this hack to make my templates.
Below are links to examples of "Weekly Notebooks" for my three classes following this distance learning schedule. I am hopeful that sharing an "under the hood" view to my materials and planning process will spark ideas in your own process, and hopeful create opportunities for collaboration and growth for me!
Click here to access the final of three recordings for my "Spark Learning" Masterclass. This session explored research and strategies related to delivering and applying content in response to student exploration.