#clmooc #connectedlearning principles

A Reflection on My #CLMOOC Work

Thanks to all for a marvelous, connected six weeks!

 Why connected learning? Why digital learning?

 

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Thanks to Margaret Simon for hosting DigiLit Sundays where educators share how they are using technology in their classrooms.  Please visit her site to read other posts.

#clmooc #k6diglit Invitation to Stay Connected

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Margaret Simon asks a question: Tapping Student Connections

How do we tap into student interests and create online learning environments for them to connect to and learn from? 

That is the question for DigLit Sunday bloggers from Margaret Simon.  And I’ve written an invitation to stay connected as Middle School educators here. This post continues that invitation.

What about a hub — a blog of prompts for students?

One way I thought of is to form a group of Middle Level Educators who collaborate on a blog of prompts from which students respond, connect to other students, and perhaps plan collaboration on the prompts. The blog would be the hub of student choice, or teacher guidance, a Make Bank of our own. I created such a blog for us to develop to get us started and, for #clmooc-ers, to stay connected:

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Connect 2 Learn

If you’re already interested, here’s the spot to join by sending me an email: Contact Connect2Learn and choose “Facilitator Request” so I can add you to the blog as facilitator.

A bit more on Connect 2 Learn:

When we write, we often write first for ourselves to gather ideas [inside/personal], and then share and discuss with others [responsive/connective]. Next we may share out to inform [purposeful/informative/narrative], and we may also share out to  help others or make the world better [social action/argumentative/persuasive].

I thought perhaps these purposes would be good ways to organize the blog:

Do I want to be reflective / personal and perhaps share that with others [responsive]?

Do I want to take what I know, add it to others idea’s? [responsive]

Do I want to share information or a story? [purposeful]

Do I want to make the world better? [social action]

Of course, these are recursive — each of us moves through these frames of writing, these frames of thinking about writing — as we develop our projects.  These frames are not my ideas, but rather are the work of Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons) who present this new paradigm for writing lessons that includes the four frames, four lenses to view process writing and assignments. I thought they made a great way to organize our collaborative prompts.  [I’ve written about this here and here [scroll down].

But: it would be our blog. Join, and help build it: Contact Connect2Learn and choose “Facilitator Request” so I can add you to the blog as facilitator.

But how do we discuss and plan our projects?

Many people have commented on how difficult it is to follow  threads of conversations — and find them again on Google Plus. So I researched and discovered another platform — MightyBell that serves as a focal point for general members, allows for smaller communities within the larger one [think planning projects with a team of educators], and even smaller circles of projects. That sounded like a possibility for better conversation and collaboration. Of course we would always stay connected throughout the year with #clmooc.

So I created Connect in the Middle community at Mightybell with a circle for planning the collaborative blog called Connect 2 Learn, same name as the blog.

An invitation

Please consider joining with myself and others — for planning and collaboration, join these two communities:

Connect in the Middle community

Connect 2 Learn Circle

and the collaborative blog hub:

Connect 2 Learn  Contact Connect2Learn

Hopefully, these will help us stay connected as Middle School educators, planning projects with and for our students, to identify the entry points for play and learning, and  to lead them towards a connected learning path.

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#clmooc Writing Hacking Defining Week 4 Reflection #k6diglit

Writing Hacking Defining

14192_voice_elliot_friToday, I celebrate conversation, and the continuing celebrations each day at #clmooc. In the Hangouts and chats, in our posts, we continue the conversation about writing and making and hacking.

I keep thinking about the conversations about defining ‘hack.”

I think about what I do at home when I need a hack to fix something. It fixes something. It’s a positive. Maybe that’s not a hack. It’s fixes something, making it better.

So what do I do? I have read the excellent history of hacking from  Terry Elliot’s post on hacking, and it is the celebration of what is true in life: there’s good and bad.

Even so, I’m not convinced what I do in writing is destructive, nor does it need to be in order to be a hack, because there are two sides.

And I need to think of my presentation to middle school students; what do I want them to understand and consider?

So, I’m hacking a definition for hack. Well, I’m sharing how the word has evolved with my voice, and how my students will find their voice through their hacks.

 

Here’s my thoughts, with thanks to Deanna Mascle, Kevin Hodgson, and Terry Elliot:

I saw throughout the week this reshaping,

re-imaging of ideas–

IDENTITY Re-imagining

My favorite Hack is from Larry Hewett, an About Me project to begin the year. I’ve done something similar, but I love this. Here’s what he did, hacked slightly by me:
1. Choose three words that describe yourself.
2. Pick one song for each of your three words that represents that word.
3. Find the lyrics of the songs.
4. Lift words, phrases and entire lines from the three lyrics in order to create an original song about yourself.
5. Find an image to represent both the word and the lyrics you choose.
6. Decide how you will present “Your Song” (lyrics / images / words).

Connecting, Modifying,  and Re-imagining Meaning

Love what Amy Cody Clancy did with HyperText and more. Check out all her posts and blog.

Students connect in their writing in Google Docs through hyperlinks that link to content that explains their meaning.

Or students highlight only the key words for a poem or insights into their topic, adding hyperlinks to more information or images.

Not only could you create a “choose your own adventure”, but I think this is a great way to start or end a collaborative research project. Students find links / resources to add to the document. Then students take their focus of their first search to create what +Charlene Doland mentioned — their part of the conversation. They could create something that explains the research but adding their insights. Below the initial text then could be placed a thinglink or list of the collaborative research — with a final collaborative paragraph as a hypertext team syntheses as a summary.

Devising New Meaning

Next, Kathleen Galarza gave a great idea which I thought could inspire kids to write in their homework journals.  While listening to one of her favorite TV shows, she jotted down lines she linked. She used those to write a “one-sided phone conversation” which looks like a poem, and we infer the message from those lines.
Kids could do the same — maybe at school, they could make a poem for two voices by combining with a friend.  Could prove interesting. They will have devised new meaning from the same words. Responding to the conversation concept, Mary Morgan Ryan did continue the conversation from the same TV serious but different show to counter Kathleen’s conversation. You can see the fun, and the discussions about writing that could begin.

Devising New Meaning for New Audiences

Mary Morgan Ryan hacked her school annual report to be a poster for students in her library. Same words reapplied for different purpose and audience.

Audience and Purpose

So, in very positive ways, writing was hacked to modify or devise writing through insightful choosing of words — cutting the clutter, rearranging, or linking to make meaning more clear for different audiences and purposes.

As #clmooc organizers reflected this week:

The highly participatory nature of the cultural moment we live in demands a new kind of critical literacy. As educators we want to empower our students to become engaged complex thinkers. Meenoo Rami stated “I want my students to code, decode, make, break things. I want them to shape an argument, to engage civically, to be critical thinkers.” Perhaps hacking (as a methodology applied to writing) might help us get there.

Another excellent reflection on this comes from Kevin Hodgson [who introduces us to the Hack for Change movement] and also asks, what ran through my mind:

What concepts bubble up when you “hack writing”?

  • Agency of the writer/composer

  • Lens of the reader

  • Word choice/Image choice/Video choice

  • Ownership of content

This is what I think of while teaching and learning with my middle school students. So, again, celebrate our conversation — and choose your path.


 Connected Learning / DigLit Sunday

How was all this hacking accomplished?  Many ways– and we should celebrate what we’ve done and what we’ve learned:

First, the folks at Connected Learning Alliance created a Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration through a Google Plus Community whereby participants could network, connect on topics of interest, and openly share their creations and hacks. Participants’ interests determined collaborative projects and conversation [see above], and when issues arose, questions were asked, and peers supported each other with tips, solutions, and further collaboration. Throughout the production-oriented “hacking” week, posts included possible applications to the classroom [ academically oriented]. We were connected learners.

Besides the CLMOOC blog, Make Bank,Google Hangout, and Google Plus Community, Kim Douillard started a CLMOOC Flickr group for participants to openly share their work. Hopefully, people there will license their work as Creative Commons so others may reuse, remix, and hack their originals for further sharing and hacking. And of course, Twitter sharing and conversation [clmooc chat].

Other Tech Tools that provided opportunities to collaborate, share, present, and remix are:

Blogs [see Blog Hub ]

Visual Poetry

Google Docs

Google Forms to submit Kevin Hodson Comics and join Voxer Chat

Voxer

Vocaroo

Prezi [ above]

Animoto

YouTube

Vialogues

Zeega

Wordle

Various Photo Apps depending on devices, for the various Kim Douillard Photo Challenges

Tackk.com

 

Technology is a tool that allows literate learners to connect and collaborate. Let’s celebrate our conversation and collaboration. If you are new, choose a tool, and join #clmooc today — just to lurk around and learn one thing new! Then celebrate one thing you learned today!  Let us know!