Summer (northern hemisphere) Thinking: What Could I Learn?
Have you thought of building your PLN (Personal Learning Network)?
Have you wondered how you could change your teaching to be more in tune with how kids want to learn today?
How about joining the clmooc: Connected Learning Mooc? Even if you just lurk and try one or two things, the rest of us will benefit from what you do, and you will learn from the many participators. It’s a win-win game plan!
What is Connected Learning? You can read a wonderful report about it here, which is the source of my notes for the image at left. For more information, go to this Learni.st site by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl. Be sure to watch the John Seely Brown and the intro video for an overview.
What will I learn?
At the beginning of the year, we often ask students to introduce themselves in various ways. Here’s my Animoto introduction: Bits & Pieces: Sheri Imagine students choosing images and creating a 30 second video using the pictures on their phone, or take them in class, or find the ones that fit in a creative commons search? Use a computer or smartphone. Think of the skills of choosing concise, relevant images, arranging them to tell a story, adding text and music? If students use creative commons, they learn to site sources, and how to do a search for material legally available for use. What a great way to start the year, or end the year with a summary/impression/learning video of how students have changed. Think of the way students could create a video to demonstrate a concept or to document the points of an argument?
In my intro, I chose an easy-listening instrumental and a watercolor splash background so the images could flow. I started out with the places important to me, followed by things from my professional and personal life — books I read, my Art House Sketchbook, student work, my classroom. I switched to my neighborhoods: etmooc, twitter friends, classroom images, collaboration with Denise Krebs, my family and our nature walks. I splattered my teaching philosophy throughout. I ended with more of our favorite places and my family.
It’s three minutes, and with a classroom account, you could do that. But even in 30 seconds with the free account, students can choose one or two images to focus on and support with a few other images and text.
If you haven’t tried Animoto, do try it. Join the clmooc: Connected Learning Mooc and share your story with us. Even if that’s all you do, you will have connected with many more people, and learned a tool for use with your students when that type of expression works.
Want to try some coding? Chad Sansing created this Mozilla Thimble project to introduce coding while sharing 10 most current books. I chose to share “reading” of blogs, news, and videos to share, because that’s what I’ve been “reading.” Take a look here: My 10-Reads Memoir.
First, I created the image. I took screenshots of 10 of my most current readings. I created a slide in Keynote and dragged the screenshots in. Then I saved the slide as an image, uploading it to Flickr. In Flickr, I added links by choosing the “more” under the picture and choosing “add a note” into which I pasted the URL of each of my “reads” and placed each in the upper left corner of each picture: Current 10 Reads.
Next, I copied the URL of the Flickr photo, and began to edit the Chad’s thimble project.
When coding, I made a few changes and added in directions to anyone using my work to create their own. When you work in Thimble, the left side is code, and the right side is the preview. The code side contains directions in black within <> to tell you exactly what is needed to be changed to make it yours.
I added some links by copying Chad’s link code and placing it where I needed it. Always remember that when coding, each code type must be enclosed with in its own brackets. so a paragraph starts with <p> and ends with </p>. Just read the code in the template and start making changes — you can’t break it; just open the link again. See what happens as you add your own code. After you’ve tried a few things, open a fresh page and start your own project. Use the help tips (see directions in the template).
I read the page first and noted what each section created in the preview, remembering to look for the enclosing brackets to know the begin/end of each segment. Knowing that really helps me figure out the code.
I was working in Chrome browser, and when I clicked Publish, it didn’t give me a link. So I copied all the code, then created a Mozilla Webmaker account so I could publish my work under my “makes.” I chose “create” and pasted the code into the template. Then I published the work.
Yes, it’ a learning curve. But it’s a puzzle, a puzzle that you can try and try and fix, then AHA! And isn’t that learning? Build some brain cells: code!
I believe that all kids should learn coding — learn by creating their own. So I plan to create my own Thimbles by remixing those of others, including Chad’s! Please try.
Avatar: What is your online identity? What will you choose? I chose to be transparent — My avatars are part of the online communities to which I belong, but they always refer to a profile with my real name and usually a picture. I try to create avatars that are a vulnerable me because no one is perfect, and I like my students to know that.
Try out a few of the these from the #clmooc resource, then share why you chose them:
At left: I created this years ago — greying bad-hair day is typical! Glasses, and a “question” in my eyebrows, wondering What Else will we do? I created it with a free Mac avatar app that probably isn’t available anymore (might be this one)– just Google it.
In the sidebar of this blog is a Voki created for my class after I tried to get rid of my grey hair (blonde). I was wearing red glasses at the time and I was ready to join the “stars” in my classroom. That is my classroom in the background! Voki is fun to use; you can get a classroom account. Students can add them to their own blogs to emphasis a point or ask a question of their readers.
Picasso head: You see again the bad-hair day and wondering eyebrows. I’ve got a pencil/brush and am writing/drawing — very fun representative.
This is created with BeFunky.com Just upload your photo and play with it.
Bad hair day — looking up wondering — a smile.
Reflect curiosity and wonder…
Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness…
So, how’s that?
Those are just a few of the options — and wouldn’t it be fun to say, “I created that!” And even better, wouldn’t it be fun to say, “My friends and I created that!” That’s what #clmooc is all about: making together. That’s why I joined. I want my classroom to be filled with making learning, connected learning, with my students and I learning together to create — create to enhance our learning goals.I would like art, writing, coding, creating to be an integral part of our time as learners in the classroom.
A few of us are helping each other out; connect with us here: CLMOOC PLN Group
Welcome to #clmooc ! Who will you meet? What will you create together? How will you create to change your teaching and student learning next year because you are “makers?”
Thanks #clmooc! This is pure inspiration!
Connected Learning Notes image: Notes from Connected Learning Research Report here