So it is an unexpected ice storm.. The worst kind.. They said it would not reach OKC and south in the morning but then today (10 minutes before my class) nonetheless they cancelled. Yikes..
So my undergrad class, integrating technology into teaching meets ONCE a week.. and to make matters worse, the other section had already met!
So scramble – what to do?
Make a video and push on.. That is what a K-12 teacher might need to do.. and is this showing flexibility? sure?
We were supposed to explore robots and AR and VR technologies in class. Totally hands on. but I was going to assign my badge on critiquing Donors Choose and reading about digital equity! The readings are still there.
Next week we planned to talk to about using books on Technology to teach about Tech – and luckily i did a webinar on this topic for Oklahoma State Department of Education and its Archived..
So what will we do..
We will watch the video! https://vimeo.com/243202001
How do I tell students what to do, a screencast video made with Quicktime. https://youtu.be/tuABFZux3Io
So is this Ideal.. No way.. but is it a way to not lose instructional time. This happens in K-12 classroom too.. So this is a great opportunity to model what real teachers can do..
This is an online Edcamp that lasted from 10 to 12 eastern time and consisted of 3 sessions and an opening and closing. It was run by the group #Edumatch which is group that helps educators connect via social media.
I heard about it when Sarah Thomas posted about it on Twitter and I joined for a few reasons.
They were using the Unhangout from MIT which was a platform that is open source and designed to do things like online conferences. I wanted to explore it as a user for maybe use with our online masters. (btw.. it worked really well)
It was a chance for me to better connect with #EduMatch who I first met at #Badgesummit and now that I know to look for them, I am really impressed with their group work..(I followed many members individually but did not get the big picture). Read more about it here: http://www.edumatch.org/
It is a good way to reconnect and get my head in the fall semester.
So it started at 10 am EST (9 CST) with an opening session.. In this session the organizers introduced the event and also the side events going on. There is a badgelist page where people can earn badges https://www.badgelist.com/Edcamp-EduMatch-2017 and a google classroom where people could share resources as well. They did a really good job modeling using technology to support learning. And as someone who has trouble not multi-tasking the multiple modalities kept me engaged for the full two hours.
In the lobby while the welcome was going on and in between sessions – there was an chat room that people could leave messages.
Then at the top of each session, people could propose a session (just like EdCamp) and then people could join.
In the first session, I attended helping reluctant ed tech teachers, the second I lead was on what Preservice teachers should know, and the third I attended on Makerspace Events. I learned from all of them and they are relevant to my job and my students.
So you left the main room and then went to a small room with up to 10 participants.. They asked people to record if they could. When time was up we were asked to return to the main room or lobby.
We had a few themes come out in the session that were super important.. What is it most important for new teachers to know: Relationships and Planning and that hit most things.
If you are using technology or not – it all comes down to planning. Having a plan, archiving materials, and having a plan cuts down on classroom management issues.
For relationships – it is all about relationships with both teachers and understanding the chain of command in a school and following.. Ie.. even if you really excited to get started, you can’t burn up the chain and have to respect it.. Also, in a relationship sense – students all have issues – and behavior management is easier if you have a personal relationship with kids. Finally, in the last few minutes one participant shared that being culturally responsive is so important. This too is a manifestation of good relationships and being able to understand students as people.
This was a very enlightening session and I loved all the voices I heard – new and experienced teachers, other people who work with training new teachers, and technology people as well. In the end it was never about the tech, but more about the planning and relationships.. A good take away.
Overall I really enjoyed the format. There are few things that I would have changed.. ie.. had a place to share social media addresses, being able to boot someone out if they tried to hijack a discussion – but overall it was a great experience and I could see using it in the future with my students both graduate and undergraduate.
I hope to participate in more Edumatch sessions in the future. This group has great positive energy and a wonderful collaborative vibe.. Funny in that getting the full edumatch picture was probably one of the best things I got from #Badgesummit (completely unrelated really).
So during the last school year the OU Innovation Hub Opened which includes a FabLab which is one of the coolest makerspaces around. Students and faculty can use it for free, but you are smart to bring your own wood and not rely on scraps.
I know this is important to my @OUEducation students in their preparation to be teachers, so when we switched to badging in Spring 17 we included a badge that they needed to go to the innovation hub or the Edge at the library to make something and share their experiences.
To be honest, I did not have time to go until summer, but now summer is here and two of my students got hired to work here next year, it is time for me learn to better support my students and work out logistics.
I am most excited by the Laser Cutter. I am constantly impressed by the cool wooden things that can be made.
First thing, I met with Brandt, FabLab Director, and he helped me make something after I took the safety quiz. He showed me a bit in Illustrator but then I knew that if I was really going to understand the process I better make some stuff. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWREqLJeUaGF5AdrziWzSMQ
So first, I started with a file created by Brandt so I had the basics that I could copy..(but really could not, but it helped me get started)..
Then I went to Home Depot and bought some 1/4 inch plywood.
I checked out a computer with Illustrator in the College of Education and then started to take short cuts.
I started to download Vector Files from Vecteezy. (No judgement I am learning – originals come later).
So then I printed my first projects but messed up proportions something fierce.. (my 3×5 quote sign ended up being like 8 x 11) and I made my first puzzle and forgot about the back of it and had to reprint and got all the proportions wrong.
Lesson 1: waste some wood while you learn!
Then we printed some other things and got proportions figured out and then I was hooked..
Making a Complete Puzzle
I was first inspired to make a puzzle by a card that I found at Hallmark.
So I left for two hours, sat on Campus Corner and did a new illustrator file to print. (and if they were open on Wednesday I would be there today) .
(Lesson 1.a – don’t leave plywood in a hot Oklahoma car – it rolls up like a taquito)
Lesson 2: keep practicing, you will learn more.. (and remember a lot you had forgotten from grad school)
This time I used a sheet of Owls from VectEezy to make a custom puzzle .. I figure I will give to someone at Arthur Elementary (Arthur owls) They are our local ConnectEd School and are setting up a MakerSpace.
I put the owls into Adobe Illustrator – and used a red line to create a cut around each owl and each square.
So first I printed the owls and planned to cut around them. Then I made a rectangle and cut that out.
so what I ended up was this – a rectangle that had the outlines of the owls.
Each of the owls is cut out but fit back in the square.
Then I also cut out a rectangle that was the same size of the cut out square.
Then I used wood glue to attach the one with the cut outs to the plain one.
Lesson 3: a little Wood Glue goes a long way.
Then I realized I did not have a way to pull them out.. A girl had just cut out keychains and she had made these little pegs where she had cut out the hole for the keychain to attach. She had the idea – use the trash from her project to finish mine! So we cleaned out the trash tray and found enough to make the pulls to glue on.
Lesson 4: I learned more from looking at other’s projects than what I was doing myself. The community was amazing.
This student (Instagram: OklahomaMarigold ) had great ideas and I learned a bunch along with the Camp Crimson staff member that was working too.
So here is the final project
So what is the next step?
First I made this to match the size of the greeting card. It fits in a sandwich bag – but if I made it bigger by scaling it in Illustrator, I could make it big. (my first one is the size of a Melissa and Doug Puzzle)
I want to try to do it with original drawings and now I have plan. (I may use Adobe Illustrator Draw App to create a file to export to Illustrator to be able to draw with a stylus on an iPad)
Overall, this was a great start, I installed Illustrator on my computer today and plan to work on it while at #ISTE and print again when I return.
It is kind of like when my friend Mona taught me how to make hummus in grad school – mind blown – these projects that were so overwhelming to me are quite possible. This is the same transformation that I need for my students.. so I will keep learning and let them see me learn.
PS.. I did need to pull a few assignments back to Canvas because of Ferpa concerns but large several step activities were broken down into steps. For example – DonorsChoose critiques is a badge, but writing your own Donorschoose practice for a classroom you are observing is within Canvas.
So at the end of the Fall 2016 semester I earned my Apple Teacher certification for 2016 in iPad, Mac and Swift Playground… I also required my students to get their Apple teacher badges for iPad and encouraged them to grab more..
I will be honest, when Apple Teacher first came out, I was skeptical. I thought not another badging certification. I see many people talk about being Google Certified but they know the clicks, but not the pedagogy behind it. I worried that it would weaken the distinction and all the steps that I went though to be an Apple Distinguished Educator but Apple Teacher actually changed my mind about badging in education, especially Ed Tech preservice teacher education and I want to share my experiences to tell you why.
My Skepticism of Badging
So let me give you a quick history. My Dean has been encouraging me to think about badging and credentialing for a few years now. It was not terribly easy to do (but @Badgelist has really changed that) and I thought it was kind of insulting. would you expect a theories of education class to badge? then why an ed tech class? I talked several times to Rick West at BYU about it.. but still did not see its value – and had plenty of other work on my plate.
Then in Fall 2016, Apple Released Apple Teacher and I started to see the usefulness of it in a few ways.
1) It was free (a major plus for education)
2) It helped us to document what our students were learning in a transferable way to the real world..(ie.. Administrators got it) and we could help build student resume and portfolios.
3) It linked students to resources available throughout their device- and helped them to be lifelong learners and identify resources they could use in their future careers.
4) To my surprise the questions were both technical and pedagogical. It talked about how but also why you would use tools. In introducing it to teachers and students, it facilitated important pedagogical conversations about using technology for teaching.
So I investigated it further in a few ways..
1) I had one student do all the Apple Teacher certificates as a makeup assignment. I asked him to review the process, keep track of his time, and tell me what he thought of it.. (This is an important step in that I am pretty knowledgeable on the tools and my time would not equal student time to complete) . He talked about how he had to use the books for some tasks and found himself jumping between devices to test out tools and find the solution.
2). I started taking a few tests myself.
3) I required students to do at least the iPad test after I found out how much time it took (less than 2 hours for each test even if they were unfamiliar with that app to begin).
4) I watched on social media as #AppleTeacher gained momentum – and I saw how people were excited to share the credential and how many schools were starting to use it as a personal or building-wide PD goal for teachers.
So what did I find out..
the Apple Teacher questions lead us to a great conversation about assessment in class. . How can you assess skills with objective tests? How do you support students in taking such a test? How can 5 questions assess a complex skill. Great teachable moments for future teachers.
I failed GarageBand in front of my students – Yes humility is good.. and no I was not cheating the questions are randomized and they got different ones.. But it sure made the task more accessible to everyone.
My students felt like they were walking away with something. One student said – It was great to see what I had really learned and how easy it was to complete. They liked that it transferred directly to their resume.
Several students went to take on more tests because they could. I saw several students change their Twitter profile to reflect their accomplishment.
So I want to encourage my preservice teacher education educational technology colleagues to consider doing Apple Teacher with their students as a way to document their technology skills and to add to their portfolios and resumes. You might ask, why I am not making the same endorsement of Google Certified Educator – it costs money – and I will mention it, but really can’t compel students to pay. It is less convenient and the time turn around to pass it, does not work as well with the traditional semester. Also philosophically my goal is always to introduce to students what they can do, give them a taste, and information to go further. I view that test as an extension to the beginning activity. My goal as a teacher educator is to get them to value credentialing and badging and then make it their own.
This Badging and credentialing is the future of teacher education and this is an easy and free way to engage your students in it today for technology skills.
So how has this changed my view of on Badging?
The students liked it, and I realized that many of my assignments, I want students to do, but the paper they have to write is not the goal of the assignment. I just want them to do it. In the end the Essay ends up being a collection of disingenuous statements – (I am so thankful that Dr. Cullen made me participate in a twitter chat, now I know i will be a great technology using teacher).
So this Spring, I am going to give badging some technology skills a try. What am I finding so far.. Badgelist seems easy to use, and I am actually going to increase what I ask students to do. I will be asking them to show more evidence of the activities (screenshots, selfies, videos) and will be able to ask them do more skills. I will be cutting down on the disingenuous essays but increasing the public sharing of their work..
So spring 17 is my test, but I probably would not have tried going to badging had I not seen the positive reaction of my students to Apple Teacher..
Wish me luck!
Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education