Category Archives: higher ed

I hit my 20 blog posts

So one of my goals for summer was to blog more.. and while I thought I would blog more than I did.. I did hit 20 posts today that I  am counting (this is 21)

I was blogging for for a few purposes

  1. To get in the habit of more regularly daily writing again.
  2. To create content that could be used to promote our IPT programs like the 21st Century masters http://bit.ly/21stcenturyteaching 
  3. To interact more deeply with my followers on Twitter and in the ADE Community.
  4. To better communicate the issues that I care about online.

So those were my intended purposes and here are the unintended benefits I found.

  1. More meaningful interaction with alumni – I have had several reach out to me after a blog posts and without advertising the blog, people are liking what they read.
  2. Better interaction with people at OU – There are several people at OU who regularly blog  including Adam Croom, Keegan Long Wheeler, Laura Gibbs who I have had longer conversations and interactions with since I have blogged.
  3. Documentation of my time.  For example – i spent a lot of time in the innovation hub – the posts that I made on the innovation hub have been great for me to document my time and show what I have been up to.
  4. Sharing my learning – the blog has provided me with a great place to share my learning that I will use with my students.  It allows me to be more vulnerable to them and share where I struggle.
  5. It has helped me work out some ideas in a rough form.  Next week I am doing a Ignite session at IPadPaloozaOU  (http://ipadpaloozaOU.weebly.com) This 5 minute talk is based on a blog post called A file called Dammit.

Overall, I am finding that blogging is an important part of my practice and something that I will be continuing. Much like research though, there are more things that I want to blog about than I have time to.. I have a list of to do’s and a few drafts hanging out.

Just like any creative practice, we have to learn how to manage our time and do it.. but overall this has been a valuable experience.

I want to give a shout out to OUCreate – because probably if the tool was not provided and I did not feel guilty about developing mine more as I ask students to.. I would probably not have done it.

 

On my Way to Apple Distinguished Educator Academy

So this is my 3rd ADE Academy and I am so excited to be part of it again.  I am excited to see my friends, get new ideas, and refresh.

ADE – stands for Apple Distinguished Educator – which is a group of educators who are focused on using technology to improve and innovate in education. Yes it is sponsored by Apple Inc.. but it is a collaborative community where we leverage lots of technologies along with our creative ideas to make a difference for students at all levels.

There are few ways that I benefit from a meeting like this..

  1. It keeps me aware of trends in K-12 education so that I can best improve our teacher candidate’s preparation.
  2. It helps to me test out ideas that I am having with peers and work out details.
  3. I get to see what peers are doing and think about how I can match, improve upon or contribute to our collective successes.
  4. I can investigate new technologies or new approaches. For examples, I will be seeking insights on iPad Pros. How are K-12 schools using them and are they worth the added expense for our faculty and/or students.. (It is really a tipping point analysis).
  5. It causes me to stretch my own skills, learn more, and meet people who are different than me. While challenging,  its a great way for me to practice to being open and vulnerable in my own learning.
  6. Finally, it is a place where, even though I am somewhat uncomfortable because I am surrounded by so many exceptional individuals, it is a place for me to mentally relax knowing that I am among like minded mission focused individuals.

I was so happy to put my Out of Office for this week. 

Something that will be new for me is to welcome the new class of 2017. While ADE Class of 2015 is the BEST CLASS EVER! I am energized by the excitement and new ideas of the class of 2017 and can’t wait to make new connections, collaborations, and friendships..

I leave in an hour, let the fun and learning begin…

 

Innovation Hub – How I made a puzzle.

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.

Miranda Hanno
My partner in Crime awesome @oueducation student Miranda Hannon

I started to download Vector Files from Vecteezy.   (No judgement I am learning – originals come later).

my first puzzle using Vecteezy

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.

This is the original card – 1/8 plywood with a cardboard back.

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.

In the laser cutter

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.

Get it.. the owls fit back in?

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.

Wood glue on back..looks like buttered bread – eh)

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

The finished 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.

For more information on the Innovation Hub visit:  http://www.ou.edu/innovationhub.html

Ps. this is a great project for my early childhood majors -imagine if you made a puzzle for each Unit or topic in the curriculum!

Watch for my next post on how great the Bizzel Library Edge was to work with for our Education students during Intersession! 

Designers for Learning: Mobile Sprint

So this summer, I am trying to engage in the community more and build my skills as part of my personal summer Professional Development plan.

I have recommended several students consider doing Designers for Learning service projects as a way to improve and practice their instructional design skills.   (http://designersforlearning.org/)  I recommend them from knowing of them from Jennifer Maddrell at AECT but I have never participated in one myself.   So that is about to change.

So I am doing  Mobile Learning Design Sprint. 
Why? 

  1. It is a good experience doing instructional design towards a larger project.
  2. If I recommend it, I should do it and know more about it.
  3. I should model personal growth and professional development for my students.
  4. Their premise that mobile technologies are access for many people..  in many parts of the world, is true.   I wrote about it with my student Daniela Nunez Ponte in 2013  https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=9stSHI4AAAAJ&citation_for_view=9stSHI4AAAAJ:5nxA0vEk-isC
  5.  They are using a Google Sprint  design process – which reminds me of SCRUM which is something all of our ID students should be learning.

I am interested to see what I learn here, and what I can take to my own classes and design process.  the cost of the course is $20 and I will comment on it as I go.. It starts today but is individually paced,  feel free to join me if you are interested.

Mobile Learning Design Sprint

 

What is necessary? White House Survey Seriously?

So today someone on my Facebook Feed shared this..

https://www.whitehouse.gov/reorganizing-the-executive-branch

The White House has asked people to vote to reorganize the executive branch.  Seriously… seriously..

First, while our current POTUS may have experience by online polls that ask if we should vote off Omarosa or not, they are not scientific.  They only sample those that are engage in a particular issue and those that have internet access and are comfortable with computers. (So let’s rule out my Mom, who does log into “the facebook” but really is not comfortable with a lot of navigation)  and those without access (like IDK, people in rural appalachia)

Second – I ALREADY VOTED!!!  I voted for a president, and I voted for senators and representatives – to represent me and my needs and it is time for them to do the job they are elected and paid for!!!!!!

Third, I am not qualified to vote on this.. (and sometimes I question our elected officials who don’t read the bills they vote for) but they have staff to educate them on their needs.

When I saw this survey I went immediately to the section for the Department of Education – What do you want to reform: and it lists the 9 Program Offices – Do you know what they all do? I am pretty knowledgeable (more than the average joe) because I am an Education Professor – but seriously – as an everyday citizen could you vote for which ones should be removed or reformed?

So I researched – (Copied and Pasted – from https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg5.html#howis )

The Department has nine program offices.

  1. The Institute of Education Sciences provides national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge of education and produces rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. This is accomplished through the work of its four centers: the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Special Education Research.

  2. The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students administers, coordinates and recommends policy for developing and supporting high-quality instructional programs designed to serve the education needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students, thereby helping these English language learners and immigrants attain English proficiency and academic success.

  3. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership, technical assistance and financial support to state and local education agencies for the maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary and secondary education. OESE administers programs designed to advance the academic opportunities of the nation’s neediest children.

  4. The Office of Innovation and Improvement administers and coordinates programs and activities designed to support and test innovations throughout the K-12 system, including a number of teacher quality programs and reforms that expand parental choice of schools for their children and information about best practices. It is also the Department’s liaison to the non-public education community.

  5. The Office of Postsecondary Education is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy and administering programs that address critical national needs in support of increased access to quality postsecondary education for all students. OPE also promotes the domestic study of foreign languages and international affairs and supports international education research and exchange.

  6. The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers, coordinates and recommends policy for improving programs and activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Such programs and activities comprise drug and violence prevention programs, character and civic education, and a variety of other comprehensive efforts to promote students’ physical and mental health.

  7. The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services supports programs designed to meet the needs and develop the full potential of children with disabilities, reduce dependency and enhance the productive capabilities of youths and adults with disabilities, and support research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.

  8. The Office of Federal Student Aid administers the systems and products related to providing tens of billions of dollars annually in federal financial aid to millions of students pursuing postsecondary education and training opportunities. The office provides the information and forms needed to apply for loans, grants and work-study funds, as well as information for students, parents, financial aid administrators, lending institutions, auditors and others in the field. It also leads the U.S. government-wide initiative to deliver Web-based services from government agencies and organizations to postsecondary students (seehttp://students.gov).

  9. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education supports a wide range of programs and activities that provide adults with the basic skills necessary to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent and support them in their pursuit of postsecondary, career or technical education and lifelong learning.

 

So what goes?

Given that information? Even just a paragraph – what needs dropped or reformed?  Do you want students with special needs to not be given an appropriate education – Get Rid of 7 !  Do you want those people who lose their jobs to not be able to get an education – no problem Get rid of 9!   How about making student loans a free for all – that meaning – an uncontrolled predatory lending situation – (When did you last ask yourself – why can’t student loans be like a title or pay day loans?) 

Now given the current leadership and the proposed education budget presented by DeVos to the Appropriations committee last week – many of these things will go away.

What should do you?  I have no idea how this “survey” will be used by the whitehouse..  but I have two action steps.

Watch Devos testify to House Appropriations Committee last week.

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND SENATOR:

In the end – this survey is unscientific and I ALREADY VOTED.  Please take the time to write your congressperson or senator and tell them how you as a consitutient would like them to represent you.

Wayfinding Academy – Why it has me excited..

So maybe its a midlife crisis, maybe its being an associate professor who at 42 is still paying her student loans, maybe it is the 21st Century masters and what I have been reading… . but I am worried about higher education and especially about some of our highest achieving students who get great grades but don’t really have a plan for what they want to do in life.

I am worried that there are lots of students who don’t know what they want to do and are going into extreme debt to leave college with a degree and still without a direction.

One Sunday morning as I drank my coffee to come to life I saw a story on CBS this morning  about Oregon Public House and one of the charities it was funding Wayfinding Academy.  A not for profit college that focuses on helping students find their way, their goal and mission and life before amazing a ton of credits and a ton of debt.

Here is the original story that Inspired me to get involved:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-nonprofit-pub-thats-good-for-what-ales-you/

I am pretty questioning about charities, and I am pretty sure to check them out myself – so in April I went to Wayfinding weekend – I will share more of my experiences in future posts –

But here are some of the questions I am asking:
How can we help more students be successful in college?

How can we help them explore who they are and how they can affect the world without them going bankrupt in student loans?

How can we help students identify their goals so that college catapults them to success rather than lets them wait out 4 years until they start asking those questions?

I have decided to support Wayfinding Academy though my charitable giving and you can get involved to.   We are starting a Crowdsourcing campaign after Memorial Day to provide students with a great start to college.   Join me and make me do something silly for something I believe in.   So you can support me in their mission:  https://www.razoo.com/story/Rgjd5f