Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Classroom: Where does it fit with SAMR?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the TIES 2015 Conference on the topic of "Stop Looking At Squirrels," where I spoke about the need to avoid the "squirrels," or bright-shiny tools that may look cool, but don't really align with best practice regarding digital age learning. The slide deck is here:



During the presentation, I asked the question: "Is Google Classroom a squirrel?" 
Don't get me wrong, I think Google Classroom is a great tool for organizing Drive files and managing sharing! Google opening it's API for others to access and share data between systems is a BIG deal! AND...as of today, you can't track students by standard within Classroom, you can't organize units of content without a lot of savvy with Docs and Drive, and there is no parent access. 

Note: After sitting in Andrew Stillman's presentation today on Growing Wings on Google Classroom, it may not be long before these shortcomings are no longer there! Stillman noted that for the most part, you can "get by" with Classroom for most projects, and on big group or differentiated projects you could break out Doctopus to push out the assignment. As long as you are clear with them how they will access the assignment, you should be ok.

As I was talking I asked participants yesterday this question:
Where in SAMR can you get with Google Classroom?
As stated in the past, I don't see the SAMR model like a ladder, I much prefer Carl Hooker's SAMR pool analogy



Jen Hegna pointed out that it depends. Most teachers probably only use it to push out and injest assignments from students that are at the knowledge level in Bloom's Taxonomy and the Substitution level of SAMR. 

The last few years, I've done an assignment for our Hopdina Cohort, where participants are asked to create an simile for "Technology Integration is like..."



This could easily get to the augmentation level if pushed out through Classroom, where all students had access to edit the same file and each student created a slide. But I wonder if these types of experiences are few and far between. 

I'd be curious to hear what you think! Is Google Classroom a "squirrel?" Is Google Classroom going to be a tool that allows students to redefine their learning? Comments are welcome!


TIES 15: George Couros Keynote: The Innovators Mindset

George Couros, creator of ConnectedPrincipals.com was the Tuesday Keynote at the TIES 2015 Conference talking about "The Innovators Mindset, the title of his latest book." 


George's definition of the Innovators Mindset is the belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are DEVELOPED, leading to the creation of BETTER ideas!

How do you leverage strangers? For our wedding photos, we tweeted, "Does anyone know of a good photographer in Edmonton?"

My mom is turning 80 and she's just now learning to read and write, but she's open to learning. She texts him with Emoticons. 
His dad came to Canada in his 20's with a 2nd grade education, and raised a family and went from a dishwasher to owning a restaurant, yet we complain about moving from Word to Google Docs!"

"Transformational leaders don't start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a future they'd like to create instead!" 
-Seth Godin

If kids leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed!

Comparing kids at a concert with their cell phones out, and business men on a train in the 1950's with their newspapers out. How are they different?
Then he shared this video:


When we tell students to put their technology away as they enter the room, what does that say about trust and how kids learn? Kids today see technology as more than a tool, that it can be used to allow them to teach, and when we teach, we learn! 

Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of a great teacher can be transformative.

How are you getting kids to find the good information being shared, and creat good information?
The best person to learn about space from is not a teacher, it's an astronaut. Like this guy:

We don't give kids a device to standardize, we give it to personalize

Carol Dweck's book on Growth Mindset 
It's not about agreeing, it's about continuing to grow.

the Innovators Mindset is the belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are DEVELOPED, leading to the creation of BETTER ideas!

Empathetic/Problem Finders & Solvers

The Big Question: Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your classroom?
Think about what other teachers are doing in your subject area: Could lead to students making "Your topic in 60 Seconds" videos like this:

Ewan McIntosh-We should be focusing on students becoming problem finders rather than problem solvers, like this. How do we make this the norm in our classrooms? 

Couros showed "WestHighBros" similar to OsseoNiceThings, where students created Twitter accounts to compliment classmates.

We don't get people innovative around things they hate... Kids can be really resilient if they are passionate about the topic.

We need to understand that failure is a part of learning and how we grow from it!


When kids see themselves as innovators and finding and solving problems, they can do amazing things! 
The people who says you can't do something get in the way of those doing it!

Creators/Reflective


We watched TV, they MAKE TV! How can we give kids the space to create? Makerspaces, About.me pages

Students should leave high school with these 3 things:

1. A Professional Social Network
2. A digital portfolio
3. An about.me page


The shift in education has to move product to process! 

Social Media is like water. You can either let us drown, or teach us to swim. -Student

George learned a valuable lesson when inviting 2000 students to tweet out a hashtag, and the three of the students chose to tweet out inappropriate things. He thought about shutting it down, but when he asked kids to focus on the positive, they drowned out the negative voices.

We need to make the positives so loud, that the negatives are drowned out!

What if we had all teachers tweet out one thing that day they did in their classroom, and took 5 minutes to read what others send out? 
When kids do it for the teacher, they want it to be "good enough," when they do it for the world, they want it to be good!
To inspire meaningful change, you must make a connection with the heart!
Adults see distraction, kids see opportunity!

What is the biggest game-changer in education? 
An educator who sees themselves as an innovator! 




Monday, December 14, 2015

TIES 2015 Keynote: Sylvia Martinez: A Global Revolution Goes to School-The Maker Movement

Sylvia Lebow Martinez, co-author of the book, "Invent to Learn," was the Monday keynote at the TIES 2015 Conference
Maker movement has gotten a lot of buzz lately. 
She noted that she was a pretty good student, and got an engineering degree from UCLA. She was invited to be on a team that designed a GPS navigation system right out of college. She notes that our students today will be given opportunities to try things that are new and seemingly impossible. 
The maker movement is giving students the opportunity to come in contact with tools that they will be seeing the rest of their lives. "Sure, I used a 3D printer in Middle School." 
People all over the world don't have to wait for a company, they can design and problem solve the things they need without big infrastructure.
We are in the "2nd Industrial Revolution!" As manufacturing changes the way the supply chain works, new jobs, skills and opportunities are arising.
What does this say about learning? People are applying their learning to change the world!
Makerfaires are popping up all over. 300,000 people came to the "World Maker Faire" last year. Here's an example:

The enthusiasm, and combination of art and science is truly exciting!
When she and co-author Gary Stager talked to people for their book, the people talked about how they wished school was like "maker faire." They hope the book can serve as a tool for teachers to see how they can make school more project based, meaningful, and authentic. Martinez and Stager now have their own publishing company, and have been working with "Super Awesome Sylvia!"

Three main components of Maker Movement

Fabrication

3-D Printing-Coming soon to shoes, food, clothes and the medical field. By giving students access to a tool like this, they can create authentic items and learn how they can transform the world.

"I can do this! -What more can you want students to say?"
Kids know that they are being invited for their ideas. Even YouTube! These invitations are coming to kids from the world. 3D scans of artifacts, bones, etc. It changes the meaning of primary source. 
On Saturday, I saw a video from Jen Hegna, where for around $300 you can do this yourself!


Physical Computing

Raspberry Pi-$5!!
Arduino-Turn on lights, motors, "If-Then" opportunities
E-Textiles

These are low cost, easy to use items that allow students to create something that can be used in the real world. It's all tied in to the "Internet of Things!" 

Programming

Martinez believes programming is a skill all students should have. It helps students make sense of the world. 
LOGO is a great example, Scratch, and many of the Hour of Code sites are the "grand children" of logo.
An ecosystem is developing where modules are connecting together. Scratch can be linked into 
Beatle Blocks is the next step, that programs in 3 dimensions!

Expand the toolkit! Mix it up!

Cardboard construction using Makedo, Rolobox, or Hummingbird


The newest outposts in the maker movement is biology-Rapid prototyping a Euglena Gracilis environment.


Waterfall Design
Spiral Design Boehm 1988 (Rapid Prototyping), a chance to do something again till they get it right.
Computers make design less risky, you can try something, and then adjust.

Martinez talked about the "meaningful adjacencies" involved in designing the 9/11 memorial, so that people's names could be close to those they were close to.

Technologies are allowing us to be our best selves!
Can we do this in schools?
How do I choose, where should I start? 

Learning manifesto: Does the tool support what I believe about learning?

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge -Pappert

Artist with arduino behind art work

Simple Design process-Get kids working on the process as soon as possible!

Making is not a shopping list, it's a stance towards learning!
Isn't this like "summer camp?" 

Finding ways for kids to find value, helps empower them and builds positive citizens. 

How do teachers learn to teach this way? Have them do it!! 

Constructing Modern Knowledge Conference is a great way to learn it!

Seize this moment in history to give kids the opportunity to change the world!