EDET 677 Week 3

Essential Question: To what extent should we allow students to figure things out for themselves?

“You can’t think about thinking without thinking about thinking about something…” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1066) “That is why tinkering is very helpful to learn about thinking, it gives deep clues to a patient observer about thinking. After reading this chapter, and the article called “Constructive Struggling,” it got me thinking about how much I gave my students opportunities to “struggle” and figure things out on their own. I had two boys in first grade math, and when they came across a word problem, they’d get frustrated by all of the reading, and then say they need help. “When we introduce complexity in the problems we ask students to solve and challenge them beyond what they think they can do, we give them the opportunity to struggle a bit, an opportunity that many students never experience in mathematics,”(Seeley, 2009).

I would tell them to read the word problem carefully, circle the important information, and underline what it’s asking you to do. They would determine what kind of math problem it is, and choose a strategy to solve it. After those struggling situations, sometimes we got that “aha” moment (their face expression were priceless). I agree with Seeley, that constructive struggling may go hand in hand with motivating them. Of course I did this after knowing their strengths, and what they are capable of doing. I never pushed my students too far, to where they totally gave up.

“When you allow children to make personally meaningful projects, they develop the habits of mind required to solve their own problems.” TMI (Think, Make, Improve) is a great acronym, and strategy for giving students opportunities to struggle and do things themselves (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1243). Reflection is also important. After every design or project, giving students that time to analyze, to make better, or revise, it makes learning more natural and beneficial for the students (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1304).

 

Resources:

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Retrieved May 24, 2016.

 

Seeley, C. (n.d.). Constructive Struggling [Faster Isn’t Smarter]. Math Solutions. Retrieved 2009, from http://www.mathsolutions.com/documents/9781935099031_message17.pdf

 

 

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Reflection Week 2

This week we read about the growth mindset, tinkering and hard play. I never really understood what the growth mindset was until this last week. I realize that if we’re not keeping our students engaged, through play and tinkering, we may be setting them up for a fixed mindset. If we stick to our district’s curriculum, and not moving away from the text, students are going to be more on the fixed mindset. Having an open classroom and implementing OERs is a place to start.

Reflection Week 2

EDET 678

This week, I finally understood what it is meant by open learning in the classroom. Its flexibility is what makes it beneficial. OERs (open educational resources) are important in this digital age. I’m glad that our school district is being flexible and allowing our students to use Reflex Math and Razz Kids on iPads. Sara made a good point that it allows for more differentiated learning, and that’s why OERs are important. I myself am afraid to have an open learning classroom because I work with primary grade levels (k-1). These students need structure, and repetition. I do think it’s important though, that I do lay out all materials for students to play and learn with.

EDET 677 Week 2

Essential question: What is the link between “tinkering”, “hard play”, and the “growth mindset”?

Tinkering, as defined in the book Invent to Learn, “is a uniquely human activity, combining social and creative forces that encompass play and learning (Martinez, et.al, loc., 923). Tinkering is essentially messing around with materials. Materials can be computers, iPads, rulers, paper, sand, etc. Tinkering with these materials is where the learning happens (Martinez, et.al, loc., 883). Tinkering with materials in the classroom allows students to use their brains and anything they can put their hands on to solve a problem (Martinez, et.al, loc., 896). When we give our students opportunities to experiment, take risks, and play with their own ideas, they begin to see themselves as learners who have good ideas that can transform them into new experiences (Martinez, et.al, loc., 935).

There are two mindsets: the growth mindset, and the fixed mindset. The growth mindset can be described as allowing students to tinker with the things around them. “Adopting a tinkering mindset allows all students to learn in their own style,” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 961). We give students opportunities to play with things they are unfamiliar with, where there are no instructions, or right or wrong way. “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning,” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 975). It is a major source of development. A fixed mindset is learning thru textbook, following the rules, and believing everything you read.

According to the article “Why the Growth Mindset,” when students and educators have this type of mindset, they understand that intelligence can be developed; they are enthusiastic about learning, hard working and they take charge of their own success. When we give our students opportunities to tinker and play with materials, they develop that growth mindset. They learn how to take charge of their learning and find solutions to things they envision. “Tinkering is the way that real science happens in all its messy glory,” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1053).

Resources:

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Retrieved May 24, 2016.

The Science. (2008). Retrieved May 24, 2016, from https://www.mindsetworks.com/webnav/whatismindset.aspx

 

EDET 678 Week 2

EDET 678 Week 2

Essential question: What do you see as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

According to webopedia.com, open learning is “an approach to learning that gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn.” Open learning is described as learning that takes place in a shared manner, where individuals can reuse, remix, redistribute and revise the learning with others (Graham, et.al, page 2). Educators and learners collaborate, connect, and build on each other’s knowledge.

Not only does open learning allow teachers to make courses available online, but to ensure that students who are participating in them, are engaged in a meaningful, engaging, constructive and a transformative learning experience, “Open Learning Pedagogy and Educational Values.” The article lists three pedagogical foundations in their open learning philosophy:

  1. Student empowerment, to foster deeper learning through intrinsic motivation,
  2. Authentic, active learning experiences which go beyond publishing content,
  3. Community and connectedness, to provide a social platform with the best support, encouragement, knowledge sharing, and engagement.

What I see as the promise of open learning in emerging technologies, are individuals getting the educational experience they desire through online interactions with other individuals. The fact that we can earn a degree online because of this revolution; has changed the higher education system.

However, because open learning requires you to publicly post things online, be intrinsically motivated, and have the skillset to do these things on your own, it makes it difficult in a K-12 setting. If students are taught how to learn, they will have the power to take over their own learning experiences “Open Learning Pedagogy and Educational Values.”

I see this shift happening in our school district. Next year, I believe they will be doing distance delivery classes for high school students. I think this is a great start to open learning. Not only will students be familiar with online classes when they leave high school, but also it’ll teach them how to take responsibility in their own learning.

Resources:

Graham, L., LaBonte, R., Roberts, V., O’Byrne, I., & Osterhout, C. (n.d.). Open Learning in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.academia.edu/10311797/Open_Learning_in_K-12_Online_and_Blended_Learning_Environments

OpenLearning. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from https://www.openlearning.com/Pedagogy

Open learning. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/open_learning.html

 

Week 1 Reflection

I really liked Amy’s response to what constructionism is; where the learner needs experiences from which to construct knowledge. Sara made a good point that sometimes teachers fear constructionism, or constructivism because of what the final outcome may be. But the whole experimenting part is more rewarding for the students and memorable.

EDET 678 Week 1

Essential Question: How do we define Emerging Technologies?

“Emerging technologies are tools, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes,” according to Veletsianos. Educational settings include distance delivery, face-to-face, and a variation of educational instruction.

Emerging technologies are any “new kind of technologies that are currently developing, or will be developed over the next five to ten years,” according to www.businessdictionary.com.

New and emerging technologies will impact our classrooms. As educators it’s important that we stay informed and aware of what we could be implementing or how our curriculum may change. Emerging technologies will substantially alter the business and social environment. “These include information technology, wireless data communication, man-machine communication, on-demand printing, bio-technologies and advanced robotics,” www.businessdictionary.com.

“21things4teachers” created a list of websites (including themselves), which teachers should visit to stay up-to-date on ET. The list includes:

The Maker Movement, which is a great example of constructionism, is learning by doing or making, and it is currently trending in classrooms (Edutopia). BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), is another ET that it trending. More and more school districts are implementing BYOD policies “21thinkgs4teachers.”

Resources:

21 Things 4 Students REMC Association of Michigan. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.21things4teachers.net/21-things/emerging-technologies/

Davis, V. (2014, July 18). How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/maker-movement-moving-into-classrooms-vicki-davis

Veletsianos, G. (November 18). A definition of emerging technologies for education – See more at: http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/#sthash.J287LsNG.dpuf. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/

What are emerging technologies? definition and meaning. (2016). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/emerging-technologies.html