ASB unplugged. Well what a 5 days. I learned some ways that people believe education will change in the future, and how we as teachers can support students in these changes, but perhaps more importantly let kids lead these changes in technology. In order to for kids to connect with technology they need to understand their experiences and connect to them. I was thrilled when listening to the kids in the “Spotlight” sessions on Thursday morning. The idea of connectivism, happing right in front of my eyes. There were so many passionate kids sharing their ideas on how they are working with technology in the future. Some of these ideas that I will bring back to my classroom are: 1. Try to find links with professionals online through twitter that my kids can talk to. This was inspired from a girl in grade 6 who is tweeting with an artist whose art they are studying. In year 7 we are starting a new unit on “My Place” where kids will inquire how environments impact their lives. I am going to try to find some educators in different parts of the world, who the students can ask tweet with to ask questions about their environments. * In the future students should be able to connect with professionals they can learn from both in and outside class time. They do not only depend or want one subject teacher, but many teachers to talk to about a topic. This idea has started to develop but with time and the expansion of social media sites to connect people all over the world, it will only become larger. 2. I listend to a very passionate gamer, and how his grade 9 teacher uses a game called Civilizations.
Civilization for Colonization to help his kids to have practical experience with what early explorers went through when colonizing an area.
These are just two examples of what I heard from kids, they were also talking lots about voicethread, googledocs, moviemaker, and one note.
It really made me see the reality of the point from the connectivism article that: “The starting point of connectivism is the individual. Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual. This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed.” Kids have a project they want to work, on and can pick the tool they feel works best to show their learning. (starting from the individual) Then they use their peers to share their ideas with, continuing to to provide learning to themselves. Also in this process is the kids sharing their individual learning with adults, expand the connections they have made to their learning. Adults take these examples back to their own students, continuing the development of their knowledge. I have used games like the Middle Passage on the active history site. Both of these games require a fee, however, I have been convinced that the use of games in education is something of the future. Both the idea that kids like playing games to learn, and they are also interested in developing games. However, as pointed out in session on Game Based Learning, it was pointed out that there are often cool games for kids to play, but the connections to the concept they are learning in school might be a bit weak. None the less, over the next few years the creation of games for learning is defiantly going to expand. In my upcoming unit on Poverty, I have dissevered two games that will help kids to understand some of the dynamics of the issue, in a gaming formate.
SuperStruct where kids create a new future.
Another cool game that I will share with my colleagues is World Without Oil
* In the future gaming will be a large part of how kids access education. This has already started and is only going to expand over time. After my presentation on using Twitter in the classroom. (where I discovered dispute so many schools having 1 to 1 laptops, many teachers have no idea how to use twitter or what it is)
I was tried of listening to adults, and headed over to the Flat Classroom Project! Wow, instead of listening to adults talk about where technology in the future is headed, listen to the kids. At the Flat Classroom Project, the students from different schools came together to create a pitch on an idea of how they could connect with other schools around the world. Working in a group of eight these kids created pitches to teacher’s on what they thought were good ideas for a flat classroom. The two ideas that stuck out most in my head were connecting schools on helping to end Child Labour and creating an online Math website where kids of all languages could connect in order to help each other understand math. Fabulous ideas. I am planning to get my class linked into the Flat Classroom Project next year, as we have one class in our Humanities cycle that is for Global Issues. I think it would be great to work on a project like DigitTeen or a A Week in the Life. Where kids can “A Week in the Life…’ is a Flat Classroom® Project for Elementary School students of approximately ages 8-10. The curriculum focus is Interdisciplinary, how we live, how we communicate, cultural understanding and awareness. The aim of the project is to join Elementary School classrooms globally with a view to exploring what life is like in each country through discussion, sharing and collecting multimedia to create final products together.” Next at my school we are creating year level leader positions. It would be great if a year level could pick up one of these projects to collaborate with other schools. This is linked to the idea of Project Based learning, where students are the focus of the projects and projects are the driving force for learning, based on individual students.
At this conference I discovered that the idea of MOOCS is not a far off reality. Many connections from around the world were created that can allow for the further development of this idea. Both with the teachers who made connections and the students at the flipped classroom. We do not always need to be in a face to face course to continue to have this connections. I like the idea of MOOCS, and feel that our COETAIL course is a step in that direction. I have people in my own network, I post my thoughts and comment on others ideas. I also found out that kids want the same concept. They called it a VIS (Virtual International School)