Innovative Learning Blog
Share any thinking, new design steps, progress, challenges, and/or successes you have experienced during this course. How have you evolved as an innovative thinker?
I have learned a lot about design in this course, how it applies to my teaching and to my Capstone. For example, recently I have been doing one pagers with my students. A one pager is (AVID based) like a poster that depicts something that you want to teach or represent using drawings and text. The feedback I have been giving the students on their one pagers is based on design and not information. This course has opened my eyes to the fact that every student is putting down about the same information (in their one pagers), because they are all pulling the same information from the same source. The difference in their one pagers is the design of them. Below are some of design concepts that I have learned from this course, that I am applying to my teaching and to the creation of my Capstone.
1.) LESS IS MORE: I've taught students that to capture the audience they should put as much information onto their posters (one pagers) with the least amount of text. I've taught them that the audience will turn away from a poster loaded with text, but will stay connected to a poster that has stimulating visuals aided with simple one word or short phrased text.
2.) Connecting Visuals with Text: I have taught the students that all the visual images and colors should connect with the main topic. In addition, I have taught that the text should be located next to the visuals to serve as an aide/support. I have realized (based on the students' one pagers) that students have been engrained to present a topic via information with visuals as an aide/support. It has been difficult for many students to transform their thinking from informational to design, but they are starting to conceptualize the importance of design plus information.
3.) Looking through the Audiences Eyes: I have taught the students to create the one pagers as if they were teaching someone the key ideas and main details of the main topic. I've told them to imagine that someone will come up to their one pager and either be connected or disconnected based off of the design.
I've told the students that the design has to be simple, appealing, informative, and creative. I have steered away from evaluating solely the information of student's one pagers and I am now grading them on the simplicity, appeal, and creativity of their design. Even their information is being graded differently. Instead of grading content and conventions I am grading the ability to pack the most amount of information with the least amount of text. Focusing on design instead of information has flipped my evaluation process.
There are other areas of design that I've learned from this course that I am exploring but I am not teaching to my second graders such as the positioning hierarchy of visuals and web based applications used to enhance a project.
I feel that this course and the other courses have helped to me to progress with my Capstone and my teaching. I am thrilled to be learning technical tools that I can use in my teaching and in my personal free time. For instance, I look forward to learning more about WeVideo so I can teach my students and so that I can create innovative videos outside of school. These courses have given me the confidence to explore on my own and it has also opened my eyes to the amazing different web based applications that exist to make learning captivating, stimulating, cutting edge, and applicable to real life situations.
The main challenge that I find with the courses that I have taken for this master's program is the time to complete the projects/assignments. It is in the nature of every good teacher, which applies to everyone connected to this Cohort, to do your best effort and learn as much as you can. We are all working professionals and despite our desire to soak as much knowledge as we can from this program we realize there must be time for family, friends, work, relaxation, eating,e.t.c.
The most distinctive success that I have experienced during this course and the other ones that I have completed is that I am trying technologically, innovative products to inspire personal hobbies and to inspire my teaching. I am excited to be on a never ending path of technological exploration and I am fortunate to be able to inspire others to jump aboard.
Someone once told me that the important things learned in life glue to you in small but powerful quantities. That's how I feel about this course and this master's program. Despite, the bounty of things I have learned, down the road I will only remember and apply a cart load of them, which is parallel to how we learn in life. For example, you may read a great book that changes your life, but for the rest of your life you may only remember a few details from the book that not only stood out but that you apply to your idealogical life.
Life is too short, and there is too much information, to be bogged down with the burden of trying to know everything. Let the mind soak in the information holistically, being influenced and driven by your interests but being mindful that with concentration nuggets of life changing ideas may pop out of even the most mundane sources of information (Dervin).
How have I evolved as an innovative thinker?
One way I have evolved as an innovative thinker is to question design. Prior to this course, I would have looked at the question "How have you evolved as an innovative thinker?" and answered it without ever questioning the design. Now, I question the design of everything, it's purpose, motivation, inspiration, and creativity.
The question, "How have you evolved as an innovative thinker"?, implies that the person responding to the question is already an innovative thinker. The person who designed this question (Curtis) intentionally created an open ended question that at the same time instills confidence in the writer knowing that they were innovative thinkers before the program.
To summarize the evolution of my innovative thinking, I have evolved from left brain to right brain, from informational to design, from rote to spontaneous, from linear to unpredictable, from sequential to holistic, from understanding the speech of people to interpreting emotions and nonverbal expressions, from decoding to inferencing, from accurate to innovative.
This week you are asked to blog about how you incorporate gaming, gamification, game thinking, or design thinking into your class. How? What are your objectives?
Prior to entering this master's program, I used gaming with my second graders. However, I have incorporated gaming tools, game thinking, and design thinking into my lessons that I've learned from the master's courses.
I use gaming as a tool to flip the learning. As the students play the games, they learn, but independently, and at their own pace. Many games also offer student choice. In addition, many programs differentiate the instruction so that the student is always challenged but not overly challenged. For example, IREADs, which is a phonics based gaming program, has each student start out by taking a pretest that determines where they start in the program. As they master a phonetic concept they move on, and if they don't master it than the program cycles them through the same concept with different games until they do become proficient.
I prefer to use gaming as a learning station. Too much gaming takes away from valuable human interaction, but touches of gaming has numerous benefits.
Some of the objectives/benefits of gaming/game thinking in an educational setting include engaging the student, enhancing their digital skills/literacy, fostering student learning, broadening student choice and voice, and introducing them to real world concepts/applications.
Gaming also allows groups of students to work independently while the teacher can work one on one or in a small group setting with student's who need more scaffolding. Gaming allows the students who are ready to work independently to work at their own pace. The gaming is what attracts the student, however, it is the notion of passing levels, receiving points/gaming rewards that motivate the students. Gaming empowers students who are ready to be explorers of their own education.
Gaming allows teachers to focus on right brain instruction instead of left brain instruction. Instead of focusing on rote, informational, computational facts, which a computer software program can do, gaming allows teachers to focus on group discussion, feedback, and empathy.
Gaming also connects teacher to student because gaming is so prevalent in the lives of youth today. We often associate gaming with youth, however, the games that the youth play were created by the same age group that is teaching them. Hollywood used to be the ultimate entertainment in people's lives. Today, gaming is the ultimate entertainment utopia. Worldwide box-office revenue for the film industry in 2013 was $35.9 billion. Not bad! However, Worldwide revenue for the video game industry in 2013 was $70.4 billion.
Design thinking and design in general has been deeply shaped by these master's courses and the recent book I just read by Daniel Pink entitled "A Whole New Mind". Almost everywhere I turn, I now hear people talking about design.
I have also realized that design is correlated to the person in charge. Whomever is designing, is the person in charge. Everybody else is doing rote, informational, computational work that the designer has no time for. Do you see yourself as the designer or the informationalist?
Daniel Pink says that the informationalists ruled the world from about 1970 to present time, but that the world now belongs to designers. I agree. That is why I am going to take everything I've learned about design and apply it to my teaching and to my Capstone.
The value of information has been diluted by the internet and overseas informational intelligence that can compute data just as well as I any westerner and at a tenth of the cost. What is not diluted in the market place is the right brain, creative, innovative, design that is original in idea and concept. Nowadays, people aren't' looking for someone with information, they are looking for someone with design.
What is gaming & gamification?
According to Daniel Pink, a recent survey indicated that 100% of college students have played at least one video game in their life. Gaming, is what youngsters do. However, I am part of a generation that was once a youngster that got hooked on gaming. Gaming can look like your Grand Theft Auto, or Quizlet, to online poker. Gaming engages, and it is increasingly becoming an everyday part of our lives. Games our accessed everywhere including computers, tablets, t.v.'s, and smart phones. The video game industry made twice as much money in 2013 than did the film industry. Worldwide box-office revenue for the film industry in 2013 was $35.9 billion. Worldwide revenue for the video game industry in 2013 was $70.4 billion. Gaming is the new big Entertainment!
Gamification is immersing Education with Gaming. The "Gami" in Gamification represents Gaming. "Fictation" literally translates to uniting nouns (in this case 'gaming and education'), and the "Ca" in Gamification represents the eduCation.
Right now, I am currently playing no games. For a long time I considered playing games a waste of time, however, my perception of gaming has changed after attending theses courses. I am now interested in designing games. I am interested in reconnecting with my youthful love for gaming, however I do not envision myself playing Grand Theft Auto in the near future.
After reviewing the content and resources in the Content area, which of these would you consider using to either support your students’ learning or to teach other professionals about your research project in this program?
After reviewing the content and resources in the Content area, I definitely felt that Quizlet is the one tool that I would consider using to support my student's learning. It's an incredibly engaging tool to build spelling, vocabulary, and computer skills such as typing. This tool would be an excellent classroom station for students' to use to practice words of the week or vocabulary linked to the unit of study. What I love, is that everything created can be done in multiple languages. Since I teach 80% of my instruction in Spanish, it is awesome to find a tool that is Spanish compatible.
Draw upon your answer to the question above AND the resource page you have been building as part of your Weebly portfolio to map out how you might use the tools and resources explored in this course in the development of your EDUC 791 prototype projects. Consider both how you will share your research and how you will teach others about your work.
I see myself incorporating Quizlet, Edpuzzle, and Screencast-o-matic into my Prototype. All three applications will allow me to flip the learning. Students and educators will be able to access the videos/applications at their own convenience. They will be able to rewind and pause the videos in order to take detailed notes and use Quizlet to enhance their literacy and digital literacy skills in an engaging gaming atmosphere.
I see there are three ways to share this information with fellow educators: small group, whole group, and via social media. Some teachers may prefer a one on one or small group instruction where they are guided on mastering the tools. Others may prefer a whole group professional development course. I think the best way is to create instructional videos/websites and showcase them using social media so that fellow educators from the school and all over the world can access them.
Choose from the tools to create a document that you will be able to upload to your Weebly page, the homework page and you might use in your final capstone web site to share your thinking about the alignment of games/gaming and learning about your research.
Below is a link to a quiz (Created in Spanish) I created using Quizlet. I plan on using this document to use in my final capstone web site to share my thinking about the alignment of games/gaming and learning about my research. One of things I have learned about in my research is that tools for educators need to be easy to learn, accessible, cheap and preferably free. Quizlet meets all three of those requirements. In addition, Quizlet transforms terms and definitions into interactive games that foster student learning (vocabulary, spelling, and digital skills). The book that I read for EDUC 791, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, reiterated what I have learned from this master's program, which is that gaming is a bountiful and booming industry that will only expand and grow deeper into everybody's lives including the field of education. One can resist it or embrace it, but I believe it is best to embrace it and start being proactive on how to best utilize it to educate our youth today to prepare them for the ever changing future of tomorrow.
Link to Quizlet Video: quizlet.com/203282454/ortografia-palabras-con-m-n-n-flash-cards/
In your blog, reflect on the following:
One reason I chose Screencast-o-matic was because I wanted to learn how to make short and simple videos that I can use to teach my students. In the future, I would like to use it as a way to record videos and music that students can access and practice at home as well as at school. I also would like to teach students how to use it so they can demonstrate content knowledge with an authentic 21 century assessment tool as well as use it as a tool to differentiate instruction for advanced students in need of an academic challenge.
I chose WeVideo because I needed a tool that could compile all the Animoto videos that my students have created into a series of related projects. I also needed a tool that enabled me to add voice, graphics, text, and manipulate the videos.
One thing that didn't work was that Screencast-o-matic had a limited camera range. For example, my computer was recording the screencast and I could not move around because my computer was stationary. I couldn't display a lot of graphics and information into the screencast because the camera was positioned not to move around.
With WeVideo I was able to compile my students' Animoto videos into related projects. For example, I took Animoto videos that students created about personal narratives and compiled them into one WeVideo that had an introduction, music and graphics. I was able to download the WeVideo into a mp4 format and upload it to my school's Facebook page.