Ultra Micro MOOC

In this week’s blog, I will express what I have learned about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) by outlining a mini-online experience or “Ultra Micro MOOC” using the P2PU design.  To create the outline of my MOOC successfully, I will need to adhere to the principles Dr. Stephen Yelon articulates in the video, “The Secrets to Instructional Design” (Yelon, 2001).  Dr. Yelon states, “There are certain elements that must be present for an effective piece of instruction, and they must all be consistent with one another.”  I will strive to include and connect the following components of Dr. Yelon’s “secret” to instructional design: Real World Performance, Terminal Objective, Content, Methods, and Evaluation.

In my Mini-Economy Classroom Management course, my peers will master managing a classroom successfully by creating a classroom management style that incorporates money and posting updates/sharing ideas.

1. Course Topic: Classroom Management

2. Course Title and Photo:Image

3. Who is coming to your course?  What will attract them?  Why would they want to participate in this experience?

I believe my Mini-Economy Classroom Management course would likely attract teachers and educators of all sorts.  Whether it be elementary, middle, or high school, I believe my course would be beneficial.  It would not be relevant at the collegiate level.  Educators would be attracted to the idea of finding a new, fun, and effective style of managing their classroom.  Especially with beginning teachers, classroom management is absolutely paramount, so my course would help them tremendously.  Educators would want to participate in this experience to first learn a new style of classroom management but also to have the opportunity to communicate with fellow teachers to share how their similar experiences with using this style are going.

4. What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done?  (Connect your thoughts here to the learning theories you explored last week and the design principles you learned this week.)  How long is your course experience?

When learners are finished taking my course, I would like them to be able to create and administer a successful classroom management system that incorporates money.  With the use of play-money, students would have practice with real-life situations.  The Constructivist Theory believes that learning experiences should be authentic and produce real-world learning environments that allow the learner to construct their own knowledge.  An example of using the Constructivist Theory in accordance with a classroom management style incorporating play-money would be when a student is on task and doing a great job in class, they are rewarded with more money at the end of the week versus the opposite when poor behavior warrants less money at the end of the week.  In addition, one of the key elements in Dr. Yelon’s video, “The Secrets to Instructional Design” is Real World Performance, which talks about how learners will use what they have mastered as citizens and educated people in the world.  Without a doubt, students at the elementary, middle, and high school level will eventually use and manipulate money on a day-to-day basis as adults.  My course experience would likely be three to four weeks in length with each module I show being less than one hour apiece.  I would only show three modules a week but allow ample enough time for learners to communicate with each other whenever they wanted to share experiences or ideas.

5. What will peers make?

Peers would make a classroom management system incorporating play-money and economic principles.  I have named my system “Mini-Economy.”  Peers would see my system through different modules and learn to create/administer their own as they would like based off of the foundation I established for them.  My “Mini-Economy” is as follows:

Mini-Economy is a wonderful management system.  It teaches students about economic matters, such as saving, spending, needs and wants, and supply and demand.  It also teaches them responsibility and math skills.  The following is a basic explanation of how it works in our classroom:

  • Students get paid $5.00 per day for showing up and doing their best all day (That’s their job!).
  • If a student does not have their homework, they only lose $1.00 for the first day (We all forget sometimes!), $5.00 for two days late, and $10.00 for a third day.
  • Students will lose money for not doing their expected job in the classroom.
  • Paychecks go home on Fridays.  Please ask your child to show you their paycheck.  If they get paid $5.00 per day, they can earn $25.00 if they do their job.  Students should not be earning below $15.00, unless it’s a short week.
  • $20.00 desk rent will be collected at the beginning of each month.  Students must save for this.
  • Students should always keep at least $10.00 in savings for emergencies.  For example, if I make a booklet and a student loses it, they will need to buy a new one from me.
  • Now for the fun part!  Every other Friday, we have school store.  If a child was not responsible with their eraser and lost it, they may need to buy a new one (needs).  If a child has taken care of their supplies, they can buy little toys, candy, etc. (wants)
  • If you have any questions, ask your child – they’d love to talk about it!

6. Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course?  (Again, connect to learning theories, instructional design, and consider how TPACK comes into play.)

The beginning of the course would be primarily focused on creating the classroom management system that fits each individual classroom.  Expectations, needs and wants, and responsibilities differ from elementary classrooms, for example, to those at the high school level.  Using the Mini-Economy system, teachers could tweak it to best accommodate their students and classroom.  Once the system is established, the second half of the course would be focused on administering the system.  This part would rely heavily on collaboration of peers discussing how the system is being used and how it has been successful/unsuccessful.  Dr. Yelon suggested it is imperative for an instructional design to have a method to help participants learn.  This is what would be largely discussed among the participants of my course.  Since every teacher is different, they would all try their different management styles and come back together to discuss what worked best.  As a result, educators would learn from each other how to best implement their system and manage their classrooms successfully.

7. How will peers help each other in your course?

Peers will help each other tremendously in my course.  As mentioned, educators will not only share their created management system, they will also share how their system is working/not working in the classroom.  Through collaboration and sharing of these experiences, I believe participants in my course will gain a better understanding of how to manage a classroom successfully using play money and economic principles.  In addition, students will feel as if they are part of a unit or team, and there will undoubtedly become a new sense of accountability restored in the classroom.

Overall,  I definitely believe MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) make giving information much more compelling than the traditional style.  It definitely pulls away from the traditional method of standing and telling students “stuff” or simply lecturing.  It encourages collaboration and sharing of ideas among peers rather than one person having all of the knowledge in the room simply telling everyone else what they know aloud.  I will certainly consider joining and creating my own MOOCs in the future.

References

Yelon, S. L. (2001). Goal-Directed Instructional Design: A Practical Guide to Instructional Planning for Teachers and Trainers. Michigan State University: Self-published, Not in electronic format.

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Maker Experiment #1

Assignment Description

This week’s CEP 811 assignment is centered on creating a lesson where students use their Maker Kits (Squishy Circuits) in the classroom.  In addition, this lesson will have strong connections to learning theories we have studied throughout our MAET experience.  Overall, I am excited to dive even deeper into using Squishy Circuits and see how they can be utilized in the classroom setting.

Lesson Plan

Title: Squishy Circuit and Play-Doh Faces

Time: 40 minutes

Subject: Science

Grade: 2

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to create a working circuit.
  • Students will be able to create a face using the Squishy Circuit and Play-Doh materials provided.

Materials:

  • Conductive dough
  • Insulating dough
  • Play-Doh

Beginning

  • The students will read their two objectives written on the whiteboard silently first and then all together as a class so they know from the beginning what will be expected of them to have accomplished at the end of the lesson.
  • The teacher will introduce Squishy Circuits using the following YouTube video as an anticipatory set: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDZo51k2BWQ  This video will help students gain an understanding of the tools they will be working with.  Also, it will hopefully put their minds and anxiety at ease with working with electronics.
  • The teacher will pass out the Squishy Circuits and Play-Doh to allow students to play on their own for five minutes.

Middle

  • The teacher will begin with instructions for the students to create their faces using both their Squishy Circuits and Play-Doh.  The instructions are as follows:
  1. Using the conductive dough first, roll one little piece into a ball.
  2. Now, roll a larger piece of conductive dough into a cylinder shape so it looks like a snake.
  3. Next, roll a piece of insulating dough into a cylinder shape just as big as the one you just finished.
  4. Wrap the insulating dough snake around the conductive dough ball.
  5. Then, wrap the conductive dough snake around the insulating dough snake.  Make sure the two pieces of conductive dough are not touching.
  6. You should have two pieces of conductive dough separated by one piece of insulating dough.  Also, the overall shape should be that of a round circle.  If your shape does not look like this, reformat the dough with your hands.
  7. Using the battery pack, put the black wire into the outer ring of conductive dough, and put the red wire into the inner ring of conductive dough.
  8. Using Play-Doh, students can build their faces on top of their round shape as creative as they would like using any colors, styles, and formations.
  9. Insert the LED lights on top of the face after the face has already been made and placed on top of their round shape.  Insert the LED lights so one leg of the LED is stuck in the outer conductive dough, and the other leg of the LED is stuck in the inside conductive dough.
  10. Have fun, and enjoy your new creation!
  • The teacher will go through each direction step-by-step while walking up and down the rows monitoring students at their individual desks.

End

  • After creating their Squishy Circuit and Play-Doh faces, students will put all of their materials away and come back together as a class.
  • The teacher will pair students up in groups of two and ask them to take turns explaining the thought process behind the creation of their faces and how their circuit works within their faces.
  • The students will be encouraged to go into detail explaining how their circuit works and the creativity behind their Play-Doh faces.
  • After partnering up, the class will reconvene and discuss whole group what was easy about using Squishy Circuits and what was difficult.
  • Students will display their Squishy Circuit and Play-Doh faces in the hallway outside of the classroom for other students in the school to see.

Connections to Learning Theories

When reflecting upon my lesson, I noticed connections between different elements of the lesson and several different learning theories.  However, the Constructivist and Experimental Learning theories stood out as having the most parallels.  The Constructivist learning theory states that “Learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge” (Bruner, 1966).  In my lesson, students are actively learning by applying their prior knowledge of Squishy Circuits to construct their Play-Doh faces.  Relying on structure from their teacher, students are not simply passive recipients of knowledge, but rather they are using their knowledge to construct something new.  The Experimental Learning theory, in essence, states that learning is achieved best through reflection on direct experience.  At the end of my lesson, students share their Squishy Circuit Play-Doh faces with a classmate and talk about the thought process and creativity behind their creations.  In addition, the class reconvenes to discuss what went well and what was difficult about using the Squishy Circuits, which forces them to reflect on their experience and gain valuable knowledge.  Overall, there are strong connections between components of my lesson and the Constructivist and Experimental Learning theories.

References

Constructivist Theory. (n.d.). Instructional Design. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/constructivist.html

Kearsley, G. (n.d.).  About the TIP Database. Instructional Design. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/about.html

Learning Theory – What are the established learning theories? . (n.d.). IHMC Public Cmaps (3). Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://cmapspublic3.ihmc.us/rid=1LGVGJY66-CCD5CZ-12G3/Learning%20Theory.cmap

Squishy Circuits — Sylvia’s Mini Maker Show – YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDZo51k2BWQ

Thrifting with Squishy Circuits

This week in CEP 811, we watched a video and read an article from Punya Mishra on the topic of “Repurposing.”  Mishra discusses the fact that many of the tools or manipulatives teachers use were not originally invented for use in the classroom.  Teachers take it upon themselves to repurpose tools they find for use in the classroom (Mishra and Koehler, 2008).  From my experiences as a teacher, a great example of this is using Play-Doh as a manipulative for students.  In doing some research, I found that Play-Doh was originally used as wallpaper cleaner back in the 1930s.  You can read the article about Play-Doh here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/play-doh-wallpaper-cleaner_n_3430042.html.  It was not until the 1950s when Play-Doh was first introduced in schools, kindergartens, and nursery schools.  As an elementary school teacher, I have used Play-Doh in the classroom multiple times with my students.  It is a fun and excellent tool to use to engage students and help them use their creativity to explore new concepts.

Image

Our assignment for this week was to visit a thrift store and find items to combine with our kits to make a new invention we could use in our classrooms.  This assignment was very challenging for me, but I found it intriguing because I had the opportunity to come up with a completely original idea I could potentially use in my classroom.  From our readings, I learned, “Quality teaching is the transformation of content.  It is the act of learning to think in a disciplined manner” (Mishra and Koehler, 2008).  This week, I had to combine my thrift store items and kit and transform or repurpose them into an idea to use in my future classroom.  It undoubtedly took thinking in a disciplined manner to achieve this task.

At Goodwill, I was able to locate several used containers of Play-Doh.  Although a bit dirty, I believed them to be necessary for the idea I had in mind.  The kit I used was the Squishy Circuits Hardware Kit.  Overall, Squishy Circuits use conductive and insulating dough, a battery pack, and LED lights to allow you to construct a circuit.

Image

I used the photo above as inspiration for my classroom activity.  My task for students is to combine as much Play-Doh as you can along with the Squishy Circuits to make a face.  My only rules would be that they can make any design of face they would like, but they must incorporate at least three working LED lights within the circuit.  So, students must successfully set-up the circuit while also incorporating it into the design of their face.  Since I teach at the elementary level (and because I am a beginner with Squishy Circuits), I wanted to keep my activity simple.  However, although simple, I believe it to be effective in teaching students about circuits while keeping them engaged and allowing them to have fun with the Play-Doh.

Overall, the students’ faces incorporate the “hot dog” circuitry on the underside, and the wires stick through the insulative dough to the conductive dough underneath.

1. Using the conductive dough first, roll one little piece into a ball.

2. Now, roll a larger piece of conductive dough into a cylinder shape so it looks like a snake.

3. Next, roll a piece of insulating dough into a cylinder shape just as big as the one you just finished.

4. Wrap the insulating dough snake around the conductive dough ball.

5. Then, wrap the conductive dough snake around the insulating dough snake.  Make sure the two pieces of conductive dough are not touching.

6. You should have two pieces of conductive dough separated by one piece of insulating dough.  Also, the overall shape should be that of a round circle.  If your shape does not look like this, reformat the dough with your hands.

7. Using the battery pack, put the black wire into the outer ring of conductive dough, and put the red wire into the inner ring of conductive dough.

8. Using Play-Doh, students can build their faces on top of their round shape as creative as they would like using any colors, styles, and formations.

9. Insert the LED lights on top of the face after the face has already been made and placed on top of their round shape.  Insert the LED lights so one leg of the LED is stuck in the outer conductive dough, and the other leg of the LED is stuck in the inside conductive dough.

10. Have fun, and enjoy your new creation!

The final product would look like this:

Image

In conclusion, I found that incorporating Squishy Circuits in education can have great benefits.  Squishy circuits can help students exercise creativity, and the Play-Doh definitely helps put students at ease who may otherwise be intimidated by electronics.  As a whole, squishy circuits provide students with the opportunity to design, create, and invent truly original ideas.

References

Ecker, S. (n.d.). Play-Doh Was Originally… Wallpaper Cleaner? (PHOTO, VIDEO). Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/play-doh-wallpaper-cleaner_n_3430042.html

Flickr. (n.d.). Wilson Squishy Circuits. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8401/8685025685_51339d7d70_b.jpg

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (n.d.). Thinking Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content, and Pedagogy. Vimeo. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from vimeo.com/39539571

PLAY-DOH History and Timeline | About Play-Doh. (n.d.). Hasbro Toys & Games for Kids, Board Games & Action Figures. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://www.hasbro.com/playdoh/en_US/about.cfm

Squishy Circuits. (n.d.). Welcome to the Squishy Circuits Project Page. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/apthomas/SquishyCircuits/index.htm

Wikimedia Commons. (n.d.). Playdoh. Retrieved July 14, 2013, from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Playdoh.jpg

Remix, Reuse, Recycle Project

Remix, Reuse, Recycle Project

The process of creating this video was very enjoyable.  I have been teaching for four years, and I have never used Mozilla Popcorn Maker, so this was definitely a great learning experience for me.  Just as my video showed the importance of lifelong learning, I’m continuing to learn throughout my career.  Mozilla Popcorn Maker is a great resource for making short videos and reflecting upon new trends in educational technology.  I will definitely consider using this resource in the classroom!  I found it incredibly easy to use, but depending on the age you’re teaching, much guidance will definitely be needed for children.  Like most new “techy” things, you just have to play with it for a while to get the hang of it.  At first, it took me a while to figure out how to embed my song for the whole duration of the video while having different images appear throughout.  Overall, though, this was a great experience and I’d love to try it again to see how much better my videos could become!

References

Flickr – Photo Sharing! Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/eager/4877158757/

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm1.staticflickr.com/52/141566557_7c174311b9_o.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from farm1.staticflickr.com/15/22740833_a29e1ed84b_z.jpg?zz=1

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2737/4503202103_bb64ec5751_o.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6097/6371750689_3e7f6cfd05.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5028/5762454084_30dd64c4b6_o.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7372/8715231033_378de5aae5_b.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/8720604364_2ebdc6df85_o.jpg

Staticflickr. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8321/7896718010_40a3403315_o.jpg

Message of Hope. Derrick Hodge. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from https://soundcloud.com/bluenoterecords/derrick-hodge-message-of-hope

River North Homes. Chicago River North Real Estate. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.rivernorthhomes.com/.a/6a0133efa10207970b017d4133f1f9970c-800wi

School Stops for Summer: Learning Never Should! | Flickr – Photo Sharing! Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1142207245/

The Main Mistakes When Buying Property. RuBord. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.rusbg.com/internet/images/stories/ggl/notebook-battery.jpg

Wikimedia Commons. Pre-School Graduation. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Pre-School_Graduation.jpg

making bunny ears | Flickr – Photo Sharing! Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3039389897/