Reflection Week 3 EDET 693
by Aleta May
My main focus this week was on MOOCs and I did learn a lot. Flipped learning was another topic we could choose from, and I found that it fits with MOOCs since a Massive Open Online Course could be embedded into a more traditional high school class setting.
This week Sarah K. and I presented (co-hosted) a Twitter Session for our class. This went well. However, I did come up with some ideas for presenting more effectively next time. So I reflected about these below.
Next time I only need one Ice Breaker Question. If I type in a hashtag (#uaemergtech) make sure I type it correctly to avoid having people wonder if I am ready. Having questions ready to cut in paste with that hashtag address included works well, but having the question numbers may not work well, because I may need to change the order of questioning in order to maintain a conversational flow.
Using a separate column for communicating with my co-host would help with immediate communicating (private side notes) when we want to question or make suggestions to each other.
Here is an e-mail I sent to Sara Kitzan after the Twitter session where I was reflecting on how I might do some things a little differently next time:
We did well! I was choppy getting started (wrong hashtag, throwing 2 ice breakers out too close to each other, getting those question numbers mixed up, and finally, throwing in a Q 10 when maybe you were planning a different Q10?) However, between us, we had great questions and kept it going.
Here are the questions I wrote in case you need them for something:
Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) K-12
#uaemergtech Q1 Since creators are not out to replace teachers and schools, what is the purpose of MOOCs in K-12?
#uaemergtech Q2 What do you think would make a MOOC highly motivational for high school students to use?
#uaemergtech Q3 What are some challenges of integrating MOOCs into the high school curriculum?
#uaemergtech Q4 What are some challenges of integrating MOOCs into the high school curriculum?
#uaemergtech Q5 When is it okay or not okay to complete a MOOC?
#uaemergtech Q6 What are some advantages of integrating MOOCs into the high school curriculum?
#uaemergtech Q7 What do you think would make a MOOC highly motivational for high school students to use?
#uaemergtech Q8 Regarding blended learning, What are some ways teachers of younger students may use interactive tablets to enhance learning?
#uaemergtech Q9 How might the use of these tablets integrate into your classroom learning structure?
#uaemergtech Q10 When using interactive tablets for older students, how would your hybrid approach look in a science or engineering course?
I went to storify.com and created a story transcript for this session: https://storify.com/aletakmay/uaemergtech-june-2-2016
After reading comments from other students in class, I learned a lot more about Genius Hour. I had only skimmed this topic as I prepared for the Twitter Session, because my focus was on MOOCs. This is an example of how a blended classroom setting operates. Focus on a topic for a co-hosted peer session, then read what others have to say about related topics and comment on these readings.
Blog Comments that I made:
Thank you for explaining Genius Hour—students may explore their passions and have choice of what they are learning during school. I remember building a paper mache mountain scene with a tree and river that my mom helped me build for the book My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.
The project was much like the one you completed with your daughter in that you are the photographer, she was an art teacher; and a lot of the project was completed with my hands until she had to help me. Paper Mache was a new art for me. Wow, that final project was beautiful. All of this was completed at home; so the fact that your daughter researched at school, is time well spent since she is practicing research skills and contributing to the learning of other students in a positive environment at school that says, “what I want to learn matters!” Also, I’ll bet no one else in class completed the same project—what a way to learn from each other.
Thank you for sharing this website. In the video clip I saw that Google allows 20% of employee time be spent on something that interests them, as long as it has the potential to advance the company. The idea behind this is that by allowing employees to focus on something that is a passion for them, productivity will go up. This business model makes sense to me as a teacher!
Also—since we are co-hosting a Twitter Session in two weeks, will you mind sending your email address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan when the time comes closer?
What better way to learn about our students than to watch them as they work on something they are passionate over. When we observe students working on a project individually and in a group, we are watching them as they learn about how they learn, understanding their own ways of knowing. I found a tool containing focus group questions that students used to interview each other when creating a reflective video. I believe we can use this type of tool to observe our students—maybe taking one topic at a time to observe them in action and learn more about them. Each topic of observation could be put on a form with a grid for very brief notes and/or check marks. Then we can share this information with them in conferences. Do you think this would work as an observation tool for the teacher?
Questions Divided by Topics (Process, Creativity, Structure, Reflection)
- What process did you use to engage in the PjBL experience?
2. What was the sequence of activities? Discuss them in in the order that they took place.
- How long did the process take (from idea to finished product)?
- Did you have to start over or redo something? Why?
- How many different concepts/ideas did you have and how did you narrow them down to one concept/idea?
- What problems did you encounter and how did you solve them?
- What would you do differently next time?
1.Who did which tasks (roles) and why?
- Who determined the roles?
3. Where did your team work on the PjBL experience?
- What do you think was the best part of the PjBL experience? Why?
2. What impact will this experience have on the school community and the com-
munity at large?
3. How does the final artifact reflect your own skills?
Smith, Shaunna (2016). (Re)Counting meaningful learning experiences: Using student-created reflective videos to make invisible learning visible during PjBL experiences. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 10(1), pp. 1-16.
The YouTube video clip you shared, by Big Brain Academy (2014, 17 July), was very clear in explaining the overall idea behind genius hour; so I took notes from it. Something students are passionate about something, means they care enough about that topic that they will enjoy making a project for it (like a report, presentation, poster, model, speech, etc.). Genius hour starts with each student brainstorming a list of things they want to know more about, are good at doing, or excited about. Once a topic is selected, a question is written that will require research and deep thinking to find answers to. Reading and writing from books, magazines, and the Internet focus the research. I like the idea of emailing an expert. One hour per week is set aside for working on a project.
I wonder whether there are minimum project completion expectations before a student can move on to a new interest. Does it depend on whether their interests focus changed (like starting a book and finding out it is not really what you wanted to read after all and putting it down)? Maybe this depends on how much time is spent on this project at home in addition to school.
I agree about how different genius hour might look at the first grade level. Maybe students could write or dictate their interests, and the teacher could start students out in groups where there are common interests so similar resources (and supplies) could be drawn from for each group.
After reading your post, I can sense how excited you are about how using flipped learning would literally turn your classes around in so many ways. For those students who miss class or don’t watch the lessons at home, they still have an opportunity to do so in class. Generally there is much emphasis on more student and less teacher (on stage) in classes—this is the direction education is going in now. So students would still be able to participate in activities, even if they need to take time to watch lessons and complete notes during class time. I think seeing the rest of the class participate in actual lab work will motivate them to complete notes to recordings at home so they will be ready to participate, experiment, and present in class.
Thank you for co-hosting a great Twitter Session this week!