EDED 678 Emerging Technologies
Shared District and School visToday I wrote an email requesting that I be allowed to attend the following District Wide In Service (DWIS) trainings. Usually there are many required special education trainings at these DWIS, I received special latitude as a half time special education teacher to attend technology trainings. To me, this states our school’s vision:
For the DWIS I am interested in taking Robotics training, ALEKS (math) and STEM. I believe Ashley Crace (Sped director) will be flexible with us on my receiving alternative trainings, since Dan is the primary sped teacher at our site. She sounded flexible as well.
Robert’s reply was:
Since your electives keep our school vision in mind, I’d say you picked some great classes.
Sent from my iPhone
For the Lower Kuskokwim School district, there is now a 2016-2019 Technology Plan Timeline at that has been added to the recently expired Technology Plan: http://www.lksd.org/lksd/tai/LKSD%202013-2016%20Official%20Technology%20Plan-1.pdf
This has been embedded within the LKSD Educational Technology Plan dated July 2013-June 2016. The categories are outlined below:
- Goals, Standards, and Strategies;
- Internet Access–evaluation of Network District Technology needs (Bandwidth). TAI Budget
- Continue E-rate Process (contract Expires June 30, 2017)
- VTC details. (TAI Budget—General Fund)
- PD (TAI Budget—General Fund)
- Technology Integration
- Access (TAI / Site Budgets)
- Professional Development
- skipped F
Under each heading, there are details that have been addressed, and will continue to develop over time. I believe each and every category listed above affects buy-in to my proposed emerging technologies ideas for our schools. More specifically, we need the most improved internet access possible, technology needs to be integrated within interdisciplinary content areas, and I noticed that several areas listed above specify which categories funding is likely to come from for our school in particular.
The kits and equipment, kits, and supplies for each of electronic sewing, Tesla Bluetooth Circuitry, and Discover Circuits + Arduino each range in cost between $70. to $100. The products may be shared by students and items may be gradually added to and replaced
Connecting this Vision with My Vision for Embedding Emerging Technologies into the Primary through Middle School Classes:
I searched through our District Technology Curriculum and found several matches to emerging technologies I am interested in.
In Phase 2 of the Technology Curriculum, http://www.lksd.org/lksd/TAI/Tec_Curriculum.html
Under Ethics E3 it is stated that students should “Work cooperatively to share resources & networked information. This is under performance Indicator SS-Social Studies and Tech Standard C.2.” The connection I find for my proposed Arduino project (middle school and up) and Tesla Circuitry Kit for younger students, as well as, using Aruino Flora LED lights for sewing/art, is that students will work together grouped by interest. Phase 8 includes Continuing to learn basics of Internet:
|Identify different types of hyperlinks, anchors and URLs||A.1. & A.2.|
|Use search engines (e.g. Alta Vista) using appropriate syntax||A.2., B.1. & B.2.|
|Use Sherlock (Mac) or browser (Netscape/Microsoft) search tool to locate information on a specific web site||A.2., B.1. & B.2.|
|Use Boolean search strategies to narrow Internet searches A.1 & A.2.||A.2., B.1. & B.2.|
|Print specific web pages with teacher guidance||A.2., B.1. & B.2.|
|Participate in at least one telecommunications project (either Apple Mail or an approved email system or web)||W||A.2., B.1. & B.2.|
In Phase 8 of our Technology Curriculum Plan, I view using Arduino Flora sewing projects as part of teaching students to add Arts to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). Students can learn how basic circuitry works by using conductive tread to sew into fabrics and add LED light designs. This is student centered in that some students are much more likely to have a desire to engage in learning where art and fashion are involved.
Meanwhile, there are so many tools already available to educators online, what is really needed are models that “connect curriculum to life outside the classroom . . . real-world application that is experimentation . . . and opportunities for vision and leadership” (Johnson, et. al., p. 6). My favorite is STEAM. The A in STEAM stands for arts+. Of course, teachers need support in “leveraging technology to connect teachers and students inside and outside of the classroom” (Johnson, et. al., p. 7).
There are some students who may be attracted to programming and electronics by using it for art and clothing, who would otherwise never be interested in electrical circuitry or computer programming. Mellis, (2014) Leah Buechley created the LilyPad Arduino.
This quote really stood out to me: “We aimed to design projects that are fun and whimsical but also complex and challenging. We assume that our readers have no previous experience, but limitless ability.” The projects listed for children in this article sound exactly like what I would like to try with our students.
As I looked over a FLORA Ardino Compatable Wearable platform, then read down to where it suggested a mico-lipo charger to reduce fire risks (especially with fabric), my first reaction is that they should just raise the price and put this into the set. When compared to the Lilypad, the FLORA is lighter, has bigger pads and the with larger holes that are easy to use with alligator clips (which many prefer to use). It is a Field Transmitter that now works with Arduino devices (and others) that have alligator clips. (7/13/2016).
The light up and flash skirt (with LEDs) is activated by the FLORA motion sensor. It is connected to with pixels through conductive thread that is all connected to the FLORA mainboard. The code can be adjusted for sensitivity to motion by changing one number. The battery is removed to hand-wash clothing. Air-dry all the way before adding the battery back in. This looks very popular for prom night: https://www.adafruit.com/products/659
However, incorporating emerging technologies (ET) and an instructional design approach with a constructivism paradigm is disruptive to traditional education. Therefore, stronger research support for validating change in educational practices is needed (Veletsianos, 2010). Further, we need to consider what innovations are sustainable. Contextual factors need to determine what works for the students. In order to promote reform, there needs to be change that is deep enough to alter how teachers view their roles, change needs to be sustainable over time, cross over to other classrooms (especially other subject areas) and teachers need to assume ownership of their innovative teaching pedagogy (Herro, 2016).
How does the electronic circuitry and more advanced Arduino projects will further the vision of the school?
For students 8+ years, there are kits listed at $99.99. I purchased mine on sale for 69.99. These kits are durable and reusable. Students could work in rotating groups to use kits, so that it is more cost effective. This is a LightUp Tesla Kit (Bluetooth Edition) that gradually increases the difficulty of students understanding basic circuits, all the way to beginning to write code for the microcontroller. This kit uses magnets to connect pieces for a variety of projects and includes a learning app for guidance. The magnetic circuit blocks snap together and with an iPad app (LightUp Tesla Kit Bluetooth Edition
www.lightup.io/app) that is included, students may hover over the connections to see the visual flow of circuitry (like x-ray vision) to not how it works. An Arduino Kit, alternatively, uses a breadboard with positive / negative wires and LED lights with wire legs that would be difficult for younger students to use. Here is a site where a starter kit called Discover Arduino Bundle may be purchased for 81.99. There are smaller kits available. The kits are well organized with pieces in packets and there are online resources with an electronics group you can join. http://learn.sparklelabs.com/electronicsgroup http://learn.sparklelabs.com/electronics
Lessons include 3 to 4 minute video clips that explain the concepts that build background knowledge—For example: As electrons and protons transfer through a conductor, they can shake electrons around as they move from high pressure through the conductor. This can make light; electrical waves; magnetic waves as it moves through the conductor. Then there are tutorials students may watch and review for how to make the electrical connections with the computer connected by USB cord, where students begin to learn how to use computer coding. Here is an example of a tutorial: http://learn.sparklelabs.com/electronics/2010/10/22/volts-amps-and-ohms/
As I teach using Arduino and other circuitry materials, according to the updated policies listed below, I will have permission to have students looking up information on their personally owned devices, such as video clips about how to complete the coding within an Arduino project:
Meanwhile, it will be important that stakeholders be convinced that middle school to high school students are based on five qualities and behaviors “for fostering a constructionist learning environment:
~~Keep it brief, relevant, and open;
~~Model the maker mindset;
~~Act like a scientist;
~~Reward curiosity and passion with rigor; and
~~Keep it safe (welcoming, friendly space that is as free as possible from the pressures of time . . . students participate in their own assessment, allowing them to see its value and to gain literacy and autonomy through it” (Flores, 2016, pp. 17-18).
The cost of the Discover Electronics + Arduino Kit that can be obtained from timberdoodle.com and is connected to sparklabs.
Students need to learn basic electronic skills; such as coding, electrical circuitry as it relates to content areas while using the computer in ways other than blended learning programs and test taking. To compete in the 21st Century, our students need to see how, for example, using an Arduino kit with sensors they connect, then touch affects a baseline and comparison body temperature reading on the computer screen; as well as how to solve the problem of adjusting the code in the program to match the ambient air temperature in the room to be able to see LED lights light up when the touch or not touch sensors.
This technology will further this goal by doing the following for students: Presently, coding is a part of the many apps we use daily, and the uses include “thermostats, cars and just about every device we own” (Sehringer, M., 2016, p. 2). . Coding coursework prepares students for college-level courses and jobs (Shueh, 2014). Shueh, J. (2014, 25 June). Advocacy groups push coding as a core curriculum: Students must learn how to create technology to prepare for a computer-driven workforce.
Since a student’s day can be so filled with required curriculum standards and coursework, (Guest Author, 2015), the answer is to hybrid courses—“replace your math class with a math/CS hybrid class” (p. 2). We are already going this route when we declare that every teacher is a reading/writing teacher in every subject area. I agree. I am opposed to not adding coding into the curriculum after reading all the literature as to how much a part of our students’ lives computer science really is. Therefore, the cons are impossible for me to find.
I am proposing starting a low-key makerspace to bring in emerging technologies across primary through at least middle school grade levels
Flores (2016) noted that Vygotsky (1978), “introduced the concept of allowing learners to step beyond themselves” and to use each other as a resource to find this ceiling by letting students bump into the wall and then figure out how to get unstuck. The key would be to balance frustration that is productive with asking students leading questions that may get them to think about what to try next instead.
These are taken directly from the LKSD Policy:
Personally Owned Devices
Students may use personally owned devices (including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and cell phones) at any time during school hours—unless such use interferes with the delivery of instruction by a teacher or staff or creates a disturbance in the educational environment. Any misuse of personally owned devices may result in disciplinary action. Therefore, proper netiquette and adherence to the acceptable use policy should always be used. In some cases, a separate network may be provided for personally owned devices.
- Examples of Acceptable Use
- Use school technologies for school-related activities and research.
- Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am expected to follow offline.
- Treat school resources carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their operation.
- Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies.
- Alert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening/bullying, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
- Use school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for educational pursuits only.
- Cite sources when using online sites and resources for research; ensure there is no copyright infringement.
- Recognize that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.
- Be cautious to protect the safety of others and myself. (p. 13)
Students need to have this digital citizenship taught to them. If they do not have an opportunity to be involved in using a variety of technologies, whether from school or brought from home, they may find out the hard way in the workplace.
As a school district, we need to change “the culture of instruction” . . . “Technology does not change the cognitive rules for learning, but offers ways to better deliver the learning experience” (Hess, et. al., p.9). Our district (as well as many others across Alaska) needs to use technology in ways other than testing and pre-made programs. For example, I do use Lexia for reading, Dreambox for math, and we have Read 180 that is set up to be a blended learning environment with built in rotations. What we need to do district-wide (and perhaps beginning at our school) is strongly emphasized integrating technology into every subject area and use an interdisciplinary approach. I could be teaching science and use a breadboard not only to teach electronic circuitry, but to also calculate the difference between my body temperature in Celsius with other students, and we could discuss ambient room temperature and how that affects what we are seeing on the computer screen from the code that was copy and pasted in and then adjusted. Further, our students need to learn how to use coding—this may include gaming, which may in turn involve math or story telling.
The outlook for available funding for interdisciplinary uses of technology are very positive, since schools have been recognized as having students who are engaged in purposeful learning will be students who are prepared for the job force and be motivated to graduate. The E-Rate program was developed by federal policymakers; this program is called the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and “is a discount on telecommunications services for schools and libraries “ and it is “overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)” (Hess, Hochleitner & Saxberg, 2013). This program is up for expansion of provisions for high-speed Internet to 99 percent of America’s students by 2017” (Hess, et. al., p. 2). President Obama and his education team calls this “ConnectED.” This is major for our school district!! The higher speed of internet we have, the more the equipment we already has can be effectively used to make available courses and/or tutoring they need.
Adafruit—FLORA – Wearable electronic platform: Arduino-compatible – v3. Flora arduino microcircuits (projects at the bottom):
Qi, J (2012). Interactive light painting: Pu gong ying tu (dandelion painting). Retrieved 7-17-2016 at: https://vimeo.com/40904471 Sparkle skirt with flora motion sensor: https://www.adafruit.com/products/659
Buechley, L. (November 15, 2012). Leah Buechley: How to “sketch” with electronics (Sketching Electronics) Retrieved 7-17-2016 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeITed Talks
Flores, C. (2016). Fostering a constructionist learning environment: The qualities of a maker educator. In P. Blikstein, S. L. Martinez, & H. A. Pang. Meaningful making: Projects and inspirations for fab labs and makerspaces.
Hess, F., Hochleitner, T., Saxberg, B. (2013). E-Rate, education technology, and
3 Reasons coding should be a core subject by Guest Author, September, 29, 2015 From Getting Smart. Retrieved 6-20-16 http://gettingsmart.com/2015/09/3-reasons-coding-should-be-a-core-subject/
Herro, D. (2015). Sustainable innovations: Bringing digital media and emerging technologies to the classroom. Theory into Practice, 54:2, 117-127.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
LKSD Educational Technology Plan dated July 2013-June 2016: http://www.lksd.org/lksd/tai/LKSD%202013-2016%20Official%20Technology%20Plan-1.pdf
Arduino kits: http://sparklelabs.com/index_store.php
Sehringer, Mendix WIRED Retrieved 6-20-16: http://www.wired.com/insights/2015/02/should-we-really-try-to-teach-everyone-to-code/
Timberdoodle.com– LightUp Tesla Kit Bluetooth Edition: www.lightup.io/app
Veletsianos, G. E-learning, Ideas open sharing work. Posted November 18th, 2015. In G. Velesianos (Ed), (2010). A definition of emerging technologies for education (pp. 3-22). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (14th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Reference found in Malpica article)