Final Monday! Sharing Our Makes and Self-Assessments

Hello all. Wonderful to talk to many of you about your final makes last week. The work is inspiring!  (For those who couldn’t make it, I will post the archives in our Canvas site so you can find them easily).

This is our final week and final makes and self-assessments due to me anytime this week.  Please share your make on your blog, if possible, and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as in what ways your make supports equity.  You can email me your assessment if you don’t want to share that publicly.

Details about both are re-posted below.

Our Final Makes

Final “makes” should be something that you design that supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond this course. What you make can relate to your work with learners and/or in your professional learning.

Go back to your inquiry question/s and see where that leads you. Note that do you do not have to start from scratch— you can continue, remix, remediate something you or your classmates have already started in this class (or in any other). That said, I’d like you to take whatever you do to its next level (i.e. a new audience or purpose) and consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in big or small ways).

When you share your final make, reflect on and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as in what ways your make supports equity.

And as per a request, here are some examples of final makes from ED677ers in the past.

Our Self-Assessments

Note that these are the same assessment questions we stopped to work on mid-semester so please refer back to your notes then and also review your blog and all of the work you’ve done this semester to support this process.

Performance expectations for this course have included:

  • Exploring the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
  • Contributing regularly to our class discussions.
  • Engaging with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course each week and sharing that work with us.
  • Documenting and reflecting on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
  • Create and share something to support your own work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.

Here are the self-assessment questions:

  • How well do you feel you met these expectations this semester?
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance and participation over the past semester?

Happy sharing in the week ahead!

In Connected Learning Solidarity,

Christina

Designing for Equity, continues …

The Art Center felt like a makerspace for these students, and they did great work at little cost. — Art Matters

A Small Move Will be Made — Conequity

Each week, I glance at my peers blogs, and I feel that I’ve worked to build a clearer understanding of connected learning — Connected Learning, Maybe I”ll feel more creative later. TBD

Thank you for inspiring me and allowing me to continue grow with you. – Connecting

Connected learning is important because it allows all students to see the value in their thoughts, ideas, and contributions. – Connecting 1, 2, 3

This shared purpose has definitely made us stronger individuals and teachers and has greatly affected and increased our ability to implement true change and reform within our district. – Equity in Connected Learning

What I need to do now is figure out what makes my students live. – Education and the Arts

I observe them communicate while working on worksheets and other activities, but this was different. And I had a role, too! And my role was really out of my comfort zone. But, I survived! — Mrs. Kelly: Make and Take

Instead of being a “model teacher”, I will be a model learner for my students. I will model the learner that I want them to be. — Ms. Sunny’s Blog

As we consider the concept of equity, I think it’s important to remember that there’s no magic pill we can take or perfect instructions to follow. — Reflections on Peace and Equity

Connections can happen everywhere — Seeking Equity

My ultimate implications for connected learning and equity is to help recreate this system for students in the Philadelphia area so that everyone has a chance to benefit. — Tosch’s Ed. Blog

I see an effective open network as a continuing repeating process. — Seeking Equity in Connected Learning and Teaching

As a new teacher:
Reconnect with old classmates
then compare methods.
Solving the Math Puzzle

You all = Awesome.

This week we continue to work on our final makes. We will share them, even if they are still works-in-progress, on Thursday or Friday nights. Please make sure you all sign up for one of these evening gatherings or email me so that we can discuss an alternative plan.

Nice work on our Equity in Connected Learning presentation! I made a copy that we can share publicly without our comments. Here is a short URL: https://goo.gl/ZM0drk

Here are some ideas/suggestions about how to do that.

  • Share a link on your blog post this week as part of your blog/reflection (see below).
  • Post it on social media. If you want to try to tweet, here is an example of a tweet you can experiment with (feel free to edit of course).

    We have been seeking #equity in #connectedlearning. Here’s what we have been finding: https://goo.gl/ZM0drk @arcadiasoe #techquity #ED677

  • One of us should post it to the Arcadia Connected Learning Google Community.

BTW, Happening this week:

  • Throughout the week, there is an “annotathon” based on a chapter of a book we’ve looked at called By Any Media Necessary. The chapter is titled “Storytelling and Surveillance: The Precarious Public of American Muslim Youth” and there is a webinar Tuesday evening related to this you could also tap into. Find out more about this opportunity.
  • Check out the various blog posts about the work of LRNG Innovators. On May 1st we will announce the awards for the 2017 LRNG Innovators Challenge. And the 2015 awardees are in the process of sharing their work as we speak.

Blogging/Making this week

After participating in one of the sharing gatherings this week, blog about that experience. What was most exciting to you? What else did you notice? What questions did it raise? What ideas did it generate and what are your take-aways in terms of equity in connected learning and teaching?

In connected solidarity,

Christina

Designing for Equity

If you were educated on Earth, you have background in course-like learning and you might feel the temptation to reflect on your making and learning as would suit a course. In the same way, just as you are susceptible to Earth’s gravity, you are susceptible to associate learning with courses. Instead, consider your learning in a way you might consider your learning after a camping trip, after a visit to the museum, or after a dance that leaves you sweaty, laughing, and looking for a drink of water.— Joe Dillon, CLMOOC 2014

As we enter our final two weeks of class, I encourage you think about your learning in the way that Joe Dillon so beautifully describes … did your hands get any less cold and sweaty as you got used to hitting the “submit” button on your blog? Were you able to find a way to balance your weekly findings with your need to get the laundry in and rest after a week of teaching? Have you made any new connections with students or colleagues that have propelled your thinking forward?

These are essential learnings and it will look different for each and everyone of us. There is no one way.

A key thing to remember are our objectives here at ED677: we have been connected learners in order to ground ourselves in what it means to teach in connected ways. We have also been working to critically examine what we are doing and why in order to support connected learning in social, participatory and equitable ways for all learners. And we’ve been learning new things through playing, creating and reflecting as a community of learners both within and outside of ED677.

Embrace what you have learned and wondered about throughout this journey and use all of that to inform your final work ahead.

The week ahead

I believe connected learning principles can provide a vocabulary for teachers to reclaim agency over what and how we best meet the individual needs of students in our classrooms. … — Antero Garcia (2014)

With your own learning as the focus, take this week to reflect back on what you have been working on this semester. Reread your blog. Visit the blogs of your classmates. Look at the things that you made — from maps, to annotations, to connections with others. What are the small moves you made along the way? What are some of the big ways they supported you in being a connected learner this semester? What have the implications been for your agency as a teacher?

With the learning of your colleagues as part of our shared purpose too, take this week to spend some time with our shared Equity in Connected Learning presentation. Make sure everyone gets some feedback on what they are working on and thinking about; respond when you get feedback; talk together about what we should do with this presentation – with whom should we share it, why and how?

… With learners as the focus, teachers can rely on connected learning as a way to pull back the curtain on how learning happens in schools and agitate the possibilities of classrooms today. — Antero Garcia (2014)

And now, with learners as your focus, turn your attention to the implications of what we’ve been doing together this semester; what is important about it and why? Blog this week about the implications for learners you specifically work with. Ask them to be part of this reflection if you can; if you can’t allow yourself to use what you know to imagine.

After all this, start to think about your final “Make” for the semester. The next two weeks will focus on doing this work and getting prepared to share it with others.

Our Final Makes

Final “makes” should be something that you design that supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond this course. What you make can relate to your work with learners and/or in your professional learning.

Go back to your inquiry question/s and see where that leads you. Note that do you do not have to start from scratch— you can continue, remix, remediate something you or your classmates have already started in this class (or in any other). That said, I’d like you to take whatever you do to its next level (i.e. a new audience or purpose) and consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in big or small ways).

When you share your final make (or make in progress) next week, I will ask you to reflect on and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as in what ways your make supports equity. So just fyi about that for now.

Here are the dates for the Final Makes and sharing:

  • This week: start on final makes
  • Next week: continue to work on final makes
  • Gather to share (works-in-progress are fine); meet either on Thursday April 27 or Friday April 28 at 7:30pm ET (note your date preference here)
  • Final makes and self-assessments due to me anytime during finals week at Arcadia.

And as per a request, here are some examples of final makes from ED677ers in the past.

Our Self-Assessments

You also have the next two weeks to work on a final self-assessment of your learning and connecting over the course of this semester. I’d like you to take your time with this and integrate this into your final making process. Please do not submit this to me until after the final gathering to share on the 28th.

My recommendation is to take this first week to review the performance expectations from the syllabus, the questions for the self-assessment (also below) and then jot notes to yourselves about your work in this course. Put that aside and continue to work on your final make. … The following week, after you present your final make, then you should start to write it up your self-assessment and share with me.

Note that these are the same assessment questions we stopped to work on mid-semester so please refer back to your notes then and also review your blog and all of the work you’ve done this semester to support this process.

Performance expectations for this course have included:

  • Exploring the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
  • Contributing regularly to our class discussions.
  • Engaging with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course each week and sharing that work with us.
  • Documenting and reflecting on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
  • Create and share something to support your own work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.

Here are the self-assessment questions:

  • How well do you feel you met these expectations this semester?
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance and participation over the past semester?

Happy Making in the week ahead! I’m happy to talk with you if you want a thinking partner as you move forward.

Christina

 

Shared Purpose

Shared purpose, then, is perhaps one of the most urgent aspects of the connected learning framework, in that the relationships that drive it are essential for motivation and, in turn, feeling and experiencing love in the classroom. – Danielle Filipiak, Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom

This week …

This week our focus is on shared purpose — a principle of connected learning that I find particularly interesting as well as complex. What are examples of shared purpose you have seen or experienced? What does it mean to learn with a shared purpose? And what are the implications?

Let’s start with some work by youth and adults. What is the role of shared purpose in these projects?

Let’s now turn back to the classroom and read the final curated chapter of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom. Danielle Filipiak’s Chapter on Shared Purpose, starting on page 87, frames the three vignettes in this chapter with the idea of resistance, resilience and relationships. Read alongside Danielle, Jennifer Woolven, Robert Rivera-Amezola, and Bryce Anderson-Small and their learners.

Add to this a conversation with Danielle, Cindy O’Donnell-Allen her pre-service teachers at Colorado State about this topic (start around 5:10 to tap into this discussion):

Then go ahead and finish Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom this week, with a conclusion by Antero and an Afterward by me.

And then visit NWP Digital Is to see what shared purpose might look like in an extended educator community, this one organized around literacy in an increasingly digital and connected world. Take some time to browse the site with an eye towards shared purpose. What do you notice here when you do?

Blogging/Making

Since our shared purpose in this class is to explore connected learning and equity, let’s make a collaborative presentation about our work that we can ultimately share with others.

Here’s the prompt: “Equity in Connected Learning and Teaching. We’ve been seeking it. Here’s what we’ve been finding …”

Learn how-to add your slide here. (Note: Let’s not share this until we all feel that we are done with it … so go ahead and work on this together; you all should have editing access now.)

After you work on this, share your thinking on your blog and reflect on the implications of us having a shared purpose in this class. What other examples of shared purpose you have seen or experienced? What does it mean to learn with a shared purpose? And what are the implications?

Find 5/6/7

Find examples of shared purpose in this class, in any of the work mentioned above, and/or from NWP Digital Is.

Connecting this week

Remember that this week, on Thursday April 13th, we will gather again online at 7:30pm. This week we’ll be joined by Lana Iskandarani, an Arabic Language Instructor at West Chester University, who was a participant in ED677 last year.

Openly-Networked Learning

I’m not asking for some all holy savior to come and coddle us
into equality
I’m asking for you to understand our struggles and our hardships
To understand that if we have to learn with each other we should also learn about each other so we can bring each other up
– Excerpt from ‘Bored in 1st Period’ by Obasi Davis

Knowing how to read, write, and participate in the digital world has become the 4th basic foundational skill next to the three Rs—reading, writing, and arithmetic—in a rapidly evolving, networked world – Mozilla Foundation

Both youth and adults have a lot to learn. – danah boyd

The week ahead

Awesome making everyone! So inspired.

In this week ahead, let’s also touch on what it means to be “openly networked,” both on and off-line. Start with your own experience with open — what does openly networked mean to you? … Write down a list of all the ways you hear or experience openness in learning and in networking. Next to that list, write out what questions you have.

Next let’s listen again to the voices and thoughts of youth: Check out what youth are sharing at Hear Me and Youth Voices.

Then return to Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom (TITCLC) and read Chapter 5 edited by Bud Hunt starting on page 71.

Meet Bud along with Antero Garcia and Janelle Bence, plus several of Janelle’s students, in this webinar called Classrooms as Community Hubs: Developing Open Digital Networks.

Here is another vialogues version to annotate if you so choose:

Let’s also visit (the freely distributed) It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. If you work with teens — personally or professionally — you might want to go further into this book. For this class though, read the introduction for context (pgs 1-28) and Chapter 7 titled “literacy: are today’s youth digital natives?”

As connected learners and teachers, let’s also think about ourselves and our open practices on the web and otherwise. What does that even look like in an ever-shifting technological and political ecosystem? What does it meant to read, to write, to participate online? What’s important to know, to share, to practice, to protect?

Here are a few resources to explore:

And finally, in truly openly connected spirit, there was another recent Marginal Syllabus annotathon last week around this Colorlines article by Chris Emdin, How Can White Teachers Do Better by Urban Kids of Color?

The article is actually an excerpt from the book I mentioned last week, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. I offer this as a continuation of a conversation during last week’s gathering re: about getting to know the learners we work with (urban kids of color, or otherwise). Feel free to jump into this conversation and tag your comments #ED677 to keep us connected (both to annotations as well as to responses).

Making/blogging

In the conclusion of Bud’s chapter on being openly-networked in TITCLC he writes:

Embracing the connected learning principle of openly networked learning is manageable. It does require, however, that teachers and other facilitators of learning make small moves toward openness and connectivity. Making a move, like Gail, to invite teachers exploring similar topics to do so together is not difficult, but it does require an awareness of what others are doing. Gail’s position as a district employee provided her this perspective. Mike chose to reach out to others online and to reconsider his museum practices. Jenny and Adam reached out to experts in the community who had expertise that could help their students. Small moves, but with powerful impact.

Which makes me wonder: What kind of small moves can we make in our practice to further open our networks, on or off-line?

Let’s play a bit with this idea of “small moves” and what these moves can be … This week put together a short narration or a poem about a small move you have made, plan to make, and/or would make with your super-powers in support of the learners you teach. Your narrative or poem could be based on your experience or fictional — it could be written, or drawn, created in something like Comic Life, done with Flash Cards, or simple be a set of images you compile in something new-to-you like Haiku Deck (free trial version available) or Voicethread (I understand if you register, you can use up to 5 for free).

To help you get started with your story, you might want to brainstorm a few things — drawing from the vignettes shared in our reading, in what ways do you become aware of what others are doing? How and in what ways do you reach out to others to support your practice, either on or offline? What connections do you make (or want to make) with experts or expertise in your community in support of connected learning?

Find 5/6/7

This week, I encourage you to find a set of openly networked ways of learning that support your inquiry question.

In connected learning solidarity,

Christina

Production-Centered: Agency, Voice, and the “Maker Movement”

“The educational makerspace is based on student ownership of their learning.” Laura Fleming

This week …

Do you remember when Caine’s Arcade? Just because it’s so awesome let’s watch it again.

Also check out what kids are making at places like DIY.org for inspiration in the week ahead.

This week we’ll focus on production-centered teaching and connected learning with a return to Teaching in the Connected Learning ClassroomRead Chapter 4: Production-Centered Classrooms by Clifford Lee alongside Jason Sellers, Christian McKay and Danielle Filipiak.

Let’s also look at the “Maker Movement.” Get an overview with Erica Halverson and Kimberly Sheridan via The Maker Movement in Education from Harvard Educational Review (PDF available in Canvas if this link doesn’t work for you). And watch Leah Buechley, mentioned in the article; she brings a more critical eye to this movement and talks through its key promises and equity challenges: Thinking about Making.

Eyeo 2014 – Leah Buechley from Eyeo Festival // INSTINT on Vimeo.

Next, dive into the work of Seymour Papert — a mathematician, scientist and educator from MIT — who is known as the father of constructionism. Papert and Harel’s introduction Situating Constructionism from the 1991 book Constructionism gives a good overview. Here are some additional collected resources from a recent book titled Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom.

Finally, listen into this discussion about Making, Coding and Writing with Mitch Resnick of MIT, Dale Dougherty of Make Magazine, and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl of the National Writing Project.

You might also want to check out these stories about making in two Philadelphia schools:

Making/Blogging

This week you are encouraged to make something you want to make inspired by your inquiry question this semester. And then blog about the implications of making and production (and agency in making/production) for connected learning and equity. Hopefully you will also share what you made!

You can make however you wish this time … you can cook, garden, build, sew, draw, collage, etc. If you want to go digital though, here are a few tools, ideas and materials I have lying around you are welcome to play with:

Still stuck? Here’s a few more ideas: Go to the thrift store and then hack a story or a toy. Or be inspired by Caine and do a Cardboard Challenge

Find 5

This week, find 5/6/7 things that inspire you to make and to create.

A Reminder

We will meet this week on Friday March 31 at 7:30pm. This time we will be joined by more previous students from ED677; Shayla H Amenra who is an educator, artist and maker who now runs her own non-profit and Robert Sidelinker, a local elementary teacher who has published about his work with games and connected learning. Arabic language educator, Lana Iskadarani, will join us in April.

And remember to check out Canvas for a link to the recorded link of the previous hangout with Kathy Walsh.

In learning and connecting solidarity,
Christina

Academic, Career, and Community Connections

“Learners flourish and realize their potential when they can connect their interests and social engagement to academic studies, civic engagement, and career opportunity” (Ito et al. 2013:8)

“It is important to consider the context of academic learning being framed: educators must push to integrate the socially and culturally meaningful contexts of youths’ lives with the academic expectations of today’s classrooms.” (Garcia, 2014)

The week ahead …

Let’s start getting back into things here at ED677 by hearing from the youth at Youth Radio. Youth Radio’s mission is to launch young people on career and education pathways by engaging them in work-based learning opportunities, creative expression, professional development, and health and academic support services. Click on the “Youth Storytelling” to sort through the range of work that they do.

Learn more about Youth Radio by reading this profile of Asha Richardson published by the Connected Learning Alliance a few years ago. What are all the different elements you can see coming together here that supported Asha in making connections in her life and through her interests?

Return again to Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom starting with Chapter 3: Academically-Oriented Teaching on page 39. In the introducation of this chapter, Antero Garcia asks what is academic in the first place and then introduces us to Janelle, Larissa, and Nick and their students. Extend this reading to include this article on How Playing with Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize with Students.

Then, check out this webinar at Educator Innovator from last summer, teachers from Los Angeles, Oakland, and Chicago shared their experiences implementing curriculum exploring the expanded possibilities and risks associated with youth civic and political engagement in the digital age. Here is a version on Vialogues.

Joe Kahne, a lead research from this project above, writes in the Washington Post that getting kids “college and career ready” isn’t enough.

Finally, I’d be interested in your thoughts emerging from this recent NWP Radio where I had the opportunity talk with colleagues about #techquity and explore the intersections of civic engagement/imagination and digital literacy.

What are the implications for your inquiry work this semester? In thinking about the “Academic” piece of Connected Learning, the authors of the Connected Learning Research and Design Agenda provides these guiding reflections :

  • Do adults celebrate youth participation as academically meaningful and relevant?
  • Do formal/academic settings provide space/opportunity for [youth] engagement with interest?
  • Are outputs made visible within academic/institutional contexts that have relevance to the adult world?
  • Are mentors present who can help young people to connect their interest/activity to academic/institutional domains?

Let’s add two more questions from Garcia and Kahne:

  • Are there socially and culturally meaningful contexts of youths’ lives within the academic expectations of today’s classrooms?
  • In what ways are youth being supported in being college, career and community-ready?

App Making/Imagining

This week let’s make something inspired by the youth and educators at Youth Radio. Check out Teach Youth Radio. And then let’s try this fun experiment — What if we could use our devices and design a mobile App that allowed you to create more of these kinds of connections for the youth we work with … What would it do? … How is it awesome?

Youth Radio provides this DIY Toolkit: How to Come Up with Your Own Mobile App. The example here is about making public art more visible. What if our apps here at ED677 were instead designed to support youth in being college, career and community-ready? And/or was designed to create socially and culturally meaningful contexts of youths’ lives within academic spaces? And/or create more connections from our academic contexts to the adult world by providing supportive mentors and mentorship?

In other words: With our shared ED677 goal to create equitable connected learning opportunities for youth that supports academic, civic and community connections … what would kind of App would you design and why?

Do some imagining and playing this week with this idea and share on your blog — you can be as practical or fantastical as you like. Use the resources gathered by Youth Radio (see also Interview Three below).

Share your App ideas and tell us about it while also reflecting on the implications for equity in connected learning and teaching.

Interview Three

This PDF is provided by Youth Radio to support the process of making an App — and it suggests that designers put together three questions and then interview three other users as part of a user research process on the way to creating the App:

User Research allows you to understand your users’ wants and needs. Figure out the users’ problem, and how they might like it to be addressed. Or figure out the opportunity your users have, and how the app can help them achieve it. This is also the best time to get ideas.

Instead of finding 5 this week, interview 3 people to support your own “user research” for your App idea. You can pick 3 people to ask in this class or outside of it .. youth, colleagues, neighbors, friends, mentors, etc.

In connected learning solidarity,

Christina

Peer-supported learning

Rich learning experiences …  are alive and well in classrooms organized around the principle of peer-supported learning. – Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom

This week let’s think together about the role that peers play in learning … both in schools as well as outside of schools. What are the implications for equity?

Since we are almost mid-semester, it is also a good time to check in and do a quick self-assessment. This self-assessment is the same one that I will ask you to complete, and turn in to me, at the end of the semester. This mid-semester one is not a requirement to turn in, but simply meant to be a tool for your own learning and reflection. Details are below.

Finally, this is our last week before Spring Break. And to kick off the break,  we have a group hangout this coming Friday, March 10 at 7:30pm.

The week ahead …

This week I’d like us to start with a focus on youth and the ways they are working together in communities of peers. Start by reading the introduction to By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism and then focus on chapter 4, “Between Storytelling and Surveillance: The Precarious public of American Muslim Youth” by Sangita Shresthova.

Then return to Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom to think about peer-supported learning with Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, Katie McKay, Lacy Manship, and their awesome students.

Watch this webinar discussion about peer learning called Connecting to Something Bigger: The Power of Open, Peer-to-Peer Learning that brings in a few people you met already from the NWP as well as some new folks and organizations like Kristen Swanson of EdCamp and Mimi Ito of the Connected Learning Alliance. Here’s a vialogues version if you are interested in annotating.

Some of you found/mentioned this before … Mimi Ito’s research which several of you have mentioned already, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (often referred to as HOMAGO) is referenced in the video above and underscores some of the critical elements of peer-based learning.

Blogging/Making

This week, I encourage you to “make” something new that goes beyond blogging with words; this week I’d like you to Make A Map!

What is a map? According to Wikipedia, “map” comes from the early 16th from medieval Latin mappa mundi, literally ‘sheet of the world,’ from Latin mappa ‘sheet, napkin’ + mundi ‘of the world’.

Start to make a map, or a world napkin, of your learning and thinking so far about connected learning and equity … a map could show a path you’ve taken or one you are thinking about, it can show places you’ve been and artifacts you’ve collected, it can pick up dreams you’ve had or ambitions you are fostering, or a map can support another in finding a way. Your map can start anywhere … and end anywhere … and like these educators from CLMOOC 2013, your map can be on paper, can be made with watercolor, it can be digital, it can be interactive, it can be textual, it can be chronological. It can even be a collage or a mash-up.

How and why you make your map is completely up to you.

Once you made your map, you can blog about what you made, how you made it, and what you notice about your journey so far. What the the implications for connected learning and teaching and equity? What role do peers play in your learning and connecting?

Find 5/6/7

Find 5/6/7 things that inspire you about the maps made by your peers.

Mid-semester Self-Assessment

As I mentioned above, this self-assessment is the same one that I will ask you to complete, and turn in to me, at the end of the semester. This mid-semester one is not a requirement to turn in, but simply meant to be a tool for your own learning and reflection.

Feel free to get this done anytime over the next two weeks, having completed it before we return from spring break. The questions for the self-assessment include:

  • How well do you feel you met the participation expectations for ED677 this semester?
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning and teaching moving forward?
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your participation over the past semester?

And here are the participation expectations as outlined in the ED677 syllabus at the beginning of the semester:

  • Explore the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
  • Contribute regularly online and to the work of your fellow classmates.
    Engage with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course and sharing that work with us.
  • Document and reflect on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
  • Create and share something to support your work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.

Unpacking Interests

I [am] reminded of just how revolutionary it is to say out loud that learning should be shaped by what our students are interested in. Nicole Mirra, DML Central

As we start our transition into the second half of the semester we will begin to dig into Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, our guide for the next six weeks. This text is divided into six chapters, organized around the six Connected Learning design and learning principles, and draws together work and reflections by educators.

During these six weeks, I encourage you to follow your question/s throughout and continue to refine the inquiry you are focused on. This week, for example, ask about the role of interest in the question you surfaced about yourself as a connected learning or as a teacher designing for connected learning and equity.

This week …

Start this week off with a visit to Letters to the Next President 2.0, a project from 2016 where youth were asked to write a letter to the next U.S. president — whomever that person was to be — about matters that mattered most to them.

… when we think about the word “interests” … we think about the hobbies, the passions, things that we like to do, things we enjoy … another kind of interest is a more political type of interest, meaning a sort of need, demand, a kind of self-interest … in other words, what are my interest in this game, what do I have at stake here? And what do I need from my community, what do I need from myself, what do I need from my government? Ben Kirchner, presentation DML 2013

Find 3 letters that stand out to you. What role does interest play in these letters? What else do you notice about them? What questions are raised?

You should also download a copy of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom. This week, please read the Preface and Introduction along with Chapter One: Interest-Driven Learning by Nicole Mirra along with Christopher Working, Chuck Jurich and Meenoo Rami.

Then, dig into this video which is a discussion between grantees of the LRNG Innovators Challenge in 2014. Here they are sharing aspects of the work they did to create “No Bells, No Walls” for learning out of the interests of their students.

Watch this video which I have embedded in another social annotation tool called Vialogues. Add comments while viewing for yourself and others. What is the role of interest in the work that the teachers are talking about? What are the implications in these examples?

Here are links to additional information about these projects that some of you read/watched already — they are here as additional resources to the conversation above if needed:

Finally, picking back up on the thread around play and games, Constance Steinkuehler is a games-based learning scholar from the University of Wisconsin and in this interview on Interest-Driven Learning at Edutopia she describes how her work with games-based learning led her into a focus on interest-driven pedagogy.

Blogging/Making

When we first started this process of connecting our learning here at ED677 we took the time to honor our interests. This week we are focused on unpacking interests — personal, professional, political — and thinking about their implications for learning. What does it mean for learning to be driven by one’s interests? What is revolutionary about it? What are the implications for teaching and for equity?

This week, write your own letter. Like we encouraged at Letters to the Next President 2.0 last summer, letters can be written in text, but also can be spoken word, video, images, political art, etc. (There are many resources here you are welcome to browse to support letter writing and/or making an argument around a topic of interest for public distribution).

Express your ideas about something you care about to someone else who has some power to do something about it; this can be a hypothetical person, a group of people, an open letter to a more public community, etc. You can publish your letter on your blog or else just share a piece of it with us.

After writing your letter, blog about the implications of this kind of this letter-writing and/or interest-focus on learning. What are the implications for equity? What does it make you think about vis a vis your inquiry?

Find 5/6/7

This week it’s easy because you already did part of it — find and share 5/6/7 letters by youth and/or your classmates that are interesting to you vis a vis your inquiry and the role of interests in designing for connected learning and equity.

Final notes

I made some adjustments to our ED677 syllabus I want to highlight for your information: First, I moved the mid-course self-assessment until next week; Second, I also changed around the order of the principles we will be looking at over the next six weeks to follow the order that they appear in the Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom book that we are reading.

Also, check out this blog post by Remi Kalir about the work we’ve been doing here at ED677: Marginal Syllabus as OER and OED.

Have a great week ahead!

In connected learning solidarity,

Christina

Practitioner Knowledge and Networked Inquiry

“… It is the questions, after all, that make real learning possible.” Allen & Blythe, 2004

Fine wobbling this past week everyone. Keep it up and take notes for yourself as you go. These wobbles raise questions. And the questions will support us in connecting our learning in new and different ways.

The week ahead …

Let’s start first with some additional inspiration for our flowing and connecting: What, for example, can we learn from the genius of Hip-Hop?

More here with Chris Emdin about Hip-Hop in education:

Let’s take this week to focus on ways of staying fresh, learning from each other, and being resourceful. How do we do that? One way is by continuing to notice where we wobble, to ask ourselves questions about these moments, and begin to take a stance of inquiry around our practice.

Read At Last: Practitioner Inquiry and the Practice of Teaching: Some Thoughts on Better by Susan Lytle.

Using the notes from your pose/wobble/flows, and the questions that emerge from them, I would like you to start identifying an inquiry question (or set of questions) that will guide what you do the rest of the semester. Inquiry questions tend to be the kind that keeps you up at night (or wake you up in the morning) … ones that emerge when you as you pose/wobble/flow… that which you seek to make “better”.

What keeps you up, in your context, when you think about designing for connected learning and equity?

Learn more from youth and teachers about the power of inquiry: Revolutionizing Inquiry in Urban English Classrooms: Pursuing Voice and Justice through Youth Participatory Action Research

10 Self/10 World

One exercise you can use to find inquiry questions comes from an educator-created youth blogging site called Youth Voices. (Learn more about Youth Voices here.)

This activity is called 10 Self/10 World Questions and I have adapted it for our context of thinking about connected learning and equity:

  1. Start by writing 10 questions that you have about yourself as a connected learner/teacher and 10 questions that you have about designing for connected learning and equity.
  2. Next, pick one of these question and write about it (or audio/video record yourself talking about it) as though you are the expert. Write about why it is of interest to you and all that you already know about it. Write/discuss what you would like to know about it that you don’t already know.
  3. Now find a focused sentence from this writing/recording and do some freewriting (or maybe even some freestyling!). Use this free association to take you a bit deeper with your question: what are you really interested in related to connected learning and equity? What makes your pose, wobble? Or your wobble, flow?

(Note: You can keep going between #2/#3 to keep going more deeply with a few of your questions to see what feels ultimately most interesting or useful to you.)

Blogging/Making

Blog this week — using text, video, sound, and/or images — about the questions that start to surface for you as you pose/wobble/flow your way around being a connected learner or about connected learning and equity.

Finding 5/6/7

In addition to writing a blog about your inquiry above, find 5/6/7 resources that might relate to the questions you are asking about connected learning and equity. Take the time and go back through what you have referenced or gathered so far, tap into the sources I’ve been drawing from each week for our shared readings/watchings, as well as each others blogs. Richness abounds!

More connections this week

Throughout Spring 2017, colleagues of mine are hosting an open online course called Networked Narratives about digital storytelling and civic imagination. This is both a course, based at Kean University, as well as an open and online set of opportunities for anyone interested in tapping into the conversations.

This venture is full of alchemy — so beware! You never really know what you will find here.

On Tuesday at 1pm ET, a live “studio visit” will happen with Howard Rheingold, longtime educator and “netizen,” and his daughter Mamie. They will focus on the topics of: What does it mean to be “Net Smart” in an era of alternative facts and data tracking? What happens to our human spirit when when we proceed into an ever more technology-infused existence?

You are invited (and note, all of this is entirely optional).

In connected learning solidarity,

Christina