Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Playing with Puppet Pal 2

Alan Levine, cogdogblog, inspired my #eci831 class with his What Mean Ye Storytelling  presentation on November 12, 2013.  Alan provided us with a number of interesting links about storytelling.  One of the key points that he made was that the creation of the story was as important or more important than the tool you use to share your story.  This being said the Wiki space Web 2.0 50+ Ways to Tell a Story provides a 1-2-3 process for telling  a story.  The resource links are amazing!

My son was watching me search through the numerous tools on the 50+ Ways to tell a Story Wiki space and he grew impatient with me trying to find a tool and organize a story.  There is something to be said for the spontaneity of children opposed to my desire to find the perfect outcome.  He suggested we make a story using  Puppet Pal 2 app which was recommended by Jessica.

We sat down together and at first had selected the space theme but we were disappointed that their is not a space ship to choose.  The space background also does not scroll like the town one does.  Ben thought it was important that we could move our puppets.  Here is our silly story about Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

Now I want to give the 1-2-3 process for telling a story as suggested by Alan.

What storytelling processes have you tried?  What are the keys to your writing process?  What tools do you like to use?

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Blog Renovations and Improvements

tools of the trade

This weekend I started to make this blog my blog instead of a blog that I am creating for a University course.  I started by adding a tag cloud and a widget that shows the blog I follow.  I also personalized the blog by adding a Professional Development page.  All teachers in Regina Public Schools are required to document their Professional Learning and Development.  In the past, I have completed a goal form that I have shared with my administrator and colleague.  I wanted to show my learning in a digital format.  I have added the University classes I have taken and the Provincial Math Learning Community that I am a member.  I am thinking about the format that I want to use to add my Professional Development goals to the page.

Another decision I made was to add a digital citizenship resources page.  I thought it was important to compile some resources for teachers and parents to help them feel comfortable having their children become members of the connected world. While I am helping my son develop his digital identity through his YouTube channel and I work with my students to send out Tweets and comment on blog posts I often thought about what I needed to say to make sure that the children and I had the necessary skills to be good digital citizens.   I created a blog page for this and started to embed videos and links but I found the list complicated and hard to scroll through so I decided to try livebinders. I have had a livebinders  binder posted on my literacy links page of my classroom blog for the last number of year.  I had never created my own livebinders binder.  As I was reading blogs, I noticed that Greg, Lyane, and Rochelle  all mention using it to organize resources.   I liked the tutorial livebinders provides when you first create your account.  I found them helpful but not too complicated.  I embedded the binder into my digital citizenship page and deleted all my other links that I had added earlier.

I would love to hear any comments you have about my blog improvements.
Children at school

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Pigtails? A Piggy Back? No a Pingback!

When I first read the course assignments for #eci831 and read that I need to include pingbacks.  I admit the first thing my brain thought of was pigtails.

Pink Eye and Pig Tails

I quickly realized we weren’t going to be spending our time learning how to style hair (unless of course you choose that as your learning project).  My brain quickly jumped to the idea of a piggy back.  Now the more I learn about a pingback the more I think that the visual image of a piggy back ride is not so far off.   Sue Waters explains a pingback as including a link to another blogger in your post.  (Just like that!)

Piggy Back

How do I connect a pingback to a piggy back?  Well when you are brainstorming we often “piggy back” off of an idea of what the person before us says.  We add, modify or give an example of the idea that the person before us has suggested and deepen our understanding and perhaps create a new idea that solves the problem that lead to the brainstorming session.

I sent Alec Couros an email asking him about plagiarism and group discussions.  Some of the text of the email is below:

 I remember last year in a class I was taking we were put into groups to discuss our plans for our final project. People were really reluctant to share their ideas. Then we started to talk about why they were uncomfortable and it came back to the new online program that they had to take before they started their Master’s program about plagiarism. One of the things that someone in the group shared was that it was considered plagiarism to use an idea a group member shared in a discussion in your paper or project. I was in my Master’s program before the online course was implemented so I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of that statement.

It’s not accurate. If you cite where you got the idea from if it fact it is not your own idea, then it is definitely not plagiarism. I think most people are simply not confident enough about their ideas, or they think that they have nothing new to contribute. I often show them this:

I participated in a webinar hosted by The Daring Librarian where Sue Waters was presenting.  One of the points that people at the webinar made was that you should never apologize for what you are blogging or how often you post.  This reminded me of the blog post by Shauna Drackett where she questions if what she is blogging about is interesting enough and relevant?  Shauna concludes that in her blogging all she can guarantee is the satisfaction of a completed blog post and the thinking that she has done to complete that post.

As I was thinking about education and the idea of how intellectual property and wondering if one person owns an idea or if all ideas are a reworking and built on ideas of those who came before us.  I discuss some of these ideas in my own blog post Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

My email continues

If it is a true statement it opens up for me the idea of how education is changing to something much more collaborative and connected. I know that through this course I was intentionally looking for new/different content because I did not want to copy an article/idea that my peers had used. I think this might go back to the social constructed learning you were talking about. Oh. Might be an Ah-ha moment.

You may want to look at Stephen Johnson’s book titled, “Where Good Ideas Come From”. Here are quotes from the book. http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/12645873-where-good-ideas-come-from Also, here is a short video about the book.

After watching this short video clip I was curious about what Stephen Johnson had to say about ideas.  I found a longer TED talk and I purchased his book.

I started to reflect on what Dr. Richard Schwier had said about communities and how a community is a community it doesn’t matter if you spend most of your time online or in person the core of the interactions and the connection with people is what creates the community.  I then thought about what George Siemens‘ ideas about the relevance of higher education and what will happen as Open Education becomes more common place to universities as we know them today.  What information will be considered relevant?  Will the type of assignments and examinations that students complete be different?  Will the research essay lose it relevance and be replaced with work that incorporates the classical theorist but is then used and adapted by students and scholars today to meet the needs of the 21st Century?  As Stephen Johnson says in his video is this what we have been doing for centuries?  With the inception of the internet we are able to connect faster and farther than ever before. We are able to brainstorm and piggy back (and pingback) on the ideas of minds of academics and the person you would meet in the coffee shop.

On the first night of #eci831 Alec showed us these two slides
Carteasen_view_of_learning                                                           Socially_Constructed

When I first saw these slides I understood them and I thought I comprehended what socially constructed learning was.  Now that I have experienced building knowledge socially through the blog hub and my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter I realize I have experienced the power of collaboration and being connected.  Here is one concrete example

This blog post gave me six new ways to use a teaching strategy I currently use in my classroom and make it better. I was able to have instant professional development that linked a current teaching practice with technology all before I had finished my morning cup of coffee.  I realize my responsibility once I have tried these suggestions is to leave a comment on the blog post so that I can move forward the learning of others.

The pingback allows you to cite and acknowledge where an idea comes from and it also allows you a window into the conversation to make suggestions and build onto the ideas of others.  I joined the Google + Connected Classroom Workshops  the number of members and posts that arrive in my inbox is amazing.  The desire to connect and be connected is strong and educators are finding ways to make those connections possible.

I think your idea still holds up. I believe that education IS changing to something much more collaborative and connected. I would love to hear more about your thoughts on this.

I hope this helps!

Alec

Thanks Alec, it does help, in fact it has begun to transform my teaching practices.

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Fun with Makey Makey

On October 22, 2013 Sylvia Martinez spoke to our EC&I 831 class about the Maker Movement.  One of the many tools that she spoke about was the Makey Makey .  After seeing the Makey Makey I knew that my son would love it and I thought it was neat too.

My family decided to play with the basic Makey Makey kit today.  I found a piano program on the Scratch website that looked like it would work.  In order to get it to work on my laptop I needed to install a driver the sparkfun website helped me out (my husband too!).

Here is our Makey Makey experience.

I look forward to continuing to play with the Makey Makey with my family.

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Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

This summer I had the pleasure of participating in The Play, Art and Narrative Summer Institute at the University of Regina.  In The Creative Arts:  A Process Approach for Teachers and Children Wallas stages of the creative process are outlined.  Wallas’s stages include preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Balkin’s idea of the “re” factor is added to Wallas’s model.  The “re” factor is

The creative person must continually rethink, reconsider, replace, refine, redo, reaffirm, reprocess, rewrite and re conceptualize.  What better lesson could children learn in coping with life than the importance of the “re” component? (1990, p.30).

This first video examines how concern of parents for their children’s safety leads parents to have their children play inside more frequently and participate in structured activities reducing children’s access and time for free play activities. The video shows how parents use technology to keep track of their children.  If we build a society that is based on mistrust how do we teach our children to trust and to be trustworthy.  I watched the Sext up Kids video (Warning:  Adult content) and I wonder if by placing technology in the hands of my child to act as a watchdog replaces trusting them to make decisions about what is safe.  If I do not allow my children to walk home after school and go to the park to play without a monitoring device  do I as a parent fail to teach them the necessary lessons of making good decisions?   Do I make them  vulnerable to using their devise to share pictures of themselves in ways that they later regret by not teaching them to make decision?   In the video Elaine Raakman discuss her work with children in organized sports.  She describing how when children are given a task outside of a structured setting they do not know how to think for themselves and they lack of creative problem solving skills.  Elaine lists the skills learned through free play as cooperation, communication, creative problem solvers, and conflict resolution.   The leaders on the playground were the risk takers and children were much freer to take risks when adults were not around.  I would hypothesize that the same principals could be applied to the use of technology with children.  If we give children the opportunity to explore with technology with some guidance, expectations and support but trust them to make decisions about what is appropriate content to view.  They will develop the skills necessary to navigate digital literacy in a safe manner or know when they need to ask for help.

In the following TED talk Lawrence Lessig discusses how children naturally play with the digital tools that are available to them.  He discusses the societal shift from a Read-Write culture to a Read Only culture and back t a Read-Write culture with the development of the internet.  The internet provides opportunities for “usg” user generated content.  People produce amateur content for the love of being creative not for the purpose of making money.  This content is what children produce all the time by taking songs and remixing them.  The tools of the film industry have become tools of digital literacy that children are naturally drawn to.   Lessig goes on to say that our current laws should be reevaluate to give artists the freedom to allow amateur to use their content and remove the stigmatize of piracy from what children naturally due with their digital knowledge.

I am reminded of my own remixing experience this week when I was experimenting with iMovie.  I read the help screen about adding music to a movie and was under the impress that I could use anything in a movie from my iTunes account that was not blocked.  I  added a soundtrack to my movie project from my iTunes account which I believed I had permission to use because it was not blocked like some of the track.  I then added photos to the song to create a slideshow.  When I tried to upload the iMovie to Facebook I received an email notification and a notification in Facebook when I opened my account that I had violated copyright.  I believe that I could create the slideshow in iMovie using the soundtrack but once I tried to share it I had violated copyright  law.  An honest mistake.

Kirby Ferguson in Embracing the remix shares his idea that everything that we  create is a remix.  We take the ideas of people that come before us and remix it to create new content that we share and that in turn is remixed by someone else.  Ferguson points out the irony of Patent Act of 1790   which was developed “To promote the progress of the Useful arts” and how by patenting technology will impede the progress of the arts.  I think back to the work of Balkin and the creative process that parallels what Ferguson is saying about everything being a remix.  One way that children play today is through digital means.  They create, share and consume content through play.  I wonder what new discoveries children will find through digital play?

Related content

http://ashleybeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/sext-up-kids/

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Minecraft

Minecraft Screenshots

I have wondered awhile about the game Minecraft.  Last Christmas my son was planning Minecraft on his iPad when my sister, who is a high school administrator expressed concern that we were allowing him to play Minecraft.  I was confused from what I had seen watching Ben play he was using blocks and materials to build a community in a virtual world.  It seemed to me it was like portable LEGO.  My sister explained that in her experience teens can become obsessed with the game and not think of anything else.  Ben described to me the two mode creative and survival and we agreed that he would only explore in the creative world.

Alec Couros challenged us to participate in Open Access  week so I planned to participate in this Connected Educators experience:

Minecraft Open House (ISTE, Games MOOC, rgMOOC, Inevitable Instructors)
1 PM – 3 PM ET.  Minecraft Open House.  Minecraft is a simple, easy to use virtual world that has been unlocking higher order learning skills in kids (especially creative skills) at an ever-accelerating rate, providing outlets for students who were falling by the wayside, and was one of the most popular applications at the most recent ISTE conference.  We’re honored to have ISTE’s virtual worlds group, as well as several other games in education movement leaders, join us today for an open house where you’ll get a chance to explore the environment, ask questions, and discuss it with experts in the field.

Unfortunately our van broke down and I was not able to be at home during the live event.  On the positive side I was able to watch the  video.

The people in this video made Minecraft look so easy.  The video outlines a Minecraft challenge website.  I enjoyed listening to the mother of two twelve year old girls talk about the different modes in Minecraft and the responsibilities of parents.  The girls talked about how they would love to use Minecraft in their classroom to complete assignments and explain their thinking.

I was curious about connects to a grade one/two classroom.  I visited the Minecraft teacher blog after reading the article How Minecraft is being Used in the Classroom by Andrew Webster.

I then bought myself the Minecraft app and tried it for myself.  Ben was very excited that I was interested in exploring Minecraft.  He sat beside me as I created my first world.  The next thing I know Ben had clicked on the egg a bunch of times and their were ducks everywhere.  Then he showed me how to make them disappear.  He showed me how to move around the world and how to access the resources I had available.  Once I was left to my own devices I somehow managed to get stuck under the ice and water.   I tried again and was able to create this structure:

2013-10-27 16.18.48

I will admit that Minecraft is not the game for me and I am not really interested in experimenting in this environment.   I think that it is a fine game for Ben to play.  For now I will continue to ask that he play in creative mode.  If a student in my classroom wanted to show me their learning in Minecraft I would accept their assignment and ask them to explain share how they used Minecraft to help them.

I am wondering if anyone has experimented with Minecraft in their classroom.  I am also wondering if you have concerns about Minecraft what your concerns are.

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Creating Channel Art for Awesome Tube 2

This week I worked with my son to post videos to his YouTube channel.  He was very excited when someone subscribed to his channel.

Once I figured out a routine to upload videos to YouTube the process became less frustrating.  Creating the channel art for the YouTube channel was a challenge.  The YouTube help page provided some support.  Channel art is the banner on your YouTube page.  My son wanted a red background with a title in white font.  That seemed easy enough.  We created a page in word and printed it out, took a picture and tried uploading it.  This method didn’t work because I could not get the picture to be the correct size.   aawesome tube

Then I signed up for Custom Design page that was recommended on a YouTube video I watched.  I had trouble being able to modify the designs.  I watched another YouTuvbe video which suggested that you use paint to create the channel art.

Attempt one after watching this video created this banner.  Benja1  The banner was not the right size.

Attempt number two with a lot of help from my husband created this  aaaaa channel art that was the right size and looks wonderful.

I am wondering if anyone else has experience with creating Channel Art and if you have found an easier method?

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The First Tweets from my Classroom.

26-10-2013 8-40-08 PM

This week I started to send out tweets with my class.  We are learning about bats and we received a tweet about bats in Saskatchewan that we viewed as a class.  I found the children to be more engaged and excited about connecting  on the internet.  We decided on a background and a theme as a class.  We added our class blog to our twitter profile.  I look forward to exploring Twitter more with my class.

Cory Antonini emailed me an article about establishing a twitter routine in my classroom.  The poster in the article is a great visual reminder of the skills that I need to teach my class.

I added literacy and numeracy links to my classroom blog which I was able to share with parents during our open house.

Work in Progress

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Frustrated and Inefficient

I retweeted this link this morning. I thought that 100 Twitter accounts for Teachers would be a wonderful way to build my Professional Learning Network.  I did find a few people that I was already following like Sue Waters  , Alec Couros, and George Couros.  I found a number of interesting people to follow on twitter including Angela Maiers and Chris Wejr.  As I was going through the list of suggested Twitter accounts I must admit I became frustrated by the process of clicking on a Twitter account listed on the website, following them on Twitter and then returning to the Tweet to get back to the website to click on the next account to see if I was interested.  I wished a subscribe to all accounts option was available and then I could have looked through the new followers and unfollowed accounts I did not want to connect to.

Today I started to work with my son to develop his digital identity.  He wants to create a YouTube channel so that he can post videos and share them with the world.  I decided to create this channel through my Google account so that I would have control over the comments and the content that he is able to post.  Before doing this we discussed the possibilities that someone might leave a mean comment and what we would do about it and how it would make him feel.  We talked about the possibility that if the comments made him uncomfortable we might have to change the settings on the account so that he felt safe.

Once I felt he was prepared we started to create the YouTube channel.  He had specific ideas about what he wanted to call the channel he has been talking about this for the last two months.  I went into my Google account to create a channel for him.  Then I started to upload the first  video from dropbox to  YouTube.  It uploaded but it was not full screen.  I then tried editing the video in iMovie and then sharing them on YouTube.  That did not work.  So I saved it to my Camera Roll on my phone and tried uploading from there to YouTube.  That got the video to my account on YouTube but not into the Awesome Tube 2 channel.  After some searching I tried downloading the video from my channel to my computer and then uploading it from my computer to Awesome Tube 2.  The video is still processing.

I imagine there is an easier way.  I hate this feeling of having a bunch of steps to follow but in the end I still don’t end up with the information where I wanted it.  Why is it so difficult to move a movie from my phone to YouTube?

138/365 Frustrated.

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Moving Forward by Starting to Make Connections in Grade 1/2.

Blue Glow
This week I met with Cory Antonini a consultant on our school team to discuss connecting my classroom.  I wanted to make sure I had a clear understanding of what the polices were for Regina Public School regarding individual students blogs and the use of twitter.   I described to Cory the experiences that I had last week when I tried to have my classroom connect and comment on other classroom blogs.  Cory and I viewed my current classroom blog and created a classroom Twitter account.  When we tried to add a Twitter feed to my current blog we were unable to.  After some discussion about wanting to eventually add individual student blogs and have a variety of security options available I decided to use Blogger because it is linked to the Regina Public Schools Google account.  Cory also showed my the Kidblog website and suggested that I explore it for when I want to add individual student blogs.  I want to find a tool that is easy for young children to use and is easy to manage.  Cory encouraged me to continue  teaching my children how to comment on other classroom blogs.  He also suggested that we start creating content as a classroom through shared writing experiences and posting them on Twitter and our class blog.  Learning another blog format is a bit of a challenge but experience is the best teacher!   If you are using Blogger or Kidblog I would love to hear about your experiences.

I am currently in the process of creating content for the new classroom blog.  I was excited to be able to add a translate function to the blog.  I teach a large number of children who are new to Canada and English is an additional language in their homes.  I hope that this tool allows families to receive information from the school in the language that they are the most comfortable.

ipad

Another step forward that our school took this week was to have a technician come to our school to set up our iPads.  We now have a way to add apps to our iPads and have ordered cases to keep them safe.   I welcome any app suggestions that you might have.

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