Course 4 – Final Projects – Magic Carpet Ride

OK… So I am not really sure what I want to do…

Photo Credit: blazerowner via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: blazerowner via Compfight cc

I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 4 courses of COETAIL. It is the best Professional Development I have ever done. It has been an amazing journey – a little like a magic carpet ride.  Up’s and Downs. So much learning but so little time. Surprises and Fears. It has been an unbelievably action packed, whistle stop stop tour of Education Technology and Information Literacy (aboard a magic carpet!). But you see, I am pretty indecisive…because I cant make up my mind… I am going to give you a choice too!

Welcome aboard the Magic Carpet.

Press play on either the 1968 “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf (Canadian-American Rock band) or Press play on 1995 “Magic Carpet Ride” by Mighty Dub Katz (AKA Norman Cook, AKA Fatboy Slim) the English DJ, musician and record producer/mixer. Your choice… as I take you through my choices because I am not sure what I would like to do for my Course 5 project.

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

1.DIGITAL LITERACY & GAMIFICATION

Photo Credit: gonzalo palmieri via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: gonzalo palmieri via Compfight cc

Describe the project: What will your students do?

Children will learn key digital literacy skills such as the ability to locate, organise, understand, evaluate, and analyse information using digital technology. I am hoping that the children will:

  • mindfully read new media
  • become makers and tinkers of text and media
  • offer guidance to becoming responsible digital citizens

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

I loved Course 3 of COETAIL. I had such a great time messing around with so many new tools and ideas. Digital literacy is the basic understanding of how to interact with a computer, how to interact with applications on that computer, how to make it do what you want. We all want children to grow up having skills which they can use in later life. Teaching digital literacy from Grade 1 will give the children a fantastic start to their digital lives. Combining it with Gamification ( which I became interested in during Course 4) is a way of keeping younger children invested in learning these key 21st Century skills. This could be through badges of maybe even an online platform…something to think about.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

I hope to give children an opportunity to gain digital literacy skills which they will be able to use throughout their lives – Understanding how to read a picture, citing a picture, thinking about design, creating an interesting presentation.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

I think Grade 1 children can learn these skills that will help them redefine their education and give them skills that they will use throughout their lives. I really like the idea of gamifying the project to make it accessible for 6 and 7 year old.

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

Digital Literacy is a huge area…where to start…what skills do Grade 1’s need to know first?

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

Modern classrooms have moved from the traditional brick walls to connectedness in digital learning. Digital learning provides more opportunities, compared to the flat, traditional way of learning encouraging the 3 R’s — reading, writing and arithmetic. But the 3 R’s are not the only essential skills now needed.Students now also need the 4 C’s. These 21st century essential skills of learning and innovation include the following skills sets: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Fitting it all in is going to be the biggest shift!

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

Children will have to be happy to learn new things using technology – luckily most 6&7 years olds like using technology. Perhaps it may require a positive response from some parents?

 

2.SCRATCH 

Describe the project: What will your students do?

Coding in Grade 1 using Scratch, perhaps with raspberry pi ( and maybe other things that can move and do things!). To thrive in tomorrow’s society, young people must learn to design, create and express themselves with digital technologies.  Scratch is a visual programming tool which allows the user to create animations and games with a drag-and-drop interface. It allows you to create your own computer games, interactive stories, and animations using some programming techniques without actually having to write code.  

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mag3737 via Compfight cc

Coding is something that I have scratched the surface with (no pun intended!!) – I want to know more about and want to the children in my class to really understand how and why we are using it. Coding and programming gives anyone the ability to make digital technology do whatever – to bend digital technology to one’s needs, purposes, and will, just as in the present we bend words and images.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

To give children an opportunity to code and program for a real purpose. Giving them skills that can be used again and again in the course of their lives. The mental skills developed by learning to code are supremely useful in many other facets of life. It improves your ability to take a large problem and break it down into a series of smaller tasks. It will improve children’s decision-making and critical thinking.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

There are so many things that are possible from coding. Learning to code allows anyone to understand machines, computers, internet, mobile apps, blogs, websites etc. Most things that that we have read, discussed and written about throughout COETAIL is based on some element of coding.

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

My main concern is fitting it into our first couple of unit’s of learning – 1.Communication and Structures and 2.Materials.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

Letting go a little – I think the students will soon become the experts very quickly!

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

An open mind to play with blocks on a screen…what could be better!

 

3.MAKERSPACE

Describe the project: What will your students do?

A makerspace cart to be developed in Grade 1 or maybe for the Lower school as a club. With children helping to design flipped videos of instruction of how to use the cart.

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

Photo Credit: fabola via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: fabola via Compfight cc

Children want to make and create. If they are making and creating then they will be using language and joining concepts together in a meaningful and purposeful environment. Makerspaces are all about real-world challenges, learn by doing and using new (and old ) technology. Using the flipped classroom idea so that children create videos to explain how to use the equipment, etc will add an added dimension to the project.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

Create a culture of making, active learning, design and thinking.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

It is something that incorporates lots of learning throughout COETAIL. Remix culture, design, technology, thinking routines, real world situations.

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

I am not a natural maker…Will my school want to do this?

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

How do you change your culture and ensure that your  makerspace will empower students to acquire 21st-century skills? How do you change the culture of student apathy to encourage a mindset of doing?

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

Engaging students in it through design thinking. Celebrate failures, both large and small, by insisting that students document the learning that results. Honour the outcomes by publicly showcasing projects, either physically through a gallery experience or online through a class website, Twitter, or other social media.

Magic Carpet Ride. Who knows where I will end up?!?

Which one did you choose? Could the ride get better? Let me know…

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3 Responses

  1. Suzy Ramsden says:

    Hi Joel,

    I really like all 3 projects, they are full of energy ( like you) and your learning from Coetail. Starting a coding club is on my B list of things I want to do. I think the Lower School will have some amazing tech projects going on next year- I am already looking forward. Can you believe we got here?!
    Suzy

  2. Joel Bevans says:

    Hi Suzy,
    We made it!! Yes it has certainly been a great ride…but I can not wait to come back after the Summer ( a little head space is needed!) with some fresh ideas and plenty of energy.
    I think the Lower School is going to be awash with brilliant technology based projects – it will be amazing to see.
    Thanks for all your help and support throughout this year. It is greatly appreciated.
    Cheers, Joel

  3. Rebekah Madrid says:

    I love how different your projects are, but how all of them seem to have a real place in your classroom and your enthusiasm comes through all of them. I hope the summer helps you take a breath and decide what makes sense for you and your kids. Those new kids won’t know what hit them! Congrats on finishing course 4!

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