Part One: Your Learning Thing

For my learning thing, I wanted to create an outline for a STEM course that I will be teaching this semester. I decided to include topics such as intellectual property while practicing information literacy, digital literacy, and digital communication.

The class that I will be teaching will have many students who are absent often due to extra-curricular activities, have students with a variety of technology and science experience, and have a wide range of strengths. Therefore, I wanted to create a program that was flexible enough to give all students the opportunity to shine. This class outline was created for grades 9-12 and for a class that meets once a week for 75 or 90 minutes. It could easily be used in grades 6-8 by adding support and scaffolding.

The main focus of the semester is on coding and Arduino use. However, there will be a variety of hands on projects that will allow students that prefer tactile learning and mechanical engineering to have fun experiences. The course will not have any lessons specifically dedicated to digital citizenship, but the course will allow students to learn and practice various aspects of digital citizenship (project-based learning for digital citizenship 🙂 ).

I will post online resources to my Google Classroom so students that are traveling can still have access to the knowledge being presented in class. More advanced students will work on projects of their choosing and preparing usage guides that they will report and post online for others to see. This will help them practice communicating online while improving their digital literacy.

For the final project, students will work alone or together to expand upon the learning that they did during the semester. This will allow them to practice identifying the information they need, finding that information online, and applying the information they learned (digital and information literacy).

I have attached a worksheet for a lesson I plan to teach entitled “Arduino Webquest/Introduction Activity.” I have also attached an outline of my lesson sequence along with resources that I will use for those lessons. The resources include texts, lab kits, and online tutorials—making this class an in-person/online hybrid.

Below, you will find an infographic that outlines my semester, alone with the previously mentioned attached files.

Arduino Webquest_Introduction Activity

STEM Schedule

P.S. I’ve been researching and trying out so many resources that I had no idea where free online. It’s really crazy. I found multiple free schools for coding, free CAD software, and free CAD tutorials. It’s really awesome how much you can get online for free. That’s an underlying theme that I wanted to have for the semester- allowing the students to see that these resources are out there. 

Part Two: Thinking About Your Thinking

How has your thinking about digital citizenship changed over the course of this class (for better and/or for worse)!
-This course has changed my thinking in one way: awareness. I never gave much thought into my digital use (besides editing what I say and make available online), but I am now more aware of my use. This course has also influenced my thoughts for a STEM course that I am preparing. It’s made me think of the world that my students are heading into and given me a little more confidence to approach unknown technological facets that were too scary for me to approach before. I truly believe this course has given me the confidence to explore coding and its applications (such as app creating and Arduino use) and bring it into the classroom.

What has come to seem more important? What has come to seem less?
-For me, I believe one of the more important facets of digital citizenship is digital literacy. I think this is one of the more important facets because future careers will be ones that require creativity and technological skills. Being able to have a basic level of digital competency will be absolutely vital.

What do you think of the whole idea of digital citizenship and how it relates to plain old citizenship?
-I think Heather Marie’s blog post made an excellent comparison between digital citizenship and citizenship. I honestly don’t think I could explain it any better. In her blog post, she compares civic duties found in typical citizenship with the duties found in digital citizenship. Some of the duties that she outlined was upholding customs/norms and providing accessibility to resources. One of the things that stood out to me is when Heather said “For instance, who or what governs the standards and expected behaviors [on the internet]?” At first, I could not think of an answer to this. However, after some weeks of time to reflect, for online comments that break norms, people tend to verbally oppose the comments, similar to offline life. Additionally, hackers and stalkers (online illegal activity) can be punished offline. So, it would appear that government and other digital citizens dictate these social norms and laws, similar to offline.

How does your current understanding of digital citizenship influence how you work and play?
-As I mentioned above, this course has influenced my thoughts for the STEM course that I am teaching this semester. Other than work, this course has not influenced any of my free time activities. I tend to prefer outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping—activities that typically take you places where it’s almost impossible to use online technology. The majority of my technology use is related to work, so that is the area of my life that this class has influenced the most.

Have any of your work routines or habits changed as a result of things you have learned?
-Neither my work routines nor my habits have changed as a result of what I’ve learned. I tried out the Bullet Journal for a while, but after a couple of weeks, I quit using it. I couldn’t seem to keep track of the journal—I kept losing it and would revert back to my paper scraps. I guess old habits die hard. I have been more aware of technology use and its applications, but it hasn’t been influential enough to up my computer time (plus I’ve been super busy and have had very limited internet access for the past 1.5 months). I have recently purchased tools to begin whiteboard screen casting, but work just started on August 10th, so I haven’t had the chance to use them yet.

How will you be a digital citizen (or if you don’t think you will, or can, be…why)?
-I will be, and am, a digital citizen. However, I am not a very involved one. I have a basic understanding of the digital citizenship elements, and practice digital etiquette, communication, commerce, literacy, and self-protection, but I believe I use technology so much (due to work and school) that my health is effected and do not promote or do any actions to enhance digital access. I do not reach out to the world (only my students) to share ideas and what I know, and I do not engage in enhancing the digital community or the world around me (outside my classroom). Therefore, I feel like I am a mediocre digital citizen at best. But hey, I wouldn’t have even known I was mediocre until I took this course! Haha. 🙂

Part Three: Advice for Future Students

Dear future student,

This course is quite different than other courses you have taken. It is different than the typical online education course you have taken for the M.Ed program (if you’re in it). It is not your typical ‘read some stuff and talk about it’ type of education class. It takes a lot of online time and work (this is coming from someone with very little technological skills). It’s fun to explore new ways of communicating online, but it does take a lot of time. It is also hard to keep up if you don’t have a solid internet connection. The professor was really helpful and understanding when I had a month or so of very little internet access. I’m sure he’s still willing to help students out, but I would let him know ASAP. The last month I have had intermittent internet access, and it has been hard to keep up. I would advise you to do extra credit when you can. Having some extra points will help out if you can’t comment or connect as often as you’d like. Also, the professor is great about answering questions, even if they seem like they should be obvious. Ask away, especially during the intellectual property portion—it’s confusing.

Grok and Korg II (Where are You Now? ) – Collections IV

I looked at Chelsey Zibell’s and Heather Marie’s Where are You Now? assignment that discusses an initial understanding of digital citizenship. I was interested in seeing where everyone else started from and their initial ideas to see how they compared to mine.

Starting with Heather’s post, I saw that Heather had a much stronger starting point than I did, probably because she has taught civics. I like how she broke the post up into citizenship and then expanded upon that to digital citizenship. She really seemed to have a pretty solid understanding of the term before she even explored it in the next assignment. She even got details such as online civic duty. She also brought up a good point: who governs the norms? What entity creates them and enforces them? If none, does that mean that there are real expectations? I thought that was an interesting point, and something to think about.

Chelsey and I seemed to have similar initial ideas of what digital citizenship was. We both brought up being a citizen of an online world/community and conducting yourself within those situations in a particular way. Also, we both mention sharing ideas online as being part of digital citizenship. I think her idea of having roles is interesting. I didn’t really think of that initially. However, if we parallel it to a traditional concept of citizen (which has roles) it would make sense for one to think that an online citizen would have roles. I suppose online, you would have more freedom to have whatever role you wanted, instead of offline life where roles sometimes get placed upon you.

Grok and Korg I (Get Productive) – Collections IV

I looked at Carolyn Stice’s and Sarah Liben’s Get Productive assignment. I was surprised that all three of us decided to explore the Bullet Journal formatting. I have to say, Carolyn’s journal is amazing! I’ve always wanted a journal that was visually appealing, but I’m not very artistic, and drawing seems to take a lot of time and energy (for me). I’ve always wondered how people make their journals look so pretty, and when Carolyn stated that it was a stress relief, it made sense. I know lots of people who like drawing/painting/coloring for stress relief. It’s pretty cool that she incorporated that into her organizational tools. I also love that she tracks so many activities. I’ve tried tracking activities before, but it gets to a point where I feel overwhelmed at the amount of papers in front of me. Let’s just say, Carolyn’s journal(s) is what I aspire to have one day, but for now, it’s boring, simple lists for me.

One thing that I really related to with Sarah’s post is the idea of finding the right agenda. Finding calendars/agendas can be so difficult. Many of them have extra stuff that makes me feel overwhelmed. She mentioned that her ideal one had a blank square with enough space to write stuff. That’s why I created the To-Do Blocks that I showed in my post and designed my dry erase calendar the way I did. I like keeping it open but still organized.

Like I mentioned above, I find it interesting that all three of us were drawn to the Bullet Journal format instead of a computer/tablet/phone resource. Sarah mentioned that she prefers to write things down rather than typing them because she retains more. For me, there is a satisfaction that comes from hand writing, and I would agree with Sarah that I retain information better when I hand write it (something to reflect on in terms of classroom practices with note taking 🙂 ).

Something Old; Something New – Collections IV

SOMETHING NEW!

Since most of us are on the education route, this assignment has to do with using technology/online resources to supplement or improve student learning.

The Activity: Think of something you want to incorporate into your classroom. Maybe it’s finding a fun way for the students to practice concepts. Maybe it’s a way to better communicate with parents. Maybe it’s making a piece of equipment that would be useful in your classroom. After you identify a problem/improvement that can be addressed, start searching for solutions.

Post your problem/improvement, what you found to address it, and how you would use it in your classroom. Link to any products, software, or plans that you want to use. If you’re able to, go ahead and test the plan out and let us know how it goes.

Points: 10 pts. Tag: #techclass

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I recently got a position at a school that is a tad bit secluded. Because of the seclusion, many students travel, and they travel often. Whether it’s for sports, hunting, or vacation, I was told that many of the students will be gone periodically. This made me think of ideas for how to make my class available to these students. I have had experience with Google Classroom in the past, and I thought that would be a good thing to do. That way, students would be able to log into the class and get any materials or notes that we did. However, I started to think that may not be enough.

I started thinking of posting YouTube videos to my Google Class to help explain things. I’ve done that in the past, but sometimes, it’s hard to find a video that covers exactly how I would explain something or a video that works through a problem detailed enough. That’s when I thought “Why don’t I make my own YouTube videos and post them to my classroom?” I started researching how YouTube channels like Khan Academy make their videos. I found that the type of video is called a whiteboard screencast. I started looking into the software and devices I would need to make comparable videos…and it was expensive. So, I started looking on forums and searching for cheaper alternatives.

I ended up going to Best Buy and getting and Wacom Intuos Draw Tablet for $80.00. I tried out the drawing software that comes with the tablet, but I didn’t like it because there was very little space to draw, and all the tool bars took up most of the screen. Back to the forums.

I found some drawing software that looked promising, such as Krita and Leonardo. Krita looked like it was a little more complex than what I needed, but Leonardo looked perfect. I loved the infinite canvas feature and small tool bars (that you could hide if you wanted). Unfortunately, Leonardo was not available for Mac yet. Ugh. So, back to searching the forums.

I finally found Mischief in the app store. For $25.00, it wasn’t too expensive, but I wanted to make sure I liked the program before I spent money on it (I didn’t know there was a free version at the time). I looked up videos on YouTube to see demos of the program. I decided to buy it. I plugged in my tablet and tried it out. So far, I like it. It’s simple and has that infinite canvas feature that I wanted.

Now, I just needed to figure out how to record my screencasts. I have Quicktime built into my computer, and I’ve used it for screencasting before. I’ve had pretty good results with it. So, I think I’m just going to stick with Quicktime for my screencasts. I don’t need to worry about only recording a portion of the screen because, with Mischief, I can make it to where the whole screen is white and free of tool bars.  For the editing, I’m just going to use iMovie (another built in program). So, I was able to get all the tools I’d need for whiteboard screencasting for about $105.00. Kind of pricey, but all and all not too bad compared to how much I could have spent.

Grading Myself: I think I deserve 10/10 points because I outlined my problem, discussed my solution, and outlined a plan, linking all the software/devices.