To play the game, you just need to go to the following LINK HERE and download the .exe file. Then you should be able to double click it and play. The link is also in the description of my YouTube video. Some elements are randomized (such as the word guesser game) so if you play multiple times you should get different words.
I hope you enjoy the game, and the video. Again, it was a real pleasure working with and learning from each and every one of you! You are all amazing teachers, and I have added greatly to my PLN, thanks to you guys!
So our professor Alec Couros has encouraged us to look more closely at social movements on social media. 1 hour later, and with 15+ browsing tabs open, I'm at a loss. I suppose I can start with Katia Hildebrandt's post that Alec linked us to, of which the main message was that we must risk our privilege to speak out for those who have no privilege to risk. This is certainly a sentiment that is hard to argue against.
I read with great interest the comments on that particular blog post, which had over 40 comments, far beyond the average amount, so it was clearly a post that touched some nerves and had some reach.
One problem I see is the concept of #slacktivism, where one can feel like they've supported a cause by merely clicking a like button or doing some other task that requires minimal effort. At the same time, there are infinite travesties in the world that many aren't even aware of happening every day (check out natural disasters, or even the world news for each month), an infinite parade of social inequalities out there, perpetrated by other people, unfortunate circumstances, nature, and a whole host of other issues.
No issue is simple, and my main issue with Twitter is that it is not exactly the type of platform that is built for deep debates and understanding. I'd say that perhaps Twitter is not necessarily the place to tackle complex social issues, or any complex issue. It is a great place to share fun news, network, or find great ideas (that you can go read about more in other places).
As evidenced below, it's also great if you are looking for a year of free nuggets, #NuggsForCarter, which was only recently dethroned as the most viral (retweeted) tweet of all time:
Of course, as outlined by Catherine Read in her excellent post, there are a whole host of issues that gained traction on social media, from #BlackLivesMatter, The Arab Spring, etc. Just look at NASA's #YearInSpace, a wildly popular campaign that shows just how powerful social media campaigns can be. Twitter and Facebook are forces to be reckoned with. So in an age of infinite participation, what part are we as teachers supposed to play in all this? For example, do we care that only 66% of Canadians who were eligible to vote in the last election voted?
So where does that leave us?
So much disinformation and hate can be spread on social media... it has often been likened to an echo chamber. I tend to agree with Jordan Peterson on this one, though, who likens social media more to an Amplifier. Clearly, social media can be used to amplify anything, whether or not we'd simply classify these things as merely "good" or "bad" things.
I've always also been mindful of the evidence that continues to come out of publications around mental health and social media. For something that can create so much good change in the world (something that bothers me: how do we measure this anyways? A post for another time?), it sure seems to make our teens and especially adults sad:
-How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness
-Does Social Media Cause Depression?
-You Asked: Is Social Media Making Me Miserable?
As Daniel noted.... being an educator in the world of social media activism #difficult (great post, go read it!)... well yeah, it certainly is. The race is on to connect EVERYONE in the world to the internet, which has basically slowly turned into something that everyone needs to have, similar to water and food.
Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne push us to consider the next evolution of the personally responsible citizen in their article that Alec suggested we read, to that of the Justice Oriented Citizen.
...if participatory citizens are organizing the food drive and personally responsible citizens are donating food, justice oriented citizens are asking why people are hungry and acting on what they discover (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004, p. 4)
So, my answer to the question, what is our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online? is....
Educators should strive to create students who can think analyse and think critically about complex problems, and teach them how to use all the tools available to create social change, including online tools.
Till next time,
Some of the Open Educational Resources I checked out.
Alrighty, so I went ahead and checked out a variety of OER's (click here to find out what an OER is in more depth and how they relate to Open Educational Practices).
Briefly, according to this Wikipedia article,
"Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. There is no universal usage of open file formats in OER. The term OER describes publicly accessible materials and resources for any user to use, re-mix, improve and redistribute under some licenses. The development and promotion of open educational resources is often motivated by a desire to provide an alternate or enhanced educational paradigm."
We also had a presenter in class, Verena Roberts (add her on Twitter), who spoke to us about Open Educational Practices (OEP). In a nutshell, OEP aims to remove the walls in a classroom and tackle big community problems as a network of learners. In the process, students will usually use OERs, experts, and may or may not contribute to some sort of OER or remix an OER. One particular quote that stood out to me from Verena's presentation was the one from the first slide:
"...real learning isn't done behind walls or with boundaries, I believe that the real learning begins when we are left to figure something out, to problem solve, to collaborate and discuss with people of experience. It's about the "doing" and what can be learned from the experience" -High School Student
I do think we need to give students more opportunities to learn in these sorts of settings, where everything is a bit chaotic, and big, and messy. That alone would be an amazing learning experience, because I think it emulates what actually happens in "real life".
So, I viewed a bunch of different OERs that were presented to us in class. I made a quick video of the experience. I feel like I ran into some bad luck, and ended up searching topics that maybe those particular databases didn't really excel in. I'll give a quick summary after the video (for those of you short on time, or those who hate videos)
My quick summary of my video:
-It can actually be hard to find good quality resources, you do need to spend some time going through everything, or adapting and remixing.
-Openstax is neat, I think it's an amazing effort to make these open source textbooks. Just a great resource in general.
-Khan Academy shows you the power of OERs, more below.
-MERLOT needs a better rating system. They also need to find a way to make sure resources that are there are still working and up to date. Clicked on a lot of stuff that just wasn't as advertised or was a broken link to nothing. For reviews, perhaps something based on clicks versus the star reviews users can leave behind. Maybe add a comment feature so a one star review can explain why it was one star would be an idea.
Which leads me to my big point: All these OERs need a better rating system. YouTube sort of naturally does this... generally a learning video that has a lot of views is probably a very well done video. I ran into an issue on MERLOT and others that either the resources didn't have ratings, or it was hard to actually find the learning resources (it would link you to a website and you'd have to go digging around), or just the resource had moved and hadn't been updated. I find you don't really get these problems on YouTube (I'm a big fan of YouTube, as you can tell).
I think a shining example of what an OER can be (although not very interesting as far as the lessons go) is Khan Academy.
Why is Khan Academy is Damn Delicious?
It's free, and it's open for your learning needs. People on Quora think it's great too (although if you scroll down far enough, there are people saying it's not so great on that page too!).
The videos are consistently of high quality and similar format video to video, so you get "used" to them. You can find pages of people complaining about the exercises not being good enough, or the videos not being original enough, or that they aren't "anything special". But if you are trying to learn content, I don't see anything wrong with the videos. Direct instruction is often necessary to learn a skill. Practicing a problem is necessary to learn a skill. I used to do 1.5 hours of guitar a day, and a lot of it was playing the same bloody thing over and over again.
The only thing about Khan Academy though is they are a non profit that has over 100 employees who are paid to make content and make everything work. I sort of feel like this isn't necessarily in the spirit of OERs... but it's also what makes Khan Academy so darn useful. It's easy to search, the information is all in one place, and you don't need reviews because it's high quality stuff. If you google what Khan Academy employees make, you'll see it's over $100,000 on average. They've also exploded in active monthly users, that's a lot of people taking advantage of this resource:
Another thing. They are a non profit, but they have a LOT of funding. Obviously if they are paying high salaries this must be the case, but it explains part of the reason why it's such a slick free service.
So where is this OER movement going?
I don't think it's going anywhere. The variety of resources out there is amazing. There is an issue with some of them having broken links, a lack of actual in depth reviews to help teachers decide what resource they'd like to use without investing too much time... but if you are willing to sift through that there are AMAZING resources.
If someone can figure out an actual accreditation process, I think we could see the rise of "universities" that are completely free, where all the resources are OERs, but then you can pay to actually get an accredited degree. That's what I see as the next natural step of this movement.
Does anyone out there see the potential for how OERs could be turned into a real certification of some sort (imagine getting your computer science degree online this way?), perhaps offered by a university, with an accreditation fee or something to verify that you learned all the necessary material?
Till next time,
My own "Teacher"Tube
I've been doing a good job of keeping my YouTube channel updated for my students in Grade 11 Pre-calculus. They are starting to catch on too as they begin to realize that videos will actually be uploaded and ready to go. I jumped from 29 subs (I know right, sad) to 38 in a few days, which means my students have been subscribing.
I've also begun uploading in class demos I do for computer science. See my latest here (audio is horrible, recorded it with a really old crappy microphone I got from the school library).
The fancy mic the school bought me arrived yesterday, so I'll have much better audio on the next one!
Reading on Self-Paced Classrooms
I recently read this article on one instructor's strategies in creating a self-paced classroom, and it got me thinking about my grade 10 computer science class. This semester, it seems to me like I have more students struggling than usual. Something in the water? No idea!
So I was trying to brainstorm some ways in which I could help my students, and at that exact moment, my email inbox puked out that article from ISTE, or the International Society of Technology Education, which is a great organisation, I recommend checking them out.
If you have 5 minutes and hate reading, you could just watch the YouTube video below on Self-Paced classrooms. The benefits are huge, and I hope to implement some of the suggestions, especially those on splitting up the class into those who get more direct instruction and those who consume resources more independently. I also liked the idea of a Google Form to help students reflect on their learning, which also allows the teacher know who they need to check in on more frequently.
Some students also do NOT do well with a self-paced classroom, so I really thought the article's idea of only allowing students with a certain grade threshold to proceed with the self-paced material a good idea.
Lately I've been staring at my phone, which tells me how much of my life I'm wasting away on social media. Since starting this class, it's more than usual (but I think for mostly good reasons!)
However, I read this quick article on how it's affecting teens and teachers from ISTE. Seems like most kids live in a home that has a mobile device, and over 50% of teens consider themselves addicted to their phones! According to the article, most teens spend about 8 or 9 hours on their phones! I wouldn't have believed it, but I've had days in the last month where I used my phone for over 6 hours for multimedia use... which for me is nuts, but I've been doing a lot of video editing and searching on it for this class and others, so that might be why.
I found an interesting and quick video on how our phones are changing our bodies AND brains. Spooky stuff, just right after Halloween! Check it out:
So, I've decided that i'm addicted to my phone, (scary article, if you do some of those things you might have a problem like me!) but I don't know how to check my Twitter mentions. Such irony. D'oh!
In light of how much we use our cell phones, do you guys see evidence in your classrooms or even outside of your classrooms that we are addicted to our phones? I gotta say, when I drive I like to play a game where I count how many people are driving on while using their cell phones. It's a depressingly high number of people... what do you think we should be teaching in classrooms to help combat our collective supposed cell phone addiction? Is it even possible to combat this, given how many apps work on our dopamine pathways, fueling the addition?
Till next time,
stay saucy, and also, STAY CURIOUS!
saucily and curiously yours,
PS: below is another reason I can't enjoy live concerts anymore. Just enjoy the show!
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with
I watched Dean Shareski's video this week on sharing and open education with great interest. His main idea surprised me. Dean states that he's a composite of all the learning networks he is in. By not sharing, we take away from the network that basically compiled us into who we are. He quotes Ewan Mcintosh:
"Sharing, and sharing online specifically, is not in addition to the work of being an educator. It is the work." - Ewan Mcintosh
This is food for thought that I had never considered before. Sure, I love using free online resources, they are wonderful! And yes, I like posting things online when I think they are useful (for example, I've been slowly uploading every direct instruction lesson I've done in Grade 11 Pre-calculus for my students to my YouTube Channel... I suppose they could be useful to other people besides my students)... but should teachers ALWAYS be sharing online? Is it actually our main directive in today's world of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?
Ah, yes, maybe the best things in life ARE free? And maybe if we've ever used free online materials before, As Dean says, we should be giving back and sharing our knowledge as well?
I'm slowly realizing that maybe as teachers, we should be a lot more mindful of the fact that we have benefited so much from others posting online, that we should ensure we set aside some time to share things we have created as well.
Dean shares quite a few powerful stories about teachers (wanna see powerful teachers in action? Check out my classmates' blogs... yea, I just gave ALL OF YOU a shout out! That's love!) who have shared things online and really changed education for the better because of it. Quick highlights:
1) Dan Meyers is a resource I have used in the past in my math classes. He started off by sharing things on his blog for free. Ironically, he now tours around and makes money with his ideas... the last idea he posted on his website is from 2017, but he is a busy man as seen on Twitter! He currently works at Desmos (a great online math resource!). I honestly don't begrudge him that monetizing his ideas. He got started by sharing his stuff for free, in the true spirit of what teachers should do. His free material continues to be available to this day!
2) George Couros (twitter here... I follow him, you should too!) is also featured, sharing his identity fair idea, and connecting his school with another school in Texas that decided to run the same fair. A student with Tourettes Syndrome also gets some worldwide attention. It's a great story.
Massive Open Online Courses
The next part of my post will briefly deal with the history of MOOCs, and what I think of them. MOOCs are part of the Open Education Movement, which is generally free education offered by various bodies and allows anyone, anywhere to learn.
I'll briefly highlight some history, which I originally didn't want to do, but then got interested as I read more about it. Some people think that MOOCs all "sort of" started with distance education... but if you think about it, mailing students textbooks to learn from in the mid 1800s was about as a good as distance learning could get.
Below you'll find a picture overview, because pictures say 1000 words, am I right? Yeeees!
EARLY YEARS: DOWNES & SIEMENS
According to MAUT (McGill Association of University Teachers), it was these two dudes, Stephen Downs and George Siemens, who in 2008 who sort of really coined the term "MOOC" and actually nailed down the MOOC concept, which was loosely floating around somewhere on the internet in open education literature from before the dinosaurs.
MOOCs were different from traditional distance learning because they truly allow for interactions between all the participants of the course, which was only possible with the new advent of certain online tools during the Web 2.0 era. There was much fervor over the support students could get in support groups in forums and other mediums online, besides the delivery methods of the course which could use Twitter, YouTube, etc...
Eventually, all sorts of universities were offering free, open, online courses, a la MOOC style!
Honestly, if you want to read a good, more in depth synthesis of MOOCs, I recommend this Wikipedia article (which started with the open education movement back in 2001, of course!)
It's funny, even though a quick google search for MOOC will usually bring up Downes and Siemens, if you go read about Downes, his one blog post actually mentions that Alec Couros ran one of the first MOOCs way before Downes did, back in 2007, which brings me to my next heading....
EVEN EARLIER YEARS: ALEC COUROS
MOVING ON... MY TEACHING PRACTICE
So, what else can I say about MOOCs? How have they effected my teaching? How has the whole concept of open education changed my practice? I have to say, many of the amazing changes in my mind happened in my computer science classes:
1) The grade 12 class entirely makes use of free web resources to learn their chosen topics or to pursue their educational interests in computer science. Students have...
-Used Unity to make games
-Used EdX to learn Python
-Used Roblox Studio to create games
-Used other online resources to learn C#, C++ on Codecademy
2) My grade 12 class also learns how to use Scratch, a coding language for kids. They develop 5 or 6 lessons on it, and then they spend 1 hour each week out in local K-8 schools teaching Grade 7 and 8's how to code. The first year we did it, the newspaper picked up the story, and the kids were very excited about it. Everyone has a blast! I now have so many local teachers interested in having my classes teach their kids that I actually have to turn teachers away!
3) My Grade 11 class (also my major project for this class) has been making YouTube tutorials on how to code. We have so far created tutorials for Scratch, but I have a bunch more videos I need to upload, as the first batch of videos is in!
4) I upload my terrible (but according to my students, apparently handy) lectures for grade 11 and 12 precalculus math to my YouTube channel. It first started as something I would do if I was sick or had to be out of the classroom for whatever reason, I'd record the lecture the students would miss so the sub (who often can't teach math) could play it for the class.
This semester, my challenge to myself was to get every single individual lesson recorded and online for Grade 11 Pre-Calculus. I have been a little lazy in uploading them, I only recently started uploading them. BUT I have actually recorded every lesson on my phone this semester so far, and I am slowly going back and uploading them! I've been doing one a day mostly. Next semester I will to the same for Grade 12! Perhaps I'll blog when it's complete!
5) I'm also part of MANACE, an organization that provides ideas and inspirations on best practices around educational technology. We actually recently interviewed Alec Couros (here is part 1 and part 2 of the interview) as part of a series of podcasts called Dial I. T. The idea is to have some conversations with education movers and shakers every few weeks. I like them.
So, I'd actually say the open education movement and MOOCs has actually greatly affected my teaching practice. I didn't even really realize it, but now I think it's my job to ensure I continue to make my progress and resources available to the world via my blog, YouTube, and Twitter (I just hate tweeting... I like to stick stuff up on YouTube and call it a night. I am trying to expand my network).
WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?
It leaves us in a place where really, I think if you are an educator, you need to JOIN US in sharing your wealth of teaching knowledge with the world! Giving back only makes you a better teacher, and could mean the WORLD to someone out there! Even if it's just one person, that's amazing! And likely, over time, I reckon you will reach more than just one soul!
Here's a quick little survey to wrap things up, I am curious how you guys go about sharing your knowledge with the world!
Alrighty! Whew, I'm tired now.
Stay motivated, share, be nice, and mostly....
Matteo Di Muro
I've been so inspired by Dean's journey of "coding with the agent", and Curtis' TwitterBot. that I've decided to do another blog post. Specifically, on offline coding activities.
Many teachers I've talked to either don't have access to a computer lab, or devices to do actual coding on. Or, they are intimidated by coding in general and don't want to read vague 24 page documents with "suggestions" on how to get started. That's pretty daunting. Well, there are alternatives!
England has been doing a great job (wake up, Canada! Everybody else has a solid plan on incorporating coding into their curriculum) on incorporating computational thinking skills and coding concepts into their grade school curriculum. It's genius, actually.
So that brings us to today's menu item. Barefoot computing. This website offers a variety of coding activities for grade school students, both online and offline! Who do we have to thank for this wonderful resource? Well, apparently it's a program that was developed by Computing at School, The Chartered Institute for IT and the (UK) Department for Education.
I love how the UK implemented coding into their grade school curriculum (click for curriculum document), but also how they have created a bunch of workshops and resources for teachers to learn how to implement it into their classrooms. I feel that largely in Canada we are left to our own devices, and all the provinces work fairly independently of one another instead of in unison.
The thing I really like about Barefoot is the totally complete lessons, with all the resources you need, some even come with power-points if they are more involved projects.
Barefoot also ties in a bunch of other curricular outcomes as well, so there is a lot of incentive for teachers to use them. I have reviewed a fair number of them, and they would seem appropriate for use in Canada.
Probably one of the biggest hurdles for students in Grade 10 Computer Science is dealing with algorithmic thinking, breaking down tasks into smaller and smaller steps, and just "thinking" like a coder. What the UK has done is tried to embed these concepts into their curriculum, so that these types of thought processes are not so foreign. I really think it's a good thing, and they've found a really fun way to do it! It doesn't even feel like coding, some of these lessons.
That's it for now!
As the snow comes piling down on brandon and manitoba in general, I find myself cooped up inside (after a nice snowy run outside, of course), I find myself going through my classmate's blogs and reflecting on how lucky I am to have had a chance to meet and learn from all these amazing people.
I'm so lucky to be in #eci831 with Alec Couros (find his webpage here) and a very diverse and intelligent group of teachers and others involved in education!
For example, Ms. Moffatt has a very detailed post on the nature of knowledge today, and in particular I really enjoyed the chart on some popular epistemological perspectives that are relevant today.
I could literally feature everybody's blog here, but one more that I'd like to highlight is Altan's recent blog post on the quandaries of knowledge explosion. A very detailed breakdown of the various schools of knowledge is presented as they progress, ending with our current so called "digital age" and social learning. The discussion presented for thought is great, and makes me want to stop searching Google, and just staying on Blog Hub in our eci831 course!
I wish I could add more! So here's my quick review of Screencast-O-matic, a screen recording tool that is not new for me but is new for many of my students, who are creating tutorials for each unit we complete in Grade 11 Computer Science. The students are writing scripts, making story boards, creating examples to use in their tutorials, coding them, and putting it all together. They will also critique one of their peers' videos while in the editing stage so that the suggestions can be added to the video.
To cap it off, it seems like every parent will sign off on the waiver form, so we will be uploading the resulting videos to YouTube for public viewing. Here is a quick video review of Screencast-O-matic below:
If you didn't feel like watching the 2 minute video above (yikes, it's hard to compete with those 10 second tik tok videos) I'll quickly summarize:
I like Screencast-O-matic for a few reasons:
1) the watermark on the free version is not intrusive
2) it is super easy to use
3) you can record the screen and also the webcam at the same time
4) it's easy to select the screen area you'd like to record
5) You can upload directly to YouTube if you like to live on the edge or you can save the video for later editing
Really, how could we complain? It's a great, free, educational tool that empowers teachers and students. Using the built in video editor in Windows or Macs, you can really step it up to the next level.
I've started using it to record any demos I do in my computer science classes, this way my students (or perhaps other people out there on YouTubes) can use them whenever they need a refresher or need to learn something new.
What an amazing time we live in. I feel like I've been taking all our Ed Tech for granted the last few years, but really being in this class is helping me be amazed every day what just how much is possible today.
I'm going to link to an interesting post that features 92 EdTech tools. Can you envision using any of these in your own classrooms?
Till next time, stay curious, and have fun!
A special thank you to Kurt Campos, a student of mine who is clearly very talented, and created the logos for my blog at the top of every page!! Thanks Kurt :D
Pavan Arora scaring the children, and telling us that everything we learned (because most of have been out of university for at least 4 or 5 years...) is now obsolete. Run for the hills and hide your degrees!
I'm going to do something CRAZY here and combine my extra post on this additional reading with our prompt for the week: "how do you take up teaching in a world where knowledge is becoming obsolete?"
Of course, the title of the TedXFoggyBottom video is a bit sensational... knowledge is not becoming obsolete, but rather, it's becoming a commodity. Certainly our access to knowledge has exploded... I remember the world before YouTube was more than just cat videos, around 2005/2006.... it was much harder to learn something! You had to find a book or article about it, or track down someone who could teach you.
Pavan argues that knowledge is getting updated all the time, and that the Pluto you learned was a planet is no longer a planet. We are trying to prepare students for jobs that don't even exist yet, a claim that I think goes unchallenged all too often. For example, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), the fields that have the highest number of new projected jobs are in health care (specifically, personal care aides), food preparation and serving, registered nurses, followed by software development for the next 7 years. None of those things are new jobs. Working your way down the list also doesn't seem to yield any mysterious unheard of professions or jobs. Now, are there jobs that are dying because of technology, or changing because of it? You betcha... but we aren't seeing a reinvention of the wheel. In fact, as Trump pointed out once, cars have 4 wheels.
A fun exercise is googling old ads for things we thought would exist in about 10 years, and which still don't exist 65 years later. Here is a magazine cover from around 1965. Can't wait for my flying hover car, made possible with the power of plastics!
Pavan says that our knowledge has an expiration date, and that augmented reality will allow us a quantum leap in educational possibilities (I happen to agree with him there, when the tech gets good enough).
However, I'd argue that if you want to master something, that still does mean you need to internalize a LOT of facts and knowledge. There are certainly professions that require a lot of updating your knowledge, but you always start with a very large base of knowledge that is mostly unchanging. Math is still math. Mechanics still fix cars that still have moving parts. Now they swap out computer chips too sometimes, but the base job is the same, for example. Carpenters are still building houses out of wood and concrete, not zeros and ones. Sure, the tools they use are cooler and fancier, but the base job remains intact. Computer programmers have been coding since the 1950's. I've heard the prediction that computers will be coding themselves in 5 or 10 years... speaking to a former student of mine (find him here) doing his Masters in Computer Science has put my mind to rest. We are far away from that if he is to be believed. Technology IS creating new jobs, and changing old ones, but I feel like the headline always gets over sensationalized. Does the technology available to teachers nowadays have massive potential to change what and how we learn? I'd say YES!
However, you don't spend 10,000 hours becoming an expert at something by not committing anything to memory. At the same time, I'm not saying that YouTube isn't the best thing since sliced bread, because it is. I see the power of social networks, and the GREAT potential of all this knowledge we have at our finger tips. What is a teacher to do?
I would argue that learning how to learn is and always was a very important skill to have. As teachers, we can now offer students the ability to choose their own curriculum and learn whatever they want. I have experimented with this in my Grade 12 Computer Science class, which is completely project based. Students write me a proposal for what they want to learn, I provide them with resources and they also identify their own online resources (my school is nice enough to always allow me to spend money on the students if they need books, programs, parts, whatever) and the students learn whatever they choose to learn. There is a lot of dialogue, reflection, and documenting that goes on, and most students seem to enjoy the process of choosing what they learn. This is the power of the technology and knowledge (YouTube) that we have today!
One of my favourite videos of all time is actually Derek Mueller's "This will revolutionize education" (Derek Mueller has been on various TV shows, including Bill Nye Saves the World. He has a successful YouTube channel and a Ph.D in Physics Education--Love the way he explains things).
I've always loved history (even though I haven't studied nearly enough of it!). I believe there is value in examining the past, and what Mr. Mueller does in his video is investigate why the teaching profession has failed to live up to all sorts of wild claims about how a new technology will change education forever. He then discusses a bit about where we are going, the power of social learning and YouTube, and what he thinks is the best way forward for educators in our tech-driven world. Worth a watch, it clocks in at around 7 minutes.
Derek Mueller laying down the law.
One of the things that strikes me the most in the video is when Derek says "...we are not limited by the experiences we can give students. What limits learning is what can happen inside the student's head ... No technology is inherently superior to any other ... researchers have failed to investigate how to use the technology to promote meaningful thought processes ... so the question really is, what experiences promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?" (Derek Mueller, 2014, 4:10-4:49). He goes on to list some recent research where these processes are being investigated. His video isn't all doom and gloom!
At 5:30, he discusses why we need teachers at all in the YouTube world, where I suppose one could say, knowledge is obsolete. He basically says that a teacher's job is to inspire and challenge students to want to learn. They guide the social process of learning and keep students accountable. He believes that YouTube will revolutionize education, being the gateway to knowledge, and accessible at any time by anyone with an internet connection.
And this post has become too long. End it here. Love to hear what you guys think.
Arora, Pavan. (2014). Knowledge is obsolete, so now what? YouTube video, retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWR5YXm2mRg on October 4, 2019.
Mueller, Derek. This Will Revolutionize Education. YouTube video, retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEmuEWjHr5c&t=2s on October 4, 2019.
United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved April 24, 2019 from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm and https://www.bls.gov/ooh/most-new-jobs.htm
Flying Car picture retrieved from https://alexandruduta.com/tag/1960s/ on October 4, 2019.
Ah, well, an awkward topic indeed to discuss. But something that I occasionally find does happen in class.
I try to make up projects that aren't easy to Google, but alas, cheating seems to happen anyways. Whether it's students "helping" each other by copying and pasting their own code, lately I've been finding it more and more important to go ethics and responsibilities, and the value of schooling.
I do encourage a level of cooperation in my classes, I like to see students explaining things to each other, and being good citizens and helping out a brother or sister in need!
Manitoba has a whole ICT curriculum that is supposed to be taught by all teachers. My informal findings is that very few teachers even know what it is, and if they do, they certainly don't have much time to spend on it.
Click the picture to go to the LwICT continuum website
If you don't want to go reading a bunch, the continuum stresses the importance of...
-Higher order thinking skills
-creativity and thinking
-Horribly named "21st century skills" (this would make a great blog post some other time)
-Digital citizenship (part of this is ethics and responsibility)
-constructivist learning (and gradual release of responsibility)
Etc. I do show many of my classes websites like StackOverFlow... and general internet searching skills. Since I think I am leaning towards option 1, and having my kids make YouTube tutorials, it'll be more important that ever that I ensure that I cover ethics and digital citizenship.
It's never fun having conversations with students when you find clearly duplicate code, or code they aren't really able to explain. Other times students can explain it just fine, as they've gone and actually done some research or reading on the internet... this is something I encourage and WANT to see.
I think the importance of going over ethics cannot be understated. I won't want students to eventually find themselves in some sort of trouble over it, and obviously it's also the wrong thing to do as well. What do you think?
Well, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a stab at talking about the article I posted up on Twitter.
A few standouts:
1) Mr. Walsh seems to thinks all teachers will be leveraging AI to some extent--I don't think this will be a thing. It's kinda like how most teachers aren't leveraging any of the tech we have right now, why would AI be any different? Sure, some teachers might (not even sure what exactly that would look like to be honest, as I don't get AIs really).
2) Just for the record, I don't think teachers are going to be replaced by AIs anytime soon either--the job is just too complicated right now.
3) I do think Deepfakes will be a problem, and that worries me as someone who has enough videos on YouTube to probably make a good deepfake. Not sure what a deepfake is? Check it out!
The biggest standout for me was:
"...we do have a responsibility to coach kids and the next generation on taking steps to safeguard their own data, understanding risks to their online reputation and knowing how to protect their digital identities" (Randles, 2019, p. 14).
This is something that as teachers, I'm sure we could all do more of. Someone made the comment to me that we should encourage students to put their BEST work on the internet, and if they do that they shouldn't have any major issues down the road. I couldn't agree more.
Randles, J. (2019). Mike Walsh discusses AI, 5G networks and our relationship with tech. ISTE: Empowered Learner, 10-14. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/category/empowered-learner
My name is Matteo Di Muro, the original Prairie Boy, and I've been teaching since I was 14. I currently teach mathematics and computer science in Brandon. I try to keep on learning things, and I'm getting onboard with sharing with others, hence this site!