Giving Students an Authentic Voice

flickr photo by mikefisher821 https://flickr.com/photos/grade6kms/5111671478 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Conference Presentation

This is support for my short 15 minute presentation at the 3rd Annual International Conference on Innovation in Education (my translation to English) in Mexico City on December 13, 2016.

Tools of the Trade

I’ve written before about my work with various tools, the focus lately is on student blogging and using a FeedWordPress setup to create a connected course where my students (and anyone else) can view the syndicated posts of the students in a single place.

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More than Rescue the Semester

flickr photo by English106 https://flickr.com/photos/english106/4357228667 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Post Conference Reflections

I was away for four days of classes last week but I left work for my #TC101 #TC1019 and #TC2027 classes. They shouldn’t miss my presence in front of the room since I’m not the focus of the class. Some of those students embrace that fact but some are still reaching to grok what I mean by this student-centred and flipped (in the sense of flipping roles) classroom.

I know, it is difficult, it is messy, but as my good friend (now I actually met her in person) Laura Gogia says it right on the title of her blog “Messy Thinking“. I was able to rename this blog to “Connecting is Learning” through her influence and that of many other amazing educators at (and not at but present through the wonders of Virtually Connecting) #OpenEd16 in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

Students are People

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Closer to the Heart

flickr photo by Roberta Baker https://flickr.com/photos/robertabaker/9231071375 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

I “Heart” Education

So perhaps I keep coming back to this same theme about relationships in education and that relates to (finally) getting around to changing the title of my blog to #ConnectingIsLearning.  If you don’t want to read about passion for education, move on to another blog or post.

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Connected and Going Native?

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Connected Learning

I’m been running a form of connected courses since the January-May 2015 semester here at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. I have this tendency to throw a new power tool into my teaching toolbox every January which has been happening for about five years now.  The list of courses I have setup is growing so much that I’m struggling to keep them maintained (see Alan’s tweet about needing an updater) and really should list all of them somewhere on the landing page for kenscourses.com. You can just find the current semester courses there now, go ahead and tweak the URLs to find the past semester.

I think the tool side has matured and is leaving room for more focus on making actual connections. I want to listen more than I want to be heard and that aligns with so much I’ve been reading, discussing and hearing about lately.

August Focus

So what am I focusing on this semester?

More love.

More love for and in teaching and learning.  Amy Collier spoke so well about this in our Virtually Connecting hallway conversation (joined that day by Stephen Downes). Just last week I had a (in-the-flesh) lunch conversation with my colleague Pille here on campus and we found a connection there that institutions (through fear) want to remove so much personal communication between students and teachers when we know that students (and teachers) need personal connections that allow us to feel the confidence and have the strength to struggle at this thing we call learning which can be so messy.

More Listening.

I’m known locally and in my network as the “flipping guy”. That label is descriptive in some ways but limiting in others (like most labels). For me the key to my flipped classroom is the flipping of responsibility for the learning. I talk less and listen more while guiding my students.  I think I’ve done a good job so far but need to push myself to be sure I am listening to the students that don’t have such a strong voice. This came up in another Virtual Connecting (see a pattern?) hangout which involved our first student participant: Andrew Rikard.

More Openness

I recently discovered the HybridPod podcast and gave all eleven episodes a listen while leaving the feed on my phone for further updates. The latest episode was about the concept of Openness in the context of sexual orientation and I applaud Chris Friend and his guests for being open about how important (and scary) that can be in a classroom environment.

Their discussion led me to consider how my sharing and interaction with my students online and in person needs to come from a context of me showing my own vulnerabilities when confronted with something new, uncomfortable or scary.

Lately I have found myself hanging out online with a group of educators that frankly intimidates me (see Bonnie‘s reply below). This is a new group and I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t know the language (all of my education is in computing science, not education) but I can be aware of my own deficiencies while also being aware of my strengths.

Going Native?

When the pendulum swings from teacher focus to student focus I wonder if my diving to deep into active participation will lead to a danger of going native? We’ll find out as I try to spend more time in the habitats of the Tec student.

flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
flickr photo by kenbauer https://flickr.com/photos/ken_bauer/29001239105 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Thanks for People

Thanks Laura for pushing me to get a post out. You do amazing work (and intimidate the heck out of me) and I appreciate that. I love all the people that go out of their way to spend little moments of their day to help others.

Join the Discussion

Feel free to dive into the comments, reach me on Twitter or write up your own blog post and then share that with us.

 

 

 

 

Stimulating Innovation from Below. Engage Your Faculty.

Conference Keynote Presentation

Title Slide from Presentation

I am presenting my keynote by the title of “Stimulating Innovation from Below. Engage Your Faculty.” today at this conference (I won’t translate it):

Primer Congreso Internacional, “La Universidad Pública del Siglo XXI, formando ciudadanos del mundo”.

Thank you to the organizers for the invitation, it was a splendid three days networking and learning from other educators.

Continue reading “Stimulating Innovation from Below. Engage Your Faculty.”

Using Twitter with my Students

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724

Communication is Key

I am a big believer in the Flipped Classroom and the focus on “the best use of classroom time” as Jon Bergmann (and many others) describes it.

For my classes and in particular my style of working with my students I find that the time outside of the classroom is equally important. The issue becomes how to keep connected with each other outside.

I’ve used many tools for this over the past 20 years or so:

On to Twitter

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by marek.sotak: http://flickr.com/photos/30032901@N04/3275031724

I want the ability for my students to express their ideas and calls for help to the entire class (and course since I usually teach multiple groups) as well as the world at large.

We use a hashtag (#TC1014 and #TC1017 for the courses this semester) to communicate about the class. Students often send me direct messages (DMs) as well but I am trying to encourage them to be more open.

Is it Working?

I tried this in previous semesters and it did not “stick”. I think the reason is that I offered other options like the course LMS and a Facebook group for each course. Now this is the main option and (some) students are using it.

Here is one example, note the communication using images (screenshots) as well as the time stamps here. I can’t be sure but some other students might have learned from this conversation and I used this example of communication in class time to stress the importance of:

  • Asking for help is okay.
  • Asking in public increases the chances that others will answer.
  • Showing details (screenshots or links to code) is important.

Permission before Posting

By-the-way, I asked Samir if I could post this conversation.

How are you using Twitter?

Your turn now. Is Twitter useful for you with your students or in your professional practice as an educator? Let us know in the comments.

 


feature image is creative commons licensed (BY-2.0) flickr photo by marek.sotak

FlipCon15 – Sharing, Caring and Mastery

Creating a Culture of Sharing, Caring and Mastery

Abstract

My goal as a facilitator of educational experiences is focused on creating a sharing culture where students not only take responsibility for their own educational pace but also contribute to the learning of their peers. The first half of this session is sharing the technology and techniques I use to foster this environment inside and outside of my classroom.P1170047

I view my main task as getting my students excited about learning computing science to increase their chances of a successful student and professional life. I still need to create formative and summative assessments to ensure they are prepared for the courses that follow. I use common tools as well as my own custom testing platform for in my courses. In the second half of this session, I will share those tools and experiences with the audience. The tools I use could be easily adapted to all levels and topics.

Videos

Please watch the videos and include in the survey (see below) form your comments or questions about my students’ experiences with a Flipped Mastery classroom.

Survey

Please fill out the survey if you plan to attend (or even if you don’t) my session at FlipCon15.

 

Mastery

Mastery

Flipped Mastery Classes

I’m finishing up my 4th semester of applying a flipped classroom and with some encouragement from my peers I decided to “take it to the next level” this semester. Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams call this the Flipped Mastery Method.

This semester my classes have a list of topics that each student needs to demonstrate their mastery in. The format for showing their mastery is completely open and graded on an OSU (Outstanding, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory) scale.

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Twitter for Teachers

Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/
Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/
Courtesy of http://www.edtechspot.com/7-ways-educators-can-effectively-use-twitter/

Are you on Twitter?

I’ve been using Twitter for over five years apparently but my use has picked up significantly in the last year. Twiage.com tells me my “Twitter age” to the day as seen below.

But I don’t want to tweet about what I ate.

Yes, there are many people tweeting about what they ate for breakfast/lunch/dinner or their location on any particular time of day. Twitter is a social media platform and we can use it for whatever we choose.

So how do I use it for Education?

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Schoology First Impressions

Image by thejbird@Flickr, click image for source.

19467848_b63feca025_mSurprised by Schoology

As mentioned last week, I’ve moved to Schoology as my LMS (Learning Management System) for my courses this semester. I am teaching a total of four groups across three separate courses which means I put two groups of the same course (Fundamentals of Programming using Python) together.

The biggest win for me so far has been the engagement of my students in discussing the out-of-class assigned videos/readings/activities.  I use a modified WSQ system (Watch/Summarize/Question) but please see Crystal Kirch’s (@crystalkirch on Twitter) explanation on her blog.

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