- think about yourself as a learner in an unfamiliar medium;
- identify what resources we draw upon for inspiration, persistence, and responses to frustration (if any);
- continue thinking about the affordances and constraints of composing with things;
- engage with connected learning principles, especially reflecting on peer collaboration;
- think about this as an experience bridging to the classroom.
You have done and (hopefully) learned quite a bit over the past three weeks. For your last blog of the institute, we'd like you to reflect over your time here at UIWP. Consider some of the following as you reflect:
Today is our final day in brick-and-mortar space as we prepare to embark upon our writing marathon tomorrow. This means that the walls we have come to call home over the past three weeks will go back to being the neatest classroom on U of I's campus, even without our presence. The space itself has provided a number of great opportunities to fiddle with technology, reach out and collaborate with people around the country, and share our ideas with our peers. But tomorrow we will really play with the ideas of how space affects process and output by traveling to different sites around campus. It has been a wonderful institute, and we are looking forward to closing in style.
Before launching into his teaching demo over imagination and play in the Common Core era, Tomas took the time to read us the children's book Tadpole's Promise. Although beautifully written and illustrated, the ending was a tad polarizing (rimshot). You should check the book out and see what you think.
You're probably not surprised to learn when looking at this picture that we all would like to be magically transported Tomas's classroom immediately. Consider Tomas's contentions:
If you tuned in to yesterday's conversation with Paul Prior, you probably recognize some of these ideas. But even if you have read Vygotsky, Dewey, or other sociocultural theorists in your educational training, this probably makes a lot of sense. The world is a playground, after all. So why do we keep seeing these tenets squeezed out of classrooms? Thanks, Tomas, for reminding us of the importance of keeping play in our classrooms.
This was such a wonderful and refreshing way to end our teaching demonstrations. We finish galvanized and ready to ask our students to use their imaginations in their learning.
Don't forget to join in tonight's Twitter chat at 6pm EST. We will be using the hashtag #clmooc. We will also be hosting a #slowchat for those people who feel that the regular Twitter chat moves a little too fast. If you are interested in pre-loading a little of your discussion tonight, here are the questions we will be asking:
The afternoon may have been the coolest session yet, as Suzanne and Virginia came to visit us from the Fab Lab to help us make Arduino bots. Arduino, which is an open-source platform (though a donation is appreciated), takes the making process to a new level by bringing applied mechanics into the making space. Check out this cool video of Yoda and Darth Vader dueling to the death.
For our final make, we harnessed the power of engineering to come up with some pretty nifty stuff. Thanks to Suzanne and Virginia for spending the afternoon with us!
After lunch, we sat down with Dr. Paul Prior, who led us in a discussion about remediation, student experiences, play, and identities (heady topics for a conversations for what felt like a light and engaging conversation!).
There have already been a wealth of great makes on all of the different CLMOOC spaces this week. There have also been some great discussions and questions surrounding remediation - its potential and some of its challenges. If you're as excited and we are about remediation and making, don't forget to join us tonight for our live Make with Me on Google Hangout from 6-7pm (CST)! We'll be discussing remediating - what it means, how we do it, and how it functions in our classrooms. If you can't make the Hangout, be sure to watch the archived discussion HERE.
Today's demonstration was led by Lucia who asked us consider a funds of knowledge approach when working with students from different cultures in our classrooms. From Lucia's presentation: "Funds of knowledge is a term used 'to refer to the historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning or well being'" (Kier-Lopez).
There may not be a better question to ask than "how do I get to know my students, their interests and their situations?" There is certainly a large body of research pointing to success in classrooms that honor students' diverse cultural backgrounds. Lucia recommends that teachers "validate a student's identity and home culture as worthy of expression, as interesting, and as specialized knowledge that others want to know."
This demonstration was rich and raised a lot of interesting points and questions. Thanks Lucia for reminding us of the importance of honoring all students' backgrounds, talents, and experiences.
After lunch we had the very awesome opportunity to hang out in the Illinois Digital Ecologies and Learning Laboratory (IDEALL). Special thanks to Dr. Emma Mercier for walking us through the touchscreen tables in the lab and getting us to think about some of the possibilities that collaborative technology can unlock!
Last stop - Creative Commons. As we continue to discuss the reality of making in this multimodal world, it becomes clear that we have to be thoughtful about the types of media we use and remediate. Discussions about plagiarism have been a staple of the English Language Arts classroom for decades, but many of us find ourselves at a loss when it comes to addressing new media and how to appropriately incorporate it into our and our students' work. Creative Commons offers students, teachers, and users the opportunity to find, use, and remediate open-source media. It was valuable to have a conversation among colleagues about how we use open-source media (and how sometimes we don't!)
It's finally here! UIWP is hosting this week of the CLMOOC! Again, if you're not familiar with the CLMOOC, you should totally check it out - and you should pay very special attention this week as our Writing Project site hosts a series of conversations and events designed around the topic of remediation (not in the behavioral sense, but rather in the sense of writing and making across different forms of media). You can see our opening newsletter HERE or you can just watch our remediated version of it in the YouTube video below.
We are incredibly excited and honored to be participating in the CLMOOC in this capacity and we are looking forward to what everybody has to contribute! If you haven't jumped in yet, you can follow the CLMOOC blog at Educator Innovator or be part of the conversation on Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks to Mindy for leading us in some great thinking about social technology in the writing classroom.
After our lunch break participants had the opportunity to share their finished inquiry maps that they made through Thing Link. You can check out everyone's inquiry map by finding their portfolio on our participants page.
In the afternoon we travelled over to the Krannert Art Museum to check out their current exhibit, "Versions and Revisions." From the Krannert's website: "... this exhibition features works from the permanent collection that directly reference canonical works of art, specific artists, and art historical styles. Some artists whose work is on display convey a sense of adoration for their subject—either playfully or with reverence—while others use their works to critique society, religion, or the art historical canon." Thinking about art in this way allowed us to consider remediation in a new way. Special thanks to Anne Sauteman for taking the time to talk with us about the exhibit.
After our tour we got to have our first official writing marathon using the artwork at KAM as inspiration. Not a bad way to end our second week.
Today you can compose over whatever topic you like, but we would like you to do so by recording video or audio and posting it on your blog. See if you can figure out how to record your thoughts for the day and get them posted on your blog without any help.
Of course we're always here when you need us... :)
Where does the time go!? It's hard to believe that we're already nearing the end of our second week at the UIWP Summer Institute. It has been incredibly inspiring to see the creative and innovative strategies that our local teachers are applying in their classrooms.
Another interesting point that we probably don't think about as often as we should is how often we rely on the explanation that our students "just have to do what they're told." Bridget asked us to consider why a student would respond to such a direction. Not a bad thing to think about.
For your decompress today, start thinking about ways that you will use some of the information you've seen over the past eight days in your classroom next school year. How is your experience as a learner propelling you into the experiences you hope to have with your students? What frustrations are you having or do you think you still need to work through? What seems like it will be difficult to implement or what makes the most sense?
The first Make with Me event for CLMOOC was last night. You can watch the archived recording of it HERE. We're all getting excited to host our Make Cycle next week!
Of course we here at the U of I are big fans of sociocultural learning theories, especially when it comes to language development...
Here is a collective list of the love songs we brought in for Jenna's demo (just in case you're interested in building your personal collection, or if you want to have some lyrics on hand when you try this activity in your own classrooms).
In the afternoon we had a fantastic Google video chat with Antero Garcia about connected learning principles. It was an informative and unpretentious talk about ways that we can all bring concepts like interest-driven instruction or academically-oriented teaching into our classrooms. Check out #uiwp on Twitter see some of the highlights.
Thanks @anterobot for taking the time to hang out with us!