All About the P.Q. ‘Bout the C.Q. (Not I.Q.)

As CEP 812 draws to a close, we’re reminded of precisely why we went into teaching and why we pursued better understandings of technology: We want to grow and mold the curiosities and passions of our students.

In the past, a person’s I.Q might define their capabilities. However, in the 21st century when the world’s knowledge is at the click of a button, how we measure potential is changing; now, a person’s passion quotient (P.Q.) and curiosity quotient (C.Q.) will help increase motivation and stamina to succeed. Before I can help my students grow their P.Q. and C.Q., I need to reflect on what drives my own passions and curiosity. To better display my thoughts, I created an infographic that maps my drives and how I’ve begun using technology in the classroom.

Friedman, D.L. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html?_r=0

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CEP 812 Week 6: Wicked Problem Project “Curation”

Let’s get down to brass tacks: Most of us are afraid of trying something new because we’re afraid to fail. Yet failure and perseverance is what drove people like J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan, and Thomas Edison to stardom. Additionally, if not for failure, we would not have things like corn flakes, silly putty, and post-it notes. However, our educational institutions more often than not discourage failure of any kind. That leads to a major Wicked Problem: How do we ensure that this generation’s Thomas Edisons are encouraged to persevere in the midst of failure?

This is what Dan, David, Liz, and I made it our mission to solve.

To allow failure to be just as valuable as success, a paradigm shift needs to occur. Using the TPACK model for inspiration, we decided to tackle our problem on three fronts: Using content, technology, and pedagogy.

Via Google Docs and Google Hangouts, the four of us brainstormed and bounced ideas off of one another. From a pedagogical standpoint, we believe it’s important to study famous failures, promote positive reinforcement for risk-taking, and recreate rubrics that include a measurement for risk-taking. From a content standpoint, we believe that having failure become a PART of curricula will give students a safe place to become more comfortable with failure. From a technology standpoint, we believe that tying in affinity spaces will allow students to persevere in failure due to intrinsic interest and supportive mentors.

With our whitepaper, images, infographics, and mash-up ideas housed at our Blendspace page, we believe that our proposals truly make it okay to fail!

CEP 812 Week 5: Survey of Technology in the Classroom

I know my own thoughts and feelings about technology use in the Technology in the Classroomclassroom, but what about my colleagues’ opinions? In our Week 5 assignment, we were required to survey, synthesize, and share data about how our colleagues use technology; what they would like to learn more about in regards to using technology in the classroom; and how they would like to receive this instruction.

In my analysis, I found that my colleagues use various technologies in their classrooms to drive instruction and to communicate with parents and guardians. The majority of my colleagues voiced an interest in having a colleague-led discussion and demonstration on how they can increase students usage of technology. In addition to a white paper analysis, the following infographic displays findings in a different format. With this information in hand, I hope it allows our team to move forward in finding ways to increase student use of technology in the classroom!

CEP 812 Week 4: Meeting the Needs of Our Diverse Learners

Dyslexia is a disability that makes it difficult for the brain to recognize and process letters and words. This particular disorder is more commonly known among educators, but what about a similar disability known as dysgraphia? Dysgraphia is a type of learning disability that makes it difficult for people to express themselves through written language. Read my white paper about potential causes and implications for people with dysgraphia.

Thankfully, there are several tools available that allow students with dysgraphia to help better process their ideas. Dictation tools – both paid and free – offer ways for learners to show their true understanding when writing is not an obstacle. Watch my voice to text demonstration using the free website Dictation.io.

CEP 812 Week 3: Consume Information Because it Builds Character!

Information Diet

No trans fats?

I’d like to think of myself as up-to-date on topical events; after all, I make a point to browse Fark and Reddit; I listen to CNN while working; and I take a look at ideas on Pinterest and blogs like 2 Writing Teachers for more ideas to incorporate into my classroom.

Yes, I recognize how sad this list truly is…

When I was asked to look at my affinity spaces, I realized that my resources truly do only support my own ideas and opinions. Gee mentions that affinity spaces are places where people join together over shared interests (Gee, 2013). When I’m looking for recommendations for new books to read, I check out the suggestions from collaborators at Dear Author; when I’m stuck at a part in the game Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’ll consult the forums at Steam or GameFAQs. For more topical interests, I browse Fark’s News and Entertainment sections, and I’m subscribed to several subreddits that deal with news and technology.

Since I draw on and contribute to my own infinity spaces, I am involved in what Jenkins describes as participatory culture (Jenkins, 2010). My problem is that because I am not actively broadening my understandings on topics that I disagree with, I’m limiting myself to my own currently-held ideas and beliefs with no room for growth. I’ve got to get out of my own “filter bubble” – which has been specifically tailored to me – if I want to become more well-rounded (Pariser, 2011).

So, where to start? To solve my malnutrition, I delved deeper into Twitter. First, I decided to – grudgingly – embrace being an adult and subscribe to @TIME. I’ve recognized that subscribing to aggregates like Fark and Reddit have given me blinders. It’s important to understand important issues that affect the United States nationally and internationally. As someone who loves to learn about history, it only makes sense that I keep tabs on current events that will be found in curricula in the future.

Speaking of curricula, I also subscribed to the U.S. Department of Education @usedgov, the Secretary of Education’s Twitter account @arnedunch, and Michigan Department of Education @mieducation . I enjoy searching for lessons, units, and other ideas on the internet, but it just makes sense that I should also be keeping tabs on two of the governmental agencies that determine precisely what I will be expected to teach!

Similarly, I also decided to follow the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics @NCTM . I have spent time searching resources to help me enhance my teaching of subjects I enjoy: Reading, writing, and social studies. Organizations such as Read.Write.Think, and blogs like 2 Writing Teachers and Nerdy Book Club have helped me develop lessons for the subjects I enjoy. Math has always been a difficult subject to wrap my head around. Following advice from mathematicians who have been studying the subject longer than I’ve been alive seems like a good place to start.

Like any kind of diet, it has been difficult to get started reading the plethora of links these various companies and organizations publish, tweet, or retweet. I have been making a concerted effort to check a few a day. Reading articles from @Time or @NCTM hasn’t been too difficult; surprisingly, articles that were most difficult to read have been from Michigan’s Department of Education, especially about our new standardized test M-STEP! Ultimately, however, I know that in the end that this information is “good for me”, so I’ll hold my nose; swallow it down; and keeping checking these resources until it becomes a habit!

Works Cited:

Gee, J. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan Trade.

Image sourced from: https://flic.kr/p/ckGHPy

Jenkins, H. (2011, August 4). Media Scholar Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture and Civic Engagement. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgZ4ph3dSmY

Pariser, Eli. (2011, March). Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles?language=en#

CEP 812 Week Two: Why are Humans Stupid?

We are incredibly fortunate to live during such an amazing time! At no other point in history have humans been able to communicate as quickly and efficiently. We are able to access a goldmine of information from a device that also allows you to speak to someone on the other side of the earth.

Then how, exactly, is James Paul Gee, author of The Anti-Education Era, able to fill half a book about how incredibly stupid humans can be?

What if I told you that it’s not our fault, it’s because we’re “programmed” this way?

In Chapter 15, Gee explains humans are hardwired to “evade knowledge”: We tend to cling to meaning rather than truth, and we tend to disregard information that doesn’t help in our short-term survival. Accepting new ideas and learning possibly irrelevant concepts are necessary skills to help people solve complex problems. In this “white paper“, I discuss Gee’s reasoning, my own experiences with said issues, and my interpretation on how to “trick” our brains into making new information relevant.

Gee, J.P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

CEP 812: Week 1 Creation Screencast

I have many students who struggle with various mathematical concepts. Despite notes we take, practice we do, and extra help they receive, I have a handful of kids who still continue to struggle with using the well-structured traditional multi-digit multiplication algorithm. If only there was a way for students to see and hear examples and steps as many times as necessary!

They can.

With an app for the iPad like ShowMe, anyone can create clips that record not only what is being said, but also what is being written on the screen. Watch to see how this tool can address instructional problems, and why I think it is well-suited for the job.

ShowMe Screencast