I have collaborated with St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, to create a one credit independent study course. I am very excited that this project is coming to actualization, and I want to make sure to include you all in this epic opportunity!
Watch for updates more information about registration and class specifics coming shortly or send me an email at email@example.com
This blog post is my reflection for the CMLE scholarship I received to help cover part of my cost to attend ISTE 2016. I am sending a big THANK YOU to the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange for your support. You can learn more about https://cmle.org/
The two questions I will reflect on include:
What were your favorite takeaways or new things learned?
As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?
Who is ready for something different?! I am and I am excited about BreakOut EDU. James and Mark created a box with locks that correspond to numerous lessons you can pick for your students to solve and break open the box. It has been really neat to see their journey and BreakOut Edu grow over the past year. If you were one of the lucky attendees who got to participate in the challenge, you got to experience their new BreakOut EDU bus. I was not one of those lucky people but have had the experience at a few Google Summits in classrooms.
The two games I got to experience are:
You can learn more about the games at http://www.breakoutedu.com/games
While participating in the game, I was part of a team of educators who all had the same goal, to solve the puzzles to break open the box. Each time I participated, my role in the game changed based on the other personalities in the room. One time, I was a leader in helping others figure out what to do. The next time I was a worker and was assigned a task to figure out with a small group of people.
I now look forward to leading my first BreakOut Edu in August at workshop I am leading for Innovative Educator Consulting as a team building activity. The website shares that "Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve." Exactly what I am looking for!! I hope the participants are inspired, like I was, to bring this back to their schools.
Computer Science for All is an effort many are participating in...
Sunday afternoon I participated in the Computational Thinking Playground. As people walked towards the auditorium with the keynote, they passed the playground. Many stopped in to see what it was about. I was able to lead a few unplugged activities.
Happy Maps (Course 1)
Real Life Algorithms - Dice Race (Course 3)
Throughout the week at ISTE, we had a challenge for people to share how they are using Computer Science (CS) in their classrooms. You can see how people responded by checking out #wecancode on Twitter.
Tuesday morning there was a surprise appearance by R2-D2 and Hadi Partovi, founder of code.org, where he explained how important it is to expose all students to CS. Code.org would like educators to know
“Anybody can learn” (whether you’re a student or teacher)
It’s about “computer science,” not “code,” and our focus is on schools
Computer science is foundational - for EVERY child
Improving diversity is core to our mission
This is a teacher-powered movement
Hadi showed how easy it is to get started in your first plugged activity by creating a game in the Star Wars hour of code course. My poster session took place right after the keynote finished and many people stopped by. My topic was on how kids can code and many ways to approach it. However, many people were interested in Code.org since Hadi had just spoke about it. I am obviously a huge fan of code.org, I was happy to talk a lot about it and answer questions.
I was able to connect with many teachers are implementing CS into their schools. My role at technology conferences has evolved over the past few years. At first, I would attend to consume information. Now I attend to share information, empower educators in their practice, and make connections that last beyond the conference.
**At my code.org workshop last week an attendee shared the following link bit.ly/ISTE16tote this document has each day of the conference broken down with resources for each session. Yikes!! This is a great tool. **
A side rule in startup weekend is that if you have at least four people who are interested in creating a project, you can go ahead and create it! So, even though I did not make the top 10 in sticky note voting, I did have three other people interested in helping make my dream a reality!
Syeed, Michael, Jon, and I created team DigiDoc.
Our core team spent the weekend creating a tool that could help teachers organize and track their CEUs, while storing them in a secure space. Throughout the weekend, we were able to work with other attendees and mentors to create our program. I was amazed at times when a handful of people would be working on the code to run our program.
It was exciting to me when I understood what was being talked about. Having taught lessons from Code.org's K-5 fundamentals courses, I now know basic vocabulary like function, loop, and algorithm. Every once in a while I would hear these words and have a small bit of insight into what they were currently working on.
After making a pitch at Start Up Weekend, we could lobby or pitch for votes. I had a few sticky note votes on my poster, but not as many as other posters as I looked around. In the pictures below, you can see me selling my pitch to other participants.
The people in the picture above are part of the group of participants whose pitches got the most votes. As you can see, I am not in this picture. My pitch had a few votes, but not enough to make the top 10. Stay tuned to find out what happened next!