Blog Task 4

In my first blog entry of this subject (and course) I identified the next step in my career and learning journey was to “ lead a community of learners into the digital world, enjoying opportunities to collaborate, create, find, organise and produce informative texts using new media and particularly (social media)”. I feel that I have begun to do this. I had heard of and done some reading in many of the concepts covered in this subject but the breadth of new technologies, writers, speakers and resources  I have been exposed to through the different modules has really been an eye opener.

There has been a few themes that have I consistently focused on because they really interest me; creativity, innovation, learning futures, collaboration and connectivity. These are obviously major themes in this subject and hence I have enjoyed all the modules.

My workplace is becoming more multi-modal. We are trying to mesh together the digital and physical learning spaces. We will be there I believe in about 5 years like described in Microsoft’s Future Vision – Live, Work Play. Currently we are designing new Year 7 buildings. It is exciting to start with a blank canvas. Our Principal is leading us in the process of including spaces where students can work collaboratively sharing their learning’s publically in the physical and digital environments. I feel that I have been able to make valuable contributions to these conversations because of the new knowledge and ideas I am currently being exposed to through my study.

In a recent book I read Change Your Mind -52 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self there was a section on controlling technology. Rod Judkins (Chapter 14, 2013) commented that “to live creatively, you have to be at the forefront of new developments, not lagging behind” and to “embrace technology because it brings new ideas”.  I think being creative is fun, beautiful and clever. I am learning more about technology and am using it more; I don’t expect to always be in control of it though. I look forward to continuing this journey with a creative flair.

So, over the next couple of weeks I will compose my digital essay about Makerspaces (a great finale for the subject) and then I look forward to next semester participating in the subject “Designing Spaces for Learning” whilst we construct our year 7 buildings and develop plans for our Library renovations.

Attributions:

Microsoft’s Future Vision -Live, work, play. (2013). Retrieved May 2014, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd_BbzNhkp0

Judkins, R. (2013). Change your mind: 57 ways to unlock your creative self. London: Hardy Grant Books.

“The revolution in asking and answering questions” – Wow!

After seeing Judy’s note ‘don’t miss watching this video’ I thought ok this is going to be interesting. I was not disappointed by the TED talk “The revolution in asking and answering questions”. I was amazed how obvious some of the Daniel Russell’s observations and tips were but I hadn’t thought of approaching Google and its tools like that.  One needs to take into account that it is Russell’s job to investigate and analyze Google users’ habits and practices in an effort to improve the search experience, but it’s all so applicable to classroom use too.

I have accessed Project Gutenberg before for reading books but not to search its text. I have also discussed different genres of websites with students, looked at locations through Google Earth and through our discussions about digital media touched on the use of emoticons.

I hadn’t heard of the Control F technique, or used data sets like Russell illustrates Neither had I tried inserting a picture into the Google search bar.

A few key messages that I took away from this video are

•Teachers and students need to frame questions differently and we need to query reality.

•The importance of basic skills  like

“Learning how to ask the right question &

Know what tools exist to help answer questions.”

•Stay curious – all of us.

This is definitely being shared with my school’s teaching community.

Russell, D. (2014, April 29). The revolution in asking and answering questions. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaRYiu1HNck&feature=youtu.be

Recipe for creativity– explore Southbank with kids!!

My usual Saturday routine this time of year is to leave the house at 7.45am to take my three daughters to Hockey – the four of us play and it keeps us busy whilst my husband works.  Yesterday Hockey was called off at the last moment due to water logged fields.  What to do as we were all ready and keyed up for the day? We could have stayed home and worked on University and school assignments, but I decided that a free day deserved an outing and it would do us good.

It was a split decision that resulted in a fantastic day of

-new creative experiences

– a flip of perspectives

– time to absorb new information and ideas

– conversations with familiar and new people

– observations of new resources and environments

-interactions with technology

-and FUN!!

What did we do-

– firstly discovered a new way of getting into town, parking at a different train station (in preparation for my trip to EDUtech in a couple of weeks). Daughter (12y) used a new app on my phone to navigate.

– checked out the newly renovated Museum. It is always great to have conversations about the school work the girls have been doing, or our recent camping trips and how they relate to exhibitions in the Museum

-visited GOMA but didn’t get past the kid’s activities on the bottom level – “Jemima Wyman Pattern Bandits” . A Makerspace with a difference.  This space is a combination of an interactive exhibition and activity centre. Children and parents can sit and produce artworks together, take them home or display them.

I experienced a couple of light bulb moments in GOMA

• I struck up a conversation with another mother about why this sort of space is important. I mentioned that it reminded me of the “Makerspace” concept. I explained that I am a teacher-librarian who was considering including a space like this in the Library I manage. She said that her daughter’s friends visit their school library all the time because they like to read, her daughter doesn’t have great literacy skills, but loves art and creative activities. If a library had a space like this her daughter would visit the library more often and hopefully pick up a book more often – Wow! Isn’t this what we want??

•My eldest daughter (14y) whilst having a go at an art making activity says “It’s so enjoyable to do something creative and it’s not an assessment.” She uses lots of creative ideas in her school work, but I question does she have time to enjoy being creative. We need to provide more time and experiences for this creative work in schools. It may be some kids’ only opportunity.

-explored and observed the wonderful GOMA and State Library shops. These shops have different objects and publications that you don’t see in other retail places. They are a treasure trove of ideas, colours, designs, literacy resources and entertainment.

-took some pictures to share our experiences at GOMA and found some more online when we came home ( hope you enjoy them).

2014-05-17 13.19.352014-05-17 12.24.05pattern spacepattern wall

We have been to Southbank many times, but I think that my recent study in digital cultures, knowledge networks and creativity gave me a different perspective on the whole experience. It was an unexpected, spontaneous day that we all so enjoyed. We all came home feeling fresh and all inspired to recommence our learning projects. All my girls said how much they loved it and that it was fun – I feel really good about that.

Mobile Matters

PC to Mobile Age

 

This image in Module 3.1 is a comprehensive but simple representation of the shift in technology from PC use only to what has happened to the digital culture since mobile technologies have been introduced.

It was no mistake that the five trends identified in the 2013 Horizon Report (Johnston,2013); education paradigms shifting towards online collaborative learning models, the effect of social media on our communication behaviors, openness of content and information sharing, mobile devices and the abundance of resources and relationships match up with what is described in the mobile age

Every facet of the mobile age is exciting and rich for learning.  Currently some teachers in my workplace are asking “Why are we limiting students’ use of their phones in school hours.?” – as they are one of the most powerful mobile technologies they own. Our students do have their own school laptop, but many of them do have a smart phone that can run numerous apps, take photos readily, read QR codes and bar codes etc. Mobile, rapid, embedded, high convenience –  all are adjectives that describe smart phones.  As a staff now we need to work out how to allow the integration of the mobile phone – will mean teachers relinquishing control of students access to information – maybe?

Johnson, L. A. (2013). NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition. Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Digital Essay Proposal

Digital Essay Topic Proposal

Topic: Makerspaces – environments that facilitate creativity in Secondary schools

Digital Tools and Spaces to be used:

I will create an additional page in my Thinkspace Blog. I am optimistic in my expectation that familiarity will lead to creativity and innovation with the construction of an interactive digital essay.

I plan to use a variety of tools including, YouTube, Flickr, podcasts, Vimeo, TED talks and constructed images.

Rationale:

A Makerspace (or hackerspace) “… is an environment where creative, legal, technical and other interested people join together to work on, think about and talk over a wide variety of subjects. “Some of these projects are really practical, others are more “because we can”. What is always the same is our goal to gather knowledge, work together and share our knowledge”, thus, founder of Hackerspace Frack, Jildou Gerritsma (as cited by Hackerspaces/ Flux, 2014)

A common problem in Secondary schools is disengaged students. Another challenge is being able to allow students to truly be creative and let their innovative thoughts shine- they often share these thoughts in out of school learning communities but not in the school space where teachers can observe. Makerspaces are designed to engage students’ curiosity, make them the centre of learning and provide time and space for collaborative creation and innovation.

This digital essay will allow myself as an educational professional and teacher-librarian, the opportunity to share knowledge and considered judgements about an innovative movement that encourages participatory and creative learning and can be integrated into my workspace.

In this digital essay I intend to describe:

1.       What is a Makerspace?

2.       The concepts and theories behind this movement of Makerspaces (And Hackerspaces -mentioning the influence)

3.       Examples of Hackerspaces and Makerspaces around the world and evaluate how well they are facilitating creativity.

4.       How Makerspaces can be incorporated into the Secondary Library environment and digital learning culture.

5.       The anticipated benefits/learning outcomes of Makerspaces.

Reference:

Hackerspace/Open. (2014, March). Retrieved May 2014, from Hackerspce/Flux: http://blog.hackerspaces.org/