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Ideas from TIE

Well, now that I am rested up and my head has stopped spinning with all of the info. I took in yesterday at TIE, I am ready to share some goodies!  Jason Ohler was the keynote speaker…I have to say, definitely the highlight for me.  His presentation was on digital storytelling.  While I have dabbled in digital storytelling with my students, Jason has jumped in with both feet!  Jason is quite the storyteller himself and had us captivated as he reminded us of the importance of developing creativity in our students.  As Jason presented, I was madly jotting down notes and have some great quotes to share. “Literacy today is consuming and producing the media forms of today.  Students need to be able to write whatever they read (or consume).”    I love this, our students are not content with simply taking in literacy, they want to be creators and inventors of their own literacy.  This has expanded beyond simply writing… think about your students obsession with You Tube. This one is my favorite “Intelligence is measured by your desire to learn.”  I think this is my new life motto.  I need to plaster this all over my classroom.  No Child Left Behind does nothing for intelligence! “You don’t have to be a technician magician…know free labor when you see it and let the kids do it.”  In other words, you don’t have to know everything or anything about technology.  Your students know how to use technology, let them be the experts and teach each other (and you!) Jason has an amazing website dedicated to digital storytelling.  You may need to dedicate a chunk of time to this site, trust me you will end up spending time here (hooray summer break, you do have time after all!)  You can even check out some clips of Jason’s keynote speeches on You Tube, these are linked from his presentation page.   Also, be sure to spend some time on the Resources and Projects pages.  You will find lots of treats for the taking! Are you already digital storytelling?  What advice do you have for those who are thinking about taking the plunge? More tomorrow, I bought Jason’s book “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom” and it is calling my name!  Happy learning you intelligent readers you! 🙂

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DIY: a maker site for kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Art, Character Education, Create, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-03-2013

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What it is: I LOVE everything about this site.  It truly embodies everything I love about learning and technology.  DIY is an online club for kids to earn maker skills.  Kids (otherwise known as Makers) share their creations and work with a larger online community and collect patches for the skills they learn.  Each skill has a set of challenges that help kids learn different techniques and create something fantastic.  When a child completes a maker challenge, they can add photos and video to their online portfolio to show off their creation.  DIY is a website where kids get a public portfolio, an app that they can use to upload videos and pictures of their projects, makers can choose to do challenges to earn “Skills” badges, and a parent dashboard where teachers or parents can follow along on all activity.

Maker identities are always secure, children are asked to choose an animal and a nickname to help protect their privacy. Parents get access to see what their kids are posting online.

I love that this site encourages creativity, reflective portfolios and using technology constructively.  It is an outstanding balance of online and offline activity!

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How to integrate DIY into the classroom: At Anastasis, we strive to encourage a maker community.  We do have a 1:1 iPad environment.  For many, this equates to a technology rich environment (it is) where everything is done or consumed on a device.  I can think of nothing sadder than reducing learning to a device!  We most often use our technology to capture and share our learning.  DIY is a fantastic site that makes way for kids to be curious about the world around them, create something new and use technology to innovate.

DIY is a great place to help students discover the love and joy of being a learner and a creator.  It fosters a classroom culture of innovation and sharing of learning and accomplishment.  So many of the challenges incorporate learning that support standards and other learning that is “required” in the classroom.  These challenges would be great to take on as individual makers, in small groups of makers, or to tackle as a whole class.  Don’t think of DIY as an “extra” thing to add into your classroom routine.  Instead, look through the challenges through the lens of how it can enhance the learning objectives in your classroom.  Embrace the maker culture in your classroom and allow room for creativity and innovation.  The inquiry model of learning lends itself beautifully toward this.  DIY could be the catalyst to making the shift away from more traditional learning and into an inquiry based model.

Tips: Instead of assigning “traditional” homework (read: piles of worksheets), assign a challenge from the DIY site.  Better yet, let students choose their own challenge to tackle and make time in the classroom for them to share their creations and accomplishments.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  DIY in your classroom.

Comments (1)

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

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