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New issue of #ProjectPLN: Back to School Tips

Holy smokes, you all completely blow me away!  We received an incredible number of submissions for our “Back to School” issue of Project PLN.  You all are pretty amazing, thank you for sharing with the rest of us! Project PLN literally wouldn’t exist without our PLN…we count on you to share and make this happen.  Thank you! I loved going through all of these posts.  I finally took out a notepad to keep track of my favorite new ideas  Don’t keep these great ideas to yourself, share them with a friend.  Sharing is caring you know! Nick and I are now accepting submissions for the November Issue. We have decided to label it the “Sharing Issue”. There are many great lesson plans, resources and tools out there and it is tough for teachers to find the time to look for them. We want Project PLN to be a place where people can share their awesome lesson plans or resources with everyone out there. If you think you have something awesome to share, please send an email to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com and we will add it to the November Issue. Please follow the guidelines for submissions below so we can quickly and easily load your posts to the site. Please email the article or link to the article to ProjectPLN10@gmail.com Please include a small bio that includes your blog, Twitter handle and other information you would like to share. A picture is encouraged, but not required. It may be a piece you have published on your blog already. A good idea is still a good idea even if you had it a few months ago. Please submit posts by Monday November 5. We expect for the issue to go live on Tuesday November 13. Thanks again for all of the support you have given Project PLN over the years. Have an awesome school year, Nick and Kelly Co-Editors – Project PLN

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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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