In this Digital Curriculum Project students will explore if rigid motion transformations can prove SSS, SAS, and ASA. Students will watch screencasts that shows them how to use GeoGebra. Students will use GeoGebra to prove their claim and work collaboratively with their group members. After students are comfortable with their results they will make a screencast using Screenr.
This is the link in case the Gooru does not work below.
This project allowed me to explain myself through visuals. It portrays some of the days and events that have stood out to me over the past couple of weeks. I feel that it is difficult to express myself as a student, a teacher, or my casual self. Therefore, I decided to show all three because these three components make up my life and who I truly am. I can see how Instagram could be used in an educational setting to have students express themselves or express what they are learning. It could be used as a quick way for students to make connections to their learning and for students to share on a common forum, such as a class hashtag.
A New Culture of Learning By: Douglas Thomas & John Seely
Quote: “Through the process of making, we are also learning how to craft context so that it carries more of the message, which helps solve many of the issues of information overload. Thus, as context begins to play an increasingly important role, it becomes easier to talk about things like visual arguments;” Page 94
This quote captures an important point made in the chapter. One of the frames suggested to redesign the old culture of learning is making. By making, we are able to learn concepts at a deeper level because we are a part of the process.
Question: Is it realistic to expect knowing, making, and playing to be incorporated in each daily lesson, or can these frameworks by addressed over the course of a unit?
Connection: I have had to use the three dimensions of learning (knowing, making, and playing) while cultivating my PLN. I am using tools that I am unfamiliar with but through trial and error, as well as discussions with peers, I am now comfortable using several online tools for professional networking.
Epiphany/Aha: A good math problem is like a riddle, especially a proof. In order to write a logical, meaningful proof, one must put together mathematical puzzle pieces in order to arrive at a conclusion.
Quote: “Geeking out asks the question: How can I utilize the available resources, both social and technological, for deep exploration?” Page 105
This quote sums up the chapter well becomes it sums up all three phases: hanging out, messing around, and geeking out, which is the ultimate goal and is built upon the first two phases.
Question: How can we encourage students to persevere when “messing around” becomes difficult or confusing?
Connection: In terms of both my PLN as well as my 20% Project, I feel that I am still in the messing around phase. I was hanging out for the first few weeks of the semester and now that I have become more comfortable with the tools and have begun to use the resources for my own personal interests, I’d say that I am currently messing around.
Epiphany/Aha: I see now that technology can be viewed as an extension of myself. Now that I have established an online presence, what I put online is a reflection of who I am.
Quote: “They require an immense amount of learning in order to play them and are grounded in participation.” Page 108
This quote is describing massively multiplayer online games. The authors use characteristics of these online games to paint a picture of the new culture of learning. One of the most important aspects of these games is participation from every member.
Question: The authors discuss how every member of a team in an online game must fully participate for the team to succeed? What happens to team members who do not pull their weight?
Connection: In order for our class’ Google+ community to survive and grow, participation and learning are required. The Google+ community was new to many of us and therefore, we had to experiment in order to gain knowledge about the tool. Participation is required because the community lives off of communication between members.
Epiphany/Aha: The authors describe MMOs as requiring “an immense amount of learning in order to play them and are grounded in participation” (page 108). The epiphany I had after reading this chapter was that classroom games are great and students become engaged; however, they are only effective when learning and participation are required.
Check out my Sceencast on GeoGebra, a helpful tool which can be used on tablets or desktop computers in any mathematics classroom. Soon it will also be available on smartphones.
A New Culture of Learning By: Douglas Thomas & John Seely Brown
Quote: “We call this environment a collective. As the name implies, it is a collection of people, skills, and talent that produces a result greater than the sum of its parts.” Page 52
I chose this quote because it stood out to me. I appreciated the definition because it sounded like a mathematical definition. It also gave me a very clear picture of a collective and what makes it different than a community. One of the biggest takeaways I got from this chapter is that in a collective, the participants want to be there. This is not always true of a community.
Question: What specific actions can we take in our classroom to turn our community into a collective?
Connection: One connection I made while reading this chapter was that I participated in a collective while in college. I had a close group of friends/peers who were all Math majors and we studied together frequently. Our study groups allowed us to learn from each other and we were all participating at will.
Epiphany/Aha: My hmn was at the very end of the chapter. The authors wrote, “one might be tempted to ask how we might harness the power of these peer-to-peer collectives to meet some learning objective. ..Any effort to define or direct collectives would destroy the very thing that is unique and innovative about them.” So what does this mean? I hope they address this further in the next chapter.
Quote: “The collection that forms as a result provides an opportunity to do certain things (agency) and a connection with other performers who are similarly situated (identity)-neither of which exists in the other two venues.” Page 57
This quote sums up the chapter well. It is describing the difference between personal and private. The example used is a singer in a karaoke bar. Singing for an audience in a karaoke bar is different than singing on the street because in the bar, there is a collective audience who has gathered for the purpose of listening to and participating in singing.
Question: What would be the best way to utilize blogging in my classroom? My own personal blog? Requiring students to blog?
Connection: This chapter discussed that research shows “that study groups dramatically increase the success of college students in the classroom” (page 67). For this reason, I am involved in facilitating a study group for undergraduate Math majors at CSUSM. The group meets face-to-face once a week but we have also begun a Google+ community so that the members can communicate online.
Epiphany/Aha: After reading this chapter, I was thinking about the online study communities and realized that these communities provide a resource for students with disabilities, such as deaf and mute, who would otherwise experience great difficulty participating in a face-to-face group.
Quote: “you can’t teach it to me, though I can still learn it. The reason for the difference is that learning tacit knowledge happens not only in the brain but also in the body, through all our senses. It is an experimental process as well as a cognitive one. It is not about being taught knowledge; it is about absorbing it.” Page 77
This chapter discussed how the new culture of learning allows tacit knowledge to be more applicable and valued. With the unlimited amount of resources available, teachers can broaden tasks to allow students to involve their own interests, experiences, and prior knowledge.
Question: What can a teacher do if they provide a question such as the one offered in the text, “What is the best way to shoot a basketball”, and students do not use this as an opportunity to further their knowledge of the content? In this case, Physics.
Connection: The topics presented in this chapter have proven true in my cultivation of my PLN. After hearing about all the different social network sites in class, I was not able to fully understand how they functioned until I made my own account and experimented.
Epiphany/Aha: I had an aha moment when the authors explained that it is not only true that people learn in different ways, but also, when giving the same information people will learn different things.
A New Culture of Learning By: Douglas Thomas & John Seely Brown
Quote: “In short, the connection between resources and personal motivation led people to cultivate their imaginations and recreate the space in a new way.” page 31
This quote sums up the chapter well. In this chapter we were introduced to several stories about individuals who were able to obtain a tremendous amount of knowledge outside of the school classroom, by their own initiative. Each individual was able to utilize resources, including communities, to find the information they were seeking. One key piece in each story was personal motivation. Each individual wanted to know what he or she was learning.
Question: How can we implement this type of learning in our own classrooms and provide so much freedom while still guiding our students in “the right direction”?
Connection: I am now using Pinterest as a research tool for my 20% Project. I had not used a site like this before and I have been impressed by the multitude of resources, which were so easy to find. I am finding this tool to be especially helpful for my project. I am making the connection between resources available and my personal motivation and this connection is so far leading me in a very positive direction.
Epiphany/Aha: “Allen mastered every computer language he needed to start and run his own business- without ever attending a single class on programming.” page 26
This statement depends on how you define a “class”. By googling codes and learning from others’ discussions and blog posts, wasn’t he attending a class?
Quote: “the teaching-based approach focuses on teaching us about the world, while the new culture of learning focuses on learning through engagement within the world” page 38
I feel that this quote sums up the chapter well because this chapter compared the two different approaches to learning. I like that this quote distinguishes the difference between learning about and learning within. Sometimes school feels so cut off from the rest of the world and I think that this is one of the first barriers that needs to be broken down in order to facilitate the new culture of learning.
Question: If all learning should occur “within the world,” the truth is that not all mathematics is necessary for most in their lives. However, I believe that the critical thinking that is learned through exposure to higher-level math is very beneficial. So if I cannot make learning mathematics about learning within the world, does this make it less important?
Connection: I recently participated in a Twitter chat and the topic was communicating with parents/families. I feel that by increasing the frequency and quality of communication with families, teachers can move towards breaking down the wall between school and the rest of the world.
Epiphany/Aha: By talking about learning as a culture, it reminded me that establishing such a culture would be a difficult feat for a single teacher. Culture requires collaboration and I hope that I work at a school in which the staff works together to maintain a learning environment fitting of the changing culture of learning.
Quote: “Embracing change means looking forward to what will come next. It means viewing the future as a set of new possibilities, rather than something that forces us to adjust.” page 43
This chapter was all about embracing change! I chose this quote because I feel that with all the changes going on specifically in mathematics education right now, educators need to look forward to the changes and be optimistic about the outcomes. I am excited about the Common Core Math curriculum; however, I am also prepared for it to change because it is still in the experimental stage.
Question: What specifically has changed about our society so drastically that it took 70 years to popularize color television and only 11 to go from 18% to 73% of families with Internet access?
Connection: This chapter discussed constant change in the work place and how companies are no longer available to provide trainings for every new tool because they are coming out so quickly and changing so frequently. I have experienced this in clinical practice. Before the program, I was unfamiliar with many of the Google apps and since they are used at my school sites, I had to quickly train myself. I did so by utilizing “play” to familiarize myself with the tools.
Epiphany/Aha: Adults learn very similarly to students. Like the chapter explained, if adults don’t know how to use an Internet tool, they play in order to figure it out. Students learn similarly. I want to work on structuring math lessons in such a way that students can play with a tool in order to figure out its use.
Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement
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In my classroom I am attempting to engage students with the mathematics by applying it to the real world. I provide students with meaningful tasks that help them explore new mathematical concepts. When students learn a new concept I try to make a scenario that they can relate to so they can have fun doing the math, which in turn will help solidify the new content being presented. After reading “Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement” I realized that students have input on what they find engaging in the classroom. After analyzing the ten most common responses by students I am going to commit to the following three:
#1 Working with peers
#2 Working with technology
#10 Be human
I decided to commit to working with peers because students do a lot of the work in my classroom. In the two-hour block that we implement at my school site I am up front at the board at most 30 minutes. Therefore, I believe that collaboration is a key component in student success. I will commit to implementing technology in my classroom because a lot of what students do in my classroom can be done with technology. I will have students work on the mathematical concepts by hand and then provide them with the opportunity to use technology to obtain the same, or even better result. I will commit to being more human in my class. I have a difficult time telling my students about myself, but I have seen that the more I open up the more my students are willing to do for me. Therefore, in order to engage my students I will work on becoming more human.
Instagram ELE Challenge
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The Instagram ELE Challenge helps prepare students to participate in a global society because Instagram is bigger than the walls of the classroom. People from all over the world are posting photos on Instagram and students can do so as well, while at the same time learning. Students will participate in hashtags set up by their class, but will also encounter other hashtags that will help them communicate with people across the world. Students will be able to share commonalities with others through Instagram. This is how the Instagram ELE Challenge is helping students participate in a global society.
These teachers empower collaboration because they are providing students with time to collaborate with one another in and outside of the classroom. These teachers empower innovation because they are creating new ways to implement engaging mediums to help students learn.
Instagram Scavenger Hunt
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I feel that I can implement the “Instagram Scavenger Hunt” in some units in my math classes. The units that come to mind at the moment are units that deal with angles and two-dimensional and three- dimensional figures. I would modify the scavenger hunt to last the enitre unit. I cannot think of an appropriate place I can take my students for a field trip; however, I can take them on a walk around campus and they can take pictures and upload them on Instagram. I feel that this “Instagram Scavenger Hunt” can help students learn properties of angles a lot quicker because they will want to post photos and they will see photos that their peers have posted.
3 Ways Colleges Use Instagram
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When reading “3 Ways Colleges Use Instagram” they noted that the ways they implement Instagram are by posting photos that represent the University or College, feeding other social media networks, and encouraging participation in major events. To a legal extent I believe that this can only be implemented at Colleges and Universities because K-12 schools would have to get permission to take pictures of students. However, if permission was granted the implementation of Instagram can most definitely be applicable to middle and high schools. The reason that Instagram is so appealing to users is that it is a social media network that only uses pictures and they do not have to read much. Schools and classrooms can benefit from the use of Instagram because it can provide students with vocabulary visuals or an alternate option to complete a project.
Reflection on Instagram and Education
In the above articles teachers and schools have leveraged the social network tool of Instagram as an approach to facilitate student learning. We are all aware that social media networks are ways that students communicate and they consider it a fun way to interact. Therefore, we should find ways to implement the tools that students use to help facilitate their learning. I agree to a certain extent on some of the uses that educators in the above articles have taken to transform instruction and engagement in the classroom. I feel that planning activities from time to time using Instagram is important but not a daily or weekly activity. Students need to be aware that technology is not only social media, and if we make that the only source of technology students interact with they will not be ready for advanced technology. The implementations of social media networks discussed in the above articles did not initially align with my beliefs about education. However, after reading I have learned that students can be really engaged using Instagram, and as a result that has influenced my planning for the future. I want to engage students and I believe that if I plan activities that involve Instagram over the course of the year it will help them learn new content. My belief on technology in the classroom has more of a programming approach. I plan to use Python with students in the future to help them see how people in the real-world solve complicated math problems. Students need to be aware that mathematicians do not always solve problems using paper and pencils, but that they use computer programming to solve complicated problems. My goal is to show students that they can create a program using Python that can solve a set of problems and as a result they can save a lot of time.
After reading Wagner’s “The Global Achievement Gap” I feel that I understand the need of the 21st century students. I have learned that students in the 21st century need instant gratification with respect to results or information. Therefore, I need to create ways in my classroom to meet the needs of my students and not restrict them to the traditional ways of teaching. I have incorporated technology in my class as much as I can and have students explore the concepts being covered in class using Desmos or TI-Nspire apps on the class set of iPads. This lets the students obtain instant solutions by graphing or using the tables instead of doing it by hand. However, I believe that both skills are important, because in order to accurately use technology one has to have an understanding of how to solve the problem manually.
If I could come up with my seven essential survival skills for the 21st century they would be the following skills:
· Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
· Effective Oral and Written Communication
· Thinking Abstractly and Intuitively
· Curiosity and Imagination
Students need to be able to think critically and problem solve because not every problem they are faced with will have a simple solution. Students need to understand that the world around them is extremely collaborative and they need to understand that skill and I believe that it begins in the classroom. Effective oral and written communication is important for students to learn so that they can communicate in any environment. There are going to be times when students will have to think abstractly or need to have an intuitive approach to a problem. Students need to learn to take leadership in order to successfully complete certain tasks. I believe that one of the most important skills to have is for students to persevere and to never give up. Lastly, students need to have curiosity and imagination and not be restricted within a box.
I believe that Wagner is missing perseverance as an essential skill. Students need to be to persevere through problems and struggle to eventually arrive at a solution. This skill is important in solidifying content for students. Students learn best by investigating and in order to successfully investigate one has to persevere to overcome any obstacles.
If I implemented the seven essential skills that I believe are important, my class would function with plenty of group worthy tasks. Students would collaborate with one another through written or oral communication, be curious and imaginative, take leadership, and persevere through problems by thinking abstractly or having an intuitive approach in order to problem solve.
I can commit to these seven essential skills this year by providing my students with plenty of time to collaborate and helping them have a growth mindset where they know that they can persevere through any problem. I can assign roles so that they are captains for a week for their tables and require them to read and write more frequently to improve their communication skills. I will measure success based on the assessments that I make throughout the school year either informal or formal. I would be most interested in the formative assessments because that will guide my teaching for the next lesson.
I love mathematics and how everything in mathematics can be proven going back to simple axioms. I am a mathematics educator at heart and I hope to make learning mathematics fun for all my students and hope to instill the value of education in all my students.