#CLMOOC Book Recommendation: The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun

Josh Burker does a fantastic job of explaining, step by step, how to create and make wonderfully amazing projects in his new book, The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun (Classroom Technology Projects). I’ve had a Makey Makey set and a Squishy Circuit set sitting in my room for almost a year now and after reading Burker’s book, I feel like this summer, I am ready to break those puppies open and get making something.

From creating an Operation Game with boxes and circuits to making animated postcards to making light wants for Glowdoodling, Burker is a patient teacher and each chapter is handy with diagrams, and photos, and detailed steps. He also introduces various technology, from Scratch to Turtle Art to Lego WeDo to TinkerCAD and more, and is clear about the level of complexity for each project.

After reading about TinkerCAD, I went in and quickly made this:

CLMOOC with TinkerCAD

I wrote a more detailed review of the book for MiddleWeb and will share it out when it gets published.

For now, let’s get making … This book is a perfect companion for the Making Learning Connected MOOC about to start this week. In fact, let’s get making, together.

Peace (in the fun),
Kevin

NWP Radio: The Writing Thief MOOC

I was fortunate to be invited earlier this year to participate with folks from The Writing Thief MOOC project on NWP Radio, with host Paul Oh (my good friend). The Writing Thief MOOC emerged from the Making Learning Connected MOOC project from last summer and the summer before (and will soon kickstart into its third iteration next month – come join in), and in this radio snow, Kim Douillard and Janis Selby Jones of San Diego Writing Project give great context for why an online reading group/maker group made sense for professional development.

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with NWP radio on BlogTalkRadio

I was just a participant in this MOOC, but as a facilitator of the CLMOOC the past two summers and as a Make Cycle leader this coming CLMOOC, I am excited to be part of the reverberations of that project in this project. When you run a collaboration like CLMOOC, you hope others will build off the experience, and they did, and it was fun and wonderful.

The Writing Thief refers to the common book we all read by Ruth Culham about mentor texts.

Peace (on the radio),
Kevin

What is CLMOOC? This is CLMOOC. You are CLMOOC.

I made a version of this overview of the Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration in the first year of the CLMOOC and I keep updating it each year, in hopes it will give folks an idea of the fun in store for the CLMOOC participants. It’s free. It’s a blast. And it’s facilitated by the National Writing Project and the Innovator Educator Network.

The website for signing up for information is here.

See you on the CLMOOC. We’ll be making cool stuff, together.

Peace (in exploration),
Kevin

We Made. We Hacked. We Played.

I invited a small group of our Western Massachusetts Writing Project to my home yesterday for a Make/Hack/Play session. These are folks on our WMWP Tech Team. Along with great conversations and connections, we got down to making, hacking and playing.

First, we used paper circuitry to think about scientific discovery, writing and map making. Everyone created their own map — either literal or metaphorical or symbolic — and then we created a paper circuit board to light up the important nodes on our maps.

Second, we dove into Webmaker’s Popcorn Maker to create video projects. I shared the one I did, using the I Have A Dream speech with overlays, and a few other folks also tinkered with social justice-themed video projects.

It was a blast and for my visitors, the paper circuitry and Popcorn Maker were relatively new experiences (one of the Tech Team folks had participated in a paper circuitry session at another WMWP event.) I’m grateful to have colleagues who would give up part of Saturday to make/hack/play and think about learning in new and interesting ways.

What did you make today? You can always remix my I Have a Dream video. Just click remix and dive in.

Peace (in the remix),
Kevin

RIP: A Remix Manifesto

(Here is an old post in my draft bin …)

Thanks to Laura for her blog post that sent me to the site for this documentary, RIP: A Remix Manifesto. I need to check out how I can watch this (since YouTube, ironically, blocks the content in the documentary because of proprietary issues), as it dive into the things I have been trying to wrestle with when it comes to remixing content, making something new from something that already exists, and the way technology puts more tools in our hands to do that.

Anybody seen RIP: A Remix Manifesto? The reviews seem mixed (remixed?).

Peace (in the remix),
Kevin

 

 

A Poem, A Puzzle, An Act of Playfulness

So, I had this idea … what if I wrote a poem and delivered bits and pieces of it (let’s call them stanzas, shall we?) to a few friends in online spaces and asked them to piece the poem together over social media? What would that look like? How would you even pull it off? And this began an adventure this weekend with three of my friends — Charlene, Sheri and Terry — as I launched a poem like a balloon and watched it wander off.

My goal as a writer in digital spaces was to try to figure out how to make this kind of playfulness meaningful and to extend out the poem’s life beyond me writing it and me publishing it. It helped that I know Terry, Sheri and Charlene are game for the oddness of play, as we all were deeply involved in the Making Learning Connected MOOC experience over the last two summers.

In the end, what I decided to do was make the poem a puzzle. The embedded Thinglink here is an annotated version of a flowchart that I created (first, on scrap paper, and then later, with an app) to try to show what happened to the poem and the puzzle over the weekend. The challenge for them was to find their way to the website where the entire poem was published — all four stanzas (they only each received a single stanza, in isolation).

I put the poem a link beyond a password-protected website that I set up, and their task was to coordinate together to find the code word that would unlock the website that would lead them to the poem. Along the way, they made their own poems and pictures and websites, and used a hashtag on Twitter to share (and for me to give out clues).

It was fun to watch unfold — using writing and social media as “game” for reading, listening and collaborating, and trying to coordinate it from afar took some doing. But I think a variation of this kind of activity could be used as a model for how to think of literacy in the context of social media and social gathering.

It become the poem I let loose like a balloon to the sky …

Charlene later asked, how could this translate into a classroom experience? Good question and one I am still mulling over. I suspect you could replicate it in offline space by using stanzas of poems as clues to some larger mystery that students have to collaboratively solve. Or have students create the poems that become the clues … there are possibilities.

 

Peace (in the poem),
Kevin

Two Makes I Can’t Quite Explain

I don’t know why I went off on these tangents, but I made two strange things yesterday in a burst. The first was inspired by Audrey Watters’ post that looked at the history of “teaching machines” and included some drawings from the patent office archives. I put one into my comic app and added a little commentary.

Patented ed

The second was a terms of service that Alan Levine shared out, for a “fake name generator” and its legalese really called for parody. I went in the underwear direction with a XRay Goggles remix.

Frack Name Generator

What did you make yesterday?

Peace (because),
Kevin

Hey Terry, It’s Your Birthday

Nothing like some collaborative energy to celebrate a friend, and that’s what Maha, Simon and Susan and I have been up behind the scenes for our friend, Terry, whose birthday is today. We recorded a song, and then some thoughts — all via on online collaborative audio tool called Soundtrap (I’ll share out more about it later).

For now … Hey Terry, It’s Your Birthday!

And here is a bonus that I made for him, too. A comic series about our journey into the rabbit holes of technology.

Peace (in friendship),
Kevin