In Praise of the CLOOC Make Bank

Make Bank meme
There are many things that I love about the Making Learning Connected MOOC, but one of the best ideas — which will become a sort of legacy of the MOOC, in my opinion — is the concept of the Make Bank. Here, folks have been sharing information about the projects they have been making in the MOOC, giving quick tutorials on how to replicate the projects. As we think about the school year ahead, what I wonder is: how could one replicate this in the classroom? It would surely connect to expository writing and publishing to the world. (By the way, I give credit to Karen F. for the concept of the Make Bank, and she would no doubt give a hat tip to the folks at ds 106 for the way they gather ideas from participants of that project and share. And Terry E. helped considerably with the technical aspects of setting up the Make Bank via WordPress.).

Here, so far, is the clmooc Make Bank:

Do you have a make to add to the bank? Please do.

Peace (in the make),
Kevin

Reflecting a Bit on the Making Learning Connected MOOC

Reflecting on CLMOOC Diagram

I’ve been struggling a bit with how best to reflect on the experience of being part of, and a facilitator of, the Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration that is nearing the finish line. We’re in our last Make Cycle now, thinking about the question of “what’s next?” for how we bring our experiences in the MOOC to our educational spaces. I tinkered around with the above diagram, but I don’t like it all that much. What I was trying to get at it is how the MOOC has helped me think more about the ideas of connecting the writing experience to the making experience.

A question still out there for me is: Do I need to expand my definitions of writing and making in order to further incorporate each other in my teaching practice? Or do I need to bring more making activities into my classroom?

Maybe it is a little of both. Certainly, my students don’t just sit around and write all day. But lots of our making is done with technology, and here is where I would love to think through more about moving the concept of the Make offline, and more into the hands of students (instead of the keyboard of students).

Here are some ideas I am thinking, with the concept of the Connected Learning principles in mind ….

Last spring, I had mentioned to our art teacher — a wonderful colleague always open to ideas — about the idea of a Maker Faire for students. She had never heard of a Maker Faire, but she was intrigued. I never followed up with her after that but I wonder if there is some way to create a Maker Space in our school. I’d have to show the connections to the curriculum, and we have a new interim principal coming in, so that might influence a lot of what we do. I’ll have to do more research on school day-based Maker Faire experiences.

A colleague of mine, Gail P., has been in and out of the MOOC this summer, and she and I have talked about finding ways to connect her kindergarten students with my sixth graders, but we never got it done. This coming year, I’d like to try to make that happen on a collaborative project of some kind. In the past, I’ve tried to do some reaching across grade levels, but that dwindled away with schedule changes and curriculum shifts. It seems like it could still be done with a little creative adjustments.

Last summer, I used Edmodo with my students, but then never got back to it during the school year as a way to connect across the classes and beyond our school. I am thinking I would like do more of that this year, and I know there is a group of us sixth grade teachers in the MOOC who have been mulling over the possibility of connected our classes in some online space. I would like it to be a specific theme — the years my classes were part of the Voices on the Gulf and the many Voices for Darfur project were powerful learning experiences with global implications. Having an audience and collaborators from other parts of the world opens up the learning experience in new ways, for sure.

As for me, I don’t know how the MOOC will evolve past its end date. I found a lot of creative, generous and talented educators in the MOOC and I have looked forward to all the sharing. I am sure some of those connections will continue to be nurtured in other spaces and in other projects, but I am realistic, too. I know that when a collaborative venture like a MOOC — particularly one that is sprawled out across many different spaces — comes to a close, many connections get lost.

Going back to my diagram up above, what I was trying to capture is the eye-opening experience of how so much of the work and play and learning that we do is connected to each other, and how we make sense of those experiences through writing and collaboration and sharing. The MOOC has been a powerful pathway for learning this summer. I say that as a facilitator, but also as a participant. I hope others feel the same way, too. It’s been a chaotic, fun and energizing adventure, and I am grateful to have been here, watching the learning unfold along various trajectories and catching a ride along the way.

Peace (in the reflection),
Kevin

 

Sparking A Conversation: You Have Permission to Make

We invite you into this conversation about this video by Adam Savage, about the state of “making” in our schools and why the reduction of those spaces is negatively impacting the lives of students. I found a lot in what Savage is saying that resonated with my thinking but Terry took some of the comments to task, asking that we enlarge the possibilities.
What do you think?

Or go directly to the Vialogues site.
Peace (in the dialogues on vialogues),
Kevin

Hacking Education Week for CLMOOC

Education Week Hacked for CLMOOC

I used the Hackasuarus tool Xray Goggles to hack Education Week so that all the news (fit to print) is about the Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration. I mean, this is the way the homepage of the journal should look, right?

Check out my hacked Education Week edition

You want to hack, too? Check out the Xray Goggles site, and use the tool to hack away. Go ahead and hack my hack, too. If you do, share out the link. Keep the ideas flowing ….

Peace (on the web),
Kevin

 

Remix Your Summer/Remix this Website

remixsummer
I was honored the other day when my friend Laura, from the Mozilla Foundation and Teach the Web, was inspired by my post about hacking a picture book with high school students. She created a Thimble website project that took Hacking a Book in a new direction. The wonderful thing about Thimble is that it is designed to be remixable, so I could not resist the urge and remix Laura’s work, and I went in another direction with it. Instead of “hacking the book,” I went with “remixing the summer” and used a book as my inspiration.

Have you ever read Weslandia? It’s the perfect summer vacation picture book by Paul Fleischman, with a social outcast boy (Wesley) creating a summer project to top all other summer projects: he invents his own civilization, and then by the end, the other kids in his neighborhood are part of the mix. I love that story (and use it for other projects with my sixth graders.)

So, my remix of Laura’s remix of hacking the book is about remixing your summer, with new and undiscovered countries unfolding around you.

Check out Remix the Summer

And while you are there, why not remix it once again? See the “remix” tab on the top of the page. Go ahead. Change it, make it your own and share it back out. Let someone else remix it again. It’s all good.

Peace (in the worlds of imagination),

Not Just Making but Making a Difference

clmooc kiva
I’m trying to extend the idea of “making” from our Making Learning Connected MOOC into another direction. I’m hoping that the hundreds of people who have been part of the MOOC this summer might consider making a difference in the world, too. One invitation I am putting out there is for folks who are in the micro-lending site, Kiva, or who may want sign up for Kiva, is to join the “CLMOOC Team” that I set up there. Essentially, a team allows you to become part of a collective that lends out money for business owners around the world.

Come join our Team and make a difference in the lives of others. If you are new to Kiva, signing up for a team gives you a gift of $25 to lend right away.

Peace (in the lending),
Kevin

 

The Augmented Reality #CLMOOC Shoe

Two of my favorite bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo and Richard Byrne, mentioned an augmented reality app this week that I wanted to try out. I’ve been dipping my toes into Augmented Reality this summer as part of the Making Learning Connected MOOC, working with an app called Aurasma. This new one, called ColAR Mix, is pretty cool (and the app premium elements are free for part of this month).

The way it works is you download the app (obviously) and then you go the website, and print out one of the coloring pages they have available. Color the page anyway you like (Notice how I referenced the #clmooc on my shoe). Then, open the app and point the screen at the coloring page, and the object comes to life. Here, the shoes dances. In another one that my son did, a bear walks around and points up at the person holding the device.

What I would really like to see is open coloring, so that a person could draw whatever they wanted and that would come to life. I’m not sure how difficult that would be (probably, a lot) but for me, that would put a lot of more agency and creativity into the hands of the user. Still, for where Augmented Reality is right now, this app is pretty nifty and fun to use.

By the way, I used Vine to capture my coloring, too, as I was working on the shoe. And the video of the Augmented Reality was done by holding a camera above the iPad. The ColAR app does allow you to take screenshots of your creation and save it to the iPad, which is a handy feature to have for sharing.

Peace (in the colors that move),
Kevin

 

PS — Richard also shared out a previous post with five possibilities for Augmented Reality in the classroom that is worth checking out.

 

Six Word Biographies and the Making Learning Connected MOOC

I was so very pleased when folks in the Making Learning Connected MOOC began to pin themselves to our collaborative map. Partly, I was just intrigued by where my fellow maker/writers were located. Partly, I wanted a visual map (which connected to that week’s activity around mapmaking). And I also wanted to prompt folks to write a six word biography/memoir of themselves. We ended up with 70 or more pins, and such a rich array of six word biographies that I felt like I needed to do something to value all of that sharing and writing.

So, here’s a video of the six word bios.

All I did was copy/paste the text that folks left on the map and popped it into Keynote, using a theme that seemed to give a postcard-ish aura. It took me a few days, since it is sort of boring copy/pasting 70 or so stories. Then, I exported out of Keynote into a video file, uploaded that file into Youtube, and used the YouTube music option to add a little soundtrack.

I hope you like it.

Peace (in the sharing),
Kevin

 

Thimble-izing the Making Learning Connected MOOC Reflections

MOOC Movie poster

I used two Thimble Projects from Mozilla’s Webmaker Kits to begin to reflect a bit on being part of this summer’s Making Learning Connected Massive Open Online Collaboration. I still need to do a bit more writing – that’s how I get my head around ideas — but both of these Thimble projects intrigued me.

The first one, shared by Christina Cantrill, is one that I did use with my students at the end of the year. It allows you to make your own movie poster. You can view the movie poster as a website here: https://dogtrax.makes.org/thimble/clmooc-movie and you can make your own.

Go to the Thimble to Remix the Movie Poster

While I liked the idea of getting at a reflection creatively, I found the movie poster’s options sort of limited, so maybe this is just one piece of a reflective stance. Plus, I could not resist having some fun with the movie poster idea. (names, etc.)

The second reflection is another in a series of hackable Thimble projects that Chad Sansing has been putting together all summer. Every time I turn to Twitter or Google Plus, Chad’s sharing out yet another amazing Thimble template. And all of them invite you in to make something new. In this case, he created a template for a Postcard (when you go the site, and hover the mouse over the page, the card flips to the back side. Neat.)

(Update: Now I realize that Chad’s was a remix of another postcard project that Kim W. shared in the MOOC but she had taken it from someone else on the Mozilla site, and remixed,  and … yikes …. love the complexity of remixing culture. So, hats off to anyone and everyone whose remix led me to my remix.)

You can check out my version of Chad’s project https://dogtrax.makes.org/thimble/postcard-from-dogtraxlandia or go to his original remixable template. Actually, every webpage in Thimble is remixable, but you may want to work off the original (or not, as I think about it – maybe remixing a remixing is what you want to explore)

Dino Postcard

 

Peace (in the reflection),
Kevin

 

Making Music with Soundation

soundation
I wanted to add a way to make music to the Making Learning Connected MOOC Make Bank, and I wanted to share out an online tool for music creation. This one — Soundation — feels familiar to anyone who has used Garageband or other loop-based music creating tools. You can even play around without an account, just to get a sense. Basically, you drag and drop loops from the library bank (lots of free loops and then lots more premium loops), and mix the song that way.

You can publish online, too, or download the files (if you have an account).

Here is a song I wrote for the MOOC:

Peace (in the tracks),
Kevin