Things That Have Me Thinking
A while back a friend of mine, Patrick Larkin, was a high school principal, who has since moved up in the world to Assistant Superintendent. Patrick was regularly blogging for his staff and at the end of his weekly posted of updates, things to remember, and always had a list of things that had him thinking. It might have been a video, blog post, article, something that had piqued his interest and he wanted to share. It was such a great idea, I decided to steal borrow the idea, and I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now but today is the day I will start. My goal is to write about and share a few things each week that have me pondering, or are pushing the boundaries of my thinking. These items, hopefully, will come from a variety of places and people, and cover a variety of topics.
The Problems With Twitter from Tony Sinanis: In this post Tony lays out several of the problems he sees with Twitter. These include tendency to group think, and self-promotion. He shares the fact that many connected educators; he feels, push Twitter on others. His points are strong, but as I reflect on all the points maybe what he points out as problems, are really blessings to some. As George says in the comments, group think doesn’t have to be bad. For those in isolation, it can be exactly what they need. And for “pushing Twitter”—those using that medium, time and time again, say, signing up and using it was one of the best professional decisions they’d made. For me, it comes down to the approach. An educator has to see the value before they will take the leap. The medium itself isn’t bad, or has problems, but the approach may need work. This was a great piece that definitely has me thinking.
Jeff Gordon Test Drive Take 2: OK, so it’s not your typical education video, but hear me out. In this series of videos (the first you can see here) NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon takes an unsuspecting person out for a pretty sweet ride. The catch is they don’t know its Jeff Gordon. After the first video one person in particular went to great lengths to show how it was fake. And in the second video Jeff got revenge. So, why does this have me thinking? I like the critical analysis here. Kids could do their own analysis on the first and the second, and talk about how viral marketing, or even the physics behind the moves works. It’s something different to tackle typical subjects in a new and exciting way. This has me thinking.
The Maker Movement: Just in the last 6-12 months there has been a movement towards MakerED. This is the idea that kids can be problem solvers and learn valuable skills while making something. And since the technology, specifically 3-D printers have come way down in price, more and more educators are embracing this movement. I was asked recently everything I knew about the Maker Movement and had a great conversation about how it could be used in the regular classroom. Typically these uses are held for afterschool, or club based experiences. So getting 3D mainstreamed and in the general education classroom may look like a great leap forward, but it’s not. Check out the MarkerED Blog that has a lot of resources and links. See what others are doing. And for your own reading pleasure, check out the book Invent to Learn, by Martinez and Stager, which lays out the case for Maker Movement and how you can do it in your classroom. Why does this have me thinking? There’s so much learning potential for kids in the Maker Movement. It works in so many ways: problem solving, programing, authentic tasks—there are some really cool things that could happen in a Maker Space. This has me thinking.
So what has you thinking? Leave me a note down below in the comments.
Be awesome today!
About the Author:
Steven Anderson is @Web20Classroom on Twitter. Steven is a teacher, an instructional technology integrator, speaker/presenter, and education leader. He will be a regular at Connect Learning Today.