#TIC14 – Tink Tank 1 – BrushArtBots

After battling bronchitis and feeling very under the weather the last couple days, I am glad I decided to make the trip to Dubuque to present. I was up late finalizing slides and packing everything. As I shared with so many educators at the conference what I love most about presenting is not so much being up front, but I love working and networking with so many awesome educators. I have met more people who have inspired me through presenting as opposed to sitting in audience. Today I had one hour to have educators make BrushArtBots. It is a great hands on activity getting them to think about how to incorporate this lesson or something similar in their classroom. Even more it reminds us how to think and be a kid again. We started with a few slides because I wanted this to be interactive and chance to play, tinker, design, hack, and explore.

Here is a link to the lesson plans if interested

Below are some images from the session today as well as from a few previous trial runs. Today I was amazed by the variety of designs. Some crafted some really cool looking bots like the butterfly. Some focused solely on designs to make them go straight. We had to work through types of paper, weight of the bot, amount of paint to use, etc. Educators were constantly in a problem solving state of mind. It was so great to watch. It was even better feeling inspired by all the new ideas. I was so pumped watching them come up with ideas I never thought of before. I chatted with some great people. It was so good to connect and hear about their schools, projects, and ideas. So a few things I learned specifically today. 1. I need to pack wax paper or a smoother type of paper to help bots move. 2. I need to pack string or dental floss. So smart! 3. Must find something besides Play-Doh as temporary glue. It works, but not as good as I want it to be. 4. I want to develop an obstacle course for the bots. 5. I LOVED the 4H idea of Eco-challenge of bots sweeping up debris using Dixie Cups. 6. Create piece of art and cover with sand. Bots brush sand away to see if students can clear enough away to identify work.


Last, here are comments and questions posted in the Todays Meet group. I have eliminated names and want respond to concerns. My responses are in bold.

Brush Bot Awesome engagement activity for students I agree. What I want to know is how teachers can use this in different classrooms and age groups. Would like to develop specific challenges.
Lots of applications.
How do you work around the frustration factor?(those that just give up ~ or won’t try) This is going to happen. The key here is to know the child(relationships) and check out their bot. Look at what is causing the issue and start asking them questions where you are guiding them to the solution, but they feel like they came up with the answer.
How do you store your materials? (Are they portable or placed on an established makerspace?) I have a large bin where I house the materials for this activity. The art supplies are just part of my room that are on tables and shelves for anyone to use for any projects. I am working on a new file system where all pieces are in one big storage unit, but for now they are organized by activity in tubs.
Love the fact that students can create a bot to take home and continue their creativity. This is the key to this activity. It is cheap enough to allow them to do so. What I would love to do and am working on are new activities that are cheap and allow students to take more projects home.
Great to just sit back, have a convo and really think about how this could b used w the 4 Cs… thanks! I would love to know more about ideas connecting to the 4 C’s. I really like this mindset and would love to develop more.
hardest part was stopping. Wanted to keep tinkering… How do you get the kids to move on when time is up? I think you keep up a timer or counter on the board so they know that at x amount of time we have to stop and clean up. The bonus of this activity is that those kids that want to keep playing will be able to take it home and keep tinkering. If they come up with something great, then they can bring it back to school to share out and possibly teach!

 

Loved the hands on and try it!


Thank you to everyone who took time to come to my session. I really appreciate it and hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed working with you all. Thanks for a great start to the conference.

Created with flickr slideshow.
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Speedgeeking Notes from #ITEC13 via Evernote

Here is the link to all notes from my first session Speedgeeking with Coffeechug.

I went through all the information and notes from our backchannel during the session.

I tried to answer all the questions that were posed. If I did not clarify things enough please let me know. I want to make sure I am as helpful as I can be.

If there are other things you would like for me to add please let me know as well. I have no problem sharing out whatever I have.

Here is my blog post from yesterday where I shared all my slides and information. Feel free to use whatever you like. I only ask that you let me know so I see how the ideas are spreading. Fair enough?

http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2013/10/itec13-conference-presentations.html

So let me know what you think and what else you would like added. If you want more clarification on anything seriously ask!

I am working on the notes from my afternoon session as well. I just need an extra 10 hours to my day.

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Technology Integration Conference: My Presentations & Reflections

Yesterday I had to present two sessions for my school district. One session was Speed Geeking and the other session was Crowdsourcing for Educators. I wanted to take some time to reflect on my presentations because I feel that with everything we do that is big and a time investment we should reflect on how we did.

I will admit and have admitted in previous posts that I was nervous. I was more nervous for these two sessions than presenting globally to several countries or to ITAG. The reason is that teachers/educators can be the toughest crowd……even more so when they are your district. Teachers are hard to read in the audience. When you present to your peers you don’t want to come off like a Mr. Know It All. I try very hard to just be me and represent how I operate all day long. I think that always works best. To act like someone who you are not will never work.

Anyways, my first session was Speed Geek where I created a website of all the tools that I use in my daily teaching. I created this wiki two days before on Monday. I decided to do this to give more insight and knowledge beyond the 30 minute presentation. I have a ton to add to the wiki and will do so a little bit each day. I was not sure about the turnout for my session. We had a good motivational keynote speaker George Couros and there were 15 breakout sessions planned. I did not know if I would have 5 people or a room full. I was blessed to have a roomful. I was told I had over 60 people so that was great. The hard part is that I had no idea where the tech level was of the room. I had two plans ready. For a small audience I would work to their needs and dig deep on a few ideas. In a larger room I would just cram as much in as possible.

I think the presentation went alright. I did not get much feedback. I had a few emails and tweets to let me know it was good and that made it all worth the effort to know that someone found it useful. I was already satisfied before even presenting because a person I connected with online from Brazil had contacted me to let me know she was trying out one of my ideas.

My biggest takeaway from the session was that teachers are eager to learn how to be more effective and become better. We just lack time. I had several conversations afterwards about how cool it would be to have breakout sessions on topics based on teacher needs during inservice. I talked about how I would love to teach about certain tools during these sessions and it even got me thinking about organizing a class for educators where we could meet once a week for so many weeks in a row to learn and grow. Some really good ideas for me to think about and ponder. Last, I realized that I learned a lot about myself while putting this presentation together. It really forced me to think about what tools do I use and how effective are the things that I use? It forced me to think about how I operate and what is really best for my students and myself. It was a reminder that I have put a lot of time and effort to being the best teacher I can be and this helped remind me that the payoff has been worth it. It is now my goal to update my wiki and continue to dig deep to being a more effective and efficient teacher.

My second session was crowdsourcing for educators. Two days before I got the great idea to create a blank wiki and conduct a crowdsourcing experiment where people could add to the wiki to talk about their experiences, knowledge, and insights. It was a wonderful experience for me to have as it gave me a platform to speak from. My slides underwent several changes to get ready and I spent hours on this particular presentation to make it worthwhile. My goal was to inspire teachers to create a PLN and begin to crowdsource, connect, and work with others outside of their school to improve and enhance their ideas and teaching. I shared stories about my experiences and briefly talked about a few things to get started like Twitter and blogs. I could easily turn this into a complete training session lasting several hours. I put three times the time and effort into this presentation as opposed to my other one and I felt good about this one. I should not judge the two against each other because they are different, but I felt like the Speed Geek was much better but I cannot explain why. Crowdsourcing is a passion of mine and it is hard to share that in 30 minutes.

I realized that I have come a long way in my networking and teaching preparing for this presentation. I was looking at where I started with a blog in 2009 that was very weak and not good to where I am today with several tools and sites that I use. It has been a remarkable journey.

One thing I forgot to mention in my presentation or maybe I did, but just did not go in depth enough is the fact that our very own students are crowdsourcing and learning from one another so why are we not doing the same? My son posted a YouTube video of his Minecraft rollercoaster he built all by himself. He was so proud and he is amazed that over 50 people have watched his work. He is only 8. I talked to the crowd about how a teacher left a comment with a challenge and now he is self learning how to do the challenge to show her he can do it. It is amazing. This morning he was given another comment on this very blog about his video from another awesome kid who is 8 years old in China!

And then today one of my 8th grade students found out part of a video that was crowdsourced for a very cool and powerful campaign was accepted and part of the final cut.

Last, I completely forgot about another example of crowdsourcing and connecting. When my 8th grade students were doing a global debate on global management of natural resources we were doing research with Google Books. We found a great book, but could only preview a few pages. One of the students decided to email the author for more information. The author was so awesome that he sent us all electronic copies of his book for us to read and use. It was an eye opener for my students. Here they are conducting conversations with this author who gave us such a great perspective of things. This is something that is so amazing for students to be able to do in this day and age. I really wanted to share this example yesterday because I want TEACHERS to be doing the same. Contact the experts, follow them online, have conversations because that will all make us better.

These examples that I did not have time to share are reminders to me that what I presented is not only a passion of mine, but real and happening as we speak. We need to be connected. We need to be empowering ourselves. If we are not doing so, then someone else is and we are falling behind.

In the end presenting yesterday proved to be better for me than I thought. It was a great opportunity to share my ideas, connect with people, have conversations with people that I never have had before, and ignite myself to take things to a new level. I don’t like to be up front talking, but I love what develops before and after that makes the presenting worthwhile.

Thank you to everyone who contributed ideas online(too many to mention) and to everyone who sat in on my presentations. I appreciate it more than you know.

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Both Presentations Ready For Tomorrow! Speed Geek and Crowdsource

Whew! I have done nothing but cram and work on these two presentations the last 48 hours. I was up early and up late and every minute in between to make these presentations happen. Nothing like working up to the last minute! I will practice and rehearse tonight and hope that I will be a positive contribution to the breakout sessions tomorrow. I think I have plenty to share and that what I share is helpful.

Here are my presentations. You can find all information, slides, and handouts on the wikis I built for both presentations. I am sure I will continue to tweak, add, modify, and change late into the night tonight because I become rather obsessive when it comes to things like this.

1. Speed Geeking Session – http://coffeechugclassroomtools.wikispaces.com/home

Please take a look and if there is anything that should be added, fixed, or modified please let me know. Also, I hope that those who check it out find it useful. This wiki is a diary of teaching really. I will be constantly adding information daily to showcase everything I use and how. I have a lot to add, but it is a good starting point.

2. Crowdsourcing for Educators – http://coffeechugcrowdsourcing.wikispaces.com/home

This one has me the most nervous. Still looking for more contributors to the wiki. Please add what you know. We have had a great turnout so far and GREATLY THANK those who took time to add information. I will be using this as an example of the power of crowdsourcing for educators. Like the other project I hope you find the content useful.

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Speed Geek Presentation Topic: Google Tricks

Here is a list of tricks for Google to help you become more efficient. I am drawing a blank as I think of the many ways I use Google in my classroom. How do you use Google?

Google Search

1. Filter by Reading Level –

http://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1095407?hl=en

2. Filter Image search by color

Step 1: Go to the advanced search option for Google Images

external image color2.png

Step 2. Once to the advanced page choose the color you want by selecting it in the options. In this case I am searching for blue even though I have not switched it from red yet in this screenshot.

external image color1.png

Step 3: Type in your word and you will then have your topic by color choice. So my coffee search with the color blue provides me all I need!

external image color3.png

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Speed Geek Presenation Topic: Cell Phones

Here are the ways I use my cell phone on a daily basis. How do you use your cell phone in your classroom? Just want to make sure I don’t leave anything out!

1.I use the Class Dojo app to track behavior, participation, learning styles, basically anything I want as a teacher.

dojo.png

2. I use my camera to take pictures of my whiteboard for notes to be posted on Edmodo, my blog, students who were sick, or just to remember what I shared from class to class.

Egg Data For Volume

3. I use my camera to capture key learning moments for me to reflect on and remember key elements to my teaching

IMG_5279

4. I use the Voice Recorder or any other audio app to record my voice. I don’t always have time to write down ideas so I will speak them instead and refer to them later when I have time to process.

5. I have used my phone and the multiple apps available for teaching purposes from triangulating rockets to a countdown timer, to recording Voicethread.

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Google Image Search by Color

I am working on some tutorials for my Speed Geek session that I am presenting in a few days. I thought I would share a few here on the blog to get in the routine of explaining some. This one deals with searching for images by color.

Step 1: Go to the advanced search option for Google Images

Step 2. Once to the advanced page choose the color you want by selecting it in the options. In this case I am searching for blue even though I have not switched it from red yet in this screenshot.
Step 3: Type in your word and you will then have your topic by color choice. So my coffee search with the color blue provides me all I need!
For more information on tools I use in my classroom on a daily basis please check out my wiki page – http://coffeechugclassroomtools.wikispaces.com/home
It is still a work in progress, but will be completed in the next two days. If you have any suggestions or tips please let me know.

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Things That Suck morphed with a Speed Geek Session

I had a great idea this morning. While checking out my Twitter feed and trying to get caught up I read a post about Things That Suck sessions at EdCamps. I was thinking about the two presentations I have to on Wednesday next week that I am highly stressed about. I just don’t see my original ideas coming together. I want to inform, but don’t want to waste people’s time. One idea that always comes up during inservice days are that teachers feel their time is wasted. I am trying really hard to not have this be a feeling when people come to my session(if any in fact show up).

My first session is on Speed Geeking where I am planning to show off different technology tools every 3-5 minutes. I just don’t think this is going to work for a few reasons after I have given it more thought. I need engagement and not just me talking. I had the idea to morph a Things That Suck along with a Speed Geek session.

I have created another Google Document – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FaEgEJZeYMITucCGE4X1FbBcE8L47YMprW06Txmt3q8/edit?usp=sharing

On this document I am seeking out ideas that I could use for this situation. I think it will work. I think it will be fun. I think it will spark conversation among staff members that never work together nor see each other except for a few times a year.

I may need to even modify the three stances of a) sucks b) rocks c) is not worth caring about into different elements.

Please help me craft about some technology topics that could prove useful. I only have 30 minutes so not a lot of time, but enough to start conversation.

Thanks

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