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denise martinez

General Discussion  - 
 
Session 7-This Week's Activity
Tell about something you’ve worked on that you felt was meaningful and motivating. Explain what made you feel motivated. If you were designing a learning experience or environment, what would you do to help others feel motivated and engaged?

As a teacher I am often working on things that I feel are meaningful and motivating. That's why I teach in the first place. I love to share with others the things that I am passionate about. When you have a "teaching moment" and see that you have really impacted a kid's life, that's the big reward.

Most recently I am working on an overhaul of the visual arts curriculum, and expansion of this department at my school. One of the things that I find most interesting and exciting is involving my students in this development process. I want them to play an active role in the direction this will all take. Discovering what they find interesting often surprises me. Their choices inform the curriculum so that I am confident we are laying the groundwork for a creative learning environment, unique among High School visual arts programs.

Students have been very responsive to taking part in this process. I have offered them no rewards at all. It wasn't needed. They are excited to have a say in what they will be doing in school.
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Linda Feeney's profile photo
 
Meaningful for family memories, motivating to see my young great niece's beautiful smile -- I made homemade candy for Easter -- daisy 'lollipops' of pastel tinted white chocolate and candy covered cookies decorated with candy cone flowers and black-eyed Susans. 

It is worth noting that this project was my adaptation after 2 "glorious failures." My first attempt at a special treat was to make Rubber Ducky cupcakes (http://www.ivillage.com/rubber-ducky-cupcakes/3-r-139110). My second try was homemade chocolate Easter eggs filled with mini M&M's.

Despite the failures, I persisted until I could produce something special. I am an accomplished cook and baker, but I had never tried to make homemade candy before. It took lots of time, but the pay off was worth it. She was delighted and those smiles will be etched in my brain forever.
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denise martinez

Activities  - 
 
For the week's activity: 1) Go to stackexchange.com/sites and choose a site that you find interesting
2) Post (at least) one question and answer someone else’s question (at least one)
3) Reflect: What aspects of the experience contribute to a sense of a learning community? What aspects limit a sense of community? 

This was not a pleasant experience for me. The site is appealing to a particular audience and there were no topics that are within my personal areas of expertise or special interest, so I felt I had nothing of real value to contribute in terms of answers to any already posted questions. I felt that users of this site probably don't share my particular interests. It was unwelcoming. Reading the questions and answers posted, there just seemed like a lot of pontificating going on. No verification of fact vs. opinion, so no way to tell what is a good or helpful  answer.
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Andy Gray's profile photoLinda Feeney's profile photo
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I posted one answer just for the sake of doing the exercise but I found the site a bit unfocussed
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Andy Gray

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
fyi
Next Thursday 17.05 GMT BBC World Service is broadcasting 'What If... We Could All Talk To Joi Ito?'
Razia Iqbal introduces Joi Ito to an audience of listeners world-wide, and they ask him to justify the claims he makes for the benign power of the web.
Live with an audience of the public at MIT's Media Lab in Boston, USA.
It will be available on bbc iplayer later if you can't listen live
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Andy Gray's profile photoLinda Feeney's profile photo
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hi linda,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p015m78y

here's the url
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
It's feeling a little lonely in here. What is everyone up to?
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Glad to "see" you. :-)
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
My adventures with Scratch...

I have been playing around with Scratch, but I do not have a project to share. I have been very frustrated by the program. I  am probably trying to make it do something that it is not designed to do. 

I want to manipulate the background to create a moving mandala or kaleidoscope effect. My program starts out fine, but the image reaches a certain point and just stops, even though there are more instructions to be followed.
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Egor Azanov

Activities  - 
 
A story about an object from my childhood http://krondix.com/agile-airwolf/
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Linda Feeney's profile photo
 
Thank you for this post. :-) The description of your Airwolf project is great.

It saddens me that it seems that students in US schools can become very lazy when it comes to self assessment -- they are so used to teachers and others telling them whether something is right or wrong. With all of our emphasis on  rubrics and assessments, their creative spirit is squashed. They don't dare go "outside the box" for fear of getting a lower grade, or being cut from the soccer team, or being teased by their friends.

You created without fear. You judged your project and decided what would work and how well it replicated your mental image. You weren't afraid to start over and you knew when your project was finished. 

Your Airwolf project makes me think of a book that I read as a child. It was called The Egypt Game (Newberry Award winner in 1966). A group of inner city kids create their own version of Ancient Egypt in a abandoned storage room. Their game took them away from their stressful lives into a land of mystery and possibilities. They did all the research and created this special world all on their own.

Thanks for bringing back that memory. I think I may have to read that book again. :-)
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marti mcginnis

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Hi all! I'm Marti, I live in horse country KY and I'm an artist and new media marketer. I am amped to learn learning with you all!
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All the time, Linda. :)
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
The Marshmallow Challenge...

When the marshmallow challenge was first mentioned (sans details), my mind started spinning. I was imagining this really fanciful mobile that looked like a 3-D spider web -- bits of marshmallow to hold the joints together so it could expand and contract, string (I imagined using dental floss, lightweight but very strong) woven among spaghetti joists, decorative spaghetti stars held together with scotch tape (had to be scotch tape so they would reflect light and glitter). I was also trying to figure out how I could manipulate these materials to add some color.

Then I learned about the constraints -- it had to be a structure, built to maximum height, able to support the marshmallow on top. My gut reaction --  BORING!! However, the real world is filled with constraints and we do need to be creative in addressing them.
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Denise! What a wonderful share and a great inspiration! Thank you. 
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About this community

LCL-642 Group Base for the MIT Media Lab course Learning Creative Learning.

Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Just watched the video about Makey Makey. The only thing I can think to ask is "Why?" The product replicates keyboard function using other materials. I get that. What I don't get is where is the creativity in copying functionality to less functional materials?

To me, the only example they showed that had real educational value was the stairs/piano example. For kinesthetic learner, this really drives home the idea of scales and intervals using a physical mapping of an aural experience.
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denise martinez

Activities  - 
 
Part of this week's prep, we were asked to "Describe an experience where you helped someone learn something--and you learned something in the process."
As a teacher, this is an everyday experience for me. That's just good pedagogy. The act of teaching is the act of learning, and by opening yourself up to learning, you model the discovery process for your students. Even when I am going over a topic I have taught many times, I present it in the form of questioning. Through their answers, I am always seeing the thing in a different perspective. Teaching is learning, learning is teaching.
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Linda Feeney's profile photo
 
Amen.
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
I thought I posted this yesterday, but perhaps, I did commit the post. About 2 weeks ago, I asked the group about their opinions about MOOC's in general based on their experiences with this MOOC. I promised to share my responses to those same questions. You can find my commentary online at http://wp.stockton.edu/creativechaos.
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denise martinez

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Just watched session 4: So glad someone finally brought up Maria Montessori. I don't think we can have a real discussion about any of this without talking about her own Powerful Ideas about learning.

I struggled terribly over the past week with the Turtle program. Not as user friendly as Scratch. I get how it's training the brain to think more in programming terms, but I think by default my brain resists thinking too logically. As an artist it made me frustrated that I know I can hand draw so much faster, and with greater beauty than what I could produce with Turtle. There's a restriction with Turtle (and to some extent with Scratch) that is about being creative within limits. It's looking for a type of logical creativity, rather than free exploration of the wild mild.
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Linda Feeney's profile photo
 
I struggled with Turtle a bit, as well. I gave it my "silly user test' which means I dove right in without reading any instructions or watching any videos -- the same thing a child should be able to do. My biggest frustration -- figuring out how to get my program to run.

Just as you commented, being creative within this environment means working within constraints. Do we really want to constrain creativity, especially in young children?

On the other hand, if we look at Turtle not as a creativity tool, but as a tool for teaching programming concepts, it's not bad. The basic programming components are there and can be simply dragged onto the screen, very little typing required.

Years ago, I taught computer programming and computer literacy to high school students. Those students who could not type quickly lagged behind their more adept classmates. This kind of environment would put all but those with severe motor problems on equal footing.
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Activities  - 
 
MOOC's are often held out as an example of how education, especially higher education may be run in the future. Students would have the opportunity to explore topics of interest on MOOC's and apply to a credentialing agency to have their expertise vetted and certified. These credentials could then be put toward credits in higher education to make college more affordable and to, potentially, shorten the time necessary to earn a degree.

So, I'm curious... Based on your experience to date with this MOOC:

1. Do you think this a viable model?
2, What new knowledge or skills have you acquired and how might they be applied to a degree?
3. Have you participated in MOOC's before and will you participate again?
4. Does the structure of this MOOC align with your learning preferences?
5. If you were designing this MOOC, what would you do differently?

[I promise to post my own answers later. I don't want my thoughts to affect your responses.]
 
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Linda Feeney
moderator

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
I just finished watching the video on Cyberlearning Arts and Crafts.It took me back to my high school physics class and our experiments with circuits.

I had to fight an instant negative response. In high school, I found physics terribly frustrating. I got decent grades, but I never really felt like I truly understood what was going on.

I remember talking to the teacher. He was puzzled -- I could read the problems, choose the correct formula, and find the correct answer. In his estimation I understood physics just fine.

I was still frustrated.I understood the MATH. I didn't understand the physics.

A few years later my sister asked me to tutor her in physics. I found that taking the role of teacher made me look at the subject in a different way and I finally found myself actually learning the concepts.I have to admit I was happy to see that I instantly recognized the construction of circuits in the video.

Moral of the story -- If you really want to learn something, teach it to someone else.
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Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
I've read the reading and finished watching the lecture. My feeling is that there is a lot more creative thinking out here than MIT is seeing. I'm in Omaha, Nebraska. A lot of progress has been made in the last decade in using collaborative practices.
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Noe Gonzalez
owner

Readings  - 
 
February 11: Creative Learning (Session 1) 

Mitchel Resnick (2007). All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten. ACM Creativity & Cognition conference.       
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conor o'brien

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
Hello, I'm Conor O'Brien. I live in Upstate New York and attend college at SUNY Potsdam. I'm a professional writing and environmental studies major.
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I would enjoy both, but preferably an environmentalist who writes. I'm actually trying to transfer to a biology/ecology based program at a different school. The main reason I'm getting a writing degree is because it's a small number of credits, and I can do it well. 
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Andy Gray

Introduce Yourself  - 
 
hi,
I'm Andy Gray from Brighton england. i'm an economics teacher and i also run a CodeClub at a local primary school
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Linda Feeney's profile photo
8 comments
 
What an adorable video. 
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Noe Gonzalez
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
A great reflection on the Feb 11 reading from Dave Ferguson.
http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/5390
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