Kindergarten Teaches the World

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NXpp-N6r1g&feature=youtu.be

Ever since I heard about Somersaulting the Classroom, for those still on the fence about a total flip, I was intrigued. Could something like this be done with my Kindergarten students? I wasn’t 100% sold on a total flipped classroom with 5 & 6-year-old students, but I toyed with the idea all throughout my COETAIL Journey.

COETAIL & ISTE

My goals for this project were to take the same collaborative structure that COETAIL has taught me and attempt to instill that mindset into my Kindergarten students.  By aligning it with the ISTE standards I set out to provide my students with an authentic audience and a platform that extends beyond the classroom, with the intention of them becoming Empowered Learners. 

1a. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

The other standards I focused on were Digital Citizen, 2a. cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.

Creative Communicator  6d.  Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Global Collaborator 7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

For more details have a look at my Understanding by Design unit plan below. 

Throughout this journey, my COETAIL online 9 cohort members have taught me the importance of delivering and receiving effective feedback. The cycle of continuous improvement and positive feedback loops such creating, reflecting and refining, which I learned from COETAIL, was exactly what I wanted my students to understand as well. There were other sources of inspiration as well such Khan Academy’s for their effective use of video lessons. Studio 5’s “CAR” method which consisted of Choose, Act,  Reflect and other innovative methods of restructuring the day was also extremely influential in changing up how I viewed our use of time in my Kindergarten classroom.

Course 3 Visual Literacy: Effective Communicators & Creators that I was by far my favorite course of COETAIL program. It was during Course 3 when discovered Venngage, an excellent program for making infographics. I used it at that time to transformed my CV into a professional graphic. I would revisit it again throughout this course to make the “Choice Boards” that I would update each week and provide for my Kindergarten students.

Continuing to Reach Out & Adjust our Aim

Just like community approach to learning, continues long after the cohorts, my Kindergarten students will too continue on with “Kindergarten Teaches the World” in some form or fashion. Whether we continue to reach out to schools and receive feedback, fine-tune or metacognition, or simply make more learning videos because we enjoy it. They love sharing their learning and I love that because it allows me to It allows me to monitor their progress towards their personal goals and help them adjust their aim along the way.

Redefining How We Learn in Kindergarten

As for the SAMR model, I’d like to think that this learning engagement has reached the level of redefinition. if it hasn’t already it will soon will as my students are excited to take this forward and continue to communicate with school’s and students we’ve made connections with.

Looking back now, one of the things I would have done differently would have involved me reaching out to other school’s sooner rather than towards the end of the unit. Especially, after seeing how excited my students became once they heard back for the various schools.

Final Wonderings & Special Thanks

I’d first like to thank @dianabeabout and everyone in this amazing cohort for all the awesome sharing, collaborating, and overall positive vibes. I’m also extremely grateful for my thriving Professional Learning Network (PLN). This learning experience would not have been successful with you. Therefore I must pay it forward. I’d like to thank current COETAIL 10 cohort member & former colleague @BrianJKasper, along with former COETAIL’er & colleague @mrWrensen.  @BrianJKasper helped my students connect with his classroom in China & @mrWrensen provided us with a cross-continental connection with his classroom in Tunisia. In addition, @pypchef provided us with excellent feedback through the lens of his performing arts classroom up in Vientiane, Laos with both Preschool & Grade 1 student offering new ways for us to take on feedback. Last but not least @Ms_kHansen, my teaching partner at UWC Thailand, thanks for being open to taking part in this project with your Kindergarten students. The fact that both our classrooms are still buzzing about me indicates to me that it was a hit with their students.  I look forward to working with all of you again in the near future. 

Final Wondering….  

What’s next?

Let me know!

🙂

Cheers!

@NicholasKGarvin

 

“Learn to teach like Chuck Berry plays guitar.”

The title of this post was quoted by Sonny Magana during his Youtube video explaining the T3 Framework. It stuck with me and instantly made me a fan of Magana’s 3 T’s, Translational, Transformation, and Transcendent. It’s an excellent concept and his framework makes up a great hierarchy which showcases how we can use technology to enhance student learning.  In the past, I’ve only ever used The SAMR Model but, after spending some time looking at both the TPACK and T3 Framework I became enticed and a bit overwhelmed, wondering if one had any specific advantages over the other.  Often in education, one can get easily acronym’ed to death.

So the question now becomes, what do you with all the tools to use to evaluate using technology (which is also a tool), to enhance student learning?

Let’s have a quick look at each one of our top three tech integration models and try to decide.

Here’s Ruben Puentedura, creator of SAMR

Now’s here’s TPACK explained in 2 minutes.

Finally, here’s a video of The T3 Framework for Innovation in Education explained in 5 minutes.

Notice anything?  All three evaluation tools use the sum of their parts to take learner deeper, moving students from consumers to prosumers and from passive participators to creators and disruptive innovators.  All three of these tools represent the same paradigm shift. Take your pick but understand that it’s the mindset that really matters.


Whats in a name?

So, thinking about the overarching idea we want to achieve when using technology in the classroom, I couldn’t help but get hung up on how many different ways we attempt to communicate the same thing. That thought brought me back to my school’s latest technology committee meeting where our focus mainly centered on us currently searching for the right name to coin our iPad program.  Our philosophy is sound as is our purpose and procedures. We believe in SAMR, embrace the ISTE standards, and have aligned our curriculum with Common Sense Media, we just don’t have that one name to sum it all up nicely.  As we all went back to the drawing board after our latest unsuccessful attempt,  I couldn’t help but zoom out and think, “What’s in a name?” Now I didn’t exactly have Shakespear on the mind when reflecting on this, but instead, the abundance of acronyms already floating around in education today.

Upon further reflection, I couldn’t help but notice how many of the tech integration tools have a massive commonality. SAMR & TPACK and even T3, provide teachers with ways enhance learning in with technology. Although they’re different models, they all provide a roadmap for innovation and highlight the same big ideas,

promote student agency,

foster creativity and collaboration

and transform student learning.

Keeping learning at the forefront of the conversation allows us to view technology as a skill much like  Jeff Utech mentions in his blog post.

” If we view technology as a skill, then we can look at the skill students are learning through the use of technology.

Using the three higher order thinking skills, of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy,  create, evaluate, & analyze, below are some of the things I like to encourage my students to do when using technology:

  • Create connections locally & globally to collaborate & give and receive feedback
  • To become prosumers
  • Produce content for an authentic audience
  • Be media and digitally literate by critically navigating and interacting in the digital realm.
  • Embody the ISTE Standards for Students

Edutopia does a wonderful job summing this up in this video.


“Roll Over Beethoven”

It was way back in September, during course one,  when I was first introduced to Mark Pernsky’s article,  Shaping Tech for the Classroom.  I wrote about what he calls, “enlightened trial and error”, “dabbling”, & “doing old things in new ways.” You can go back and have a look at that post here.

Press Start : Digital Citizenship in Kindergarten

In Pernsky’s article, he lays the groundwork for his views of technology in the classroom in his four-step process

  • Dabbling.
  • Doing old things in old ways.
  • Doing old things in new ways.
  • Doing new things in new ways.

Although I wasn’t around to witness it, this process seems to mirror exactly what Chuck Berry did with his guitar when he turned the music industry upside in the 1950’s. Much of what he did is nicely summarized in this article “What Chuck Berry Can Teach Us about Innovation”  by Jim McCarthy. I think it’s safe to say that Chuck Berry was a disruptive innovator. 

Just to be sure, let’s also cross-check them with those skills/ real life applications I listed above.

  • Seek connections locally, and globally to collaborate, give and receive feedback

 Chuck learned from and borrowed from others, such as T-Bone Walker. He sought out other successful people in his industry for help and advice, specifically Muddy Waters and Leonard Chess of Chess Records. 

  • To become prosumers

He created a hybrid from various influences, mixing blues and country music with an uptempo electrifying guitar sound that couldn’t describe.  He experimented with different products and pivoted into new markets – think of it as modern day “app-smashing.” 

  • To have an authentic audience

He knew his audience — recognizing trends and reflecting the spirit of his times

  • Be media and digitally literate

He creatively used new technology, the electric guitar.  See below.

Sadly, Chuck Berry died a year ago today, on March 18, 2017, but his spirit lives on inside every disruptive innovator.  So when I think about what I want my students to achieve when using technology in the classroom, yeah I think of all the acronyms, but mostly I think about redefinition, transformation, creativity and Chuck Berry.

Perhaps we should all learn to teach like Chuck Berry plays guitar.

 


Final Wonderings?

How do you promote disruptive innovation in your classroom?

What are the challenges raised by teaching using SAMR , TPACK, or T3 as a tool for integrating technology?

What does technology integration look like in your classroom?