The 90-Second Integrationist – Season 2 Episode 04 – Why I Love TinkerCAD

“TinkerCAD is the digital equivalent of building blocks, erector sets, and modeling clay, all rolled into one.”

Resources:

Transcript:

Before there were a bajillion online games – before there was such a thing as an online game – when you wanted to goof off with the computer, and you were tired of FreeCell, you opened up Paint – Microsoft’s built-in basic level drawing program. The digital equivalent of a blank piece of paper and a box of 16 crayons.

Within minutes, kids could create landscapes, still-lifes, even self-portraits. Inkjet printers churned out reams of their two-dimensional creations.

Autodesk’s cloud-based TInkerCAD program gives today’s kids – and beyond – that same thrill of creation, but in three dimensions. TinkerCAD.com is the digital equivalent of building blocks, erector sets, and modeling clay, all rolled into one.

TinkerCAD’s simple interface and helpful tutorials give even the novice user a way to make the connections of how three-dimensional objects can be represented on the two-dimensional screen. Add material here. Take a little material off there. Move this bit a little higher. Turn the whole thing around to see the other side.

TinkerCAD even lets you send your finished objects to your own 3-D printer, or share your digital designs with the entire world! Spatial reasoning is an important cognitive skill, and three-dimensional modeling is a great way to learn and explore! Get started for free at tinkercad dot com.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Season 2 Episode 03 – Why I Love Raspberry Pi

“Make your next computer a Raspberry Pi and see just how much fun telling your computer what to do can be!”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, season 2, episode 3.]

The Raspberry Pi (that’s spelled P I) is a credit-card sized computer that retails for about $35. Connect a usb mouse and keyboard, connect an HDMI display, download the Linux-based operating system onto a Micro SD card, and you’re ready to go. Onboard wi-fi lets you connect to the Internet via your home wireless network.

It isn’t a mega-powerful gaming system – but this product of the not-for-profit UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation is plenty powerful for web browsing, basic productivity tools, and – the best part – programming the General Purpose Input/Output (or GPIO) pins that are oh-so-easy to get to. Physical computing – controlling lights, buzzers, switches, sensors, and some fantastic optional attachments – is literally at your fingertips.

Learn blocks-based programming with the locally-installed version of Scratch, then graduate to true text-based coding in Python.

In his magnificent 1980 book, “Mindstorms”, Seymour Papert wrote, “In many schools today, the phrase computer-aided instruction means making the computer teach the child. One might say the computer is being used to program the child. In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology….”

The Raspberry Pi gets us one step closer to that nearly-40-year-old vision. Make your next computer a Raspberry Pi and see just how much fun telling your computer what to do can be!

Get started at raspberry pi dot org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Season 2 Episode 02 – Why I Love Seesaw

“Imagine taking that big paper-based portfolio and putting it online. “

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, season 2, episode 2.]

Have students monitor their progress. Give students the opportunity to produce authentic works for a global audience. Let students collaborate. Keep parents and guardians in the loop on their students’ work. Each of these strategies can have a significant positive impact on student achievement. And each of them is possible using the Seesaw online portfolio system.

While I was in school – and, I admit, that was some years ago – several of my teachers understood the potential impact of having students collect and curate samples of their own work across the school year. Usually, these were kept on paper in some sort of folder or binder. Not everything went in it, and it wasn’t always our best work. It was representative work. And, as the school year wore on, anyone could go through our portfolio to see the progress we were making.

Imagine taking that big paper-based portfolio and putting it online. Seesaw does just that, providing a safe place for teachers to allow students to capture their learning processes. The class can see each other’s posts, if the teacher allows it. And, the class can give social-media style “likes” and comments on each other’s work – again, if the teacher allows it. Students can post typed text, drawings, audio, video, or even links to their work created in other tools. Nothing is viewable by others unless or until the teacher specifically approves it. When the class is ready, the teacher can turn on the blog feature, and start sharing their amazing work with the entire world.

Get started for free today at seesaw dot m e.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Season 2 Episode 01 – Why I Love Book Creator

“What would you like to write a book about?”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, season 2, episode 1.]

Have you ever been asked what you are interested in? Have you ever asked a child, or a group of students, what they are interested in?

If you’re a teacher, you probably have. And you have probably been a little disappointed with the answers, or lack of answer, that some of them give.

If we want to change their answers, we might be able to do so by changing our question. What if we asked, “What would you like to write a book about?”

Writing a book is serious business. If I think about what I’m interested in, I might think about a TV show, or a video game, or a hobby that occupies my free time. I think like a content-consumer.

When I think about writing a book, I’m pushed to think not of myself as the audience, but the entire book-reading world. I’m not the content-consumer anymore. I’m the content-creator. I’m responsible for the accuracy and completeness of my content, the fair and appropriate use of sources, even the grammar and punctuation.

That’s why I love Book Creator. The web version works great with the Chrome or Chromium browser on just about any platform. Use the iOS app if you’re on an Apple device. Sign in with your Google, Office 365, or Clever account, and you’re ready to create. Choose the page format and layout, and start adding your content. Add text, photos, video, audio, drawings, shapes, patterns, even embed live content from the Web! When you’re done, publish your eBook for the entire world to see!

What do you want to write a book about?  You are one website away from making your book a reality, at Book Creator dot com.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 012 – Teach Like You’re…

“Know that planning is important, but that imagination is what makes the extraordinary possible.”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 12.]

The previous four episodes of The 90-Second Integrationist have spotlighted four historical figures, and urged us to use the strategies they employed to face challenges like they faced.

They were inspired by 2006 TED prize winner, architect Cameron Sinclair, and Léonie Watson, who applied them to her work in web application design and accessibility. Each of the four historical figures represents an approach to problem-solving that results in unique solutions.

But what about you?

Just like Banksy, da Vinci, Chanel, or Brunel, many others throughout history have faced unique challenges, and come up with original ways of addressing them.

Who inspires you? But maybe more importantly, why? What problem did they face, and how did they solve it? And how might you take that same approach in solving the problems you face?

Check out the website Achievement dot org to learn about people who did amazing things. The site has a “Find My Role Model” feature that guides you to people who share common interests with you, maybe even some people you’ve never heard of.

You’re never too old to have a hero. What we admire about our heroes is part of what makes us who we are, and gives us the opportunity to shape the world in ways nobody else can – to make a positive difference in the lives of those we come in contact with every day.

Join me at Designing Education Dot Org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 010 – Teach Like You’re Chanel

“Strive for beauty and elegance, but understand that those things will not be the same for everybody.”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 10.]

(from Madonna’s song, “Vogue”) “Beauty’s where you find it.”

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had none of the prerequisites of her day to become a fashion designer. She was poor, orphaned, and female. But, her unique designs, born of utility and her innovative perspective on what women’s fashion should be, changed the business forever. The Chanel suit, the little black dress, and a fashion designer’s name on a fragrance line were unthinkable before Coco – and now they are indispensable elements of the women’s fashion world. As Coco said in a 1965 interview, “La mode passe; le style reste” (“Fashion passes, style remains.”)

On Friday, January 12, 2007, world-famous violinist Joshua Bell donned a non-descript cap and jacket and took his multi-million dollar Stradivarius to a DC metro station. He played, for 45 minutes, while over a thousand people passed by. A few stopped to listen. A few of them dropped coins or the occasional dollar bill into his open case. A virtuoso performance went almost completely unnoticed – not because of the lack of skill, but because it was an unexpected performance from an unexpected person in an unexpected place.

We have students giving virtuoso performances every day, but sadly they go unnoticed because it isn’t who we expect, where we expect, in the way we expect.

Teach like you’re Chanel. Strive for beauty and elegance, but understand that those things will not be the same for everybody.

Join me at designing education dot org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 009 – Teach Like You’re da Vinci

“Be curious about everything, and never stop questioning how you can make things better.”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 9.]

Leonardo da Vinci is known for a variety of accomplishments. Painting, sculpting, cartography, anatomy and physiology, military engineering, civil engineering, botany, and more. At least some of his success should be attributed to the fact that he used what he learned in one field to inform his progress in another, ignoring the lines we often draw between academic subjects.

The more he learned about how the human body is designed, the more he changed how he painted and sculpted human figures. The more he learned about how birds are able to fly, the more he changed his designs for his own human-powered flying machines. Da Vinci didn’t put his science textbooks in his locker before he went to art class, and vice-versa.

Imagine you’re about to get a pet hamster. What all will that hamster need? You might think of a cage or aquarium, food, water, bedding, toys, exercise wheels, tubes, and even other hamsters! Why is it that when we need to support a diverse range of students in our classrooms, our first thought is to make less options available to them instead of more? We can do so much more for our students by adding to their learning environments than we can by taking things away.

Teach like you’re Leonardo da Vinci. Be curious about everything, and never stop questioning how you can make things better.

Join me at designing education dot org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 008 – Teach Like You’re Banksy

“Read the rulebook, then rip it up and create something that challenges the accepted wisdom.”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 8.]

Banksy is the pseudonym for a common, trespassing thug who scrawls graffiti all over other people’s private property.

Banksy is the pseudonym for a talented, important activist who calls attention to the social injustices of his day through intricately planned street art.

Same person. Two different perspectives on him and his work. His rulebreaking style effectively calls attention to social injustices.

Are we willing to break rules, for the right reason?

Monopoly is one of the most popular board games of all time, but nobody plays it by the published rules! Piling money on Free Parking, getting double-salary if you land on “Go!” by exact count, and not collecting rent if you’re in jail are just some examples of the way I grew up playing Monopoly that are not part of the actual rules! We change the rules all the time when it makes the game more fun for us – and that’s the whole reason behind playing a game, to have fun! Whenever the rules stand against the purpose, there is a serious disconnect that has to be addressed.

In education, any rule we have in place that prevents a kid from getting the education they should be getting is a rule that needs to be broken.

Teach like you’re Banksy. Read the rulebook, then rip it up and create something that challenges the accepted wisdom.

Join me at designing education dot org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 007 – Design for Access

“What do architectural design, software design, and instructional design all have in common?”

Resources:

Transcript:

[Background music.]
[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 7.]

What do architectural design, software design, and instructional design all have in common? At first thought, you might believe “not much”. But let’s look a little deeper.

Architectural design is an amazing combination of creating buildings that have an important function, but that also are aesthetically pleasing. The best architects pride themselves on designing buildings that serve their purpose, and are nice to look at.

Software and web designers do something very similar. They design a program or site for a particular set of functions, and it’s extremely important for the program or site to perform that function very well. But, it’s also important for that program or that website to provide a pleasant experience to the user.

The same need to provide a balanced approach to both essential function and aesthetic appeal factors into the way we design instruction. We don’t fault visitors for not wanting to come to a building that isn’t very functional or that isn’t very pleasant to be in. We don’t fault users for not using a program or website that doesn’t do what they want it to do, or is too hard for them to use for the intended purpose.

We can design quality instruction that does the work of upholding high standards for all students, while providing a warm, inviting environment that engages each student to do his or her very best.

Join me at designing education dot org.

The 90-Second Integrationist – Episode 006 – Shoe Sizes

“The differences between our students don’t end at their ankle.”

Resources:

  • Based on a video where I collaborated with the good folks at OCALI.

Transcript:

[Background music.]

[VO: Welcome to The 90 Second Integrationist, episode 6.]

Here’s an experiment for you to try with a classroom full of students who wear kids’ size shoes.

Ask each student what their shoe size is.  Now, if they don’t know it, that’s okay.  It’s usually written somewhere on the shoes that they are wearing, so you should be able to find it.  Collect everyone’s shoe size, and find the average.  Go ahead and round your answer to the nearest half-size.

Once you have the average shoe-size, answer this question.  How many students in the classroom is the average shoe size going to fit?

Nobody would propose bringing 20 or 30 pairs of the same size shoe into your classroom and giving every student – or even most students – a well-fitting pair of shoes.  Their feet are just too different!

The differences between our students don’t end at their ankle.

When we exclusively use classroom materials based on a hypothetical average, we exclude far more students than we include.  Flexible educational materials in a variety of formats, low-tech and high-tech, give all students the opportunity to engage with instruction in a way that best suits their diverse needs.  Technology amplifies this built-in flexibility by individualizing support and transforming how we can provide and collect evidence of real learning.

Your classroom is like a shoe store. Do you have something in stock for every student who walks through the door?

Join me at designingeducation dot org.