CEP 810: Closing the door and opening the window

This was the final week of CEP 810 and we took a look at creative licensing and the idea of “transformativeness” according to Hobbs’ 2010 Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning.  Reflecting on the last few weeks of CEP 810, I am excited to incorporate some new educational technologies into my curriculum for next year to support 21st century learning with understanding.  Student reflection is a key component of a learner centered classroom, as it is important to draw attention to the growth and learning that takes place when learning becomes active “play”.  As such, I am going to have students blog about their progress and include web resources – embedded or hyperlinked – into the posts.  This will not only help them be more cognizant of their learning, but also they can share this learning with their parents and peers, partake in discussions on fair use and tranformativeness, and have a running review of materials that work for their own learning styles.  Now that’s a win-win-win-win!

In teaching, I have found that while students are digital natives, that does not mean that they are naturals at using technology as an educational learning tool – just as we are not naturals at using educational technology in our teaching practices.  Students really latch onto using technology in a productive way and have great pride in the product.  CEP 810 gave me a great platform to think about how I can modify my classroom to achieve efficiency in student learning with understanding.


Quickfire TPACK

CEP 810 Week 6 and who knew I would be cutting Gruyère with an ice cream scoop?

This week we studied Koehler and Mishra’s theory of TPACK – technological, pedagogical and content knowledge.  In a talk by Mishra at the 21st century Learning Conference in Hong Kong, he discusses technocentrism and reminds us that even the pencil and paper were new technologies at one point, and moreover, encourages us to think about how tools can be innovatively repurposed to learn creatively.

This week’s quickfire activity was to explore that idea of repurposing by having someone select any bowl, plate and utensil that we would use to complete a randomly chosen task.  My task was to cut hard cheese – I had some Gruyère left over from this week’s Chicken Cordon Bleu, YUM! – with an ice cream scoop.  In this case the plate was the cutting board and I didn’t need the bowl at all.  The outcome isn’t beautiful, but hey, it worked!

On a side note, this task reminded me of the time I was in graduate school and used a spaghetti scoop to make mashed potatoes….funny how limited resources can spark creativity…


Network it!

Here it is!  The shark raincoat made from PUL and vinyl!  This was a tough one!  Starting with fabric choices and then getting wrapped up in pockets, this guy finally came to life.  Using only online sources was very difficult, especially when you have a broad network of people that you could easily call upon for help.  The benefit of this project was that it really put you in the students’ position, where they have a wealth of information at their fingertips, but figuring out how to access and use it is a totally different story.  While I used past knowledge to muddle my way through it, I realize that there are a number of places along the way that a student could get sidetracked – wow did those pockets really suck me in! – and lose sight of the bigger picture.  This project was a great example to highlight the need to effectively locate, apply, and share information in the digital age.

See all the snafus in the full video!

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School’s out…Now let’s get planning!

It’s already week 5 of CEP 810 and that means it’s time rethink some lessons!  Fitting since we just had our final round of faculty meetings this week – oh, the ebb and flow of teaching!

I designed a lesson to address the difficulty students have applying mathematical concepts (dimensional analysis in particular) to chemistry in the stoichiometry unit.  After reading Friedman’s NY Times Op Ed (2013) on a learner’s need for basic information in addition to skills and motivation, and contemplating Hobb’s Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom (2011), I sought to design a lesson that would address the content and support a learner centric classroom while emphasizing 21st century skills.

In accordance with Hobb’s  (2011) 5 fundamental literacy practices core competencies, students will:

  1. Access information both online in their text.
  2. Analyze the credibility and applicability of their sources.
  3. Create a blog post relaying what they learned.
  4. Reflect on how what they learned builds upon past topics in physics and math, and how it may apply to chemistry and broader issues in business and healthcare.
  5. Act by white-boarding their ideas to a group of peers and inviting questions and discussion.

Read the full lesson plan here.


Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Check it! Getting things done!

It’s week 4 in CEP 810 and that means taking a good look at productivity with David Allen’s 5 stages of workflow and being ‘appropriately engaged with what’s going on’ as he points out in his Tedx Talk .  These stages have some ways to incorporate technology:

1. Collect – Google Docs

  • This stage is all about figuring out what needs done and while you could use Google Docs and access it anywhere, I find that I work much more productively with a good old checklist – usually nostagically written on an envelope because that’s what my mom did (and still does), and as a single mom of 2 *perfectly angelic* kids who worked full time and went to school in the evening, I think it is safe to say that she knows how to get things done!  Plus, I can take this envelope with me anywhere and post it wherever is most logical at the time – on my keyboard for an email, by my phone to schedule an appointment, on the corner of my desk to grade papers…and how rewarding is it to cross things off!

2. Process – Outlook

  • Okay this one is tough.  I know there are many folders and tools to use in Outlook, but I find this more time consuming and easier to ‘lose’ things in the process so I just go back to my good old checklist and move things around or highlight things that are urgent, circle if they should be done that day, etc.  It may seem like a whole lot of random arrows and nonsense to everyone else, but hey, it works for me!

3. Organize – Schoology

  • This is one I love!  It is great for class managament and keeping the students on track.  It even has a great gradebook and a dropbox for online submissions.  While this one is more for day to day class work, I would like to give Diigo a try to organize ‘bigger picture’ educational articles and techniques I run across for changes I would like to implement in the near and ‘far’ future.

4. Review – Schoology

  • This one goes along with whatever organization tool you use and for class work that is Schoology, which is rather easy to take a look at what is coming up, but generally review for me means going back to the checklist and identifying what was done and what needs done.  This is daily for ‘do now’ items and weekly for those further out tasks.  I am thinking Diigo could really help with those ‘big picture – not immediately actionable’ items.

5. Do

  •  What needs done? Do I have the time and energy to do it? Is it a priority now?  Then do it and check it off!  Small Victories = Big Productivity!


Allen, D. (2001). Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity. New York: Penguin.

Networked Learning Project – Oh, details!

Getting back to this shark raincoat idea – and entirely sucked into the details.  I thought I had it all figured out when I ordered this cool PUL from fabric.com…very sharky…and then


Framed floating pocket by ikatbag

I stumbled upon this great article on pockets by Behind the Hedgerow.  Logic says that the welt pockets with flaps would be the most appropriate for a raincoat – hands in, water out – but really, those floating pockets are just too cool!  Let’s face it, little hands love to find hidden pockets and a little water won’t hurt so floating pockets it is!  Lucky for me, ikatbag has a great step by step for making them with a frame and all!

Now really, it’s time to start making that pattern!