Tag Archives: technology

Making Thinking Visible

Two months ago I’ve started taking the Making Thinking Visible Course by Harvard University. The course is delivered by the team Project Zero who is focused on thinking routines in teaching and learning. I am taking this course with a couple of colleagues at school. In my team we have the grade 2 level team, the PYP Curriculum Director and the Elementary Tech Coach (me).

The course started with the introduction of the thinking routines and we were asked to try out these routines in our practices. For one of the assignments I was to use the See, Think, Wonder routine. As I don’t have a class of my own I try these routines on different community members in the school. This time it was the parents. On each Monday morning I run a parents tech morning session.

The workshop was for the parents of Grade 1 students. In Grade 1, students use web 2.0 tools such as their class blogs, twitter, Voicethread and some Apple software.The parents need to be updated and supported on using these technologies so that they can become a part of their child’s learning. The workshop usually starts with me introducing myself, how technology looks like in our school, how it is integrated in the classrooms. Following that it continues with the Introduction of tools like Google Accounts, Voicethread account, opening and managing these accounts and tips onhow to leave a good comment.

This time, before my regular presentation, I showed the parents a photo that I have captured from a movie on education (from Learning 2.012 conference) and placed the three words ‘See’ ‘Think’ ‘Wonder’ on the board near the presentation screen. When the parents were ready for the workshop I projected the photo on the screen.

The parents were given post-it notes and they were asked to look at the photo. I showed them the three words on the wall and asked them to write down what they see in the photo on a piece of post-it and place it under the word ‘See’. They were a bit surprised that the workshop started with this activity. They started by talking about what they were seeing. A laptop, chargers, cables,etc. One said: “They are on top of each other” The other one said: “ It’s too crowded” Another one said: “It’s too complicated”. They were all verbalizing what they were seeing. A nice discussion started. Then they started writing down what they were seeing. As next step we talked about what they think about it? They wrote what they were thinking on their post-its. The routine continued with what they wonder about it. When we were over with the discussions and visualizing our thinking, we wrapped up with their reflections on Technology. This was a very good starter activity before the workshop as I saw where they were at in their relationship with technology and where they would like to go.

* PC, Smart Phone,Charger,Memory Sticks

* Power adaptor, Monitor, Thumb Drive, Mobile Phone, Laptop/Monitor

* Laptop, iPhone, Blackberry, Adaptor,Chargers, Wires, USB

* Mac, Chargers, Connector, Mouse, USB, Balckberry, iPod, iPad








* Technology

Many things we need
Have to learn how to use

* Computer Junk

* It looks overwhelming, lots of stuff

So much to make this work

* It’s complicated and mess (to make life easy and fast)





* How to manage to use these things?
Good way to use (positive)
* Why has not been stored neatly?

* How does t all work, really?
Do we really need this as much as we use it?
* Do all these things really make our lives easy?

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Fablab Kamakura Visit

My journey to Fablab started very early on Friday morning. I met Aaron, our elementary art teacher in Yokohama Station at eight. We took the Yokosuka line to Kamakura station which took us half an hour. A couple of more minutes (5-7min) of walking and we were there, standing in front of a very old Akita House. Beautifully designed this house has been moved from Akita Prefecture down to Kamakura in  2009.

 photo by tonymcnicol

Youka welcomed us with a big beautiful smile at the door. The house had two storeys. The first floor was the meeting and gathering area and the second floor was the fabrication area. We both shared our interest in a collabortion project between Yokohama International School and Fablab. Youka told us that she and another professor from Keio University have established this laboratory and at the moment they have no sponsors. She is looking into projects with students about making tools. She has her Keio University students helping out  and proceeding their projects on Fridays. She told us that there is an opportunity that our students can meet the local craftsmen in Fablab. Moreover we had discussed ways of colaborating. (Field trips to Fablab, collaborative projects, etc.)

Fablab Kamakura from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

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Information Overload

I am  overloaded…

My right eye twitches (too much screen time), left foot falls a sleep (too much sitting in one position) and feel very tired although I am sitting in front of a desk. I check my emails on my way home from work on the train, carry a pocket wifi to connect to the world at all times, follow information on social networking sites, get information and share information all day long. I came back from a 2 week amazing unplugged holiday on the beach to constant information handling. I am tired already. What about you? Are you overloaded as I am ?

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