After scanning @Twitter on my professional digital PLN and discussing @Makeymakey with @mraspinall (aka Brian Aspinall) Program Director of STEM Education from Fair Chance Learning @FCLedu Brian was kind enough to offer some Micro:bit kits for us at Hagersville Elementary, which will arrive next week!
We are super excited to continue our educational exploration into the amazing world of coding and programming. I am always blown away with how the world somehow ‘knowns’ and ‘grows’ along with your own means and interests, as I ventured from Kindergarten last year into grade three this year. It so happens that my group of students in grade three are so adaptable, willing, eager to explore all things ‘Archer’ I say….by this I mean that I myself have a keen interest in bringing education into the 21st century. I find 21st Century Learning so fascinating and important for our future and my students, just so happen to feel have the same interests!
So I have been working diligently after hours trying to keep up with all the amazingly new opportunities to provide ‘Archer’s 3’s’ with, and low and behold; Mr. Aspinall offers yet another new avenue to explore and work with! We are so happy and eager to receive and begin our learning with Micro:bits. We watched video’s and read about them on Friday (I will be honest, the kids become very intrigued and we spent far more time investigating then I originally planned) but it just goes to show me, THIS is the group for ME! This class and I were meant to be together this year for some strange reason and the universe brought US all together to explore and share our experience!
To date we have brought in Scientists in School, Kara Golani @karagolani (Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator) for Minecraft, Sway and Office Mix. We have networked throughout our board Via Skype for our RMS Math; which GEDSB is supporting now to enhance Math. We have used Skype to visit various places in the world, twitter to network and share our learning globally and so much more! I am thankful that our awesome principal; Janice Hughes linked my up with these incredible kids and has allowed me to explore my keen interests and engagement in 21st century learning and technology! 2016 was very kind professionally for me and I know with the engagement and tenacity of my students, they will continue to push my professional learning to the extremes in order to expand their educational journey this year alongside myself in learning.
The most amazing thing I see happening within my classroom is the interest in expanding and always going deeper and deeper into things. There has yet to be an endpoint, the students are always asking ‘would I be able to do this with that?’ or ‘can we try to do this next week / time’; answers which I will be honest I have no idea at all, but…..Twitter my bestest friend in the whole wide world this year allows me to explore and answer these questions for my students via my digital PLN.
I read a book by George Couros; The Innovators Mindset, which blew my mind over the summer. George says its ok not to have the answer but important to be willing to explore them and be innovative and expand others ideas, thoughts and understandings even more so then the current idea. Collaborative is key, its the be all and end all that I personally am trying to instill within my students. The funny thing IS when it comes time to personal reflection and dare I say it ‘tests’ they get upset they cannot trouble shoot and support one another….not for the right end answer BUT for an answer, a means and reason that explains how they got there and why this answer is far more superior then the other! Now, to me that’s empowering, that’s inspiring and that IS Innovative!
My students challenge me every day, even the difficult ones (as all educators know) but not behaviourally, more educationally. Reflecting within my digtal PLN via Twitter has empowered me to become the teacher I believe they ‘my students’ need to reach a new standard in learning. By this I do not mean A’s or Level 4 but a 21st century learner, one in which explores things within an inquiring mindset, searching for people to support their own personal learning to enhance their current understanding and find someone with similar interests to explore in greater detail alongside them as well.
Looking ahead Micro:bits, Makey Makey, Minecraft Edu, coding and programming will become stronger in 2017 because of these students. I am eager to receive the Micro:bits next week….not since its a new ‘toy’ to explore and play with (well a little) BUT to see what my students will ask and wonder and to push me to explore and investigate alongside them! That is my excitement and that is why our profession is the greatest in the world – we get to create tomorrows future in todays students….so excited to see the outcomes!
Look out world here comes Archer’s 3’s!!