Kicking off Course 5

Welcome to Course 5!

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You’ve made it to the final COETAIL course! You’re well rested from a fantastic winter break, rejuvenated by an awesome start to the second semester and ready to tackle a final project. The finish is within reach and I’m excited to be a part of this culminating project of your COETAIL experience.

Course Overview

This one is a little different from all the others.

First, it is over a much longer period, January 29 – May 6. All work must be submitted for this course by April 30. The last week (April 30-May 6) of the course is for you to watch other cohort members’ videos and provide feedback. It’s very important for you to know that there is no room for any extensions beyond April 30 so please manage your time and commitment to your final course assignments carefully.

Second, you are not required to post to your blog every week.  However, as many of you have found throughout the other courses, blogging can be a great way to record and reflect on your progress as your project develops. You are only required to log 4 posts, including one about your final project during this course. Due to this, you will notice that the Course 5 tab of your grade sheet looks a little different. Be sure to read Weeks 3 & 4 carefully as they give you the details about specific blogging requirements for this course. There is no commenting requirement, but of course, your comments help each other out.

Independent & Flexible

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You’ve got a lot of freedom in this course to work in a way that meets your needs. I strongly suggest reading through the assignments for the entire course as you get started this week, just to get a sense of what lies ahead. There’s less structure, but still some specific requirements that need to be met.

The most important part of Course 5 is to take your work and reflections from the previous four courses and put it all into practice. Make this learning your own and continue to build your own blogging voice as well as your PLN. We hope that this course is not an end to your COETAIL journey, but a jumping off point for your continued learning and online presence.

Continue to use your PLN as you work through this course. Ask each other questions, use the #COETAIL hashtag on Twitter, jump into the Google+ community that’s over 500 members strong. You can always reach out to anyone in the COETAIL community for help. I’m always available via email and so are the Awesome Coetail Coaches.

Final Thoughts

Keep an eye on this blog as I’ll post some updates and remind you of deadlines here. I’ll also make sure to share all the awesomeness that you guys are producing throughout the course.

Its not a bad idea to rough out a timeline for the course either. The final project video might take you longer than you think. Leave yourself lots of wiggle room.

Now go and be awesome.

Wrapping up Course 4

Just a quick post as I’m in Lusaka this weekend and access to internet is limited. All course work should be completed by December 17. I will do my best to get all feedback completed for submitted work by the 19th so we can all go about our merry way for the winter break without work on our minds. 🙂

I’ve gotten a bit behind on the current feedback as I’ve been in Lusaka for Part 1 of Cognitive Coaching this weekend. A fantastic course if you ever get the chance to check it out. I’ll get caught up over the next few days once I return to Accra. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them.

As usual, the final week of Course 4 is a time for you to catch up and make sure you’ve completed all the work over the last five weeks. Here’s what you should have:

  • One blog post for each week of the course
  • One additional blog post reflecting on your final project (for a total of 6 posts)
  • A final project embedded into your last blog post for Course 4
  • One comment for each week of the course (for a total of 5 comments)
  • GET: Completed Trainer video & application! We’d love to see your video embedded in your final blog post as well.

All of these items should be listed on your grading spreadsheet so that we can give you feedback.

Cohort Feedback Reminder

Previously we asked you for mid-course feedback. If you didn’t have the chance, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on this very simple survey so that we can continue to improve. We’ll be providing more opportunities for feedback at the conclusion of the program as well.

Week 5: Technology for all my friends

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I remember when I first arrived at LCS and found that every student either had a laptop or could check one out for every class. I was elated. After years of reserving labs, or hoping the 10 iPads for 30 students were charged, this was going to be heaven. I went in full steam ahead. Computers were a part of every lesson plan and I was using every tool I could think of that would keep them open. I slowly realised this wasn’t the best plan. Not every task needs to be digital, in fact many should not be. The excitement of these shiny new toys was just too much for me to resist. Once I refocused my energy a bit and started mixing paper and pencil with digital tools, my classes were easier to manage and students were more engaged.

 

This week is all about finding the balance.

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We know at this point that good integration is not based on what technology you have access to in your room. It is what and how well you decide to integrate that technology into your student’s learning. This week its time to reflect on your own use of tech in the classroom. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how tech is used in your classes and quite curious to hear of someone who has tried out tech breaks.

 

Weekly Progress Check

By December 10 you should have

  • 5 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.
  • Generated a great idea for an awesome final project

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam. If you have questions about these requirements make sure you ask so we can clear them up.

Week 4: The Future

This week’s reading are all over the place. So I figure I might as well throw this in there too, because I’m pretty sure it is now the future when this is happening.

 

But I digress. There’s a little bit of everything this week. MOOCs, flat classrooms, digital badges, connectivism. Where do we start?  Will the future of education really change or will we continue to be stuck in the ruts of traditional education systems? It isn’t really a new question. You’ve been reflecting on it each week as you’ve read and written, sharing your thoughts and insight. What will you share this week?

Highlights

I haven’t done this in a while, but I want to share some of your posts here. Abbi had a great post clarifying and investigating some of the alphabet soup of project, problem, place, etc, based learning last week.

Andy came up with his own model of tech integration and also shared this post about education model and potential that really hit home for me, as i know the friend he is talking about quite well.

Dudley dug into the ideas of play last week as he explored BreakoutEdu, Scratch and brain breaks.

And Mike got me thinking about the impact on our world if every class really stepped up their game with authentic project based learning.

I hope you’ve had time to read through everyone’s blogs. I’ve got so many bookmarks and notes to go back to from your posts, I’ll never get to them all. Its fantastic.

Project Check for Week 4

By December 3 you should have

  • 4 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 4 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.
  • Deep thoughts that have generated a great idea for an awesome final project

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam.

Enjoy the week and don’t hesitate to email me with questions!

Flipping for Fun: Week 3

Running a little late this week as the fever got me the last couple of days and unfortunately it wasn’t the fever for the flavor. But I’m back in action and we’re headed over the halfway mark of course 4.

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This week we’re looking at flipped classrooms, game based learning and play. If you’re working your way towards GET, this is a great opportunity to think about how GSuite tools could help with a flipped classroom. Perhaps even take a stab at flipping a lesson and tell us how it goes. A lot of the work I do with teachers is essentially a flipped model. I often get emails, asking for help, so I’ll send a quick tutorial video and then follow up in person. Or I’ll send information out that includes links and videos before a training session so that participants can tinker around a bit before the session which often allows for some deeper learning and investigating in the actual session.

I mentioned last week I’ve been working through the Learning Creative Learning course and its a part of this week’s readings list. While it isn’t actually a reading, there are lots of resources within the class. There’s even an UnHangout on Tuesday you can jump in if you like. This week’s excerpt from the book Lifelong Kindergarten included a quote that really resonated with me and I think relates to any type of project.

In addition to providing children with easy ways to get started on projects (low floors) and ways for them to work on increasingly sophisticated projects over time (high ceilings), we also need to support many different pathways between the floor and the ceiling (wide walls).

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If you’re thinking about gaming in the classroom, check out my Twitter friend Steven Isaacs who teaches an entire course on game development and design. Ok. Maybe that’s not the same as game based learning in the classroom, but it takes the idea to a whole different level. I’ll also throw you over to this post from my Online 4 cohort about gaming that I absolutely loved from Matt Fron

I look forward to reading this weeks posts and as always don’t hesitate if you have questions or want to bounce around some ideas.

Progress Check for Week 3

By November 26 you should have

  • 3 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 3 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.
  • Started thinking deeply and generating possible ideas for an awesome final project

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam.

Projects and progress

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This week we’re checking out several different approaches to classroom learning. Project based, challenge based and problem based learning. I just stumbled on another approach in the past week that I’m curious about as well. I’m trying to carve out some time in my weeks to sneak in this open course called Learning Creative Learning. Its a bit too early in my investigation to say which category it might fit into, but I’m intrigued by the idea of learning through play and the lifelong kindergarten. I’m headed back into the classroom in the coming year so I’m looking for ways to mix it up a bit.

I also came across this post from TeachThought over the weekend that discusses the difference in doing projects and project based learning. It includes an interesting graphic demonstrating the difference as well. I think it brings up some great points. Think about the last project in your class. Was it the process or the product that carried the most importance? Its a valid question to ask ourselves for just about any assignment.

Final Project

If you’re working on GET you do need to produce a trainer video. You can find complete details in the link. You can also search “Google Certified Trainer Video” and get a pile of examples. But if you want a really good example, click here. 😉 Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

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Progress Check for Week 2

By November 19 you should have

  • 2 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 2 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.
  • Started thinking deeply and generating possible ideas for an awesome final project

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam.

Course 4: The Beginning of the End

You’ve made it to Course 4! In this course we’ll look at how all of this fits together and begin the journey toward a final project. Week one starts with a look at what successful integration means and the various frameworks for tech integration. Don’t get overwhelmed by the plethora of readings for this week. You don’t have to get through them all. However, I would suggest selecting at least one regarding each of the various frameworks (SAMR, TPack, T3) in the last section of readings. Think about each of their benefits and pitfalls. There are lots of opinions out there on these. I think it is important you develop your own and build some reasoning around your thoughts.

Final Projects

Part of this course is beginning your planning for the final project. Remember that if you are working towards your GET certification, there needs to be an emphasis on GSuite tools as well as training others to use them. We’ll keep referring to this and help you flesh out what that looks like as we work our way through this course.

The idea is that you are reworking a unit from the ground up to embed technology meaningfully and authentically as a means to enhancing learning. I’d encourage you to spend a bit of time browsing back through your posts and reflecting on your learning as you start this process. What are the ideas that struck you the most? What concepts do you think will be most beneficial to your students or, if you’re in a position to provide training, to your staff?

Your options are pretty wide open. Just make sure you’re working on something in which you find value, will be applicable and you will have a chance to complete over the duration of the final course. You’ll have the chance to bounce ideas off of me, other COETAIL coaches and your colleagues before you make a final decision.

Progress Check for Week 1

(I’m reformatting this a bit. Hopefully it will be an improvement.)

By November 12 you should have

  • 1 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 1 comment completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.
  • Started thinking deeply and generating possible ideas for an awesome final project

 

Course 3 Final Projects

Before we officially jump into Course 4 I want to showcase the collection of your course 3 Final Projects. I hope you get a chance to look through all of them as there are fantastic resumes, websites, presentations, and even a digital story built in Scratch. Thanks to each of you in the course for the hard work celebrate yourselves for a bit and then we’ll get to course 4!

 

Course 3 Week 6: Finish Strong!

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your posts during this course. From Cary’s great post from last week cautioning us about the trials of creating infographics in one lesson, Abbi’s week 1 post sharing her wonderings on design literacy, media and girls and her own personal goals, Andy’s examples of photography and Dudley’s digital story about digital footprints, and many more, I’ve been fascinated and encouraged by all the positive work you all are creating.

I also love that some of you have started jumping into conversations in other cohorts and I see a few of the “others” jumping into your blogs as well. That’s what this program is all about. Learning from each other, sharing thoughts, having conversations and growing as professionals. Love it!

I think my progress check for last week was askew. I apologize for being on vacation brain. Here’s this week’s:

Progress Check

By the end of this week you should have

  • 5 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are encouraged to comment more, but only log one per week. Try to keep them timely, not necessarily get them all done the first week.
  • 1 final project embedded into a final blog post for the course.

The course officially closes on October 29 and we actually get a little break at the end as course 4 doesn’t start until November 6. Just for your reference the table is below.

Date Course  Heritage Course Number
June 19 – July 30, 2017 Course 1 CM401v
Aug. 7 – Sept. 17, 2017 Course 2 CM401w
Sept. 18 – Oct. 29, 2017 Course 3 CM401x
Nov. 6 – Dec. 17,  2017 Course 4 CM401y
Jan. 29 – May 6, 2018
(Final Course Project)
Course 5 CM401y

Final Project

The final projects for course 3 are always a lot of fun. There are plenty of options to fit individual interests and it lends to some really amazing results. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with and the conversations those projects ignite amongst you.

Thanks for being a part of this learning journey.

Cheers!

Week 5: Infographic ReRun

Progress Check for Week 4

  • 3 blog posts completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • Remember as a part of your GET certification it is important to start trying to incorporate ways you are planning trainings for your colleagues and using GSuite tools in your daily work
  • 3 comment completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are encouraged to comment more, but only log one per week. Try to keep them timely, not necessarily get them all done the first week.
  • Hopefully well into working on your final project for this course.

Heading into the final weeks

I’ve been at the AISA conference in Nairobi since last Thursday and digging all the connections, learning and fantastic weather. But, between running a 2 day Blended Learning meeting, morning conference sessions and wrangling my kids who accompanied us because my wife and I were both presenting, I’ve lost a grip on what day it is and slipped a bit behind. So your regularly scheduled program has been delayed. But, for your reading pleasure, we’re providing you with this post from the past.

But before that, I will add a couple of little thoughts. If you haven’t tried sketchnoting, its fantastic. Check out those a couple of those articles and maybe even the Sketchnote Army site. I’ve done it for years without realizing it, but had a workshop at school a few weeks ago from a colleague and it really opened my eyes to its power for students and learning.

So without further ado, here’s a little rerun from my own coetail days.

Course 3 Week 4

Infographics.  Why don’t I remember to use them more in my classes?  When I’ve used them in the past, students have absolutely loved them.  I’ve even taken a shot or two at having students create their own.  From that experience I learned that it takes a good bit of explaining and patience.  I might get around to that again.  We’ll see.

How logistics helped gain America's freedomOne of my favorites that I have used in the past is from a logistics company.  It is a pretty fascinating look at the way goods had to be moved across oceans and the creation of supply lines during the American Revolution.  It has a bunch of big numbers and interesting trivia about the Revolution.  The information includes ideas that we don’t usually talk about in the classroom version of the American Revolution which is probably exactly why students find it so interesting.

We’re talking about revolutions in class right now and I hope to pull a few others into the mix.  However, I’ve found it difficult to find infographics from their original sources.  A quick search on Google uncovers a plethora of infographics on revolutions of every kind, but trying to get to their source can be tricky.  To me this seems an important part of using them in the classroom.  If I’m just pulling random infographics from the internet, how do I know the information is correct?

This is actually one of the things I like most about the infographic above.  It has fascinating information, and also allows us to talk about the purpose of the infographic.  Most students will go with the old literature class answer of to educate and inform.  Eventually someone will notice that it is an advertisement with a slightly different purpose and another great conversation begins.  Exactly what we want.

 

Image Credit:

Derby Supply Chain Solutions:  http://www.derbyllc.com/how-logistics-helped-gain-americas-freedom/#.VhwdRhPtmko