User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Posts Tagged ‘service learning

micro:bits for good

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At the beginning of November, 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Singapore to attend and present at Edutech Asia 2019. During that time, I had the opportunity to hear about their initiative to use micro:bits to help students learn technology in authentic ways. An article from 2017, Micro:bit launch: What you need to know about the coding gadget Singapore plans to introduce, explained it as:

School-going children in Singapore will soon be using a pocket-sized, codeable computer, called the micro:bit, to pick up coding skills. The move is aimed at instilling passion for technology among young Singaporeans. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will work with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to roll out micro:bit as part of its new Digital Maker Programme over the next two years.

In the exhibit hall at the conference, IMDA showcased the micro:bit-for-good projects that groups of Singapore students created. The following video provides a sampling of students explaining their projects.

micro:bit Global Challenge

The Micro:bit Education is sponsoring a challenge to use micro:bits to address two of the UN’s Global Goals: Life Below Water and Life on Land. They provide lots of resources on their website:

Previous micro:bit Global Challenge

In 2015, world leaders came together to decide on a series of “global goals” to build a better world. We challenged students aged 8-12 across the globe to consider how these goals could change the lives of themselves and others, and to design solutions to these goals using the micro:bit (https://microbit.org/global-challenge/)

Although this contest/initiative has officially ended, it could still be used by groups of students as a reference to create micro:bit-for-good projects. Some resources from this challenge follow:

The following is a guide developed by Canada Learn Code to help students prototype their micro:bit global challenge idea.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

November 24, 2019 at 10:30 pm

I Have a Dream: Authentic Learning

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I wrote a post earlier this year entitled, Authentic Learning Experiences. Some of the characteristics of authentic learning I identified are summarized in this graphic:

The Task

Learners, 4th through 6th graders in my gifted education language arts class, were given the task of composing and then recording their own I Have a Dream speeches.

Writing Their Speeches

This authentic learning experience began by watching Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. Interestingly and sadly, there were a few students who had never seen it.

They then wrote and published their I Have a Dream speeches on Kidblog. These were projected as each learner read her speech. Their peers offered feedback about both the content and the mechanics of grammar and spelling with changes made accordingly. Here are some of the edited examples:

Recording Their Speeches

An authentic learning experience offers learners choice and voice. In this case, students were offered a choice of recording their speeches as part of a video in front of a green screen or by just making an audio recording. Half chose the green screen and the other half chose the audio recording. The videos were recorded using my iphone, the audio recordings via Quicktime on a Mac. Their recordings were uploaded to iMovie. All students were asked to add photos to their recordings. They added images found at Unsplash, over 850,000 free (do-whatever-you-want) high-resolution photos by the world’s most generous community of photographers (my favorite online tool for finding and using images). Learners took turns editing their speeches and their final video follows. Note their different styles and as mentioned earlier, reinforces student voice and choice.

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

May 5, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Photojournalism Activity: Community Service or a Social Cause Event

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Recently, I had an amazing experience attending a local One Billion Rising event.  I enjoy taking photos and video of special events like this one.  I spent the afternoon following the event creating an Animoto mash-up of the photos and video taken while I was at the event.

The process of putting together the video mash-up provided a great opportunity for me to deeply reflect on the event.  I saw and experienced things I did not get to during the event.  This experience made me think this would be a great learning activity.

Goals:

  • To create, as a means of reflection, a video mash-up of photos and video taken during a community service project or a social cause event.
  • To learn some skills related to ethical photojournalism.

Procedures:

  • Ask learners to identify a community service event or an event that is promoting a social cause that they would like to attend.  Examples include serving meals at a holiday event, a dance fund raiser for a charity, collecting food for local shelter, neighborhood clean-up, or a community rally like One Billion Rising.  Many news shows feature weekend events that include these type of events.  For younger kids, this could became an activity for parental engagement.  Parents and/or parent volunteers can help with the travel and logistics.  A Google spreadsheet could be set up to list these.
  • Prior to the events, review with learners how to take photos and videos at public events. As learners will be acting in the role of photojournalists, go over the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics.

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  • Practice sessions can be set up where learners take photo and/or video of their peers during learning activities.
  • After the event:  Decide which video mash-up tool will be used for creating their videos.  My preference is Animoto as it permits the upload and use of photos, video, and text.  Here is a Animoto video tutorial:  http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/animoto/index.html
  • To further reflect on their experiences and video, learners can answer some of the following questions via a blog post or a Voicethread where the video has been uploaded.
    • What about your community involvement has been an eye-opening experience?
    • Describe a person you’ve encountered in the community who made a strong impression on you, positive or negative.
    • How has the environment and social conditions affected the people at your site?
    • Has the experience affected your worldview? How?
    • Have your career options been expanded by your service experience?
    • Why does the organization you are working for exist?
    • Did anything about your community involvement surprise you? If so, what?
    • What did you do that seemed to be effective or ineffective in the community?
    • How does your understanding of the community change as a result of your participation in this project?
    • How can you continue your involvement with this group or social issue?
    • How can you educate others or raise awareness about this group or social issue?
    • Talk about any disappointments or successes of the project. What did you learn from it?
    • What sorts of things make you feel uncomfortable when you are working in the community? Why?  http://www.servicelearning.umn.edu/info/reflection.html

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

February 16, 2013 at 2:18 am

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