Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Use Your Summer for Lesson Planning

The National Writing Project is putting on a Connected Learning MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) this summer.

I first learned about Connected Learning through an #engchat on Twitter led by Seecantrill.  So far, as I understand it, Connected Learning uses digital tools to break down classroom walls - learning takes place in the classroom, but continues outside the classroom, thanks, in part, to social media and other tools that can be used to share ideas.  I don't know if that's completely right.  In fact, just now looking up what NWP calls it, it's much more than that: "Connected Learning is a model of learning that holds out the possibility of reimagining the experience of education in the information age.  It draws on the power of today's technology to fuse young people's interests, friendships, and academic achievement through experiences laced with hands-on production, shared purpose, and open networks."  Here's their infographic that explains it so much better than I do.  [UPDATE: I forgot to mention my one concern with this - around 25% of my students don't have cell phones/text/data plans or computer access outside of school.  So all of their out-of-classroom learning needs to take place face to face?]

So week one was to make a "How To . . ."  This was a good "get to know you" activity - some made "makes" that were "How to be so-and-so."  Others taught a skill they knew something about.  Here's mine (better late than never):

This week is learning through the use of memes.  I believe mine is academic, and should appeal to the students I had last year:

It appeals to my interests, but I don't think I can ask my students to make a meme on the sentence of the week and call it connected learning.

Look out for more memes here and whatever makes I'm assigned in coming weeks.