Meaningful learning…

Meaningful learning occurs when students are willingly engaged in collaborative endeavors reflective of authentic experiences. The OSU EDTC PhD students have been playing with the 3D printer in the Emerging Technologies and Creativity Research Lab. It’s fun, we made a fork, but have wanted to imagine ways the 3D printer could transform the student classroom learning experience. Rachel is excited, Frances has some ideas, but I (Kathy) have been dubious. I already have a fork. It is even plastic. And it didn’t drain my budget to the extent a 3D printer would. But then Rachel showed me an object she had designed using TinkerCad and printed on the ETC Lab 3D printer. Here she is…(see below).

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She was pretty excited, so I (Kathy) was happy for her. She asked if I knew what it was. I tried the teacher talk thing, “that looks so awesome, why don’t you tell me about it?” but she didn’t bite. She insisted I guess what it was. I said the top of a rocket ship. She said no. I said a hat for your garden gnome. She said no, and then threw me a bone, telling me a past culture had used vessels like this to hold food and water. Oh, so it’s a dish. Good, I think we are done. But we aren’t! Rachel went a step deeper, and asked me why I thought it was shaped the way it was (it kind of had a pointy base, rather than a flat base). My class is over, my students are gone, I have Things To Do, but she is so nice, so I kept playing. I don’t know why it’s shaped like that, to fit into a rack? To make it easier to carry? Before I realized it, I had accidentally become curious and had fully engaged with the question. I wanted to Know Why It Was Shaped So Weirdly. She kept smiling, and I kept guessing, finally in a fit of crazy suggesting they didn’t have shelves or tables so they just shoved the dishes in the dirt.

That was it! That was why the bowl was shaped oddly! And guess what…then I had even more questions. I wanted to know who the people were, when they lived, where they lived, what the dirt was like….all of a sudden, despite my former considerable disinterest, I was experiencing meaningful learning, willingly engaged, collaborating, imagining real life people in real life situations.

I would not have cared about the topic one bit if she had sent me a link to a website talking about the culture, or showed me a page in a book, told me a story, or, quite frankly, handed me a model she had found at the teacher store. But as I engaged with that funky oddly shaped bowl my friend had designed and printed on the ETC Lab 3D printer, I became hooked. Fork, schmork. That 3D printer can help teachers create incredibly meaningful classroom learning experiences! I am sold.

If you’re in the area, stop by Willard 326 (or, if you have the MakerBot app and are on the OSU campus, you can access Our Printer remotely) and explore how you can use this piece of emerging technology to transform learning! Let us know what you try and how it works out. Happy teaching!

~Kathy Essmiller

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Play!

The semester has begun, syllabi have been explored, and students are trying to sort through due dates and grading rubrics. “What do we need to do when?” seems, understandably, to be a driving question. Today I will be bringing my undergrad EdTech students (pre-service) teachers to the T.E.C.H. playground to explore and ‘play’ in the learning spaces available. I am excited to observe their interactions. Will they ask “What do we do?”, or will they approach activities with a playful “What can we do?” Will they share with each other what they discover? Will they take the time to experiment? I hope so. I hope they give themselves a break from deadlines and worry to drive the BB8 in a fun pattern, or play with the Swivel recorder, make music on the SmartBoard, or fly a plane in the flight simulator. It will be interesting to see.  ~Kathy Essmiller

Open Ed Resource for EdTech Playground

open-heroOver the weekend I was thinking about what it takes to start, manage, and run an ed tech playground in higher education. After doing an online search for open education resources for ed tech playgrounds I found nothing of value. I played around with the words to see if any valuable resources would come up and nothing. After talking with my fellow colleague Scott Haselwood I said, “there should be an open ed resource for people who want to start and run an ed tech playground.” Scott gave me a look of confidence and told me to lead the charge. The idea of the open ed resource would be to describe how to start, develop, and manage an ed tech playground in higher education.

The resource can also expand into k-12 institutions along with community organizations and corporations. Developing and writing the resource would take time along with financial resources to publish such a document. Ideally the book would also include examples of other ed tech playground across the country on how they started and manage there ed tech playground. Sharing experiences in the resource can help other institutions of learning know what works best for there environment.

The idea is written on the glass board in the OSU Ed Tech Playground (Willard 326). If anyone has information they want to provide, contribute, or know of resources that could help with the project tweet @coetechplay

Jose L. Fulgencio, Ed Tech enthusiast

@joseful

Spring 2017: Current Wall Glass Ideas

The Business Model Canvas

The canvas is a visual template that helps news and existing models chart there value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. The TECH Playground wants to increase engagement with the community and across different departments at Oklahoma State University. The canvas will help build customer relationships, find key partnerships, and increase activities in the playground.

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Telepresence Robot

How does a telepresence robot impact faculty collaboration & sense of belonging in a multi-campus university?

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Education Design Lab

The constellation of 21st century skills badges includes: catalyst, collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, cross-cultural competency, empathy, oral communication, self-efficacy, and resilience. In the outer layer the chart includes entrepreneurship, self, well being, and other. Does educational technology belong in the constellation of 21st century skills?

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Social Media

Has social media changed meaning of words?

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Contributor: Jose L. Fulgencio is an ed tech enthusiast , educator, and blogger. Follow him on twitter @joseful and check out Jose’s website www.josefulgencio.com 

Technology Hacks for Educators by our ow

Technology Hacks for Educators by our own Scott Haselwood Scott Haselwood M.Ed http://ow.ly/miVe30280K7

Gamification ideas from our own Scott Ha

Gamification ideas from our own Scott Haselwood Scott Haselwood M.Ed ://ow.ly/4RY93027SFM

Cowboy Moments 2015-2016 #gopokes! http:

Cowboy Moments 2015-2016 #gopokes! http://ow.ly/EpyO301ZfDJ

What a blast having #STEMcamp kids in th

What a blast having #STEMcamp kids in the T.E.C.H. Playground today! OSU College of Ed http://ow.ly/i/kyfIK

Congratulations to Ed Tech’s own Tara D

Congratulations to Ed Tech’s own Tara Dalinger, who received a Robberson Summer Research Fellowship! http://ow.ly/9JQv301uyZW

When does creativity become a chore?

When does creativity become a chore?

It’s an appropriate question to ask if you poke your head into the EDTC 3123 Applications of Educational Technology class this week and observe students who are pre-service teachers reacting to the premise of project-based learning. After describing this week’s activity of collaborating with a group to design a catapult with materials such as rubber bands and popsicle sticks, the peer teaching team asks whether anyone has questions before they move further in the lesson. One student raises her hand and asks, “Can I leave?”

After various forms of grumbling, the students coalesce into groups and begin the activity intended to give them hands on experience with the project-based learning method. Ambling about the room and observing the goings on, a first grader who had accompanied her mother to college that day huffs enviously at these grown ups getting to do something so fun as making catapults that would launch marshmallows across the room. Finally, she approaches the instructor and asks whether she may please make a catapult too? The instructor quickly agrees, happy to see at least one person enthusiastic about the project. After being shown the box of provided materials, the first grader eagerly digs in and collects various paraphernalia which she assembles through trial and error into the beginning of a catapult. When she runs into a hiccup – her spoon won’t snap forward – she scoots over to the nearest table of college students and deposits her catapult into grown up hands while asking for assistance. Within minutes, she has a working catapult.

Meanwhile, a nearby group of college students are still listlessly researching catapult designs on Google accompanied by occasionally mumblings of, “What are we supposed to do?”

I would imagine that at some point in their childhoods, each of those students in that class would have been just as eager as that little first grade girl to play and experiment and create. But when did that creative courage and initiative go away? When did it become work? A chore to be completed out of obligation to an assignment? And where did it go? Will there come a time sooner or later when even that little first grade catapult engineer will leave her instinct for curiosity and play behind as well?
I really hope not. Not the least because that little girl is my daughter.