Saturday, March 9, 2013

education designathon, liveblog (ish) - hands-on activity resources for teachers

look! it's a woodie flowers, who as it turns out really dislikes massively open online courses (MOOCs).
chilling at the designathon
lots of cool people and ideas being thrown around (mmm... throwing people)
you can read all about prof. flower's agenda against MOOCs in the tech & the faculty newsletter

kittens! from education arcade talk
people gave talks. 
e..g the educational arcade one, some notes:
why do goats and animals continue to play dangerous games that can end in death? play must be advantageous if this behavior wasn't selected out by evolution/
4 freedoms of Play
freedom to experiment, freedom to fail, freedom to try on identities, freedom of effort (can play intensely or at a relaxed pace)
exact opposite of
4 freedoms of school

educational games are not "grand theft calculus," tricking people to learn calculus by giving something the skin of a game

Then we did a lot of research into my recent problem of finding hands-on activities for primary school kids.
A teacher there mentioned, there lots of message boards where half the activity is teachers looking for a specific activity to fit a specific curriculum standard
This is my fourth year teaching but my first year at a new school. I am having a hard time trying to find labs for my students to do. I am in a regular room that is not made for a science class. I do not have bunsen burners or gas. I looked in the chemistry chemical cabinet and there are really not many chemicals.
Wah, this is cool way to not bother busy teachers, lurking on teacher forums :)
  • july and august: good times to get teachers to notice new things, when they take a break / do professional development workshops / reflect on their lessons
  • scale: must do it through professional societies (american association of physics teachers, etc.)
The Head of the MIT Department of Physics was also there and he is so awesome. He specifically said he is trying to figure out how to increase the numbers of people from underserved communities coming into STEM. %lt;3

Anyway, Turns out there's an excellent site specifically for finding science and math hands-on activities, (perhaps more oriented at least for the lower grades), at

Our research notes here:

talking to teachers!

hi michelle

So, we decided the issue we were trying solve (collecting resources like how2today and observationsblog and connecting them to teachers) was approximately solved by (probably busy teachers want a fully-fleshed out lesson plan anyway), and we split up to work on different things.

I'm going to make a drawing robot and go ahead and throw together a demo online education with real-life kits thingamabob.