In today’s pre-class video, I present to you a real batman–Daniel Kish
Activity design based on meaningful learning concepts
To recall what you read for our reading on meaningful learning, meaningful learning is defined by the 5 following characteristics:
We did two rounds of discussions. In the second round,
the 5 groups break up to form 4 new groups, so that each of the new groups will have five members each being an “expert” about one concept.
- Create a simple outline of an instructional activity. Try to incorporate at least 3 of the concepts. Explain why they are relevant, and also why some of the concepts (if any) are missing in your teaching plan.
- Share your teaching plan and discussion results with the class using Google Doc. Post the shareable link here.
- Explain your teaching plan to the class. Others please write comments for the presenting group.
So we’ll start today’s class by sharing the activity plans we created last week. We start from the last group in here.
Teaching from technology vs. teaching with technology
What do you think the differences are? (You can find some discussions on this topic from pp.6-7 in our reading.)
We probably won’t have enough time to watch this in class: Sal Khan’s TED talk on the Khan Academy. Do you see teaching “from” technology? Or “with” technology?
Introducing UDL (Universal Design for Learning)
(image from reddit)
Let’s watch a video introduction to UDL from none other than the pioneer of UDL himself–David Rose.
The 3 key principles of UDL:
- Provide multiple means of representation
- Provide multiple means of action and expression
- Provide multiple means of engagement
Activity: Standing in other people’s shoes (Or seeing from other people’s eyes)
So learners are different. But how do you understand these differences? Here’s an activity for you to experience just that:
Suppose we are designers for an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). It can move in 6 directions according to the command of the operator. The only problem: The vision of the operator is limited to the video feed from the camera attached to the ROV.
For this activity we need two volunteers: One to play the ROV with a camera, the other the operator who can only send verbal command. The operator should face away from the ROV so the video feed will be his/her only source of information. Since it is possible for the “ROV” to run into obstacles (tables in this room), my priority is always your safety.
Other people can either observe the video feed or the ROV in action. But please don’t comment or interrupt the communication between the operator and the ROV.
(This example is adapted from Chapter 10 of Design Interactions)
* For this activity I used an IP Webcam app on my phone to connect to the Ivideon server. If you want to know how to do it, check it out here: https://www.ivideon.com/get/. I believe you can do the same very easily with GoPro or similar camera devices.
Multiple means of representation
Sometimes students fail not because they cannot understand a certain concept, but because they cannot understand a certain representation of the said concept. (Sounds complicated? Maybe my representation of this idea isn’t the best!)
Math problems in foreign languages
Sometimes language gets in the way of learning. This is an excerpt from a short movie showing us the experience of a young boy who is “immersed” in the a school environment where the language of instruction is English, a language he barely knows.
Now let’s try this ourselves.
The following is a math challenge for elementary school students:
Click image to enlarge. (source)
You do see some numbers. And maybe Google Translate can help. (It really can!)
Now consider your own experience. Share in this Padlet what you think should be represented in at least one more way in education (but has not been). For example, I find some of the reading assignments for my doctoral study to be rather convoluted, and think that maybe a concept map can help clarify the ideas. (For this exercise, you yourselves don’t need to specify the alternative representation.)
Once you are done, take a look at what your classmates wrote, and try to provide some ideas about the alternative representation. I’d like each of you to make at least one comment.
Multiple means of action & expression
Read the following Twitter novel:
“It’s a miracle he survived,” said the doctor. “It was God’s will,” said Mrs Schicklgruber. “What will you call him?” “Adolf,” she replied.–Jeffrey Archer (originality somewhat disputed)
If our purpose is to teach students about composition, there is little reason why we should ask students to write their story in this particular format. Not all students like this format to begin with. What other means of expression can you think of? For example. I’d probably write a poem.
Now let’s give this principle a try. We will use Common Core standards as examples. In four groups, try to think of at least one non-standardized-testing way to let students express their knowledge about or skills in a certain standard. The standard we will work on is this:
Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurement. (CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.C.3)
Write down your ideas here: https://padlet.com/leh858/f33pfoeq3x0j
Multiple means of engagement
We have done enough posting today, so for this UDL concept, we will fall back to traditional group discussion:
- Are there things more exciting than learning (at school)?
- Do you learn anything from these exciting activities (I assume these are activities…)? (And I’m not saying learning cannot be your most exciting activity…)
- Can we transplant some features of these exciting activities to learning (at school)?
We share our ideas in class after 5 minutes.
You may want to look into this concept called “gamification.” Here is an example.
Preparing for Thursday
- Review meaningful learning and UDL concepts. We will make use of these concepts in our next project: Student Voice.
- I think I have almost all of you, but if you haven’t, tell me what your choice of Citizen Scientist project is in this Google doc.
- As always, if you have questions or concerns about this course, talk to me before you leave, or send me an email at email@example.com.