Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hack the Classroom

Most Saturdays, this is where you can find me (after #satchat, of course):
But on this Saturday, I was front and center of my computer screen for two hours so that I could be a part of the revolution: #hacktheclassroom. This online event presented by Microsoft (#MSFTEDU) and hosted by Anthony Salcito (@AnthonySalcito), included a panel of leaders in education and industry focused on the hack learning movement. The panelists included: Author/Speaker-Rafranz Davis (@RafranzDavis), Founder of Partovi (@hadip), MAKE Magazine Founder-Dale Dougherty (@dalepd), and Elementary Teacher-Leah Obach (@LeahO77), and Middle School Teacher-Jeff Kash. If you missed it, I highly recommend that you go view the broadcast on-demand at: Hack The Classroom Event. This Blog Is Why you should #hacktheclassroom and inspire a generation.

The wave of the future is in technology, specifically Computer Science/Coding, which is sadly underrepresented in schools. As I listened to the guest speakers, the Call to Action was clear---prepare students NOW. After the event, I immediately began to learn all about coding at Inspired by the words of Rafranz Davis and Hadi Parvoti, I started my Minecraft tutorials. Sad to say, I am already stuck on a level! But, I am sure my students can help me get past it once we work on it together (fingers crossed). You can also participate in face-to-face training in your area. These are one day, free workshops. Everybody loves free! Right?
Free PD Elementary Teachers

Hack Tips from the session:
Hack #1-Try Minecraft via
Hack #2-Use Minecraft via mobile device.
Hack #3-Get Kids Involved with Teacher Training.
Hack #4-Let the creativity of your students lead.

 Elementary teacher, Leah Obach shared her journey into the world of teaching coding to young elementary students. You can learn more from her blog Mrs. Obach's Class where she shares some of the resources she used to get started with code including: Scratch Jr, Kodable, and Code Monkey to name a few. Mrs. Obach also shares how she started a Coding Club and planned a Kids Who Code Code-a-thon event. What easy, practical ways to bring coding to life in the classroom/school environment!I also loved the "Code Stars" introductory video. I was almost inspired to changed my career...Almost. =)

Finally, I have heard the term "Maker Spaces" but I never fully understood what they were or the meaning behind the term. I learned from Dale Dougherty that the Maker Movement is all about providing a platform for creative expression. His messages were clear: "Every child is a maker." "All of Us are Makers." Do these words describe you: uplifting, expressive, inspirational, joyful, interactive, innovative, daring, messy, social, playful, experimental? Then YOU are a Maker.

Today is a new day. I look forward to learning more about Coding as I continue to work through courses that will help me prepare to learn and grow with my students. I am excited to see all they will create with the new tools that will be implemented into our classroom. Stay tuned!

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