PQ and CQ-Bringing it all together

As the final piece to CEP812, Applying Educational Technology to Practice, I was asked to tap into my idea of PQ and CQ. How do I use technologies  in ways that demonstrate my own passion and curiosity and how do I use technology to instill passion and curiosity in my students?

As I work mostly with teachers to help support students, I feel that in order to instill passion and curiosity in students, this has to start with the teachers.

Passion Quotient and Curiosity Quotient are terms coined by Thomas Friedman. He came up with the equation that PQ+CQ>IQ. When passion and curiosity are combined, applied, and used correctly, they can outweigh intelligence.

CQ + PQ > IQ

My passion is strongly rooted in learning. It’s why I am pursuing my PhD. Never stop learning has been a personal statement for years. As an educator, passion for learning should be strong. Students look to us for motivation and encouragement. If we don’t have that passion, students see right through us.

Technology is a passion. I choose it to be because it is a challenge-with technology constantly changing and evolving, there is ALWAYS something to learn.

Teaching is a passion. Whether I am teaching teachers, modeling for parents, or engaged with students, my desire to share knowledge is strong.

All of this flows into my curiosity. Never one to be satisfied with just one answer, I have always looked deeper into theories, ideas, and concepts. I also believe that my curiosity to learn motivates students, teachers, and parents. They see me learning and sharing and begin to ask more questions themselves. It’s a cycle-learning, seeking, teaching.

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Yet, how do I do all this? I do it by educating myself. By being willing to try something new and then sharing it with others.

With my teachers, I am constantly bringing back new ideas to include technology into our Early Childhood Special Education Programs (ECSE). But I don’t just offer the idea; I support the implementation, work alongside the staff, and often model the idea or new form of technology. I allow the teachers to see me using technology for our meetings, planning, and presentations.  I also allow them to see my mistakes and my trial and error moments…I truly think that by modeling my own use and often mistakes in use of technology, gives them a safe place to try. They see and hear my own reflections and my own process, and it encourages them to do the same.

With our students in ECSE, we have to structure the use of technology due to their age and developmental abilities. Yet, it is still important to expose our students to various forms of technology to help prepare them for future academic experiences. The teachers acknowledge this and see the value in using technology with our young students-although we go through many trial and error moments, we also have moments of success.

We need to constantly be reflecting on our practices-as teachers and as adult learners. As an educator, the motto should be Never Stop Learning. Staying curious and passionate about what I do, and how I do it-including how I use technology-should always be present.

Throughout the MAET courses, I have been exposed to numerous forms of technology-and gone back to my teachers and implemented many of the tools. We all use GoogleDocs daily, digital books within circle time, draw information from online surveys, created blogs and photo journeys, and use mind mapping tools to chart our professional learning. Each month when we meet as a group, the first item on the agenda is always technology based-they want to know more. Through my participation in the MAET courses, I have been able to take things back to them. Now it’s going to be up to me to find resources on my own! I’ll have to continue to spark my passion and curiosity by connecting with others, researching, reading, and staying connected through technology forums, blogs, tweets, and articles.

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Check out my last project. A Wideo that represents my passion, my curiosity, and how that flows into my professional work with teachers so that students can continue to stay motivated to learn! Even for this final project I pushed my limits and learned something new-I researched and read articles on various ways to use technology that differ from ScreenCast and PowToon and created a Wideo for the first time!!

Reference:

Dalio, Marc. (2012, August 6). Curiosity’s shadow [Picture]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcdalio/7724527388

Friedman, T. (2013, Jan 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html?_r=0

Venosdale, Krissy. (2013, January 9). Learn everyday. [Picture]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/8366215924

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Wicked Problem? Wicked Solution!

Allowing failure to be as powerful as success….how do we do this in education and why should we? Taking an example from the gaming literature, this week our think tank group of Stacey W, Stacey N, Maegan, and I finalized a potential solution  to one of the “wicked problems” the New Media Consortium identified at the Horizon Project Summit in 2013 (The New Media Consortium [NMC], 2013).

A 2011 study found that 91% of U.S. children ages 2-17 play video games (Snider, 2011). These “gamers” usually seek video game mastery instead of playing for points or badges (Kapp, 2014), and “failure” is viewed as the vehicle to help find patterns in game play and eventually win (Gee, 2007). If students stay motivated to persevere through failures during video game play, why do they avoid potential failure in the classroom?

Drawing upon this concept that multiple attempts within a video game lead one to the final stage, we mirrored this concept and applied it to school based learning and assessments.

Check out our ideas, visual representation, a video mash-up of our learning process and discussions, and how we recommend implementing the concept of multiple tries or practice tries within school before mastery of a concept and prior to evaluative procedures.

References :

Gee, J. (2007). Are video games good for learning? Curriculum & Leadership Journal, 5(1). Retrieved from http://cmslive.curriculum.edu.au/leader/default.asp?id=16866&issueID=10696

Kapp, K. (2014, September 10). Gamification Myths Debunked: Hot to Sidestep Failure And Boost Employee Learning. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2014/09/10/gamification-myths-debunked-how-to-sidestep-failure-and-boost-employee-learning

Snider, M. (2011, October 11). Study: More U.S. kids and teens are playing video games. USA Today. Retrieved from http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2011/10/more-us-kids-teens-play-video-games/1#.VC3tUPldVS0

The New Media Consortium. (2013). The future of education: The 2013 NMC Horizon Project Summit communiqué. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-Horizon-Project-Summit-Communique.pdf

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Think Tank…..

Allowing failure to be as powerful as success….how do we do this in education and why should we? Taking an example from the gaming literature, this week Stacey W, Stacey N, Maegan, and I joined forces as a think tank group to take on this concept as one of the “wicked problems” the New Media Consortium identified at the Horizon Project Summit in 2013 (The New Media Consortium [NMC], 2013). We set about to think of  ways to encourage students to fail in order to succeed.

We researched and reflection and discussed, and then following our own model, turned around and did it again…and again. We drew parallels from video games and the concept of failure with multiple attempts to ‘win’ with practice tries before mastery in school. We developed a flexible rubric that encourages students to engage with an assignment multiple times, without fear of failure-fostering the idea that we learn from our failures in order to find success.

Throughout this entire process, we employed our own model-learning from our mistakes and coming back to the project. We’re in the midst of a ‘practice try’ this week in order to get feedback from peers-with no fear of failure-just to learn from others’ feedback and to continue to reflect and refine the project before the final submission.  Check out our progress in our curated project to see how we brainstormed, discussed, wrote, and created visual representations to develop a new way of grading school assignments that encourages students to use failure as a tool to learn.


References:

The New Media Consortium. (2013). The future of education: The 2013 NMC Horizon Project Summit communiqué. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-Horizon-Project-Summit-Communique.pdf

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Community of Practice Survey with SLPs and Technology

This week, my task was to write and send out a survey to my professional community to gather information on how we integrate technology into our practice. As luck had it, we had a speech department meeting where I was able to send out the survey and everyone but one person responded almost immediately.

Fifteen out of sixteen SLPs from a small local school district (birth to grade 12) in suburban Michigan, anonymously responded to the survey which asked about professional use and form of technology, as well as variables that affect learning new ways to incorporate technology into professional practice.

WHO WE ARE/WHERE WE WORK

RESULTS AT A GLANCE

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I was able to determine that SLPs are using and integrating technology professionally in multiple ways-yet there was a high desire to learn and do more. The majority of SLPs indicated they were comfortable with using technology, but cited lack of knowledge as the key reason preventing them from learning new forms and ways to use technology professionally. Interestingly, SLPs indicated a desire to learn more ways to use technology for data collection and student progress reporting versus for student intervention. This would make sense as most SLPs are currently using technology for intervention activities and tasks and are professionally being asked to do more with data collection and student progress monitoring.

The results of the survey are beneficial and helpful for determining future technology needs and the best way to conduct professional development so that implementation of new technology is done so with high fidelity and confidence.  For more specifics and recommendations on how to improve technology use professionally, click HERE to read a more detailed summary report and analysis. 

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Supporting students with a Learning Disability in Writing

This week in CEP812, the task was to research an area within special needs learning that I wanted to know more about…I have always been intrigued with the concept of planning and organizing one’s thoughts for writing. Within classrooms, we ask students to write daily-whether it’s for an assignment, a note home, or any number of tasks throughout the day. From an early age, we set the expectation that a student must learn to ‘write’. When we explore this idea with students with learning and literacy disabilities, there are a myriad different difficulties that might come into play. So for this assignment, I chose to research writing as it relates to students with learning disabilities.

Writing entails more than just putting a pen to paper…skills in writing range from handwriting to spelling to punctuation to planning/editing/revising…the list could go on. For students with learning disabilities, it is extremely challenging to concentrate on both the mechanics of writing and the writing process at the same time.

Writing requires a transformation of ideas into an acceptable written form–and doing so requires reorganizing ideas into a sequence and text structure that is consistent with the goals of that particular writing activity, as well as background knowledge in spelling and grammar. Wow-for a student with a learning disability, you can see how difficult and daunting writing can be. One type of learning disability is dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects writing and may lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting, and putting thoughts on paper. Challenges with spelling will impact all areas of writing, spanning all content areas as well as ‘out of school’ writing. So I chose to focus my work this week in the area of students with dysgraphia who may struggle with spelling.

As I researched and read about dysgraphia, I also looked for technology to support students who might struggle with spelling. The most common tools came to mind: spell checkers, built in features of word processors, even what some may consider archaic – a dictionary. But all of these seemed too common and basic. I also got to thinking about how students use technology informally and aren’t worried about spelling because many of our phones have word prediction built in to make texting faster and easier. All of this lead me to word prediction software. Although originally developed to facilitate text entry for individuals with physical disabilities, word prediction features may be useful for students who struggle to spell.  Students with severe spelling difficulties who can type the first few letters of a word can then select their intended word, correctly spelled, from the prediction list, thus improving their written products. 

One very common word prediction program is Co-Writer. See it in action below:

Realizing that word prediction software may also be too expensive for schools, there are several applications available as well-ranging from free to several hundred dollars. I chose to try Predictive Typer. Here’s a few screenshots of my first time trying it out-super easy. One added bonus is that you can save and send the document you wrote in the app to GoogleDocs, or even print right from your device.

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To read a little more about the research behind the use of word prediction, as well as the research to support it as an evidenced based practice to improve writing skills for students with a learning disability, check out my short paper.

Also, check out the following set of resources, Word Prediction Software Programs,  for more examples of word prediction software and apps.

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Info Diet-Online Presence

“The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. We’re all battling a storm of distractions, buffeted with notifications and tempted by tasty tidbits of information. And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to cluelessness.”  So begins Clay Johnson’s book, The Information Diet.

This resonated with me as I watched Ed Pariser’s (2011) TED video talk. Pariser speaks to the shift of how information is flowing online and how what we see is often based upon our past clicks and the online history of what we accessed.  Therefore, we miss out on information and are only presented with similar points of view, concepts, ideas, and thoughts.  We gorge on what we want to see, and limit or miss out on anything different.

    Image by Perry Hewitt

Wow. I like to think that I stretch myself outside my comfort zone…I try new foods, travel to new places, enjoy meeting new people, and truly like surprises. But, this week I was challenged to reflect on the current affinity spaces I access that inform my way of thinking-to burst my affinity bubble and to acknowledge new sources of information to inform my thinking. To use digital media to expand my affinity space, rather than to contain it-which is a concept Gee (2012) also states. Digital media can be beneficial for introducing us to new ways of thinking-but we have to be willing to go beyond our comfort zone.

Both my parents were educators. I chose to follow a similar path and went into special education. Needless to say, I believe in the concept of schools and formalized education. The notion of home schooling is one I struggle with and-if we’re being perfectly honest-have a bias against. So this is the first area I chose to explore. I began to follow the group Homeschoolers in hopes of learning more about why parents chose to do this, how the curriculum is supported, and what the benefits are to homeschooling.

A second concept that I tend to avoid is the use of video games in education. Ironically, this is one of the reasons I took this class-to go outside my own bias! So I began to follow Games in Education. I have never been a huge video gamer, always choosing a book over a video game. But, again, that’s me and how I have created my affinity bubble. Perhaps there is something to this concept of video games as teaching tools…

For my third affinity bubble burst, I added  ABA to my Twitter feed…this was a hard one to swallow. The use of Applied Behavior Analysis practices in autism treatment is a hot topic right now and one that I avoid…especially since I work within schools and historically, the use of ABA has been outside the school system. Things are starting to shift a bit and I really need to be informed.

Within this week’s activity, I realized that my information diet was supporting my beliefs-I choose to read what I want to see; going beyond this and receiving information that is not tailored to my thoughts, has burst my affinity bubble a bit-but there is still more room to grow.

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References:

Gee, James Paul. (2013). The anti-education era: creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hewitt, Perry. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://perryhewitt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/info-diet.gif

Johnson, Clay. (2012). The information diet. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

TED Conferences, LLC. (n.d.). Eli Pariser. TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved September 14, 2014, fromhttp://www.ted.com/speakers/eli_pariser

We are all overloaded. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=digital+media+overload&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&imgil=llJNbmr6bxjf3M%253A%253BSwk9RgNkYHYUXM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fblog.qwikon.com%25252Fsocial-media-overload%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=llJNbmr6bxjf3M%253A%252CSwk9RgNkYHYUXM%252C_&usg=__oEjNO_Az0QICFj0Su4-0lE2FrNo%3D&biw=1366&bih=667&ved=0CDgQyjc&ei=1qEdVL-_E9GNyASJwICoBA#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=ePhACjuw29LZkM%253A%3Bqlzxa_L0Qj7q_M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fentiregospel.files.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F12%252Fsocial_media_overload.jpg%253Fw%253D584%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fentiregospel.com%252F2012%252F12%252F07%252Fdigital-media-overload-are-we-addicts-slaves-or-consumers%252F%3B400%3B269

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Response to Gee

James Paul Gee has been hailed as an education innovator. In his 2013 book The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning, he lays a foundation to theorize how the constraints of the human mind, culture, and current educational practices fail to make us smarter.

Gee suggests several ways in which educational institutions do not enhance our ability to become smarter, but in fact limit the ability to increase the cognitive load.

As a special education educator, much of what Gee postulates resonates with me. From what we teach to how we teach, things need to change.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Wb6pSZgbKSgadXTajY2K-SJAK-jSAU80dMlvJmF1K-g/edit?usp=sharing

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