Brain Bootcamp – Day 3

Wow! Just coming off of a week with my Istructional Technology Cohort @UNI in Cedar Falls. I am reflecting back on some of what we did during the past week. Here is Wednesday! I was feelng like a mental version of a snail still. I was still feeling overwhelmed and slow to catch up.


We began the morning on Wednesday working a bit on our group projects. My group decided to put together a unit to cover the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing for fifth graders. We were a group of teachers from grade 2 to 10. It was a big undertaking, but we wanted to have something substantial we could use one day in the future. We put some more time into developing our website and the activities to go along with it. Our fearless leader, Ben, did a great job of designing the site and the banner at the top. It looks great.

A bit later we went up to the classroom we had been using to have William, one of our cohort, demonstrate using an iPhone or other smartphone to create video and audio recordings. He showed us some cool applications including Loopy for many devices. It can record live audio of voices or instruments in loops that can then be replayed all mixed together. It is very cool and William suggested a few uses for it in a classroom. It could be useful in creating original tunes for videos or other recordings as well.

Then we had a great opportunity to listen to Scott McLeod and ask him a question.  He is the author of the Dangerously Irrelevant blog and a mentor of mine in the world of education and education reform. I enjoyed listening to him and we learned about how to create a professional blog and to develop a following. One of the suggestions that Scott made was to allow yourself to be authentic and vulnerable in your blogging. He also said it is important to readers that you sound like a real, thoughtful, and comppasionate person they can relate to. I will be a better blogger and educator having listened to him speak to us. Thanks @mcleod.

A bit later Matt, Rob & Ben presented on using Minecraft in education. They did a wonderful job and shared a couple of great examples of what they had done with Minecraft in their own classrooms. Ben talked about using Minecraft with his students to show they had learned about various social studies subjects including creating castles modeled after the Middle Ages. Matt shared that he had students create timeline islands that mocked the book The Lord of the Flies. He had them create representations of the island from the book and scenes from within it. These two had some great ideas and Rob had an Oculus Rift 3D gaming viewer to showcase Minecraft in 3D. WOW! That is so cool!

Then, the icing on the cake for Wednesday was the chance to listen to and ask questions of Marianne Malmstrom (Knowclue Kidd) who is a leader in the use of gaming in education, including Minecraft. What she shared was awesome and inspiring! What a great woman and educator. She talked about one project some of her students have created, MIT, Minecraft Institute of Technology. They built a virtual college to invite other kids to join them on a Minecraft server for summer camp sessions. It is wonderful! Amazing and engaging stuff!

Can you think of ways to use this in a classroom? Is gaming of value? What things would you like me to blog about that would bring you to read my blog and comment?

Let me know.

Then it was back to our projects!


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