Alone or Together for a Better Education?

“Helping Humanity with Deep Learning” was a sentence that stuck with me since I was exploring this material about Deep Learning by Michael Fullan and his partners.

Image abstract from the video of the lecture of Michael Fullan.

Thinking about the aspect “Life and learning merge” from “Deep learning”, I could give a clear example from my classroom teaching practice.

One example of entrepreneurship and taking action in the real-life was:

Greeting cards to create and to sell as a fundraising plan.

This is a great example of creativity the way how the 3rd Graders explored based on the star structure, to create a snowflake or a winter celebration ornament, for their cards.

I often support student agencies, and lately, the children took an initiative to create greeting cards, crafts, and other artworks for sale to make a fundraising event at our school for “The Angel Tree”. This is a direct example of how the children think beyond the classroom and apply in real life the skills that they achieved to take action.

 

Traffic signs for our biking paths at our school

Another collaborative plan is for the next unit of G1 about “How the world works?” and particularly transportation.  Because the children at our school love to ride a bike and they have restricted areas, they made a petition to the school principal where they would like to ride the bike in a wider area and it was approved. We decided together for our safety we need to create “Traffic Signs” where we should stop, park, bike, turn left or right, forbidden, etc.  We would like to create those signs during the Art Class. The signs will be in real size and we hope to integrate them at the playground at our school in the near future after we will finish the project.

 

Planning a Museum at our school.

Another idea was to create a museum at our school.  The children and we were frustrated that we cannot go on field trips and we thought why not create a museum at our school where different classes could visit and explore the different collections and the travel idea to a museum.

This would be a bigger collaboration project with different classes (EY2, KG, G1, G3) which takes more time and preparation for making a successful project. We thought about how can we integrate technology at this young age with the interactive idea of museum exploration.  We came with the idea of how to use a special app where they can choose the picture of a highlighted piece and they could receive a voice message about what is that object about. This would be a good challenge for “Communication”  and “Critical thinking” as a concept as well.

Talking about communication, we might like to create some emojis cards to help to express our feeling and communicate better with each other. Especially for the lower elementary students that might help very much in the future.

Thinking about character education, we revised the profile learners two years ago and we created new banners based on our original artworks from different students across the elementary school during the art class. This was a school-wide collaboration project and the original ideas of our little citizens are printed on the big banners and seen by everyone around the school.

 

A wonderful example of creativity

Last week we created with students from Kindergarten racing tracks and racing cars. First, they learn the letter “R” in their classroom, and afterward, they drew with oil pastels the racing car tour and other details around.

We were applying the scientific approach of an explorer, thinker and tried to explain to us how the forces work and how could we express that speed and motion on a racing track.

 

To resume from Michael Fullan some of his main concepts are the:

Impressive 6C

 

Deep Learning

“The goals of deep learning are that students will gain the competencies and dispositions that will prepare them to be creative, connected, and collaborative life-long problem solvers and to be healthy, holistic human beings who not only contribute to but also create the common good in today’s knowledge-based, creative, interdependent world.”

 

What are the New Pedagogies?

“New pedagogies are a new model of learning partnerships between and among students and teachers, aiming towards deep learning goals and enabled by pervasive digital access. Most instructional elements of the new pedagogies are not ‘new’ teaching strategies, although we would say that active learning partnerships with students are new.”

 

Old pedagogies style-based only on the ability to deliver content in a subject.

“New Pedagogies”

“The foundation of teacher quality is pedagogical capacity – teachers’ repertoire of teaching strategies and the ability to form partnerships with students”

“The explicit aim is deep learning that goes beyond the mastery of existing content knowledge. Here, deep learning is defined as ‘creating and using new knowledge in the world.’

  • * Technology has unleashed learning, and the potential for students to apply knowledge in the world outside of school; new pedagogies leverage all of this in the formal learning process. •Teaching shifts from focusing on covering all required content to focusing on the learning process, developing students’ ability to lead their own learning and to do things with their learning.
  • *Teachers are partners with students in deep learning tasks characterised by exploration, connectedness and broader, real-world purposes.
  • Learning outcomes are measured in terms of students’
  • * 1) capacities to build new knowledge and to lead their own learning effectively,
  • * 2) proactive dispositions and their abilities to persevere through challenges, and
  • * 3) the development of citizens who are life-long learners”

 

Why?/ New models

“Today, our economies are shifting.”

The new models are ones of

  • learning and innovation
  • entrepreneurship
  • creativity 
  • global collaboration.

A wonderful experience of global collaboration was our final project inspired by Halloween created with Cindy(Vietnam) and Melanie(Jeju Island) my COETAIL colleagues, when we planned our unit together we taught and we exchange opinions and got reflections from each other. Please see the final project of Course3.

“These factors are combining to establish groundbreaking conditions for deep learning to take off on a massive scale”. Michael Fullman

 

In New Pedagogies “New Change Leadership” is very important.

New Change Leadership

“They cultivate social capital and leadership,

not only among other leaders but also

* among students,

* teachers,

 *parents

*and the broader community of stakeholders, making everyone a participant in the new learning.

They use ubiquitous access to technology to enable and accelerate all these things, and they keep learning at the forefront of all digital strategies. “

“Many current curriculum standards, alongside standardized assessments that primarily measure content reproduction, are the greatest barriers to the widespread adoption of new pedagogies”

 

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (long video)

 

 

Essential Question(s)

  • How might human connections make deep learning possible?

“Everyone becomes a teacher in the new pedagogies, and everyone becomes a learner.”

Sometimes when I teach origami classes, some students amazed me with higher skills in folding origami of new creations. Then I tried to take the place in the classroom as a student and to give the agency to that person to teach their peers new skills in origami. Like this children feel more empowered and share knowledge with confidence with their community. Then I become a learner and my student become a teacher.

Why?

Goal- “Ultimately, these pedagogies foster a new kind of learning that is more engaging and more connected to real life and that better prepares young people for life and work in today’s world.”

  • How might the classroom/school environment impact learn partnerships?

Learning in Partnership

“Effective partnering is built on principles of equity, transparency, reciprocal accountability and mutual benefit”

Learning to learn and Peer Tutoring

“Learning to learn, where students become meta-cognitive observers of their own and others’ learning processes, is a fundamental goal in the new pedagogies. ”

Learning to learn requires that

  • students begin to define their own learning goals and success criteria;
  • monitor their own learning;
  • critically examine their own work;
  • incorporate feedback from peers, teachers, parents, or simply other people in general;
  • and use all of this to deepen their awareness of how they function in the learning process.

Peer Tutoring

  • students teach their peers and their teachers are, in our view, a powerful vehicle to assist students in developing awareness and mastery of the learning process.
  • peer tutoring requires that students become involved in the process of defining learning goals, providing assessment criteria, and so forth.

 

The repertoire of new pedagogical strategies in new pedagogy from teachers.

“Project-based learning through direct instruction to an inquiry-based model.

But the key is that the teacher takes a highly proactive role in driving the learning process forward, using whichever strategy works for a specific student or task (and analyzing which strategy works best). In the new pedagogies, this means interacting with students to make the students’ thinking and questions about learning more visible.”

 

The New Pedagogies – Learning Partnerships

How new pedagogies work in practice?

“1. New learning partnerships between and among students and teachers.

2. Deep learning tasks that re-structure the learning process towards knowledge creation and purposeful use.

3. Digital tools and resources that enable and accelerate the process of deep learning.”

“Students today want to be actively engaged, they want to determine the path of their own learning, chart their own learning journeys. Technology tools have exploded the way they interact with the world around them, and it’s changed how they want to be in the classroom. ” Pauline Roberts, 5th and 6th Grade Teacher, Michigan, USA

Strategies of Learning in New Pedagogy- The Teacher as an Activator

New Pedagogy Teachers are those teachers who play dynamic, interactive roles with students.

How?

  • pushing students to clearly define their own learning goals,
  • helping them gain the learning muscle to effectively pursue those goals
  • supporting them in monitoring how they are doing in achieving those goals
  • helping them gain the learning muscle to effectively pursue those goals, and supporting them in monitoring how they are doing in achieving those goals
  • help them master the difficult and demanding process of learning.

New System Economics

“We share a body of evidence that suggests how the new pedagogies model, when implemented effectively, can lead to dramatic breakthroughs in learning outcomes. We outline the economic and policy realignments needed to achieve this. Ultimately, the new pedagogies deliver because they provide greater overall value for societies’ investment in education.

They develop the

* learning capacities,

*creative experiences, and,

*‘know-how’

our young people need to gain a solid foothold in the onward trek through life and work in today’s world.”

Here is an important take on, a summary of tips for your teaching for the emerging roles of teachers and learners.

How do you apply the new pedagogies concepts in your teaching practice?

Frameworks for Learning

Reading about all the pedagogical concepts like TPACK and SAMR ( in relation to technology), it took me a while to understand and digest all the new terms, which sounds sometimes so similar but their are so different and specific.

But a good start was to understand first Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)

“Shulman (1986) claimed that the emphasis on teachers’ subject matter knowledge and pedagogy were being treated as mutually exclusive. He believed that teacher education programs should combine the two knowledge fields. To address this dichotomy, he introduced the notion of pedagogical content knowledge that includes pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge, among other categories. His initial description of teacher knowledge included curriculum knowledge and knowledge of educational contexts.

Shulman also claimed that Sesame Street was the very best resource for teachers for expanding their pedagogical content knowledge. “(Wikipedia)

  • What does technology integration mean to you?

I think while we were on VLE, technological skills were vital to communicate with each other,  to create and facilitate learning experiences.

A very important role plays technology when we are at distance for collaboration around the world with various teachers. Recently I read a very inspiring article “Creating a Culture of Collaboration Through Technology Integration”  by Kim Cofino.

Luckily because I started COETAIL, I was encouraged to use technology in my teaching practice. So in one of my early experiences combining digital tools and pedagogical skills, I used the trailer program to film our beautiful stage set which was created for the Musical “The Pirates”.  It was a very important collaboration between Music and Art dep. The musical unfortunately couldn’t take place due to the closing of the schools from the covid 19 pandemic. But we still have the documenting pictures and the trailers and we could keep some evidence and memories of our complex and collaboration project.

Technology integration to me means to use the tools of technology, like researching with a computer, preparing your structured lesson plan with a computer, creating educational videos (on youtube learning purposes), posting our works via seesaw. Feedback from parents, peers with the help of technology tools. Presenting a video material as an introduction to the class, the lesson taught.

Using a scanner, printer to help to prepare teaching materials.

But what is TPACK in detail with all the components explained? (the big picture)

 

  • Content Knowledge (CK) – “Teachers’ knowledge about the subject matter to be learned or taught. The content to be covered in middle school science or history is different from the content to be covered in an undergraduate course on art appreciation or a graduate seminar on astrophysics… As Shulman (1986) noted, this knowledge would include knowledge of concepts, theories, ideas, organizational frameworks, knowledge of evidence and proof, as well as established practices and approaches toward developing such knowledge” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) – “Teachers’ deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning. They encompass, among other things, overall educational purposes, values, and aims. This generic form of knowledge applies to understanding how students learn, general classroom management skills, lesson planning, and student assessment.” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Technology Knowledge (TK) – Knowledge about certain ways of thinking about, and working with technology, tools, and resources. and working with technology can apply to all technology tools and resources. This includes understanding information technology broadly enough to apply it productively at work and in everyday life, being able to recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal, and being able to continue to adapt to changes in information technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – “Consistent with and similar to Shulman’s idea of knowledge of pedagogy that is applicable to the teaching of specific content. Central to Shulman’s conceptualization of PCK is the notion of the transformation of the subject matter for teaching. Specifically, according to Shulman (1986), this transformation occurs as the teacher interprets the subject matter, finds multiple ways to represent it, and adapts and tailors the instructional materials to alternative conceptions and students’ prior knowledge. PCK covers the core business of teaching, learning, curriculum, assessment and reporting, such as the conditions that promote learning and the links among curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) – “An understanding of the manner in which technology and content influence and constrain one another. Teachers need to master more than the subject matter they teach; they must also have a deep understanding of the manner in which the subject matter (or the kinds of representations that can be constructed) can be changed by the application of particular technologies. Teachers need to understand which specific technologies are best suited for addressing subject-matter learning in their domains and how the content dictates or perhaps even changes the technology—or vice versa” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) – “An understanding of how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways. This includes knowing the pedagogical affordances and constraints of a range of technological tools as they relate to disciplinarily and developmentally appropriate pedagogical designs and strategies” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).
  • Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) – “Underlying truly meaningful and deeply skilled teaching with technology, TPACK is different from knowledge of all three concepts individually. Instead, TPACK is the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems that students face; knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology; and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones” (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).

 

  • How are the different frameworks for technology integration similar to and different from each other?

One of the frameworks for technology is TPACK.

What is TPACK on a short description?

Workshops PD,  Common Sense Media, Flipgrid, webinar, padlet.

 

Another one is SAMR.

 

 

A great example to understand how SAMR is applied in practice is this one.

  • Are there other frameworks that you have used in your school?

Seesaw

  • Do you prefer one of the frameworks over the others? Why?

Seesaw

  • What does technology integration look like in your classroom/school?
  • Using a projector, Seesaw, etc
  • Using one (or multiple) of the frameworks, how would you evaluate your own practice of technology integration?

I am trying hard to integrate and use it when necessary. (Otherwise,) I feel nervous using it.

  • How has your practice changed over time?

It has been improving a lot. More and more. Especially during VLE.

  • How do your beliefs and practices fit into your school’s vision for learning?

My school encourages technology integration as much as possible.

Setting the standard by Kim Cofino.

How do you integrate technology into your teaching practice?

Technology integration for me is an extension of the application of art knowledge in a digital form.

Using technology tools to help children to express further beyond their traditional skills of painting, modeling, drawing, etc. Technology is a new method to transmit the content of their ideas in another form. Technology should help to continue the application of their basic skills in a digital form(contrast, colors, proportions are also basic elements within the tech visual language).

I think technology should help students in the reflection process.

Technology should mediate easily to the public the content.

But what is the purpose of those frameworks for learning?

I think both methods SAMR and TPAK help in the process of creating the lessons.

SAMR is a wonderful tool especially for planning and reflecting.

Especially for planning, SAMR is a great structure to follow.

S- Substitution-tech acts like a tool substitute without changing the function.

A-Augmentation- tech acts as a substitute for functional improvement.

Especially M-Modification and R-Redefinition are using the tech to create the content in a new way.

TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge)  on the other side is a great guide for us to see us as an educator how can we balance the content with the knowledge, using a pedagogical method, and with the help of technology tools. Which pedagogical method we would use? How can we design the lesson in a way that technology helps the students to explore further the content and absorb, and apply the knowledge that they learned?

 

How would you use those frames of learning?

 

Course 3, Final Project-Halloween!

 

Are you ready for Halloween? Because we were just in time to decorate for the Open House and soon we will have a Halloween Party at school. Let’s warm-up and see some of the students’ works.

.

Poster- Shaun’s artwork.

Ylin_Slideshow_Halloween

After a strong collaboration with Melanie and Cindy, here comes our final project:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1M43T9OJlpTr1wygtWXHYZ5KJM7UJpeOmVs69stinU44/edit?ts=5f8bbe73#slide=id.g9cffd0b9d1_0_2618

 

Halloween_COETAIL_Final_Course3_Project

  • Why did you choose the option you chose?

I look at the list of the shared groups and I thought that there was a small group also in Asia(Korea, Vietnam) and I thought that I could communicate easily because of the time zone, with them. I also often read their blogs and I found them, interesting educators, where we could find some things in common.  I love collaborations and I found it very exciting coming from different fields to find a common ground to work for all of us. I wrote them straight away an email and I was accepted into the group.

The combination of an analytical mindset(Melanie- the science teacher), a wonderful designer, and teacher Cindy (a true designer guru- I always admired her fantastic designs) and me -the art teacher and artist (a creative spirit), I thought would work nicely.  Also working with so experienced educators, like my colleagues, is always a great challenge to learn together, exchange experience, and get things from other perspectives.

  • Why did you choose this topic? These standards?
  • We were discussing in a video call various topics and standards. We were thinking about Ocean Pollution, Ceramics, and different states of matters,  but the time to realize this project would have been a very long one. We wanted to be something that could connect us all and to exchange as soon as possible opinions and results.
  • Because now it is the time of Halloween and the children would love this theme and it is an international celebration, we had the feeling that all the children would feel connected and happy about that. We set that the public would be the students from Vietnam.
  • We set up the lesson plan together, did the researches, and I  conducted a few lessons. One was online and two others at school. We sent samples of the student’s works to the school in Vietnam. The age of our students was also similar, 4th Grade(Cindy’s Class) with 5th Grade (my students) and 6th Grade( Melanie’s students). So they could definitely share many things in common at this age.
  • We choose ISTE Standard 6 and 7, Creative Communicator, and Global Collaborator
  • 6 B. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • 7 B. Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts, or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
  • 7 C. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
  • How did you grow as a collaborator and facilitator during Course 3?
  • We designed together lesson plans, based on our skills achieved during this 3 rd course. We created a platform for students to exchange and get motivated, that their work reaches a wider public and it is valued.
  • How was this final project different from or similar to other learning experiences you have designed/facilitated?
  • I found it very useful that we had two video calls and we communicate via email and google docs comments very intensively. I found that all my peers worked very hard and then our work was smooth as the sea. A good structure was put in place from the beginning. We shared our work and responsibilities. So everyone knew what to do.
  • How does this final project relate to what you learned in Course 3?
  • We tried to design all our lessons based on all the units that we studied in this course. I explain to my students about visual literacy, visual hierarchy, infographics, memes, slideshows, the principle of design, CARP.  Even my students mess up their Infographic, it was interesting for me to see what I could facilitate and I was clear about it and what was maybe too difficult or too unclear explained. It is good to change the roles, and suddenly I found myself from the shoes of a student into the shoes of a teacher again.
  • What has influenced you the most in Course 3 and how is that reflected in your final project?
  • I like very much the idea of a story behind every design(Design Zen). I found it very important how the information and the design go hand in hand together.  Even I thought it would the job of a graphic designer, and sometimes I need lots of time for creating something with the computer,  I think it is necessary to have a basic of tools and I found myself, enjoying canva and trying to create lesson plans with visuals for my students.
  • What outcomes do you hope to see when students (or educators) complete this unit? How will you know that students (or educators) have learned the concepts?

Some of the samples of the work of my students from 5th Grade.

Ylin_Slideshow_Halloween

Halloween art ,

Anna_Halloween_History

 

Some of the students responded very well but some I have the feeling they didn’t understand the task and they needed more time to finish their work.

  • If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?
  • Based on the Halloween theme and our lesson plans, I conducted two classes with 5th Graders, (creating, slideshows inspired by the history of Halloween, infographics, and posters).
  • I even created for the Lower Elementary students, some lessons because they loved our displayed artworks and they wanted to create something inspired by Halloween Theme as well. I taught one class for Kindy -exploring line and how to create a spider net and cut-outs of a Ghost House(one student created a beautiful drawing and cut out of our haunted school) and one lesson for the 1st Grade with Halloween Pumpkins-with line patterns and cut-outs. Our Halloween week is still ongoing and I hope the kids are full of imagination to enfold even more their spooky ideas about Halloween.
  • Feedback:
  • I gave too much information. I should structure more simple for elementary students.
  • I still have to work on my skills in slideshows. I would like to create a better presentation myself and prepare less material with clear tasks.
  • I wish I could have compiled all the pdfs data presentation in a slideshow, but I didn’t have time to figure that out. I am happy at the moment that I can use canva, the gallery in the menu for the blog, and some other tools. And, last but not least, I am very proud that in Seesaw I made huge progress. I am very comfortable with lots of functions and tools. I finished 10 webinars as Seesaw Pioneer and I was invited to attend the Ambassador training program and hopefully, soon I could become a Seesaw Ambassador.

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

Course 3/ Week5/ Breaking Down Barriers

This course was a long one, but this last unit with the interactive task to reflect on “The Cycle of Socialization”- broke out our routine. The FlipGrid platform to be immediately active and exchange ideas, opinions with our colleagues was a great digital tool to explore and collaborate asynchronously.

Please check out our community discussion and express your opinion.

 

We reflected on the article by Harro: Cycle of Socialization (Harro, Chapter from Readings for Diversity and Social Justice).

We had to choose one word, one sentence, and one phrase that resonates with us and to render the content of the text.

* One word: 

“RESPECT”

* One sentence:

“WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”

* One phrase:

“THE OBVIOUS FIRST LEAP THAT PEOPLE MAKE, IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT, IF WE JUST BEGAN TO APPRECIATE DIFFERENCES, AND TREAT EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT, THEN EVERYTHING WOULD BE ALL RIGHT, AND THERE WOULD BE NO OPRESSION”.

 

What is the Cycle of Socialization?

“The cycle of socialization is a process through which social identities are created, and in effect, each individual represents and is affected by their social identity. “(Source.)

Please check out my answer and join in our debate.

I think instead of explaining with words all the concepts of the text again, I would prefer to illustrate with some art images or a music video clip, what I took away from it.

I think this song catches in a beautiful way the message of the text as well.

This message of imagining a peaceful world where all can live in peace and harmony is what it stays with me after this debate.

 

This document:

https://www.nsrfharmony.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/TextRendering-N_0.pdf,

helps us to understand how this Flipgrid method could be implemented as a collaborative method.

Have you used Flipgrid before?

I saw an online short workshop introduction from a colleague of mine via zoom PD, but I have never used it before to play with the tools.

How was this experience similar to/different from other times you’ve used Flipgrid?

How might you use Flipgrid (or other tools) in your classroom/school in order to collaborate with colleagues and expand students’ authentic, real-world learning experiences?

Sharing a communication platform for a topic. Like human rights posters. Or reflecting on quotes of different artists. For example a slide like this.

Or even more provocative, Banksy’s art and quotes.

“I want to live in a world created by art, not just decorated by it”.

How might your reading on diversity and social justice impact your practice?

Being more active in bringing this information to others. Trying to expose the children more to the socio-political debates. What was the role of propaganda posters? What is the esthetic and the influence of art within the poster message? I would like to introduce artists like Banksy and open their understanding that art could be a very important medium to express yourself freely.

Banksy‘s graffiti art.

“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet.”
Banksy, Wall and Piece

What privileged or oppressed groups are you part of?

I am privileged because I have a safe life in Korea. Since I lived in Korea, it was not easy to be accepted as an independent artist here. Social status is very important here in Korea. Often people can’t understand the purpose and meaning of being an artist. Having a second status as a teacher, suddenly became more important for society. Luckily I could find my place and have a balance between my teaching practice and artist practice. The other teachers in my school could appreciate and make finally an advantage of this background for my work perspective.

How has being part of those groups impacted who you are today and how you interact with your colleagues and students?

I think that living in Berlin for 10 years and being part of the international artist community shaped me to be an open-minded person. Then, later on, choosing to live in an international community from the international school gave me the freedom to express myself as I am and to be open-minded, and to accept different perspectives from different people around the world as well. It definitely enriched me.

What is the “Cycle of Socialization” for you?

“Why can’t we all just get along?”-this sentence from Harro’s article stays with me.

 

 

Course 3/ Week 4/ The Art of Communication

 

Today I will try a different perspective and I will start backward with the last question from my assignment:

“How might the concepts from this week change how you see the world?”

  •  audience-message

Considering better the audience you clarify your message, what you would like to communicate with the others. Then you can structure your ideas in simple keywords.

  • right visuals-support your message

The visuals are very important. The right visuals which support your message are the key to reinforced communication. Please check this info.

Garr Raynolds gives some wonderful examples and says that “Good” or “Bad” presentation design does not exist. It is “appropriate” or “inappropriate”, depending on the context.

Implementing the message as a storyteller, it is also a brilliant idea. I love his statement “Storytelling makes us humans”. Watch this ted talk, please.

 

..and I applied his 11th lesson from storytelling “Be authentic”, take risks, and let yourself be vulnerable and I try to create a better presentation.

 

Before
The Elements of Arts in Comparison_01,

The_Elements_of_Art_Inquiry

In this slide, I wanted to provoke students to think and observe more using some of my personal artworks to make them more curious. I chose to search and identify some of the elements of arts. Let’s see if that could be easier for my elementary students with this inquiry strategy.

Usually, in my classroom, I am not using PowerPoint presentations in my teaching practice. I sometimes use Google Slides to structure a lesson and show my students visual aids and a collection of some inspiring pictures.

But this year, I became a great fun of Seesaw. Because I need it every day in my online teaching practice. I am creating mostly there my lessons with all the tools to create templates to answer, to record voice instructions, to add multiple visual aids,  links, and so many other features. I like it because it is simple and even the students have some basic tools easy and fun to use. It is a great tool for collaborative learning.

Luckily this week we started all back to school and we are enjoying now different methods of communicating and expressing our ideas.

Probably now would be the right point to gather feedback. I should send a survey to the students and parents, to ask their opinion about how I communicate my assignments.  Were the visual aids clear enough? Were the lessons easy to understand and to follow? Or, I could use the Harkness discussion protocols method to invite my students to voice their opinion.

Often I used to ask my students in our zoom meetings about their opinion and what was working well and what should I stop using. I got very constructive feedback and I could adjust and improve my lessons.

Probably I would even ask my colleagues their feedback. Often we use to advise each other and collaborate closely. Especially with lower elementary and ELC was very important to communicate early enough what is efficient and easy for students and parents to follow.

“Context matters
However, as far as design is concerned, it is useful not to think (judge) in terms of right or wrong, but rather in terms of what is appropriate or inappropriate. That is, is it appropriate or inappropriate for a particular context? “Good” and “Bad” are indeed terms we use when talking about design — including PowerPoint/Keynote slides — but I’m personally cautious of this kind of thinking, especially when judging a design without its full context available.”

I totally agree with him, because they are many different audiences and presentation from different fields and design it should serve its purpose of delivering the right information to the right people.

The task sounded like that:” The assignment is to choose a visual aid (slide, poster, anchor chart, etc.) that you would like to update.”

How did this process differ from other times you have created/updated other visual aids?

I remembered that I am an artist at the base and I wish to use my skills as a personal strength and originality. I would like to combine the visuals which are handmade with the digital text which is clear, informative, and compact.

Were you surprised by any of the design principles?

Actually not. Because I am an art teacher actually, I knew all the design principles but applied in a different context more in the artistic (and less informational) message through artworks.

Were there any design principles that you already consistently implement in your work? 

CARP

  • Contrast– for the maximum contrast between the text/ images and the background.
  • Alignment -left, right up, down, symmetry
  • Repetition- repeating the same box format.
  • Proximity

What is your opinion about my first slide presentation and the second one? Did I reach my goal?

  by Garr Raynolds

I think I could still practice those digital presentation skills. I feel that it is hard for me, from an artist and educator, to turn so fast into a graphic designer. I believe that only time and exercise make people skillful.

 

 

 

Course 3/ Week3/ The Power of Infographics

“It always seems impossible until it’s done!”  said Nelson Mandela.

I feel just like that when I was waiting for the download for my first Infographic from Canva that I have just finished. And voilá!

I had to visualize lots of data to select which has the strongest visual impact and it’s clear to understand and also which is copyright free to use. I added one slide extra(Abstract versus Figurative) because I had to balance my visual expression in this gallery.

Please check here the slideshow Infographic: The Elements of Art in Comparision.

  • What is the purpose of my infographic?  The purpose of my infographic is to enhance understanding of the elements of art for my students when applying the skills built on the elements of arts. I tried to do also an animated version but the size was too big to upload.
  • Who is the intended audience? The students from Elementary School at ISB (PYP Art) or other children around the world. I am happy to share via Seesaw Community sometimes. (only if is something really good).

But what are Infographics per definition?

According to Kathy Schrock, (Infographic Resources (Kathy Schrock))

Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. These graphics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. ”

  • How might a focus on visual communication impact student learning?

I think especially for the art class the visual perception is very powerful for children. When I can give some clear examples with images, their understanding is beyond expectations. The colors, the simplicity, and the clarity of our message are very important.

I was very fascinated to search for interesting infographics that might be suitable to introduce in the art class to my students. To my surprise, I found some very nice ones. I am sure that my kids would love it.

Who is who by the color?

Heroes versus Villains represented by colors in comics books. DC and Marvel By Dailyinfographics and color designers.

 

The Color Psychology of Disney Characters

 

Some of the valuable examples of analyzing data in infographics you could find here.

My Favorite Data Analytics & Data Visualization Blogs

 

  • How might educators support students in expressing themselves creatively in all subject areas?

I hope with this lesson, the children could be more creative combining information and visual expression. The children will have a better idea of how to create visual graphics or a poster that helps them in other research-based learning to summarize and communicate their ideas in a very direct and simple presentation form.

How did this creation process differ from others?

I have never created an Infographic. I had to have a look at the resources which tools, programs I would like to use. I was still thinking that it will take me so long, that I would better create a  note-taking instead. This concept I like very much and I am sure I will try this out one day.

How did the purpose and intended audience impact the final product?

I will test it on Monday and then I can give you my feedback.

If you used this infographic in a lesson, a presentation, or on your blog, how did others react to it?

I didn’t get yet their feedback. Next week we will teach again. I am looking forward to hearing about my colleague’s opinion as well.   

What impact had my infographic for you? Which message did you take? Would you improve something? What would be that? What did you like it and what would you change? How?

Constructive criticism is always welcome! Thank you!

 

 

#Course 3/ Week2/ Making Connections

Introductions/ Collaborations

Collaborations are one of my passion in my teaching practice. I love how in PYP we are encouraged to collaborate with the homeroom teachers, transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary, with other subjects within the units of inquiry planned.

Sometimes, I can’t wait to put myself in the shoes of the children and to jump in their world and create together some crazy visions about our world. Especially the lower elementary children and the ELC children are very curious and open to exploring together painting, printing, crafting, etc.

I am thrilled to plan collaborations among the children. How much fun is when the children would have the chance to work together and collaborate creating an art project together. They often ask me if they could work in a group and with the new rules with social distancing, it was not easy to plan that.

Because I have the children seldom at school( every 3 days two classes) and I am lucky if, on that day they have art, I have to plan in a particular way, my classes. Some art classes are “live” and some are still on zoom. Every week the schedule is different and sometimes the schedule confuses me. But I would be very happy to share some of the examples of collaborations.

When the children came to school, I organized different stations with different activities that the children are not bored and then I appointed them in groups of 4-5 children at each table to have a balanced dynamic in the classroom. They can rotate and switch the stations.

5th Grade

The new way of how I planned my art class was with different stations, where children can explore different experiences: clay art, printing/ painting with string on a paper, and shapes balancing(rock balancing).

I made the list with the groups(4-5students) at the beginning of my class and I called their names one by one and I assigned them to their group on a particular table.

Then I got their attention, explaining at each station what are the materials and the challenges. Then I let them create and enjoy the art time.

My stations were:

  1. String Printing/Painting- 
  2. . Clay Art/ 3D 
  3. Balancing rocks and shapes 
  4.  Painting on Canvas 

At each station were posters with instructions on how to explore that technique. I asked them to feel free to explore, but I emphasized the importance of exchanging ideas, helping each other, and supporting each other finding a common goal/idea to express.

For string printing, it was important to think about contrast, to experiment with different colors, shapes, traces, effects.

Clay Art– we explored the form, space, the balance, tell a story, and collaborate. The collaborative learning experience was at the center of this activity.

.

 

Painting on Canvas

We had to finish a project inspired by the space and we were exploring all the colors and the shade of darkness. Another method was to think from dark to light and apply the clear obscure effect.

PDF_Lesson_Plan

I am sorry that I don’t have now the pictures from the balancing rocks and shape project and the other section with the paintings. Maybe I could share it at a later point in those pictures.

3rd Grade/ Dots Day/

Pointillism with digital dots on a screen or brush dot painting

Because it was The Dot Day, I introduced Pointilismus and I painted for the children live on zoom an artwork in this technique. I used a thin round brush and a medium brush. I invited them to explore pointillism with digital dots and if they have time and curiosity also with watercolors.

 

Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Here I used the standard for educators:
6.c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Cultural competence

“Cultural competence means understanding your own culture, other’s culture, and the role of culture in education. Using student’s culture as a basis for learning, communicating high expectations, and reshaping curriculum to reflect student’s diversity leads to better educational outcomes.” NEA

Thinking Routines

I was very fascinated by this video how clear and simply explains the thinking routines of Project Zero.

I found it very valuable when I discovered so many strategies of inquiries and structured plans not only for arts but for all the fields.

Incredible learning and teaching resources from Project Zero to use every day. I will definitely refer to it as often as possible. They are all PDF with structured strategies free to download.

I was inspired to use the one with the Line, Color, Shape, and See /Think.

Colors Shapes Lines_1

Recently I have also at our school a PD about the Inquiry Process and how we could structure the same method across the years. We refer to the Murdock’s Scheme and Inquiry Cycle. It was very useful to see all the additional questions information for each phase.

Other Inquiries Models from PYP.

 

I would like to create a new structure in my art class to teach in the hybrid model that we have at the moment at school.

For the 4th Graders, I was planning to sharpen their power of observation and challenge them to be researchers and communicators. I wanted to push their creative thinking on another level and they did just amazing.

4th Grade

  1. Who is my favorite artist? Why?

Create an artwork inspired by my favorite artist. I explained that one of my favorite artists is René Magritte(and I gave them more examples from his artworks) and then I invite them that they could search independently of their favorite artists and artworks.

Artworks as an example to get inspired by different art movements.

I used the See-Think strategy to get them involved in this process.

See Think Me We_0

Their answers were amazing. I think using their cultural influence was empowering them to search and share with us some famous artists from their countries. For example, I have a student from Colombia who searched and created an artwork inspired by Fernando Botero’s art style. I think being culturally competent to have the knowledge, curiosity, and empathy from artists and cultures from other countries bounded us in this experience.

  • I think this is the answer to how is someone being culturally competent support relationships.

 

Here they used:

Creative Communicator 6a: Customizing Platforms and Tools (ISTE Standards for Students)

Knowledge Constructor

Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts, and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

Kindy

Another wonderful collaborative learning experience was last year for World Kindness Day when we painted hearts together. We were caring for and expressing our feelings. We were sharing materials and mixing colors exploring different shades of Pink/Red color.

 

Some other wonderful collaborations from last year were:

  • 3rd Grade for the Unit “Who We Are?”,  we created self-portrait with the pictures and feelings from the 1st day of School. Their homeroom teacher took a picture from their first day of school and I printed all out and guide them on how to explore in their paintings. Now those artworks are beautifully exhibited on our corridors at school and I am very proud of my students.

  • 5th Grade created a collective mural around 2m x1.5 m inspired by Seurat and interpreting in their own vision his famous artwork ” A Sunday Afternoon..”. Making connections with their puzzle of painting to each other(searching and finding) was a deep way to collaborate and create an impressive mural together.

STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS

1

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.

See the Empowered Learner standards in action.  Empowered Learner Playlist

1a
Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

 

Epilog

For sure in my experience being passionate about collaborations, I can affirm that collaborative learning facilitates a deeper understanding.

Luckily during this special teaching time, within the hybrid model, (because of the coronavirus pandemic) the technology helped us very much. Seesaw was my main communicator which facilitate my teaching to my students.

For students missing the social contact so much, we realized as well as integrating technology in our life we could collaborate and communicate easily with students, parents, and colleagues. We bond strong connections to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Course 3/ Week1/ “Our Role as Designers!”

“Our Role as Designers!”

Intro

Coming back to writing my blog after the summer was not easy to start.

But like a “light in the shadows of an antarctic meteorite slice”, I could find my way analyzing piece by piece and following one step after the other.

An Antarctic meteorite slice, thinner than a human hair, is lit up by polarized light for analysis. Smithsonian image.


An Antarctic meteorite 
slice, thinner than a 
human hair,
is lit up by polarized 
light for analysis. 
Smithsonian image.

 

Our school has a hybrid way of teaching part still virtual and partially with the children teaching on the campus. We had also 3 typhoons here in Busan, South Korea and we are working hard to prepare all the documents, analysis for the evaluation, and reaccreditation of our school. So much work on the computer!!

It’s all about design!

Luckily because I am a visual artist, I love this theme “We are all designers”.

It was impressive to hear in this TED Talk from John Hockenberry: We are all designers, his personal stories, about the importance of design.

I enjoyed reading the materials provided by my instructor, Joel Bevans, about visual hierarchy, visual literacy, and design principles with great interest. I even applied that knowledge in a way how I design some templates for my art lessons.

Art_Design_Template_KG_
Storytelling.

 

 

Guide to visual hierarchy:

  • Size and Scale
  • Color and Contrast
  • Typographic Hierarchy
  • Spacing and Proximity
  • Negative Space
  • Alignment

What is “visual literacy” to me?

Visual literacy is a way of communicating meaning, an idea with words/language, and powerful images. It is a way to structure the language, the thinking, and the communication to be read in a visual way.

If you look at a text to scan the content and be easily supported by a picture aside to understand better. Scan at a glance in a text the content. How is organized? How is expressed visually simple to facilitate the message behind? Is it balanced? Is the message emphasized? Is it having a good contrast to attract your attention? Is it aesthetically interesting, with special text font and colors, appealing to your eyes?

I am thinking about web journalists who are using conceive language and strong images to deliver a message. I am thinking about some of the slide shows/ power points presentations of my peers. The font, the structure, the dynamic with images aside. Or generally how we are navigating so many websites and reading resources online. Without a good visual literacy behind, would be so hard to digest the content in a timely manner.

Have you ever wonder how people read online?

This was interesting information about how people read online.

 

All beautiful in theory but let me see myself taking action. Let me try to play with them and use all those principles in redesigning my blog.

My goals are:

  •  to emphasis the “Focal Point” with color headlines, images/videos which sustain the content
  • to restructure visually after the “Visual  Hierarchy“-  and apply the design principle: emphasize and unity.

Visual hierarchy:

  • Reading patterns
  • Size matters

  • Texture overall arrangements or pattern of the space⊗⊕
  • Typeface weight and pairing
  • Color and Tint
  • Color

To give you a clear example my blog at the beginning and now. I change the color of some text parts. I took the big image in the background down and I insert more images and video in my post, to let the focus on the actual information. I insert the COETAIL cohort logo to highlight the identity picture with our group of learning. I tried to insert a small portrait picture aside from myself, but unfortunately, it doesn’t appear on the website. I could only have it in the background which I didn’t find suitable so big. I just wanted to put aside the COETAIL logo, as big as the logo. I even cut it that size, but probably I need to choose one or the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilog

And not, at last,  keep in mind the advice from Kery Lee.

Remember about the CARP!

(CONTRAST/ ALIGNMENT/ REPETITION/ PROXIMITY)

 

 

 

 

Final Project Course2/ COETAIL/ Reflection/# HI 5! Resources

Here are my reflections after 6 weeks of work and research in different ways about #Kindness and #Hope. Some ideas were becoming more clear on the way and now I could finally wrap all the work together with our team. The members of the team “Hi 5 ! Resources” Project are Julija, Christel, Luis Carlos, Mooney, and me(Simona).

  • How did you find your group for this project?

Reading the blogs of my peers in COETAIL, I was thinking about who would be suitable for this project, and who would create materials/ themes that they would like to share for free with other people around the world. Then I made a list with a few of the people from the COETAIL Course and I tried to connect with them.

  •  How did the collaboration aspect of this project go? What challenges did you face?

The collaboration with 5 different international people around the world in different time zones of the globe, proved to be quite challenging. Our team was Christel from Brussel, Julija from Vilnius, Mooney from Moskow, and Luis from Panama. Luckily, Julija from Vilnius was more active from the beginning and later Mooney and we could keep the group alive, sharing tasks and thoughts about how we would like to create together this project. Christel was also more active in the last week and we could clarify some of the details together. Then Luis caught up with us as well and we could connect all of us.

  • How did you overcome them? How was this collaborative planning experience different from or similar to other planning experiences?

I tried to keep on writing to them and have a positive tone to encourage them. I tried to share what I was doing and some resources to help them to become more active.

This experience was different from other experiences, in the way that I didn’t know very well the people and it was harder to connect. People were from different fields, like IT, High School, Library, etc, it was hard to design a teaching experience together. I think the actual situation of our reality, with some people having the school still on virtual learning and others like me, restarting the school,(and ending the school year in two weeks), was quite different. Everybody was so busy at their schools. Being the end of the school year, contributed even more on our busy schedule.

It was similar to other projects, in the aspect that we needed to set a common title, space/form how we promote our ideas. Then we were setting a group email/ later a chat group on Twitter, to communicate directly more quickly and easier.

It was very exciting to collaborate internationally with different people and cultural backgrounds around the world. It was interesting to try to overcome the age, experience, different fields barriers, and other obstacles of time and schedule with patience and positivism.

  • Why did you choose this option? These standards?

I chose this option because I thought it is broader and easier to approach for different levels and directions. It is open to more fields, levels of classes, etc. I chose these standards as the creative communicator and the empowered learner, because I thought it is about communicating their ideas, feeling to the others around the world. Feeling empowered by a good aim to spread # Kindness and #Hope around us.

Creative Communicator

“Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.”

Empowered Learner

“Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.”

  • How was this learning experience different from or similar to other learning experiences you have designed?

This learning experience was different from the other experiences because I was aiming very high. I had the vision to contribute to a wider public to go on Seesaw community or at least to exchange and be directly more involved with other schools around the world. But it turned out, that I was a bit lost in the big picture and vision what do I want to do and reach realistically in this limited time and which is the right way. I tried different paths to research and connect with people from time to plan different types of lessons around # Kindness. It was good for me to realize that I have to focus first on my school community and build step by step, what is the concept of kindness, how can I promote kindness, how can I make the children behave kindly and understand that with their work they have a voice and feel empowered to change the things. It turned out to be very beneficial for our school, which made me very happy.

This is the Unit Plan “Spread #Hope and #Kindness” that I created for the UbD Project Final Project 2 COETAIL.

  • How does this experience relate to what you learned in Course 2?

I related to the things learned in Unit 1Course 2, Respect the Remix being inspired by different teaching resources and citing all the names or websites of the resources information. Then I created my own lesson plans modeling, adapting, and restructuring them on my own vision and the need for our children.
“Respecting the intellectual property of others supports a culture of innovation and remixing.”-the big idea from Unit 1. I applied one of the skills”Cite sources on your blog”.

For example I cited in my lesson plan:

“This art lesson was inspired by Cathy Barbro and Art Projects for Kids Blog. (ArtProjectsforKids.org) . I created videos based on some of the lesson plans from Cathy Barbro. Then I realize that I would like to let the children express themselves more themself, and not to give them a recipe. And I tried different art lesson plans. “Remixing leads to innovation” as my instructor, Joel Beavens said.

Then I totally identified myself with this ISTE for Educators from Unit2/ Course 2

“3.a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that builds relationships and community.

Social interactions change as technology evolves.”

Lastly, one of the most important at the core of my concept/vision of this unit was to develop empathy feelings and positive actions in students and the community around us.

Those were the important guiding lines from my instructor, Joel Beavans from Unit 5/ Course 2:

  • “Empathize with local and global communities
  • Support students in developing empathy
  • How do we teach (and learn) empathy?
  • Small, deliberate actions can have a positive impact.”
  • If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?

I assigned the tasks via seesaw as activities/VLE art lessons. Here are a few examples of what they achieved. They amazed me with their ideas and big hearts. It would be wonderful to create an exhibition in the future with this theme.

  1. Spreading hope and empathy #Chase the Rainbow, project.

Here, with 4th Graders, we combined the optical illusion skills/knowledge with #the rainbow theme.

# Spread Kindness

We created flowers and we gave the artwork to our parents as a sign of gratitude. To my surprise, luckily I received one from a student too. How kind are our students.

Grade 2 students
Grade 1 Student

#Kindness. Create an artwork to express what is kindness for you.

  • If you created a policy/agreement for your school, how did you tailor it to meet the unique needs of your community?

Our policy agreement for the use of media was already in work by our IT and Educational Team. They were about to update their new version in one or two weeks. I am sorry that I couldn’t refer now to it. I will wait for the new version when it will be available.

Project

This project we named it # “Hi 5! Resources” because we were 5 people who were contributing to share teaching resources and lesson plans for free with other people around the world, a symbolic way to help, be caring, and say “Hi 5!”.

The team of “Hi 5! Resources” consist of Julija, (Ed Tech), Christel (Teacher-Librarian, Middle and High School) Luis Carlos (Ed Tech), Mooney (High School Teacher), and me(Simona)-Art Teacher Elementary and ELC.

  • Why did you choose the option you chose?

I like to have high hopes and spread /plan an idea at a global level. I was hoping to reach more people around the world and bring a meaningful contribution. 

  • Why did you choose this topic? These standards?

I chose the topic of # Hope and #Kindness. I found it very inspiring and emotional connection that all people need around the world. A positive attitude: to have hope to spread kindness and to be emphatic.

  • How was this final project different from or similar to other learning experiences you have designed?

It was similar in the way that it was across the classes. It was different in a way that I was collaborating and depending on other’s people input as well.

  • How does this final project relate to what you learned in Course 2?

It’s about how do you contribute to the media community and how you inspired empathy.

It is about sharing resources that are for free so they don’t need copyright. Another connection is to foster empathy, be inspiring and influence in a positive way the other people around you, bringing hope and spreading #kindness.

  • What has influenced you the most in Course 2 and how is that reflected in your final project?

The inspiring projects of other people from Unit 5. It is reflected in a hybrid project “Hi 5 ! Resources”, which we started and hopefully could grow furthermore.

  • What outcomes do you hope to see when students (or educators) complete this unit?

I hope that the students and educators will have an active positive contribution to a better world. 

  •  What outcomes do you hope to see when this policy is implemented? A better world:)
  • If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?

A fantastic response. Amazing artworks and ideas. The children were very happy and very connected to their family, their friends, to me, to the school community. They felt even connected to other children, people around the world who were in lockdown at home, due to the pandemic of coronavirus on the globe.

And now I would like to end my post, with the same question that I asked my students a few days ago, ” What is kindness for you?”. I would like to invite you as well to watch this beautiful video from Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Thought Bubble: Kindness and reflect on it. I found it very inspiring and I shared it with my students in my lessons. I created a lesson plan on the “Hi 5! Resources” related to this theme, please check this out.

I

Course 2/ Unit 5 / #Becoming Contributors with… Hope and Kindness

This unit was very inspiring. I read so many interesting projects of awesome innovative educators around the world, from Joel Beavens and his Travelling Tales project. Even I thought it felt so simple one week ago when I first read the material related to this unit/topic-becoming contributors, it seems more and more complicated when I have to write about it.

The time is flying and even I was thinking so much and felt empowered to take action in my practice as teacher and COETEL-er, planning with enthusiasm the final project, the reality of our life is different. It feels hard to transit back to the “real school”, to finish the end of the school year with the reports, and to fulfill my dreams and vision with COETAL Final Project 2. The pressure feels higher and higher to get all the things done.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find so easily, the document, related to “Responsible/Acceptable Use Agreement/Policy or Social Media Agreement/Policy.” in our school. On our internal website we usually share all those policies and documents for the whole school. I contacted in the meantime the administration to get more information and maybe I could relate later again about this.

However I could gladly respond from the perspective of the action that I have seen in our school taken, about how our school empowered stakeholders to contribute to the global communities.

  • How do your school’s policies/agreements empower stakeholders to make positive contributions to local and global communities?
  • Our school joined last year, the “Friday for Future” Movement, and made a strike in front of the City Hall in Busan, South Korea. (5th Grade students supported by their teachers). This movement was inspired by Greta Thunberg. She is an environmental activist young girl who inspired, empowered, and changed the whole world.
  • This year, two of our students made their PYP Project related to protecting the Earth. They were responsible and took action going to the beach for 10 th times every weekend to collect garbage and clean the beaches around Busan. Other students had chosen endangered animals as a topic and they created drawings, paintings inspired by those animals. Later those were printed as postcards and sold at our school shoop. The money was donated to an animal foundation.
  • My son and other 3 students were working for a project, “Health and Diet” and they were empowered to teach the children about healthy food. They were encouraging the children to post their healthy meals in our school community.
  • How do you/your school share these documents with the school communities? How do you/your school’s actions show that you fully believe in and live these documents?
  • To be honest, I don’t know yet. I am still searching for the document but I think throughout the action that the students and the teachers at our school are doing those documents are alive.
  • What actions will you take to continually improve your own media literacy? Your students and colleagues’?
  • I am researching carefully. I try to get informed as much as possible about this theme. Common Sense website about digital citizenship is one of our good advisers. The teachers in our school had a one-week workshop and PD related to that. The parents were invited also in a workshop one month later and we could be informed about this. I am checking out podcasts and on the internet, on twitter information about that as well. I am sharing with my students and my colleague’s free resources. I am making them aware about the copyrights and the way how they should use the resources/information.
  • Students need to be though to think critically about media use and their role in participatory culture. A very good discussion was brought into my attention in this article (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation). People should think about these essential questions:

“Consider, for example, the framework for media literacy proposed by Thoman and Jolls (2005):
• Who created the message?
• What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
• How may different people understand this message differently than me?
59
• What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in – or omitted from – this
message?
• Why is this message being sent?
There is much to praise in these questions: they understand media as operating within a social and cultural context; they recognize that what we take from a message is different from what the author intended; they focus on interpretation and context as well as motivation; they are not tied up with a language of victimization.”

If they understand this questions then they can contribute in a positive way to the participatory culture.

How do you thrive in our participatory culture?

I think being active lately on Twitter is a way of sharing and exchanging “know-how”. Another big achievement is that recently I become a Seesaw Pioneer and I joined on Facebook in their group community and I tried to be active and supportive with comments there. On the other side at my school, I am so happy to contribute and I shared some files with shortcuts for seesaw for the symbols of some tools, and other information about all the webinars that are on the Seesaw Pioneer learning platform.

  • Writing in my COETAIL blog is a way to feel empowered, responsible, and show my action in participatory culture as well.
  • Some other ways to show my action in participatory culture were to spread kindness and hope in the community from our school.

We created a group of teachers who made activities with children inspired by the movement “# Chase a Rainbow” project and we prepare for virtual learning lessons that encourage the children to be positive and express their hope with a rainbow. I created myself a flag with a rainbow which I hang on the window near my Art Class Studio.

I also designed for few weeks art lessons and activities to create a rainbow and inspired the children with hope. The response was fantastic. The children amazed us with creative ideas about rainbows. The little ones they created even one of the biggest rainbows. Please see the pictures below.

Flag with rainbow made by myself.
Artworks by my students/ Preschool(up)
3rd Grade Student
Artwork from a 5th Grade student
Artwork from a Kindergarten student
  • How did you learn to be empathetic?

During my life I had many ups and downs. I survived the communism system in Romania in my childhood. I emigrated later(when I was 22) from Romania to Germany for my study. I had to have mini-jobs to support myself in Berlin because life was expensive for a student. Then later I moved from Germany to South Korea, different realities and struggles for people around the world. I think the life experience made me understand better the people around me and to appreciate more what I have. Then I could support the others around me when they need my help and be empathetic.

  • How have you supported your students and peers in becoming more empathetic?

I think one of the few good examples is from this week when, I tried to spread Kindness in Lower Elementary School. I designed a few art lessons which had a kindness message.

I invited the children to draw flowers ( a rose, a tulip) and to write a message for their parents, like “Thank you for your help”(during VLE), or “You are so kind” and afterward to offer to their parents, as a sign of gratitude.

When someone had a birthday, I invited the peers to write on a card some birthday wishes and to celebrate them.

Usually if a teacher has a birthday or a trainee is leaving, we organized with their class a huge card in which the students glue their own card to express their feelings.

We had also a Kindness calendar in our staff room and share good thoughts. Last year we had “a secret buddy” and we made us surprises for a week. Everybody was in good spirits and we cheered up.

How about yourself? Is it easy for you to share empathy?

I will end in the tone how I ended my lessons for my students this week: “Remember always to be kind:)”

This is an impressive artwork from one of my student in 2nd Grade, from this week.