Blog about how you incorporate gaming, gamification, game thinking, or design thinking into your class. How? What are your objectives?
As an administrator, I do not have a captive audience that enables me to test out gamification or game-based learning tools. That said, I do have a number of teachers who explore various uses of the two. From creating competitions based on statistical predictions to coding robots to achieve tasks, I benefit from the creativity and expertise of my staff. What I do incorporate into my work is design thinking. My most recent discovery and incorporation is the use of the IDEO method cards that are:
a design tool meant to explore new approaches and help you develop your own. Use the deck to gain a new perspective, inspire a team, turn a corner, or try a new approach....... IDEO Method Cards are intended as inspiration for practicing and aspiring designers, as well as those seeking a creative spark in their work.
As the cards are meant to help people see circumstances, solutions, and issues differently, the cards provide me with a perspective that I might have missed as a leader, thus exposing my own vulnerability, which goes far and wide.
In terms of objectives I can only rely on those of the teachers around me. I am never one to railroad an objective through a system, recognizing the balance necessary of any facet of instruction, as well as the many and varied skill-sets of the people instructing. I have a most amazing teacher who is a complete luddite, recognized as one of five California teachers of the year no less. This is not meant to downplay the potential to gamification when used appropriately, but only to point out that it is not the only source of learning. Reading others' blogs I am inspired at the notion of ensuring a means to and end, or using for immediate feedback, or sources of engagement and excitement. These are all things I loved about gaming in my youth. Unfortunately, and now for my cynical side, I have never experienced that same gaming in my college or adult life. Am I too far removed? Maybe. But I also talk to other professionals and do not hear echos of gamification in their daily routines either. Design thinking? Yes. People are constantly looking to improve situations through the lens of the unconventional or unconsidered. This is the heart of what I think gaming sets out to achieve.
Blog: Reflect on how you might use Google Forms 1) in your practice and 2) for your Touro action research/capstone project. What might be the best uses for your particular situation?
If you already have been using Google Forms in your practice, explain how you currently use them and what you might do to extend your knowledge to new applications/situations.
I currently utilize forms to obviously organize the information I am looking to collect as well as the data charts for analysis. As seen in the URLs I use it anywhere from surveying students about mathematics to again surveying students to evaluate changes made for an Innovative Learning Environment Project grant initiated and funded by our district that required subsequent data. What I find appealing is the ability to both control the information as well as to provide a vehicle to quickly theme open-ended questions. Lastly, collecting the information is one thing, doing something with it is truly where the value comes in to play, all assuming it collected legitimately, i.e., large scale sentiment surveys should reflect a randomized sample of participants to avoid polarization, e.g., those either extremely satisfied or dissatisfied.
In terms of my capstone I have already used forms to collect data from students about maths and plan to continue using it for that purpose. I can see greater potential in soliciting my maths teachers, but there are only 5 of them and they collaborate as a department twice weekly, ergo, no real need for a form. Not having a solid idea of what the capstone is to be - me being honest here - I am not sure how else I might use forms.
In terms of extending my knowledge, I am a huge fan of the Function Keys, so Keeler's Keyboard Shortcuts are right up my ally - super efficient. I will need work on the spreadsheet set up, but I see it as a tool definitely worth exploring, supported by both Keeler and Marsden's youtube tutorials. Lastly, the purpose driven uses provided by Miller show how specific needs can be met, again, distilling down something much bigger to something oober specific and therefore more useful.
How can/should social media be used to help you develop / collaborate / communicate as a professional? What are the critical issues to consider?
It shouldn't. There is a reason it is not titled professional media, educator media, or student media. It was never intended to be those things. Yes, I acknowledge that as a society we have an unnatural affinity, affliction even, towards social media, but that does not mean we should incorporate it into every facet of our lives. This is the issue many skeptics have with technology, i.e., incorporating it for the sake of incorporating it versus using it for its intended purpose - opposed to some self-created purpose. Social media was meant to communicate about social issues and it is here where the term "social" is more of a euphemism as it refers exclusively to the posting author. Am I being narrow in my definition of social media? Yes, but I am tired of nuancing thoughts to satisfy some questionable practice. So, here are my critical issues: