Shaping Maker Thinking in CEP 811

This is my final post for my CEP 811 class for my Master’s of Arts in Educational Technology.  The past seven weeks flew by and I can’t believe I am writing my final post for this class.   I will admit that prior to this class I didn’t know much about Maker Education, Maker Spaces, and/or Making.  This class has shown me a whole different way of thinking and being creative that I never thought I’d honestly enjoy. I’ve heard of the Maker Faire that happens every year at the Henry Ford Museum but I’ve never gone.  I can’t wait to go next year!

This class forced me completely out of my comfort zone when it comes to thinking and being creative.  I don’t necessarily think that I’m someone who is necessarily “creative” or even “logic,” but I was thoroughly inspired to try.  I really enjoyed the Maker Kit that I used, Circuit Scribe, and I was introduced to new resources online like Google’s SketchUp program and different infographic tools.  My goal is to find a way to get my students into a computer lab so they can create infographics or posters to express some of the grammar concepts we have been going over this semester as a final exam review.

This upcoming Summer I’d like to collaborate with other educators (specifically language teachers) to create projects for my students that can revolve around making, so that when the Fall comes, I can incorporate more project-based learning AND Maker Education in my classroom.  I would love to look into getting some funding (through and so that I can have the supplies in my classroom that my students need to produce their work.

I have always been intrigued by computer science and coding (I took a class last year on C++ language), and CEP 811 inspired to get involved in the Hour of Code that has been conducted this week in conjunction with Next year, I’d like to find a way to get more classes at my school involved in the Hour of Code because I think it’s important for students to be exposed to computer science language so that they may find an interest in some of the STEM careers (or even just hobbies) that are available out there.

I decided to finalize my thoughts on what I’ve learned about Maker Education and how to incorporate Maker Education into the classroom by creating another infographic:


Deloitte Center for the Edge and Maker Media from the Maker Impact Summit (2013, December). Impact of the maker movement. Article retrieved from

Good, Travis. (2013, January 28). What is making? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from


Swaaley, Scott. (2014, September 19). Maker Movement Reinvents Education. Newsweek Article. Retrieved from

Thomas, A. (2012, September 7). Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through “Making”. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Assessing Creative Problem Solving…

As CEP 811 is in its final week, it’s time to take a step back and look at the overall picture of the maker world and creativity. How, as an educator, can I push myself (and other educators) to assess problem solving during maker-inspired lessons.  Personally, I think I’d begin with finding ways to incorporate making and creating in my classroom more.  I teach Spanish (so definitely not a science/math class), however, I think that I could incorporate more project-based learning activities with my students and have them create their own review games. Making doesn’t even necessarily have to be electronics – it could be food, sewing, wood creations, art, etc.

Along with inspiring myself to be more creative with the type of projects that I have students create, I will make it a point to come up with a guideline or rubric as to what creativity looks like.  In the past I’ve had students create Spanish “picture-books” and I’ll tell them “Be creative!” I’ve had students in the past look at me and go “well, what does that mean?”  And then the finalized work that gets turned in looks like anything from a black and white stick-figure picture-book to an elaborate, colorful and detailed picture-book.

Grant Wiggins discusses his support for assessment on creativity in his blogpost “On assessing for creativity: yes you can, and yes you should,” and explains that it’s important to let students know the expectations and define what creativity should look like.

“So, it is vital when asking students to perform or produce a product that you are crystal-clear on the purpose of the task, and that you state the purpose (to make clear that the purpose is to cause an intrinsic effect, NOT please the teacher,” (Wiggins, 2012).

After a clear explanation, I would provide students with that guideline (or rubric) for creativity.  Wiggins brought up in his blogpost that some students feel that rubrics are stifling their creativity, “If rubrics are sending the message that a formulaic response on an uninteresting task is what performance assessment is all about, then we are subverting our mission as teachers,” (Wiggins, 2012).

So rather than creating a rubric, I could potentially just offer up to my students the question “is your project engaging?”  And allow students to present their projects to the class showing off their creation and potentially allow other students to answer that question for them.  Is that student’s project engaging? Why or why not?

The design of these assessments is justified not just based on Wiggins’ blogpost, but also from an Edutopia article written by Eric Isslehardt called “Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core,” where he examines the work done by himself and his colleagues at Green Street Academy to create curriculum for the entire school that’s completely Project-Based.  Isslehardt talks about the process and how they piloted the program first, a step that I, myself, as an educator would also consider as I create better assessments for my students on their maker projects for my class. He came up with 6 lessons learned throughout his pilot program, but two I think stick out the most:

  1. How we introduce the project to students is much more important than we thought (and we thought it was very important).
  2. As a teaching group, we must maintain a flexible, problem-solving attitude to productively work through the inevitable implementation challenges.

(Isslehardt, 2013).

Both of these lessons come as a reminder to all educators, that as we are creating and inspiring our students to create, make and do more, we, ourselves, need to connect with each other, be more flexible, more problem-solving oriented and ultimately, be able to be innovators just like our students. Because inevitably we are just as much the student as we are the educator within our own classrooms.


This week’s resources:

Gee, J. (2010, July 20). James Paul Gee on Grading with Games. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Isslehardt, E. (2013, February 11). Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Thomas, A. (2012, September 7). Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through “Making”. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). On assessing for creativity: yes you can, and yes you should.  [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Infographic: 10 Reasons to Embrace Maker Education in Traditional Education

This week in CEP 811, we were asked to create an infographic talking about Maker Education.  As we are slowly coming to an end for this class, we have taken on several different tasks that not only introduced me to Maker Education but also forced me to understand how amazing and wonderful the world of Maker Education really is.  I personally got the chance to have the “WOW” moment in this class where I was surprised and delighted by the wonders of creating something using my Circuit Scribe kit.   I loved watching different YouTube videos about Maker Education and seeing how young minds are so intrigued by being independent thinkers in their own personal educational experiences.

I think so many traditional educators, mostly because learning can be quantified in Maker Education aside from seeing the finalized products or creations, turn their eyes away from embracing Maker Education.  So this week, I created an infographic giving traditional educators (teachers & administrators) reasons as to why they should embrace Maker Education and either create their own Maker Spaces at school OR to go on field trips to Maker Spaces within their communities.

Here’s my infographic:

Reimagining Classroom Design

Ever since I was 5 years old, I can distinctly remember each of the different classrooms I have had throughout the years of my K-12 career, then my undergraduate career which was spent mostly either in large lecture halls or smaller classrooms that had 1:1 computers in them for all of the students.

For the first couple years as an educator, I was on a cart and I honestly had no say in how the classrooms I roamed to and from were going to be situated.

Finally, my 5th year of teaching I got my own classroom and initially, I just thought about how I’ve always experienced a high school classroom and setup my room exactly in that fashion — the desks were put in rows that faced one way toward the white board and television placed at the front of the classroom.  I believe this type of classroom doesn’t allow students to be creative, nor does it really give the impression that students have a voice in the classroom.

As Colleen Lee stated in the article, “What Your Classroom Setup May Be Saying To Students,” she explains that the focus of the classroom that this type of classroom…”with my students in rows, facing the front, [it] was clearly a ‘teacher as the driving force’ kind of space,” (Lee, 2014).

As I’ve developed my teaching over the past 8 years, I’ve tried my best to move away from a teacher-centric classroom to a student-centric classroom where my students are working together and doing more project-based learning activities. In fact, last year my charter school told all the teachers that we could not put our desks in rows. On top of that, they placed me in what used to be the old band room which has different levels (or steps) and I decided to place my students into groups of 4 (with 1 group of 5 and a singular desk set aside for a student who may need to sit alone at times).

This is what my current seating chart looks like:



And looks like this on a normal day in my largest class of 30 students:

Panoramic view:


The one thing you can’t really see in the above photo is that I do have an iPad cart in the classroom, but it only has 22 iPads and it’s a lot of work to bring the iPads out constantly and then put them up at the end of the day to charge in the cart.  I’d love to have a classroom setup where there are MacBook Airs available in the classroom for each of the students, and a couple HD projectors (with speakers) affixed to the ceiling pointing at each of the 4 walls in the classroom.  That way, students can’t complain that they can’t see the board or what we are showing.

I really enjoyed watching the TEDTalks with David Kelley. It inspired me to think more of what type of technologies I would like in my classroom that can help me with being less of the center of focus and allow my students to control their own course of learning in my classroom.

As I started this week’s assignment for  CEP 811, I did a little further research online because I was curious to know more about high school classroom design.  Many of the videos that I’ve watched that discuss instructional classroom design show off what elementary and middle school classrooms look like — and although having squishy ball-shaped chairs is fun, I’m not sure it’s age-appropriate for my students.  In my research, I found this great website called K-12 Blueprint and they had this .PDF that talked about some different setups which gave me some inspiration to create my own 3D model of a classroom in SketchUp.

Specifically, I liked the design of this project studio classroom from the K-12 Blueprint, but definitely on a smaller scale. I’d love to have different types of tables in the classroom setup for different forms of learning.



Now I’ve never used SketchUp before, and at first when I was approaching it and understanding that it is a 3-D program, I immediately got nervous.  I don’t consider myself to be artistic and when I think of 3-D graphics or even some form of interior design, I honestly didn’t feel confident in that I could actually accomplish this goal.  The one thing I can say about this CEP 811 class is that it’s forcing me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to fail and then re-look at my ideas in a different light so that I can try a new perspective on the task(s) at hand.

I watched the SketchUp tutorials and it became easier to understand how to go about this assignment, however, I really struggled with placement when it came to the 3-D design. From one angle it would look like it was placed properly and then as I moved the camera around, the furniture would be floating in the air.

Here’s what my classroom would look like if I had the necessary equipment, support and funds to:


Normally, my high school classes sizes run around 30 students, which is fine, but I just want to have a larger space so that my students can move around.  Imagine 30 adults packed into a small classroom into small desks? Not fun.  So with my classroom, I created it in a room that was large, with different options for seating — formal tables with roller chairs, couches and some project tables if students ever have to work in groups for project-based learning activities.

Also, as stated before I’d probably have some form of MacBook Air cart (1:1 – so 30 total computers) for students to use.  I’d also have 4 screens placed throughout the room so that students can always see what I am showing on the screen as well.


Barrett, P., Zhang, Y., Moffat, J., & Kobbacy, K. (2013). A holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, 59, 678-689. doi:

Lee, C. (2014, March 17). What your classroom setup may be saying to students. Retrieved June 19, 2015 from

OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching & learning. Retrieved from

Steelcase Education Insights. (2016). Formal Learning Spaces: Classroom. Retrieved from:


Further Understanding of Immediate Feedback through Circuit Scribe: Lesson Plan

This week in my CEP 811 class, we were asked to create a lesson plan based on the materials that we have been working on for the past three weeks in this course.   As previously noted I purchased the Maker Kit – Circuit Scribe and created a review/assessment game using the circuit and the dominos I found at the Thrift Store. Last week I spent time learning about immediate feedback.  Connecting all of this information together helped me to create the following lesson plan:

Ser Vs. Estar Circuit Scribe Partner Game

Although I was unable to attend the Maker Conversation, the following is a video I created with my thought process on the prototype for this game:


Technology as a source for Immediate Feedback

Watching the TEDTalk by Richard Culatta brought to my attention the question of how can myself (and other educators) use technology to reimagine learning over continuing to use technology to “digitize traditional learning practices.” Culatta brings up three major challenges that we have in the educational world revolving around technology:

1 – Treat all learners the same despite unique needs and challenges.

2 – We hold the schedule constant and allowing learning to vary.

3 – Performance data comes too late to be useful to the learner.

The last challenge or point that Culatta made stuck out to me because at my current school everything revolves around data and how to interpret data so that we can improve our students’ learning.  However, it really feels like we are bombarded with data (numbers), and told to make sure students move up points, but not necessarily for the sake of the student and his/her learning, but rather for the sake of keeping your job.  We just received all of the results for the NWEA tests results for both Reading and Math for all of our students at my school and I had to create a data wall in my classroom with my specific students’ scores and goals to accomplish by the next NWEA testing (sometime in the Winter).

My students honestly don’t fully understand what these tests do or in the long term, really mean, they just take them and a majority of them just randomly click throughout the test and don’t actually read through the question.  With this in mind, I decided to set off this week’s learning topic for my CEP 811 class to further understand how immediate feedback can help students’ understanding of material, but also their understanding of how to ultimately improve upon their learning. 

After doing some researching using the MSU Libraries — specifically on ERIC (powered by proQuest) and the EBSCOHost site, I found two articles that I felt help support and connect my understanding of immediate feedback for learning.

The first article is called “Effects of Feedback in a Computer-Based Learning Environment on Students’ Learning Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis,” by Rabienne M. Van der Kleij, Remco C. W. Feskens, and Theo J.H.M. Eggen.  Overall, the data collected and analyzed by these researchers found that:

“The results show that elaborated feedback (EF; e.g., providing an explanation) produced larger effect sizes (0.49) than feedback regarding the correctness of the answer (KR; 0.05) or providing the correct answer (KCR; 0.32),” (Van der Kleij, et al. 2015 p. 475).

These researchers specifically focused on formative assessment and providing students with immediate feedback as it can be crucial for the process of learning and understanding the material better. “Although there is no generally accepted model of how feedback leads to learning, most research that has investigated the effects of feedback rests on the notion that when students are provided with feedback on their response to an item, this can confirm or alter their knowledge and skills (Mory, 2004).” (Van der Kleij, et al. 2015 p. 476).

In their research, they analyzed different types of feedback for a better understanding of what can improve students’ learning and understanding.

Elaborated Feedback (or EF) provides an explanation as to what the student got wrong. Knowledge of Results (or KR) provides student(s) with just knowing the results immediately (right or wrong, but not knowing the correct response). Knowledge of Correct Results (or KCR) provides students with an immediate response of what the correct answer is when they got the question wrong. (Van der Kleij, et al. 2015 p. 477-78).

The article takes note of the fact that one-to-one tutoring is the most effective form of education in terms of learning because the student gets an opportunity to get immediate get feedback when there is a misunderstanding and try something different to help the student better understand the material (Van der Kleij, et al. 2015 p. 479).  Thus, in a computer-based learning environment, if a program can be functional in that it can not only help a student learn material, but then also formatively assess the students’ understanding while also providing them feedback both elaborate feedback and knowledge of correct results feedback so that he/she understands where they went wrong and move on from there.

While the meta-analysis done by Van der Klei et al. provides the necessary research to educational computer program developers to create better tools for educators to use for formative assessment, I think it also provides a better understanding for educators in that they (we) should find ways to also develop better ways to provide immediate elaborate feedback to our students so that they can better understand where they went wrong and improve their understanding of the material almost immediately.

The second article I found was set more specific to computer-based immediate feedback and test anxiety in a foreign language classroom. I thought this would be an interesting article to read because I teach Spanish.

The study itself investigated the effects of immediate feedback on computer-based foreign language listening comprehension tests and on interpersonal test-associated anxiety amongst 72 English major college students at a Taiwanese University (Lee, S-P et al. 2012 p. 995).  The tests were setup by a software called MOODLE and a State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) over the course of several weeks.

The study found that “immediate feedback during testing caused significantly higher anxiety and resulted in significantly higher listening scores than in the control group, which had no feedback. However, repeated feedback did not affect the test anxiety and listening scores. Computer-based immediate feedback did not lower debilitating effects of anxiety but enhanced students’ intrapersonal eustress-like anxiety and probably improved their attention during listening tests. Computer-based tests with immediate feedback might help foreign language learners to increase attention in foreign language listening comprehension.” (Lee, S-P et al. 2012 p. 995).


I thought this was an interesting find because I know that many students talk about getting anxiety when they know they have to take a formative assessment.  If educators begin using computer-based technology to provide assessments to their students, over the course of time that test anxiety is going to go down, because students are aware that they are going to get that immediate feedback (repeatedly) and understand that it will help them with learning the material.

Overall, I these two articles prove Culatta’s points in his TedTalk that it’s necessary for educators to find ways to provide immediate feedback (specifically using computer-based modules) to enhance students’ learning of the curriculum material.

The questions I can raise here are what types of resources are out there for teachers to use to create immediate feedback responses to their students?  How can we make sure that students don’t feel overwhelmed with the feedback — for example, if a student consistently gets bombarded with negative, specific feedback, how can we help them to understand that it will improve their overall performance (which is a positive thing) rather than get bogged down by the negative results?

Putting all of  this together with Maker Education can show that it allows educators to have a unique opportunity to come up with their own ways of providing immediate feedback.  Whether it’s creating a circuit board that immediately tells students whether they have a correct response to a question, or using a Makey-Makey kit connected to a computer that provides immediate feedback upon choosing the right response on a game board. All of this ties together, because it gives us, as educators, an opportunity to think outside of the box and find creative ways to enhance students’ learning through feedback and thus an opportunity to create innovative ways to provide that immediate feedback for learning.


Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. National Academies Press. Retrieved from

Culatta, Richard. (2013). Reimagining Learning. TedxTalk Beacon Street. Retrieved from

O’Donnell, A. (2012). Constructivism. In APA Educational Psychology Handbook: Vol. 1. Theories, Constructs, and Critical Issues. K. R. Harris, S. Graham, and T. Urdan (Editors-in-Chief). Washgington, DC: American Psychological Association. DOI: 10.1037/13273-003.

Lee, S-P., Su, H-K., & Lee, S-D. (2012). Effects of Computer-based Immediate feedback on foreign language Listening Comprehension and Test-associated Anxiety. Perceptual & Motor Skills; Jun. 2012, Vol. 114 Issue 3,p. 995-1006. Retrieved from Sage Journals at Michigan State University Libraries.

Van der Kleij, F.,  Feskens, R. & Eggen, T. (2015). Effects of Feedback in a Computer-Based Learning Environment on Students’ Learning Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, p. 475 – 511. Retrieved from at Michigan State University Libraries.

Thrifting & Circuit Scribe

I went to the thrift store right after I watched Punya Mishra’s video on Teaching Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content and Pedagogy, and it honestly made me think about myself and how I’ve been creative over the past 8 years as an educator.

I’ve made up a lot of board games, created projects that allow students to use technology or create using art and while also incorporating Spanish content throughout.  As I’ve been unboxing my Maker Kit, the Circuit Scribe, I felt a little, not necessarily incompetent, but I’d say a little uneasy.  It feels like it’s been FOREVER since I took any form of science class, let alone the fact that I don’t personally remember ever getting to play much with creating circuits.  Now that I think about it, maybe the last time I did anything with electricity was in 3rd or 4th grade when we used a potato to conduct electricity to make a lightbulb turn on.

So ultimately, this task was quite out of the box at first, like what can I create using electric currents to help my students understand Spanish content.

I sent out a few Tweets and got a couple responses, as well as e-mailed my instructors for #CEP811, and everyone has told me to think about how I can incorporate an interactive notebook, or create a game.

I started browsing the web for ideas on what people have done with the Circuit Scribe kit and found some interesting resources, such as the following:

This website is cool because it’s an AutoDesk that allows you to play around and draw out what you want to do first so you can then create it in real life:
Eduporium had some interesting ideas too and showed off some other educators who are using the Circuit Scribe in their classroom:
Pinterest – #circuitscribe  — and began following the CircuitScribe boards
Also this entry into the Maker Faire was pretty neat – seeing all these students create game boards using the Circuit Scribe pen
I also searched through YouTube Videos and found this specific one talking about how the currents work:
And this one, where someone created a game, but also used a Makey Maker Kit:
*I may end up purchasing a Makey Makey kit within the next week to try to elaborate on my lesson for my CEP 811 class.
Circuit Scribe Ultimate Kit (32 Pieces)
I unpacked and played around with my kit and realized that one of my switches (the DPDT x 2 switch) is broken — so I knew right off the bat that  whatever my plan was, I’d be down one piece to my kit.
I played around with the circuit scribe with one of my friend’s kids (she’s 7 years old) and she was completely obsessed with the kit.  We were doing the workbook activities and she was totally mesmerized by the activities. We even talked a little bit about electricity and she read out loud some of the prompts underneath each of the drawings.
It’s exciting to see, because when I translate this in to an activity for my own class, even though they are in high school, I still feel like they will be excited.
After playing around with Circuit Scribe, I also had to go to the thrift store to find things that we could incorporate with my kit.

I went to a local GoodWill store, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a thrift store, and I honestly could’ve spent hours in there… there’s so many gadgets and gizmos in there and things to look at. Like the saying goes “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” right?


I originally picked up some spoons, this Bionicle game for 50 cents (mostly because it had some cool game pieces in it) and a Dominos set.

I decided to use the dominos set, and use 2 dominos along with the maker kit.


The idea behind this is that I’d have a few sentences and my student(s) had to figure out whether they’d use Ser or Estar (both mean “To Be” in Spanish).  When they put the correct piece down on the part of the paper that says SER or ESTAR, a light would turn on, on the piece to say whether or not the student is correct. If the student got it incorrect, the battery light would say it’s shorted.

Step 1. Take two dominos pieces and wrap them up with a piece of paper and tape each domino to an LED light from the kit, Then, write “SER” on one and “ESTAR” on the other.


Step 2. Write out a sentence on a sheet of paper leaving a blank space as to where SER or ESTAR would be in the sentence and create a “game board” that looks like this using the Circuit Scribe sheet:

*You have to make sure that when drawing, one circuit is drawn with an additional path so that it shorts the circuit and the red indicator light on the battery will turn on but NOT the light on the game piece.


Step 3. Place the game piece on top of the Steel sheet that comes with the Circuit Scribe Kit and play.

Here’s my video to describe what I did…

(*I apologize for my voice and stuffiness, I’ve been sick all weekend*)


The more I think about this activity, I want to find a way to hide the drawings of the circuits, that way my students won’t be able to figure out the answer visually UNTIL they connect the battery and the LED light of the correct game piece.


The multimodal elements to this blog post, playing with the maker kit, connecting something random to the assignment (like the dominos set) and then presenting it through both photographic and video evidence helped me to understand more of what I was doing.  As I was practicing and playing with my maker kit, I took photos and video and looked it over, which eventually helped me come up with the idea. I also started replacing different circuit pieces to see what would happen with each.

Overall, I just think using different elements to connect the learning helped me understand the assignment better and think about where I was going with the activity I was creating.


To the misfits, the rebels… and the makers

This week I began my class in CEP 811 at MSU (Adapting Innovative Technology to Education).  My mission this week was to create a 1 minute video using WeVideo and create a remix about something that has resonated with me after learning more about the Maker Culture.

I was truly inspired after watching the 4-part series on how Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson. After watching the third part in his series about creativity, it got me thinking about computers (especially as I am typing this on my MacBook Pro) … I never really thought about how Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak (and the rest of Apple, Inc.) really got its’ start. I mean, yes, I’ve worked for Apple, Inc. for 7 years now and I’ve used their devices for even longer than that… but I really thought it was interesting when I learned how the Xerox Alto was the first graphic interface and how Steve Jobs, in a sense reinvented the wheel so that the computer could become more present in the everyday household.  Truly, it became a competitor with IBM as being one of the more affordable, personal computers of its time.

Now that Apple is a leader in cutting edge technology, other companies are taking ideas that Apple has created and repurposing them for their own devices.  Companies such as Samsung and HTC look at the Apple  iPhone and try to build better phones that breed a healthy competition.  Every year I think all of these technology companies go back and forth with “newer” and “improved” features that compete with the other devices that are out there.

Most recently, Apple’s iPhone 7 took away a headphone check.  It came off as controversial to get rid of antiquated technology like the 35mm auxiliary port and force customers to use Bluetooth headsets (or an adapter).  I think what this will do, is push headphone companies to make better quality Bluetooth headsets AND make them more affordable for customers.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if the next Android or Windows phone hardware comes without an auxiliary port as well.

I thought I’d do my remix video about the Macintosh computer and Steve Jobs being true maker.  I took his infamous quote:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs (originally from the 1997 Apple, Inc. commercial).

and I laid that out throughout the WeVideo because I think it’s perfectly sums up what type of people make up the Maker culture.


Note on creation: I have to say it was interesting to learn how to use WeVideo – I am much more familiar with how to use iMovie on the Mac (and even Final Cut Pro) than I am with We Video – they are laid out similarly but there are some details that were frustrating to me — like setting up subtitles and captions. Just seemed like there were more constraints.

At first, when I was thinking about the remix, I didn’t know where to begin. There are so many makers out there that are inspiring.  Not to mention, I’m not the most in touch with the Maker world, but have always found it intriguing. Every year I tell myself I will go to the Maker’s Faire here in the Detroit area, but never make it out.  I think this class is going to inspire me to actually go next year.

As I was watching some of the examples that were given to us for the class — the Henry Ford example by Chris Rivard inspired me to think about where I work (seeing as Rivard had been working at the Henry Ford museum for 10 years). So I thought I’d focus on a man who’s had a huge influence in my life for the past 7 years in my life — Steve Jobs.  I remember reading the Steve Jobs’ biography after he passed away and thinking about how much of an innovator and maker he truly was.

Once I had the idea set, I began my search for Creative Commons clips and photos. Just finding video clips that were Creative Commons licensed was in itself a difficult task.  I am more aware now that being a maker and remixing/repurposing tools for different tasks takes a lot of innovation, creativity and time.  Looking forward, working with my Maker kit, I am going to have to spend more time thinking outside of the box; along with becoming more resourceful (like using more of my networking resources) to figure out what I can do with my Circuit scribe and using it for a Spanish lesson.


Apple III Computer, photo taken by Alexander Schaelss on April 15, 2004; uploaded to the German Wikipedia on 16 Apr 2004 under the GNU-FDL license. Source:

Breville Appliances, photo taken by Kelly Perazzolo on August 21, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2016 from Wikimedia Commons website:

T-Mass. Up in Flumes. Retrieved October 23rd, 2016 from Soundcloud website:

Steve Jobs photo. Retrieved October 23, 2015 from Flickr website:

Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak photo. Retrieved October 23, 2015 from Flickr website:

National Museum of American History: Retrieved October 23, 2016, from Flickr website:

[News reel: Steve Jobs’ Biggest Apple Flop: LISA 1983. Retrieved October 23rd, 2016. Published March 18, 2015, from YouTube website:

Final CEP 810 Post

It’s really quite amazing to me how quickly this first course in my Master’s of Arts in Educational Technology has come to an end.  As the saying go “Time flies when you’re having fun!”  This CEP 810 (Teaching Understanding with Technology) has given me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of using technology in the classroom to enhance learning and a perspective on what learning actually means.  The first week of the course we were required to write an essay and explain what our understanding of learning.

My initial definition of Learning was:

My current definition of learning is the process to which a person can build up their current knowledge and/or skill set for a specific topic in order to use it at a later time or for a later experience.  Particularly one can build on their current knowledge set through various ways – a formal classroom or teaching setting, through life experiences or personal self-study.  

After the readings and through reading some of my classmates essays, I definitely feel like I missed a part of what learning means especially when it comes to talking about the crossover between being a novice and an expert and the transfer of information.

I enjoyed being given the opportunity to think about this — because ultimately the biggest question/concern that any educator has is:

How can we teach our students for understanding?  How can we help produce motivated thinkers, doers and creators from the bare minimum?  And, how can we help our students learn to understand SO THAT they can transfer their learning to future situations, classes and experiences?

The second week of the class went from how we can get students to learn to understand, to how teachers can advocate for themselves with using technology. Or rather, what kind of mindsets do teachers need to adopt in order to facilitate learning and facilitate learning with technology.

During that week, my favorite reading was the TED blog post by Will Richardson – which honestly just raised a question that is constantly on my mind:

How can we get our top down (administration, Department of Education – both state and national) to change an outdated system so that we can progressively change education and help our current (and future) students to move forward in a 21st Century world?

“Why must schools change how they teach? What’s at stake? 
Schools were built upon the fundamental premise that teachers and knowledge and information were scarce. That is no longer the reality. Now, as so many more of us gain faster and broader access to the Web, all of those things are suddenly abundant. That means that the traditional role of school, to deliver an education, is quickly becoming less and less relevant. If we continue to see schools as the place where our children go to master a narrow list of content, knowledge and skills that were originally defined almost 150 years ago, we risk putting those kids out into the world with little idea of how to take advantage of the explosion of learning opportunities that now exist. The problem, however, is that most “reform” efforts are aimed at simply doing what we’ve been doing better, almost exclusively in the form of raising test scores. But doing “better” on measures that don’t account for this huge shift we’re in the midst of is the absolute wrong emphasis. Instead, we need to think very differently about the experiences, outcomes, skills and literacies we desire for our kids when they come to school. ”

Richardson, W. (2012). Posted by Jim Daly. Why School? TED ebook author rethinks education when information is everywhere.  

As an educator, I find myself frustrated more than not when I have so much to be “graded” on and so much is at stake, but we are told to teach in a way that is out-dated.

Our students have so much access to information and technology outside of the classroom — that when they come in here, teaching them to memorize facts rather than to think about the How and the Why when they’re learning – isn’t benefiting them. It’s boring and students are becoming less engaged unless we change the entire system.

Week 3 of this course we set out to understand how to network better through Professional Learning Networks (PLN). I feel like I use so many different social networks, but I liked learning about the RSS feeds and now I regularly check my Feedly page to see the latest articles/news on Education and Educational Technology.

Technology for better workflow and productivity was brought up during Week 4 where we explained how we use technology to help keep us on track.  The lecture by David Allen about the art of Stress-Free Productivity engaged me to think about how I keep myself on (or even off) task and how to be more productive.

I took a few quotes from Allen’s lecture to heart:

“‘Mind like water.’ A body of water responds to physical forces around it totally appropriately. It doesn’t over-react, it doesn’t under-react. Flexibility trunks perfection.”

“Life is not static, there is no perfection.”

“If you do not pay attention to what has your attention you will give it more attention than it deserves. ”

-David Allen – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

I think that these quotes made me think more about how I think and how I setup my daily and weekly tasks.  I am going to make a more conscious effort to write things down (or put them down in my Notes application on my phone) and force myself to look at them periodically so I can alleviate space in my brain for more creativity rather than thinking about all of the tasks that I currently have to do or need to get done.

Week 5 I was introduced to the TPACK model — something that I had only heard in passing but never really understood.  I enjoyed our cooking with TPACK activity, where we got to cook with tools that might not necessarily be used for that specific recipe.  It was interesting to apply the thoughts of this exercise to my classroom and how we aren’t always given the necessarily tools to perform specific tasks, but as educators we have to find a way to manipulate technologies so that it can perform the function that we need it to in class.

The final weeks of this class, we took everything we had been taught to create a lesson plan for 21st century learning.  I think that this was a great way to compact everything that we’ve learned into something applicable to the classroom.   I also liked the opportunity to get some feedback directly from another classmate and find out what they thought of my activity (and see what ideas they had for their own lesson plan).

Five of the seven weeks of the class we also had focused on a Network Learning Project (NLP) where I got an opportunity to teach myself how to mix music.  That was really fun and I kept thinking to myself — I get to play with music while also learning and obtaining my Master’s.  I am really looking forward to the rest of my classes in my MAET program — I hope to continue learning, networking and applying these concepts that I learned in this class to my future classes (and to my own classroom).

21st Century Lesson Plan for Hispanic Heritage Month

This week in CEP 810, we were asked to create a 21st Century Lesson Plan including a digital tool and would cover one (if not more) of Renee Hobbs’ core competencies. These competencies that our students should be taking away from each lesson plan are: Access, Analyze, Create, Reflect and Act.

I enjoy periodically stepping away from teaching my students grammar and vocabulary, so I like to introduce them to cultural information, history and the like.  Since we are currently in the month of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15th), I thought this would be a great way to tie in my lesson plan for CEP 810 with something I could actually do with my students in my current Spanish level 200 classroom.

For my lesson, I chose to do a week-long project where students will be given an opportunity to ACCESS relevant information using iPads in the classroom (and their home computer) about a Hispanic historical figure (I’m open to have my students pick from a hat anyone that is “famous” for their contributions to society). From there, they will be required to gather pertinent information about that person and then share what they learned with the rest of their classmates in an oral presentation-format. Throughout the gathering stages they will have the opportunity to ANALYZE the information that they have gathered  and pick apart the information that is important to share in their presentation. Afterward, they will CREATE a presentation using Google Slides (this will be their visual aide during the presentation). Then they will be able to REFLECT on what they learned and be able to explain to their class how that historical person made an impact on today’s society. Finally, they will be able to ACT, working independently to share the knowledge they’ve gathered (via an oral presentation). Ultimately, their goal is to engage the rest of their class in why the Hispanic historical person they chose is

View my lesson plan for a project that allows students to teach each other about an important Hispanic Historical figure during Hispanic Heritage month.

The guideline that students would receive after they are introduced to the project looks like this: hispanicheritagemonthprojectdetails.

Ultimately, I think that my students will take away not only competencies while doing this project, but also have the chance to practice their presentational and organizational skills as well.



Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.