Find 5 Friday (On a Monday)

I’m a few days late on posting this #Find5Friday, so I’ll add a few extra resources to make up for it.

  1. The Crucible – After looking into Youth Radio Media, I decided to look at more maker spaces in Oakland. The Crucible is located in West Oakland and offers classes in glassblowing, metalworking, pottery, and other art forms. I hope to find time to take a class here soon!
  2. Maker’s Loft – This make space in Oakland features different workshops every month. There is also a boutique in the space that showcases local artists and makers.
  3. Rare Bird – This is another maker space/boutique that is located in Oakland. I have attended a couple of workshops here and loved learning a craft from local artists.
  4. EdelMacrame – This Instagrammer posts beautiful macrame that she creates. She often posts tutorials that show how to make earrings, create different knots, and make patterns. I haven’t tried my hand at macrame yet, but it is on my list of things to make.
  5. The Hacktory – I discovered this Philadelphia maker space in another class at Arcadia, and I have loved visiting it to check out what people in the area are making.
  6. Lazear Charter Academy – Education for Change public schools in Oakland opened a STEAM-centered middle school called Lazear. I recently met a teacher from Lazear who shared some of her plans and projects with me.

Learning (and Wobbling) in Connected Community

As the 12-year olds in Mitch Resnick’s essay tell us:

Start simple
Work on things that you like If you have no clue what to do, fiddle around
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Find a friend to work with, share ideas!
It’s OK to copy stuff (to give you an idea)
Keep your ideas in a sketchbook
Build, take apart, rebuild
Lots of things can go wrong, stick with it

I see these ideas and ways of working throughout your excellent app designs and curated Find 5s links — what great resources to get us all thinking and making! Keep going with this kind of approach while we consider the ways that we pose, wobble, and flow through our work as learners as well as teachers.


This week, let’s continue to play, make, and learn alongside colleagues, with a focus on what it is like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities. And what are the implications for learning and for equity?

What does it mean to wobble? Let’s start to think about this by doing some social reading (and writing) with Antero Garcia and Cindy O’Donnell-Allen using the Introduction: “What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow” from the book What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow from Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction.

… we offer a framework we call Pose, Wobble, Flow, which will prompt you to maintain the continual focus on personal reflexivity and professional growth that is so necessary for acknowledging how privilege and cultural positionality shape one’s practice.

This chapter has been shared on the Marginal Syllabus project and therefore is very crowded with annotations. To try a new thing together, let’s start to annotate in a private group instead of in public. I created a group for us that you can join here:

Join this group by clicking on the link, logging in, etc.. You should now be a member of this group and you can come back to be a group member at anytime. Learn more about annotating in groups here if you feel stuck.

Now, to get started, go to the Marginal Syllabus article “Introduction: What it Means to Pose, Wobble, Flow”. Now whenever you are logged in you can toggle between “Public” or “ED677 Spring 2019” to decide where you want to annotate. Remember you can use the eyeball icon to turn on/off annotations for reading too.

Try annotating this article in our new private group for our class. How is that different than annotating the article publicly? Add something publicly if you feel moved to do that; how is that different than annotating with our private group? … Feel free to experiment and think about the ways you pose, wobble, and flow as you go.

A second reading is titled “Chapter 4: Working with Tension,” from Teaching for the Students: Habits of Heart, Mind and Practice in the Engaged Classroom by Bob Fecho. This chapter also has a annotation layer added to it. Start by annotating with our private group. Next add at least 2 annotations to the public layer (This is a new public layer, so you will be getting the conversation started here!).

Finally, stop by a project of Dr. Fecho’s called Storri at Teachers College at Columbia University. This is a site where teachers courageously share their stories of wobble. Pick out 2-3 stories from across the different categories to focus on. What issues were causing wobble for these educators and what complexities are discussed?

Share these on your blog this week along with the Make project below (which might take you a little longer than one week).


Note: this may take you more than just this week to accomplish, depending on when you start.

This week, check out the set of provocations that Antero and Cindy offer at the end of their chapter (page 14 of Pose, Wobble, Flow):

  1. Keep a journal or diary (digital or nondigital) and begin listing the areas of your practice that you continue to struggle with. Prioritize those areas that require the most in-depth scrutiny. [slight edit] Do you think any of these are poses? If so, make notes to yourself about this.
  2. Try jotting brief notes in your daily lesson plans or recording a few words on sticky notes that will later jog your memory about classroom events related to your wobble. If it’s easier, you can even record voice memos on your phone or computer and listen to them on your way home to reflect on how your teaching went that day. As you interrogate your wobble by inquiring into your practice, what insights are you finding? Where are you experiencing flow?
  3. Use the same process above to reflect on your students’ work. Seeing this as data for meaningfully informed wobbling, what are your students producing, and what does their work say about your classroom’s culture, your teaching practice, your understanding of who your students are? Don’t forget that your students are the best source of information about their own learning. Talk to them and try to find common ground.

Try these suggestions for one week. And then share a reflection on what you learn in the process of doing these things. If you are comfortable sharing notes you took along the way, feel free (but please make your own decision about this; you should always consider the public nature of blogging before posting). Keep those notes so that you can look back and reflect on them throughout the semester.

Remember in your reflection to come back to our main questions, ie. what is it like to learn, and to wobble, in connected communities? What are the implications of wobble for connected learning and equity?


The 12 year olds above tell us to “Find a friend to work with, share ideas!” Drs. Garcia and O’Donnell-Allen also ask us to “Seek out allies and mentors” and write:

… even though the model as we’ve described it above often sounds individualistic, we don’t intend for it to be. In fact … we have found that we go through P/W/F cycles most successfully when we collaborate with colleagues who provide moral support and at the same time challenge our thinking.

This week, start to identify some allies and mentors for yourself or others who you might support you when you wobble. Are they people you work with or connect with through school? Are there networks to connect to, professional alliance or organizations that can be supportive? What about some of the new connections you’ve been exploring, both on and offline? Where do you as an educator find moral support while challenging your thinking?


Finally, if you are up for it, it is Valentine’s week after all and love is in the air. Why not share with the world what it is you love about teaching! Check out #loveteaching to learn how.

New to Twitter? Many educators are using twitter to connect with colleagues and also to engage in discussion about education as professionals in the field.

If you are interested, the Studies of Literacies and Multimedia (SLAM) Assembly of NCTE ran a webinar (yes, that is the same Antero Garcia and Nicole Mirra you’ve been reading!) on learning to Tweet. Check it out.


In learning and connecting solidarity,


Making the App:

We have to do WHAT this week? Design an App?!? That sounds like crazy talk! Were my first thoughts when I looked at this week’s “Make/Create” section of assignments. I had no idea what I was doing and was worried I needed to create a fully functioning app by the end of the week. As I read further on, most of my fears were quelled, but I was still anxious about where to start. I read about the Maker’s Movement, found the tool kit, and the 101 Guide to get a base to build on. I was especially inspired by the section within the Maker’s Movement Myths article where it discussed the importance of community and specificity to each environment when looking to take part in the Maker’s Movement. I decided to reach out to my community of teachers for ideas, struggles they were having in the classroom, and what apps they wish existed to help their students.

Once I received a whole bunch of feedback and ideas, I started sifting through which ideas/problems could best be solved with technology and in the type of environment I work in. I decided on an idea for an app that works to keep kids on task, one-to-one, and practice self-evaluation/monitoring. Here is what my (low-tech) prototype would look like for “Anchored In.” I’m still working on the name because I don’t know how I feel about it yet, but that’s the working name currently.

While creating my prototype, I never realized how much work it took to just. pick. a. layout. Way too much time went into picking the layout for this prototype and I’m pretty sure I still don’t love it. If you are having trouble decoding what the pictures above, it is meant to be the dashboard followed by the different tabs available within the app.

Connected Learning principles are demonstrated within the app through the voice (agency), access to resources, and the genuine sense of community & support students should feel while they’re on the app. I wanted the students to take ownership of their learning and feel like they always have access to the supports they need. I do plan on following through with this idea and keeping it as a work in progress.

Share Seven Sunday

Today’s focus for resources is on the Maker Movement in education and MakerSpaces!

#1 - NextFab Lab - Last semester I took a course on MakerEducation and part of an assignment was to visit an actual Makerspace. That led me to visiting one of the NextFab labs in Philadelphia. I was pretty impressed with all they had to offer. The only downside I would say are the prices for membership, I personally felt that they were a little steep, but if it is something that one plans to spend much time at it might be worth it. It’s definitely worth at least taking a tour to see how a MakerSpace can be set-up and what types of tools can be offered. 

#2 - Makezine  - My husband has one of their books, but this website also offers access to a wide variety of Maker projects using a wide range of tools. They also provide tips and techniques for using certain tools or ways to complete certain projects. Some of their stuff might be more for adults but it might lead to good ideas to do with students. 

#3 - Titans Academy - provides lessons and tutorials on how to use different tools such as CAD, CAM, and CNC. 

#4 - Assessing Learning in Maker Ed - an Edutopia article about how we can determine the usefulness of maker education and what students are gleaning from participation in maker projects 

#5 - Myths of Maker Ed - this article addresses common myths and misconceptions about maker education and discusses what the premise of maker education is really about

#6 - Pedagogy - This article discusses what a makerspace is, what the benefits of it are in the classroom, how a teacher might go about setting up a makerspace in a classroom, and what types of projects they might be able to teach to the students in that space. 

#7 - Brain Break - This resource is related to the app project we had to do for class as seen in my previous post. This was an app that one of my classmate’s brainstormed and I thought it was a very unique and very useful concept. It reminds you of the importance of having structured time for students to take some time out of their typical learning to exercise their mind in other ways. 

Sunday Seven 2/17

My Sunday Seven are going to be a mix of resources I’ve found connected to this week’s topic, highlights from this week’s readings, and a couple colleague shoutouts! 

The Readings

1.  My first highlight is from the yrmedia site. The site itself is amazingly cool and I love the creative outlet it provides teens. I listened to a few of the podcasts and I was really struck by one Chris Weldon did called  “Why I’m Choosing Community College Over a UC.” It allowed him to use his voice and discuss a struggle a lot of students have in connection with their learning. 

2. I did not know much about the “Maker’s Movement” and the little I did know about it were sort of negative. Coming into this week, I thoroughly enjoyed the article “Moving Beyond The Four Myths of Maker Education.” My favorite take away from it was “ MYTH #2: Maker education is mostly about robots and 3D printers and is primarily for youth interested in such tools.” I genuinely thought the Maker’s Movement was very niched for tech-lovers or coding. I loved the way they debunked it and it was inspiring moving forward.


3. I loved @civicsislife app idea “PencilPoint” to get his kids on task as they immediately walk into the door for their PCAs. Such a great idea! See it here!

4. Check out @moosesykes “Science is Everything” app for all things science! There would be links to videos, articles, and current events all from the app dashboard. Take a look here.


5. This article is great to learn more about how to create an app if you are unfamiliar with coding and have no idea where to start (like me). It helps explain the process in a beginner’s manner. 

6. After you decide you want to start planning your app, you can start playing around with designs and ideas through this format. It’s a GoogleSlides template that allows you to essentially create a Google presentation in an app format. I wish I found this before I did my low-tech presentation (using paper/stickies and a pencil). It is explained step by step on the Shake up Education website. 

7. A really cool resource that teaches you how to actually create your app in simple steps and its for FREE. Plus if you do end up dedicating yourself to the app creation and want to advertise and get it out there, you can also buy a small plan (like $12) to get it in the App Store or Android Store. Find it here!

Make an App

For this week’s assignment we had to brainstorm a concept for an app that would be useful in connected learning. I utilized the template that was provided via the YRMedia Toolkit to sketch out and organize my thoughts. Here is my work posted below: 

It might be a bit hard to see the sketches and the notes so I will explain here. The name I came up with for the App is ARTalk. The concept would be for students to be able to connect with other students from across the country in posting their artwork or work in progress, gaining feedback via critiques/comments or private messaging linked to e-mail, and collaborating with other students on creating artwork. The basis for my inspiration was a set-up similar to Instagram but one with the addition of more features related to creating art. 

Starting from the top of the app, on the left hand side would be the logo. Next to that is a small globe icon, this would be the link to “Explore” and find students from other places and connect with them and add them to your network or following. Next to the globe icon for “Explore” is the icon of the small person, this is for the student’s “Personal Profile” where they can access everything that they have posted and all of the comments and critiques associated with those postings. To the right of the link to their “Personal Profile” is an icon that depicts three small figures standing. This would be the link for students to access different “Groups” that they are a part of, such as all of the students from their class in real life. It could also be for groups that are collaborating. Finally, the last icon on the top bar to the far right is a mail icon. This is where students would be able to access their “Private Messages” that can be sent to them directly from other users. This could also be linked to their regular e-mails for faster notification. The idea is that it would allow students to discuss feedback in a more private setting if it is preferred. 

In the middle of the page would be a newsfeed of recently posted pieces from students that the user is following. The user would be able to comment directly under a posting of a piece if he or she would like to provide their feedback, or they can click on the little mail icon next to the name of the user posting the piece and privately message feedback to that person. On the bottom of the page are more icons for different purposes. The icon on the far left is of a hammer for “Work in Progress”. This is where the user can post in progress pieces and get feedback from others related to their work in progress. This is also a way for the user to keep track of the different projects that are considered “in progress”. The button in the middle which is an icon of a thumbtack is for the user to post finished pieces. This will again allow for the user to keep work organized in their profile of pictures of completed pieces versus in progress. Both would post to the newsfeeds of the students that are following that user. The last icon of the two figures high-fiving is where the user would keep collaborative work. It would lead to a page that is just between the user and the students that are collaborating on specific pieces. It would have its own page of messaging and postings between the collaborators. The students would have to post the works in progress or completed pieces of their collaborative work via the other icons for it to be public to a newsfeed for feedback from a larger audience. 


I knew I wanted to create an App for middle to high school art students. I tried to think about something that could be used both in and outside of the classroom and that would be relevant for them. I thought about existing websites that students of mine use such as DeviantArt and it seems that the main focus and attraction is being able to share artwork, get feedback, and gain inspiration from other young artists. That led me to the idea of this App concept. In terms of equity, I thought about how many schools no longer have arts programs or have very little to offer in the arts due to budget cuts which is very unfortunate for students that wish to practice art and learn to develop their own skill and talent in the field. I felt that an App like this would be an excellent way for these students to connect with students that do have an arts education to get inspiration for ideas, to chat with them for collaborating on projects, and to get feedback on their own personal work. Another thought that I had while fleshing out this idea is that this App should have some type of feature that allows for translating across different languages so that students of different backgrounds can communicate easier. 

Seek 7 Sunday

1. Top 12 math apps for High School students. Great resource for math teachers to add more technology into the classroom.

2. This is a quick video to see why technology today is extremely important to incorporate in learning.

3. The maker methodology: Katie Rast at TEDxAmericasFinestCity. Katie Rast talks about educational programs for youth and adults that focus on innovation, ideation, creativity, and stem education.

4. This is a great article to read. Its about why stem should be introduced to children at a very young age. Education is becoming more analytical and critical thinking. Especially in math. We need to start rigor at a very young age so that they become more prepared for higher education.

5. I think Stem is extremely important in education and I feel that we as a country lack the offering of Stem in our Schools. This article is a great read about why and how STEM need to be more available in our schools.

6. Project based learning is a great learning tool that I feel a lot of schools stir away from. Schools are so focused on the common core and teaching to the test that many classrooms lack projects and teach straight from the text book. I am not opposed to teaching the book but I also think its important to get the kids to make something and become more involved in their learning. I want to highlight  This article talks about the importance of project based learning and one highlight is that it motivates students to critical think, which is a huge struggle for many students.
7. Here’s a quick short video on the importance of project-based learning.

Searching for 7 Sunday

  1. This connects with my idea for Stance by allowing students to bounce ideas off of each other
  2. Awesome video forum for students that is a pivotal tool for instruction
  3. A Wonderful Example of Using the Maker Movement to also inspire community action
  4. A Concise Formula for Designing Virtual Discussion Forums
  5. The Inspiration behind my app idea, Stance
  6. A Nice Little ‘How To’ for Online Discussion Facilitators
  7. History Teacher + Maker Movement = Historical Re-Enactments

Stance: A Vision of Political Stepping Stones

Name of App:  Stance

App Motto: A Collaborative Political Forum for Students

This app is on that fosters the importance of studying politics from a variety of perspectives.  It also makes sure to prepare a facilitator-monitored tolerant, respectful discussion community. My inspiration comes from my teacher-centered interest in a website called  This app uses a site like to generate topics, but it is the teacher’s responsibility to assign discussions to students.  The teacher chooses a topic of discussion and provides students with a wide range of articles, spanning the political spectrum.  Students are instructed to read a number of viewpoint articles and then comment on their own personal stance in the discussion board.  The teacher can then facilitate discussion among students. Each student would have a log-in, like google classroom or canvas. While in this forum, the teacher can provide students the option of posting anonymously to the sites.  There will require a vast amount of teacher modeling and monitoring to assure a tolerant, respectful discussion environment. Laying ground rules and establishing a respectful, comfortable classroom community is essential.

Maker Movement

We as educators need to face the fact that cell phones are everywhere, almost every kid has a cellphone these days and they are constantly on them. It is a battle every single day with my students to put away the cell phones, take out the headphones. I have this conversation with students all day long.  The question is how can I incorporate what they love into learning. How can I make something where they are able to learn put also incorporate their most precious item their cell phone. My app would be called Math Students . It would be geared to my Algebra students. Each day I am required to give my students a daily warm up. Something to get there minds started and ready for math. My struggle however is, who don’t have paper, who don’t have a Pencil. The process to get ready is time consuming for something that should only require them at most 5 minutes to do. I also think its just a waste of paper. My app will be geared for the students to be able to come right into class, pull out their phones and do a math warm up right in class. They are able to complete their warm up with just a touch of the screen. Not only will it be easy for them to access it but will cut that time of them searching for a pencil and paper. The students will be able to access the few questions assigned, complete it, and submit it all through their app. It will also benefit the students who may be absent and will be able to pull up that warm up from home.

One thing I stumbled upon is, not every student might have a smartphone? What happens if the student is getting Internet? Now a day’s majority of students have smartphones but there may be that one or two that cant afford it or the parents weren’t able to pay the bill for the internet? Then what? With that question I am really struggling with because a student could then feel sad and could also lead to other problems like bullying. One solution I thought of was to have a few spare devices ( if funding permits) and just have them prepared with the app. The students who may not have the phone are able to go to the device station, grab a device, log on and complete their warm up assignment.