Week 15: Our Final Makes and Self-Assessments

Dear colleagues,

It’s been a wonderful semester learning alongside you all here at ED677. Look at all the things we made:

Nicely done everyone!

Here in final week then we will devote the time to finishing our final Makes and our self-assessments; we also have a final online gathering on Thursday May 2 at 7pm ET for those who can make it (and if you can’t, we’d love to have you share via Flipgrid; see below).

Final Makes

By the end of this week, Sunday May 5th, please have your final Make posted to your blog with a set of reflections about how it supported equity and connected learning. From the syllabus, here is a reminder about your final Makes:

Final Makes: Final projects, or our final “Makes,” should be something that you design that emerges from your inquiry questions and supports your work as an educator. Your project should explicitly focus on building towards equity and connected learning. Consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in a big or small way). The expectation is that this final project will be shared publicly.

Spend time on this blog post; do not write it in one sitting. Draft it, then return to it at another time and revise. Spend the time this week reflecting on what you learn, what you made, and why you made it. Share your personal reflections and also think about a reader finding your final Make and wondering what it is about; explain it to them using the learning and design principles of Connected Learning.

Final Self-Assessment

By the end of this week, Sunday May 5th, please email me your final self-assessment. From the syllabus, here is a reminder about your self-assessments:

Self-Assessments: While I will encourage you to be self-reflective about your learning throughout the semester, we will stop to do self-assessments in this course at 2 specific points—mid-semester and end-of-semester as part of the final project. These self-assessments will inform your final grade. These self-assessments are not meant to be publicly shared unless you choose to do so.

Here is the self-assessment guide. Please make a copy.

I will respond to your self-assessment and also share with you the grade I am submitting for this course if you are taking it for credit (which I believe all of you are). You are welcome to contact me directly if you have concerns or questions.

Oh, and speaking of grades, here is another highlight from the syllabus:

Final Grading: For those registered and seeking credit, grades will be based on your own self-assessment and instructor assessment (70/30). Note that we will not be using the grading tools in Canvas. Instructor assessment will be based on: 1) Active and regular engagement with classmates and colleagues around the concepts of connected learning; 2) Reflection on your own learning and the implications of connected learning principles and values; 3) The completion of a final self-assessment and final public project.

Final Gathering/Sharing Makes

Our final gathering is a chance to celebrate and also share some highlights from our final Makes.

If you cannot join the gathering but would like to verbally share your final Make with us, feel free to add a new post to this Flipgrid before Thursday — https://flipgrid.com/1e50bc42 — and we will check it out there instead.

Instructor Feedback

As I mentioned mid-semester, I really appreciate any feedback you have for me as an instructor, about ways I might improve ED677, and/or concerns you have about me or this course supporting you in meeting expectations. Feedback is anonymously and will not impact your grade in anyway. The self-assessment guide includes a link to a form for this.

Great job everyone; almost there!

In Connected Solidarity,


Flipgrid Reflection

So I have had the opportunity to work on Flipgrid Consultancies over the last few weeks! This was a very interesting experience for me, as it was the first time I’ve done a Flipgrid (or anything like it really). It kinda reminds me of a video version of a discussion board.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of doing the consultancies over a Flipgrid. I think it was a little easier for me to get my thoughts across, both about my project and my suggestions for my group mates, using a video format. Additionally, it helped me feel a little more connected to my classmates than I would just typing to them over a discussion board or even via our blogs that we use for class.

I also just really liked the guided consultancy experience. I feel that I gained some super helpful tips, knowledge, and tricks to help me think more critically about my final project as we move into our final week of the course. I hope my groupmates (and everyone else in ED677) feel that they got as useful information as I did. 

On the other hand, I did find the Flipgrid to be a little challenging because I wasn’t able to work on it in the library or in my apartment late at night (because I had to talk out loud), so it made it a little more difficult for me to stay on schedule with finding opportunities to post. But all in all, I think it is an awesome tool to use, especially for an online class when we can’t all come together face to face at the same time. I’m also considering using a tool like this in my final make! We shall see..

Flipgrid and Project Consultancies

Last week into this week our class worked in teams sharing our plans for our final projects and asking dilemma questions to get feedback from each other. This was done using Flipgrid in which each member of the team posted their own video and then we were able to respond via video directly to the initial video posted by the group member. 

I felt this was a pretty straightforward process, the only hard part was if you wanted to send links to websites or resources that related to answering a classmate’s question there didn’t seem to be a way to do that via Flipgrid (at least not that I was able to find). So you had to send a follow-up e-mail with those links. The other piece that I felt was a bit of a challenge was the fact that you were presenting your question in video format. Sometimes I feel that I am able to compose my thoughts better when writing and the fact that I had limited time to say everything I wanted to made the video piece a little challenging. However, I felt responding to others dilemma questions was much easier to do via video. 

I thought this was a great way for us to get an insight into each other’s ideas and plans for our final projects in way that was also helpful and useful to each other. It allowed us to work as a team to help push each other forward in our own individual projects while learning and growing from each other as a whole. I think a similar concept would be something great to do with students when they are working on the process of developing their own projects and having them get feedback from classmates in a structured yet engaging format. 

Reflections on the Consultancy Process

My reflections on the consultancy process.

Things I liked
I liked getting feedback from my classmates. Having input from others gave me perspectives that I may have not considered had I not participated. It helped me to understand how my project may be viewed (and used) by others. It helped me to see the areas which were most useful and it  helped me to decide the methods that I want to include in my project. 

I also liked giving feedback to my classmates. I like the feeling that my input may help them to make their final projects better.I liked that it felt like I was connecting with my classmates. Even though we all have different roles, it was nice to share my thoughts and to hear thoughts from teachers because we all share a common goal which is to help students connect to their education.

 I liked that I was able to post my video response to others. It almost felt like a conversation.

Things I didn’t like- The limit to how much video that can be imported. I struggled to upload my five minute video due to flipgrids import size limit. So if there was one thing I could change, it would be the ability to import a full five minute video.

Final Make/Flip Grid

I enjoyed this assignment of posing questions to our peers on our final make ideas. I definitely got some really good feedback to consider. It also helped to think of other ideas when listening to the questions from my peers. I thought this was a great assignment that encouraged collaboration and definitely demonstrated what connected learning is all about. 

Week 14: Designing for Equity, continues …

When working on that slide together we all had a shared purpose. I think the beautiful thing about it is that we were able to build off of each other’s ideas. I know that before I completed my slide I looked at all of my classmates beforehand to see what came to mind for them. It helped me to decide how I wanted to go about making my slide. An implication or conclusion from this is that we all learn from each other. I think I gain the most knowledge when I learning from other peers as well. Connect. Learn. Reflect

… all throughout my younger years when I spent a lot of my time doing cheerleading, I always felt very invested and as though my team had a sense of shared purpose around our work. We always knew we had to show up and never give up because we were all working towards the same end goal and we were relying on each other. We cheered for one another, cried with one another, caught one another when we fell, and we were constantly striving for an end goal which consisted of performing better than we had the time before. We always said practice makes “permanent” NOT perfect. Connection is Powerful

I am still thinking about my inquiry questions linking student behavior to equity and self-confidence in the classroom. I still feel that if we connect with students and get them involved in projects based on their interests, we may be able to decrease some anxiety and off-task behaviors that we often see in the classroom. The students will be more motivated and focused since learning will be focused on their own personal interests and goals. Connecting an Equitable Learning Community

Reflecting on my practice as a teacher has encouraged me to be more transparent. This “openness” permits me to grow as an educator. As I discuss strategies with colleagues or read more academic blogs I become an active member of a community that strives to evolve. Educators evolve by creating opportunities- both for their students and themselves. ED677 – Connected Learning Blog

I was so excited to see that this week is focused on the change we advocate and make based on our interests. It’s always especially inspiring when we see students taking action based off of an interest they have or a change they want to make in the world. I’ve included some resources below highlighting some youth stories I found impressive or deeply connected to. Since March is National Women’s Month, I’m making all of my finds about young women and their activism/change. This is my favorite Find Six Saturdays yet! In Learning We Are All Connected

This week for my findings I wanted to showcase work created by students around my building. For #s 1,4,5 I showcased work created by my 8th grades, some of our special education students, and a 6th grader. Jessica’s Blog – Ed677

Our shared purpose as a class is much more than this slide building activity for this week. Our shared purpose is making education better for not only the students, but for ourselves and the community. Syke’s Science and Connected Learning

I think drawing out my map of learning a few weeks back made me realize how I was supported and supported others throughout my learning journey. It was clear that those moments of connected support and shared purpose were times when I learned the most. My own examination of my learning was something that made me reflect on the opportunities present for my own students. The Journey to Connected Learning

A different way to look at learning how to draw portraits. The art teacher at Golden High School in Denver had his students visit a local retirement home for senior citizens to meet the individuals that would become the subjects of their drawings. Students used this time to not only learn the faces of their subject but also the stories of their subject, their personality, and their character. All of these aspects were reflected in the finished portraits of the senior citizens which the students gifted to the subjects of their drawing. The Sweet Art Lady

For this week’s map, I decided to use the format of a Synthesis Circle and free wrote about my journey in education thus far. As I wrote and reflected on my journey, I noticed familiar themes of learning and gaining new perspectives from my students, colleagues, and my own children. All of which have helped me grow as a teacher and have challenged my thinking about what it means to teach and learn. The Thoughts of a 3rd Grade Teacher

I know that my students are constantly scrolling through Instagram, and it is incredible for them to see themselves represented in a positive way. The open network of Instagram has given face time to individuals who would have never been given the opportunity for success in a world that has discarded their stories and experiences. The open platform of social media allowed these individuals to share themselves with the world. At the same time that I praise these individuals, I know that there are also negative aspects to self-publishing on Instagram and other social media sites. I won’t link to specific examples (because I don’t want to give them any more traffic), but there have been many influencers who use their platform to sell hair products, quick-fix diets, vitamins, and other products that are in fact harmful and in some cases quite dangerous. The Radical Reider

What I liked about each story was that some of them were not direct experiences of empathy but they still had an impact on the student. An example of this, is a story that a young girl shared about a time in which one of her parents was an upstander by helping a man who was being physically assaulted. Even though the young girl was not a part of the situation, she was positively impacted by what happened and through that moment, learned about the importance of empathy. Jullette’s ‘Connected Learning’ Thoughts

You all = Awesome.

This week

This week we continue to work on our Flipgrid consultancies and final projects as per last week’s post. Please email me too if you want to go over your ideas and/or have questions about the consultancy process.

Also make sure to take time to look/listen to the online hangout from last week with special guests Amy Logue and Robert Sidelinker — it was a great conversation and I think could be helpful as you work on your final projects too.

And just because it’s inspiring and also fun, make sure to stop and view Caine’s Arcade. Robert mentioned it as an inspiration for his work in our hangout conversation and I don’t think we watch it together this semester. So in case you haven’t otherwise seen it (or want to watch it again), here you go:


As you work on your final make, don’t forget to check in on your own assessment of your progress with our ED677 Self-Assessment Guide. I will ask you next week to submit your final self-assessment to me, so use this time to do some reflection on your process.

Final Gathering

We have one more online gathering scheduled on Thursday May 2 at 7pm. I know not everyone can come but if you can be there please try to make it. We will talk about our final projects, chat about how the consultancy process went, and answer any final questions about final assessments and project submissions.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

In connected solidarity,

Flipgrid Final make reflection

I think the idea of of having to ask your colleagues questions about your final make is a great idea but I definetely struggled with it on flip grid. I get extremely nervous when having to record a video about my thoughts and I tend to babble and go of task or not make sense. I got very frustrated with this assignment because i did so many takes and I am still not happy with the one I submitted . After i Submitted I tried to go back to see if I could erase it and record again.  I am not even sure if I asked a direct question. I hope my colleagues are able to even understand what I am saying. This was I have to say my least favorite assignment. I think It would have been easier if maybe we were able to communicate via email or even message through our blogging sites. 

FlipGrid Process Reflection for My Final Project

So the process of bouncing questions off colleagues using flipgrid was a new one for me. Just to mention again for the readers, my final project is designed to focus students on understanding how much science is involved in their everyday lives.  It is an activity designed to reflect on their lives in the past and present and to think of instances where science has made direct impacts on them in anyway at all.  They would create reflective writing samples on their thoughts and follow up with a future writing sample which focuses students on how science will grow and change their lives in the future.  The goal is to get students thinking about science more on a daily basis and perhaps inspire kids to pursue more scientific thought going forward into their futures. Some of the questions I had for my final make on flipgrid were, if this type of assignment was an appropriate one for lower level 7th graders.  Another question I had was simply to see if other people besides myself thought this was an interesting assignment for kids and if students would care and take it seriously.  I wanted to make sure that I was going down the right path with making this a connected learning lesson that could be enjoyable and beneficial to my class while incorporating every single student regardless of achievement level or language in the process.

Before making my video describing my final make and the dilemma questions that go with it, I was able to watch what others from the class have recorded.  Just seeing all the questions that others had help put my mind at ease and helped me get on track so to speak.  Honestly, I have struggled at times to find a perfect lesson to implement for my final make in this class and I wrestled with a lot of ideas.  When I finally settled in on one of the ideas, I found myself asking a lot of questions about the idea I decided on.  For whatever reason it is, I felt out of my element a little bit which I believe many times can be a good thing to help with some kind of growth in life.  

But I digress, I enjoyed watching my colleagues’ videos which helped me develop my video. After I made my video and responded to my groups videos, I was able to go back through and see what response videos everybody made for each group.  Jullette from my group was extremely helpful with her input from the many questions I had about my lesson.  She gave me another perspective which caused me to think about my lesson in ways I didn’t think of before.  From her suggestions I am going to modify how I am going to begin my lesson.  Instead of diving right in to a reflective writing assignment, I am going to ask my students in a group discussion/survey-type activity about every day things that they believe is science.  I am going to access some prior knowledge before diving straight in to the writing.  My original plan was to have the students jump in to an individual reflective piece without any real discussion on the matter because I was interested to see what pure thoughts they have on the matter.  But after seeing the responses to my questions, it might be more beneficial to the students to make mention of some scientific instruments that are used daily in their lives such as cell phones for example.  Jullette mentioned that she was support staff so it really helped to gain a perspective from somebody other than another classroom teacher.  I am also going to include a major discussion after the writing piece where all the students share their ideas and to see how similar all their ideas will be.  I believe this will allow students to see how everybody thinks of science and I think most will have similar responses which will help everybody gain common interest for this activity.  The discussion that follows will really allow students to connect to other class members by finding similar thinking in what they believe science is.  I feel that all of my questions (and I had a few of them) were answered in a way which will help me reflect more on my lesson before implementing it.  As I am writing this blog my mind is still reflecting on my questions and the responses I got.  This entire process was beneficial and helped me gain more confidence in my project.  The modifications that I have made and will continue to make all started with the videos that I watched on flipgrid.  Shout out to Jullette for adding her perspective to my project.  Time is getting short for this semester and I am still working on some things for my project but I am much closer now to actually conducting this in my class confidently because of this process.  I am much more excited now to get the ball rolling in class with my activity to see how it will play out with my students.  Lastly, I realize that this is a work in progress and I need to understand that the perfect lesson takes time and plenty of trial and error to materialize. This week’s process was a good step in the right direction for me.

Reflections on the readings for Designing for Equity Week

My reflections on the readings first, the blog post written by Professor Cantrill. I enjoyed reading the updates of the previous ED677 students. It was insightful to know that the content we are learning really remains with us long after taking this course. I felt connected with the students because some of what they said is how I feel about the course right now. In the beginning I was unsure of how much I would be able to relate to this course, but at this moment, I feel much more prepared to support students in their education. Some of the lessons that I picked up from each of the contributors were, The first contributor, Robert, shared that his experience in ED 677 has helped him to be more student driven with his teaching and to be unafraid to seek out answers when he does not know them. The second contributor, Shayla shares in her experience that the course has helped her to integrate a “student focused” approach to her teaching. She tries to plan for every scenario but is still amazed at how students are able to find new ways to explore their lessons.Helga appreciated that the lessons were fluid. Kathy learned to teach connected learning by embracing the connected learner student position. Lana learned that small moves can make a big difference. Tracy had to find a balance with integrating the principles of connected learning and fearing the unknown. The second reading was from a previous ED677 student Lana Iskandarani. She helps us to understand how production centered classrooms help drive student interest. Her specific example of interest is in regards to students learning foreign languages. Lana begins her article providing a background on who she is and why she became interested in teaching Arabic. She wanted to remain connected to her culture and wanted to help prepare students to be lifelong learners through her lessons. She then goes on to explain how the standards of teaching foreign language are what she uses to help her organize her lessons. To keep her class student focused, she implements connected learning principles and combines them with communication teaching practices. She also admits that not all principles had the effect on the students learning and interest. She found that the production centered principle was a principle that supported her classroom in an ideal way. After implementing the principles and techniques into her curriculum she found that there was a “positive impact on the students understanding and interest.” She then provides the feedback from the students to offer context in the ways the students felt that they connected to their course and the material. What I liked about Lana’s report was that she was able to provide detailed background information about why she was teaching the course, what she hoped to achieve in the course, the steps she took to meet her goals and then provided evidence on the outcomes of her study. I enjoyed reading through her methods and viewing the observations of the students. I also liked that her students were from different educational levels. I think that demonstrates how the principles of connected learning can be useful for all grade and educational levels. I also liked that Lana was able to achieve her goal and in the process also demonstrated her process of PWF (even if she did not mention that she was working through the process.)