Index

This page contains a link to each of my posts along with a very brief description of the topic(s) addressed.

Mathland Actually (April, 2019) – the practice of finding “math in the real world” in classrooms is not only nothing new but it is also not what I am intending to talk about in this post. My intention is to reconceptualize mathematics (using, as my muse, Papert’s Mathland concept) as a culture and language and to seek out truly immersive experiences for learners within that culture and language.

Exporting micro:bit sensor data (February, 2019) – This post describes the process of writing data from the the micro:bit’s sensors to a computer’s serial port. The post includes an example project that I coded and tested on a Mac running macOS High Sierra (ver 10.13.6) and on a Chromebook running ChromeOS (ver 71.0.3578.127).

Scratch 3.0 is Here! (January, 2019) – A summary of the improvements and enhancements of the newest version of Scratch released January 2, 2019.

Text-based vs. Block-based coding (June, 2018) – This blog post is more of a curation project than a blog post. I have put in one place various statements, beliefs, arguments, for or against, the use of block-based programming/coding with students. Some are clearly pro ‘text-based,’ some pro ‘block-based,’ while others are mixed and point out pros and cons based on certain factors or contexts.

Scratch vs. Swift Playgrounds (July, 2019) – This article might be a useful read if you are a teacher considering Scratch vs Swift Playgrounds or are caught up in discussions / arguments about the two. I think that juxtaposing these two coding environments helps reveal the distinction between the goals of students “learning to code” and “coding to learn.”

Professional consumption vs. creation (May, 2018) – I think that creation is hard and consumption is easy. The tricky bit is that I do learn from doing both activities. As educators, we expect students to balance their time between consumption and creation. I do think I learn much more by creating. And creating and sharing ideas is more concrete — that part of me that looks for evidence that I have been productive likes the concrete thing I’ve made. The results of consuming information are very intangible. But is it all as simple as that?

Rethinking Empowerment (April, 2018) – No, I am not rethinking “empowerment” in the sense of is it a good or bad thing? But after reading a very thought provoking essay, called  Empowerwashing Education by Benjamin Doxtdator, I am rethinking how I have used the term and what the term means and implies.

Play and Learning (March, 2018) – Why is it that the older children get, the less play seems to be connected with learning? Personally, I think the two concepts are nearly synonymous.

Learning factories (February, 2018) – “Schools might feel like highly de-personalized institutions; they might routinely demand compliance and frequently squelch creativity. But they don’t really look like and they really don’t work like factories.” I disagree.

How to Learn (January, 2018) – I searched Google and Google Scholar for “how to learn.” Most of the resources I found assumed a transmission, delivery model of instruction. It made be think a lot about how that assumption affects both learners and educators.

5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’ (November,  2017) – This post has a five ideas about how teachers might might extend the annual early December ‘hour of code’ introductory activities into a long term, project-based learning adventure.

2D mapping project in Scratch (November, 2017) – This blog is a reflection on a Scratch project I have been working on. I wanted to capture, at an overview level, my thinking and progression through the use an array to contain the parameters of a large, virtual map that could be used as an interactive world in which a game or adventure could take place.

Learning Design by Making Games in Scratch (October 2017) – Description of a 9-month project-based learning activity involving a class of grade 5 students. They used collaborative, design-thinking processes to develop a fraction game for younger students using Scratch. The 4P approach is also demonstrated (projects, passion, peers, & play).