First week of the DiffiMOOC course was a bit hectic but it went well. I enjoyed the class meeting and learning a little more about the course projects and assignments. Of course, being involved in another MinecraftEdu experience, I am very excited! Although Givercraft last semester was challenging, it was also very fun and a learning experience to work with students in the game. I am looking forward to approaching the experience with a focus on differentiation and excited about the possibilities for creating a DI unit!
The course readings were very interesting; I’m such a fan of middle schoolers and enjoy working with that age group. Reading about developmental changes for middle school students was insightful and helpful as I think about my unit for this course. That is the age group I am targeting so I started writing down some notes that I want to consider when designing my upcoming DI unit.
From reading other blogs this week, I “walked away” with several points:
- the diversity that students bring can also help them to learn how to work with others in different ways,
- a differentiated learning environment “fosters success” and “influences” learning,
- teaching students to differentiate in how they approach learning and problem solving only prepares them to be better learners and eventually better professionals,
- it is important to give students voice and choice in their learning; this helps me take the learning temperature of the room (understand what they need from me) and supports them to take ownership over their own learning,
- I value challengingmy students to try new things and to be willing to adapt in new and sometimes “uncomfortable” learning environments where they can apply previously learned knowledge and skills,
I spent some time at the beginning of the week reviewing the course website and downloading documents and materials to help me stay on track. The class twitter session was so informative and interactive. I had learned this week to use Tweetdeck and it made the experience much more enjoyable because I was able to keep up with the tweets and “file” away links to check later.
I also enjoyed using Padlet for the first time to keep track of the ideas and resources shared by others. Hopefully we continue that for our future twitter sessions; I usually try to go back and read through the tweets again and reviewing the Padlet board was very helpful. As I went back and read the class tweets yesterday, I realized there were others who were asking questions or sharing resources that I had missed. I will probably try to build in time throughout the week to check out the course tweets since I don’t regularly get on Twitter outside of the class sessions.
I created my first official infographic!!! Yay!!! I’m sure I’ve made similar products in the past but I made an effort to use a new software (Venngage.com) instead of just making my own infographic in Publisher (which tends to be my default). As it turned, I used a blank document in Venngage but it was still helpful to have the icons and learn to use the tools. I tried using several templates, but when I had been reading the course materials, I started to get an idea in my head of depicting students in a classroom, and I felt like I needed to just go with that idea. It was also very fun to see the other infographics created by my peers and I learned a bit more about how others interpreted the elements of DI. I went back and looked at my infographic and realized I only showed the student traits of DI, so I will probably want to make a part 2 version that includes or shows the curricular elements.
I did have a point later in the week where I was struggling to separate my ideas and thoughts for each course I am taking this semester. I need to work on organizing my time this week so I can keep track of my work, ideas for projects, and assignments for each course. Having the same professor and course mates in several classes kind of got me mixed up 🙂 but I have some systems in place now to help me remember which class I am in throughout the week!!