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3 Ways To Build Ethical Development Using Social Media

Social media has developed into a central theme in our lives today, so much so that news breaks on Twitter, political campaigns are organized on Facebook and companies are advertising on Instagram. Many people spend large amounts of time on these networks yet very little time is spent teaching people, especially students, how these platforms can be used to their fullest. This avoidance is starkly contrasted by the statistics of internet- and specifically social media use by teens. How can we develop these skills for our students? How can we help them to improve the quality of their interactions towards the goal of creating ethical and compassionate communities online?   Discourse- Taking in and understanding another person’s perspective is a very challenging aspect of the human experience. It is a skill, however, that is absolutely necessary for success in virtually every venue of life- from family […]

The Bammy Awards And Community

Over the past few weeks I've been inspired by reading through the many nomination pages on the Bammy Awards website. This annual celebration of “all that is good in education” is more than trophies and accolades- it represents an opportunity to recognize the incredible work that is taking place in classrooms across the country and around the world on a daily basis. It is humbling to receive a nomination for the Bammy Awards since teachers often work in isolation, and hardly have the fortune of someone telling them they are doing a good job. Thats what is so awesome about the Bammy's. What Are The Bammy Awards? Characteristics that nominees exhibit center around being a modern, connected educator. They include being: Collaborative Effective Proactive 21st Century Role Model What is so special about this event is that according to Errol St. Clair Smith, Executive producer of […]

Minecraft and Design Thinking: Construction Project

Constructing structures within a virtual spaces like Minecraft allows students the unique opportunity to continually redesign and adapt as their thoughts progress. The ease with which this is possible means that improvement occurs organically. A recent activity we did in our classroom allows students to explore several aspects of cartography and engineering as well as modelling design using Minecraft. Starting on graph paper, students began planning out their construction site and the structure they wanted to create. Each box represented a block- more specifically a type of block. This prior planning encouraged students to consider the properties of each material before placing them in their project. Concepts of construction that can be rather abstract, such as scale and distance, become highly emphasized in the planning stage. Project Best Practices Over estimate time for activity Stick with having students design on paper before virtual creation Encourage redesign as limitations […]