Author: mike.thaler88

It’s Not Stealing, It’s Creative Borrowing

Embarrassingly, when I think about intellectual property and copyright, my thoughts don’t go much past citations and making sure that pictures are “labelled for reuse” before plopping them down somewhere. Without fail, whenever students are doing something that requires images or sounds, I’ve given the token “make sure that you are sourcing your images” speech. I’ve shown them how to use the Creative Commons image search engine, and at the start, they have diligently used these tools. Then as with all projects, timelines get short and plans fall behind, and in the mad dash to finish every thought of intellectual...

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Course 1 Final Project

I have been approached by teachers from a couple of grade levels looking for ways to extend geometry units for their higher students. The Probots are a fantastic way to integrate coding and computational thinking into math units relating to measurement, angles, and shapes. I’ve done a few lessons with classes where I’ll either bring a variety of paper shapes which the student then need to measure and recreate using the Probots, or present them with a series of challenges to solve. The typical format was a quick intro of how to work the Probots, and a period of messing...

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Connectivism and Ecology…Who Knew?

As I was reading through the theory of connectivism by Siemens, I was struck by the common themes to a recent post I wrote about our growing reliance on Google. Siemens talks about how “know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).” This statement suggests that is not just facts or skills that make us knowledgable. Our ability to seek out and find those facts and skills that we need is a key part of being a “knowledgable” person, and indeed may be the most important skill of all. My reading into connectivism...

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Finding Time For Tech Skills

Something that I often struggle with when integrating more complicated technology into lessons with students is the balance between the learning that the technology is being integrated with, and the learning of the tech skills that accompany the piece of technology. Reading through Drew Perkins’ 15 Questions to Ask About Tech Integration In Your Classroom, his questions were a fantastic reminder of effective practice, but the ones that struck me this week were “Will this tech lead to non-productive struggle and frustration?” and “Have I started with purpose and pedagogy instead of the tech?” These are the questions that I...

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For The Love Of Cheese

Cheese, I Haven’t Always Loved Thee I spent the first twenty years of my life in the darkness. For some reason, before I can remember, I decided that I hated cheese. I had no rational reason for it, just like I had no reason to dislike bread, the other food I decided I hated, which made my parents’ life pretty difficult. To make matters even more ridiculous, I loved grilled cheese…try to figure that one out. Anyways, In my early twenties, I found out that cheese wasn’t actually that bad, and over the last decade it has gotten to the...

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