Register for #ampqamp 2015

Some opportunities come once in a life time. It’s good to seize the moment and make the difference in others.

AMP

The latest edition of #ampqamp (“AMP camp”) is an intensive design and maker workshop that runs from July 12 to August 1st. The call for AMP Internships applies especially to computer science and design students and recent graduates (please state your level of programming experience), who shall focus teamwork on design for trust-building around the AMP digital platform; requires a 2 month (minimum) commitment between June and August. Pending schedule, there may be design practicums offered as Limited Workshops in addition to the regular #ampqamp 2015 programming.

If you are interested in participating in #ampqamp 2015, please fill out the online REGISTRATION FORM by June 5th. Let us know via qampnet@gmail.com if you have any questions or ideas.

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Creativity

Creativity has been so hyped that unfortunately even children at the age of five or six are reluctant to venture something new in the classroom. You hear “I’m not good at …” as a reason for not attempting a task. We tend to celebrate the finished work of high performers and ignore the effort made by the rest, so, we’ve shows like “America has talent” or the “Oscar award.” During team performances, such as professional games (comprising of major league players) the team is not “good enough” unless it is at the top. Furthermore, we single out the stars like Michael Jordan in the team and ignore the fact that those celebrated stars couldn’t have single handedly won games without input from the rest of the team. That’s why, given the impressionable minds of children, educators (especially parents and teachers) must be intentional in not only providing praise but constructive criticism that helps the child assess their own work, see areas that they could improve upon and yet be proud of the effort they’ve put in the work. A child can only have confidence and grit to continue on a work that they see as far from perfect when educators permit them to understand that every journey begins with a step. As the old adage goes, Rome wasn’t built in one day. How can educators accomplish this task amidst all the noise around them (standards that scream for success and high achievement as the hallmark)? Here are some suggestions. Let the student self assess their work with the same rubric that you do. After that, discuss with the class the work based on that rubric. At the end of the day, the student should leave feeling a sense of satisfaction for putting some thought to the project and at the same time a desire (hopefully a burning one) to create another work taking into cognizance the feedback that he got.

Standard for assessing creativity that you could help students think through

  • What story are you telling or what is the purpose of the work you did?
  • Who did you create this for?
  • What motivated you to complete the work?
  • What do you like best in the work that you did?
  • What do you wish you could have done differently?
  • What stopped you from making any further change to your work?
  • How will you rate the work you did

a. work in progress   b. a finished product that needs some corrections c. a finished product that may need a few tweaks.  d. perfect nothing could make it better

  • If you could do this assignment again, what would you do differently next time?
  • Did you think of creating any other thing before choosing this topic
  • What helped you to come up with this idea?
  • Did you make any revisions before the work was finished?
  • Janet

Assessment FOR Creativity: What Would It Look Like?

Today, more than ever, educators are aware and therefore dissatisfied with the methods of teaching and assessment that we’ve used for decades. The challenge now is how to promote student’s self learning as well as encourage creativity in students. That’s what led me to take Adobe’s edex course on creativity for educators. One thing led to another. Now I’m sharing the nuggets on assessing creativity which I find worthwhile to anyone interested in promoting creativity in themselves and those within their influence, because as we all know, bosses will be best served if they know how to challenge their workers to be more creative instead of simply having workers who behave like robots completing a set of well defined tasks. Ciao!

creativiteach

WordleAssessment is front and center in just about every educational venue today. Whatever we want to develop in schools, we need to think about how it relates to assessment.

To me, one of the most important concepts in assessment is Stiggins’ differentiation of assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning. Assessment OF learning, of course, is assessment mainly focused on evaluation, letting us know how much students have learned. Assessment FOR learning is primarily designed to help students learn, by giving students and teachers the information they need.

I have said before that the distinction Stiggins made has caused me to contemplate a parallel relationship between assessment and creativity. Researchers have worked for years to develop assessments OF creativity—assessments that will help us recognize and evaluate creativity. But in schools, most assessments have other purposes. Since we must have assessments, let’s design them so they are supportive of students’…

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The Journey is the Destination

As an adult learner and an enterpreneur who entered the business world at a late stage I’ve had to juggle learning with managing a start up. Not an easy thing to do especially when you’re caring for children more than 80 hour a week.

My passion burns strong within me. I have hope because of my trust in God. When I read Dan Eldon’s words “The Journey is the Destination”, it resonated with me. It is what I learn and the change that I effect that matters and not the accolades or the diplomas that hang on my wall. Making the best of the moment matters the most. Being okay with introducing seven children to coding today (thanks to code.org) or using the fundamental tools in Adobe to teach students to create (thanks to Adobe Train the Trainer program) even as I reach for engaging ways to support my students creative thinking and seek funding to reach more students.

“The Journey is the Destination” is something that I can share with my students so that they can be okay with doing their best in the moment even when they are unsure of tomorrow.

Yes I Know It’s Christmas, Bob Geldof.

Let’s love without being patronizing. A teenager’s view on volunteering and giving in Africa. “Yes I Know It’s Christmas, Bob Geldof.” http://wp.me/p3g0lF-a2 via @Akua_O

Akua

Let’s Go Save Africa

saving africa

When I was younger, I remember telling my mum that I wanted to go and volunteer in some country like Cambodia or Haiti. Either that or I wanted to go work at the Osu Children’s Home. Ask me the first thing about those three places, then and now and I’m not going to be able to tell you. So why did I want to go and volunteer, if I know nothing, about these places? You could say that I felt some sort of complex concerning the people in those countries. In all honesty, I will say that it’s probably because I wanted to make my college application more attractive.

I felt that by going there for 2 months or less, and paying to do so by the way, I could give them something that they were incapable of doing themselves. But I wonder who is to…

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Month 3

Focused Statement

How do you use media to promote personalized learning in children 9 months through 5 years. In 2013, there is a plethora of educational software aimed at infants through preschool. In its effort to protect families from possibly over stimulating children aged zero through 5 years, The American Academy of Pediatrician (APA) updated their policy on media use among children (2013). The APA defined media to include cell phones, iPads, and social media. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrician discouraged families from introducing children younger than two years old to media (2013); a statement which can be deemed as overprotection or sweeping given the fact that more than 30% of children live in single parent homes or with neither parents (http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/famsoc1.asp) and the cell phone or other visual media such as skype is a major communication tool (Brenner (2013) reported that in May 2013, 92% of adults owed a cell phone and 21% of adults engaged in video chat or video call).

This project aims at identifying possible educational benefit in introducing media to children below the age of 6 years so that families and educators may feel empowered to re-examine the role of media in early childhood education.

Target Audience

The target age of my audience is children aged 9 months through 5 years. Given the APA stance on media usage, it will be difficult to get day cares in US to participate. I have therefore decided to go global. I will use Captivate and the web to produce an online version of the learning environment. My target audience will be US children who have had exposure to some form of media as compared to children in Ghana who have little or no prior contact with media. I would used the children at Christian Child Cares and candidates obtained through word of mouth and the social media in developed countries. In Ghana, I plan to contact Achimota primary school and two other preschools to get participants. Given children’s short attention span as well as the focus of the project (to find out how to promote self learning), children will be given the freedom to stay on an activity until tired/bored. Children can access when interested. Some level of pretesting will be done to find out children skill level before and after the program. Parents feedback will be sought before and after the project.

Critical Friends

My critical friends are: My professors at Full Sail University, two family members who are IDT specialists who would help me with the design and implementation of the project as well as help me with analyzing the result. My sister who is a mother and motivational speaker as well as parents and staff at Christian Child Cares would give immediate feedback on the impact of the project on their children.

Month 2

I have been involved in researches in the past so I saw the time frame for the research project was realistic. As Bandura (2005) noted “Theory building is a long haul, not for the short winded”. It would take time to read current trends and research that has been done, formulate the research design, find subjects and carry out the research and then record and write out the research finding. After all that is done, I would only be one step closer to finding the answer because one controlled project cannot be used to determine how human beings learn.  To come up with a firm conclusion of any kind, it will require multiple duplication of the project under varying circumstances as well as field studies and longitudinal studies to substantiate the fact.

I decided to embark on the Instructional Design and Technology program because I was unsatisfied with my level of expertise when it came to technology in the classroom. I wanted to know effective ways to teach interactive media to students so that they can be self-learners of technology.  In addition, there are a lot of nay sayers in early education when it comes to introducing interactive media to children ages zero to four. It is my intuitive guess, after working with students ages zero and up, that students aged 11 months and up can effectively use interactive media. Interactive media is still new to the public and most educators have yet to understand how to manipulate technology in the classroom. I suggest that instead of allowing the public to freely use interactive technology and then derive the benefits as well as the best methodology for promoting it in the classroom, educators have been encouraged to minimize its use in the classroom, especially with children aged 0 – 4 years. Child Cares programs that receive high ratings from accrediting bodies and other outside regulators such as Pennsylvania’s Keystone Stars have to conform with Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS-R). The ITERS-R advocates no screen time for children aged zero through two years (Harms  & Cryer, 2013). Children over 2 years are allowed 30 minutes a week of screen time (Harms  & Cryer, 2013). Keystone Stars definition of screen time is

The time that children have access to technology such as TV, video, computer, smart boards, video games, and hand held video games is all referred to as ‘screen time” (Wilson p. 2).

Thirty minutes screen time for 3 year olds includes the period that that child spends observing other children on the screen (Wilson p. 2). The Picard Center interpretes the ITERS-R statement on Item 23. “Use of TV, video, and/or computer” as a maximum of 10 minutes per child on the computer (p. 44). The Picard Center also postulates that computer is not required for children to learn.

Now, the market place has been busy taking advantage of the ease of using technology. Most applications for jobs and colleges entrance are completed online. Utility companies and banks are trying to get rid of paper billing. Government agencies have also done away with a lot of paper trail to reduce cost and to be efficient. Apple and other tech companies are producing applications for education.  There are over 100,000 apps in the education category of the iTunes app store alone (148apps.biz, 2013). Technology is here to stay.

That brings me to the reason for this project. What is happening in our childcares, elementary and school age programs? Unfortunately, these groups seem to trail behind in terms of technology use. Yet, this is the population that would be most affected by the change as they enter into the workforce. NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center (2012) in their position statement on technology recommend that early childhood educators need to “Select, use, integrate, and evaluate technology and interactive media tools in intentional and developmentally appropriate ways, giving careful attention to the appropriateness and the quality of the content, the child’s experience, and the opportunities for co-engagement” (p. 11). The question remains what is “appropriate” technology for children? In addition, how prepared is the staff in the childhood profession to guide students in learning and/or exploring using technology?

My project will look at the first question, what is appropriate technology for children ages 0 through 5. The immediate hurdle is obtaining children under the age of two years to participate in the project due to the educational profession’s interpretation given to American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement discouraging the use of media in children 2 years and younger (2011). I have limited funding to purchase the needed laptops or tablets for students use. I have to also decide on appropriate apps or games that I would use for the project. In order to get around the issue of age, I use mainly students in my childcare as well as children at my local church and another childcare facility. I would get permission from the parents and organizations for the project. I may be able to offer an hour of free childcare to the public in order to get more participants involved. I plan to start buying laptops and tablets as I get funds.  I would also research into apps for children and recommend it on social networks and ask for the public’s feedback on its usefulness before the start of my project. The above steps will limit the number of trials I would have to make. Due to ethical reasons, I cannot have any control in this project. I would use a before and after testing as well as a comparison with children in the general populace to help me in my decision-making. I need to do so because children ages zero through five mature cognitively at a rapid rate. Research showed that at birth a baby has 25% of adult brain but by age three, a child’s brain has developed up to 90% of the adult brain. Finally, given the many variables I need to consider, I would use the expertise of my professors to help me to design my project.

Reference:

148apps.biz (2013, October 28 ). Retrieved from http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/.

Bandura, A. (2005). The evolution of social cognitive theory. In Smith, K. G., &

Council on Communications and Media (2011, November 1). Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years PEDIATRICS Vol. 128 (5). p. 1040 -1045. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1040.full.pdf+html

Guernsey, L. (October 28, 2013). Roundtable on the Science of Digital Media and Early Learning. Retrieved from http://www.fredrogerscenter.org/blog/roundtable-on-the-science-of-digital-media-and-early-learning/

Harms, T & Cryer, D. (2013, September) Aditional Notes for Clarification for the ITERS-R Retrieved from http://www.ersi.info/PDF/NotesforClarification/ITERS-R%20Additional%20Notes%209-13.pdf

Hitt, M. A (Eds.) Great Minds in Management. (p. 9-35) Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Bandura/Bandura2005.pdf

NAEYC, & Fred Rogers Center. (2012, January). Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. Position Statement. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/PS_technology_WEB.pdf

The Picard Center. Retrieved from Windows of Opportunity: Creating Learning Environments Conducive to Play. Retrieved from http://www.picardcenter.org/Documents/Learning%20Environments.pdf

WilsonM. (n.d.) Notes for Clarification & PA Position Statements Do you have the current version? Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality. Fall/Winter 2012 to 2013. Retrieved from http://www.pakeys.org/uploadedContent/Docs/ERS/ERS%20News%20Fall%20Winter%202012%202013.pdf

Technology in Early Childhood Education

Today, the business world is very excited about technology. New and improved software/products seem to be popping out more than ever. One of the most recent is Apple latest OS system, Maverick. Microsoft Office is now mainly cloud based instead of CD based. Office 360 is offering a monthly subscription so that customers will remain up to date with the latest Office software instead of having a product that you can use for several years without renewing it.

This rapid change in the technology realm has created a lot of energy and movement in our world. Reputable universities are offering free courses online; something that may have been unthinkable just 5 years ago. Ten years ago, only a few people had cell phones. It was more common to have a landline and for mobile employees to have a pager. Today, cell phones such as Iphones are just as powerful as computers. We do not only have touch screen cell phones that are minicomputers but we have cell phone watches! What I have mentioned is just a tip of the iceberg because I am not techno-savvy.

The market place has been busy taking advantage of the ease of using technology. Most applications for jobs etc. are completed online. Utility companies, banks are trying to get rid of paper billing. Government agencies have also done away with a lot of paper trail to reduce cost and to be efficient. Apple and other tech companies are producing applications for education.  There are over 100,000 apps in the education category of the iTunes app store alone.

That brings me to the reason for this project. What is happening in our childcares, elementary and school age programs? Unfortunately, these groups seem to trail behind in terms of technology use. Yet, this is the population that would be most affected by the change as they enter into the workforce. NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center (2012) in their position statement on technology recommend that early childhood educators need to “Select, use, integrate, and evaluate technology and interactive media tools in intentional and developmentally appropriate ways, giving careful attention to the appropriateness and the quality of the content, the child’s experience, and the opportunities for co-engagement” (p. 11). The question remains what is “appropriate” technology for children? In addition, how prepared is the staff in the childhood profession to guide students in learning and/or exploring using technology?

References:

148apps.biz (2013, October 28 ). Retrieved from http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/.

Guernsey, L. (October 28, 2013). Roundtable on the Science of Digital Media and Early Learning. Retrieved from http://www.fredrogerscenter.org/blog/roundtable-on-the-science-of-digital-media-and-early-learning/

NAEYC, & Fred Rogers Center. (2012, January). Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. Position Statement. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/PS_technology_WEB.pdf