Another year, another #oneword post for me to share with the world. In 2017 my word was Voice. While I don’t know if I did that the way I was planning on doing it, I definitely found my voice in a few new ways. I certainly didn’t blog more and I also don’t think I am more active on twitter. I did however give my first ignite talk thanks to friend and fellow innovator Kat Goyette during Tech Rodeo. I presented in new an interesting places, started a YouTube show, became an innovator mentor, and had my words published in two collaborative projects (one upcoming in 2018). I published a second children’s book and have nearly finished an education book on professional growth, a writing that is significantly longer than anything I have ever done. I have moved much of my voice from the 140 character blasts to address greater hopes.
I always find it important to reflect on the year through this lens. It reminds me that of where I was last year at this time, where I am now, and where I want to go.
This year my one word is Grateful. I have a tendency to look to the future. I also tend to focus on what I still want to accomplish. There are so many things. The unfortunate side effect is that I don’t take time to stop and take stock of the wonderful and amazing things I have in my life.
I have a great many things to be grateful for in life. This year I plan to find ways to appreciate them. I haven’t decided if it will be a weekly blog post, video, podcast, or something totally different. I have decided however to take some time each week to reflect on something for which I am grateful.
I am grateful for my incredible family and the joy we had this year in welcoming our baby boy Lucas. I am grateful for having had so many incredible opportunities of the past few years. I am grateful for the wonderful people I have found as mentors, friends, and connections that have helped me achieve so many of my goals. I am and always have been someone who looks upon the horizon, trying to reach out for the next step. It is time for me to take stock of the many reasons to be grateful, large or small and to be mindful of all the good I have found in my life.
Coding in the classroom, thank goodness we did that for that one week in December. Time to put it away until next year when we can give a single week to Computer Science yet again. Most people don’t really say that, but that is the way Hour of Code is treated all too often. We celebrate and become aware of this important field for a few days or maybe even a few weeks before moving on. What doesn’t happen? We don’t find ways to meaningfully integrate code into our student’s experiences of education. It isn’t about using coding in some way that is separate from the rest of life, but in using it to solve problems, create new things, and express what we know.
If you are lost in that endeavor, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are many coding opportunities to continue the learning for you and your students. I have never written about a product specifically before, but CoSpaces is something I use often with my own students.
One of my favorite ways to incorporate coding is through projects in CoSpaces. CoSpaces is the combination of two incredible fields in computer science: Virtual Reality and Coding. With this students can create anything in a 3 Dimensional world and make it come to life. In my classroom I have used it for multiple subjects. It tends to be easy for the classes to pick up and hard for them to put down.
The best part about CoSpaces though, is their responsive, helpful team of developers who meet the needs of their users as often as possible. I am thankful to share with the world that they are doing that once again by creating a new, FREE version of CoSpaces Edu. That’s right, so, one less excuse for integrating some meaningful computer science into your regular curriculum. I don’t often talk products, and in fact I am typically a big proponent of trying everything and or making your own. In this case, there simply isn’t anything else like it.
You can read about CoSpaces Edu Basic here: CoSpaces Edu Basic Press Release.
I have also posted a few projects my classes have done using CoSpaces Edu on our Fernwood’s Future Site.
Here is a preview of the possibilities I made last year. Since then it has gotten to be even better!
SO if you started with #HourOfCode start taking the next steps. Start coding actual learning experiences with your kids. It provides them with incredibly meaningful opportunities that will engage your kids in new ways.