Reflections this week… From STEM, to Finland, to Dale’s Cone of Experience

A graphic organizer is a type of advance organizer…

During my tenure at Virginia Tech, I first learned about Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience. The gist of this graphic depiction is that learning is maximized with abstraction after experience. In other words, if you want to learn about something well, it’s best to experience it before we, say, read it. My classic example is one of popcorn. If you want to really know everything about popcorn, it’s best that you eat it. Smell it, taste it, consume it. This multi-sensory experience will always beat reading an article about… popcorn. Dale’s Cone made its way into today’s professional development session today. Today I worked with division-wide secondary social studies and career and technical teachers on From Images to Infographics. I think the session went well. You can read more about it here, on my work blog.

The more deeply we continue with what some call technology integration in schools, I focus upon pedagogy, not the technologies. This is a dangerous pursuit, for the technology doesn’t ever stop advancing. The feedback I got from teachers was positive; they told me the presentation was practical and we used a variety of software to explore the power of imagery in the form of graphic organizers (as a subset of advance organizers), and I gave them a taste of infographics, before we created our own. I felt half-shamed, but one of the lessons I had to teach today was that graphic organizers can be used as appetizers or desserts, and because of that, I introduced the images of one Madeline C. Hunter (responsible for lesson plan design) and Ms. Paula Deen (who seemingly needed no introduction, as she was immediately recognized by everyone in the room). The tools we spent hands-on time with today included paper, pencil, Inspiration 9, Keynote, and Apple’s Pages for constructing the map infographic referenced in the blog link above.

Where’s the parsley? All I am finding are stems

On Tuesday, I gave a talk at the ITTIP/Longwood University STEM summit in Farmville. I found some math resources from Shodor.org to be good, and downloaded their app on the spot called MathFlyer. Also learned about the augmented reality app being developed at Radford University called FreshAir by Dr. Dunleavy. My talk centered around iOS apps for supporting STEM-based learning. Specifically, I spoke on ways we can approach STEM or even STEAM-D based learning in the context of a project-based pedagogy, including our own framework G21, as a model. The talk seemed well received. The favorite app of the day was Roller Coaster Physics.

Next, it’s time to prepare for two speaking events on March 13 (one will be in the evening in Goochland, on Digital Citizenship, with the audience being parents). I am wondering if I should stream it (as we will be streaming the board meeting, immediately following). I hope I can use some of the experience I had in EDLP 704 in working with my three great classmates Shawnya, Derrick, and Angie to strengthen my presence further. Recording ourselves was a good reflective process, as was comparing our work with that of our other classmates. I only wished we would have gotten immediate feedback in class. I found the process of preparing a presentation with others to be a different challenge; but it was one that was ultimately good for me. I learned from their experience and expertise and learned to compromise on my opinions to make the effort pay off to our collective best.

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Filed under Learning Reflections, Professional Reflections

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