In the DLL program, one of my favorite sayings has been “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals”, or BHAGs. This week, I had the opportunity to plan to design a course for my students that would have a significant impact on my innovation plan. It allowed me the opportunity to reflect deeply on how I was going to align my expected outcomes, assessments, and activities to the significant learning environment I am working to create in my makerspace/blended learning hybrid classroom.
In preparation for laying out my course design, I spent time reflecting on many factors. I thought about the authenticity of my project, as well as the background of my learners. As the idea for building an additional playground was just presented at last week’s board meeting, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity for my students to become part of this real-world problem. They have a lot of background knowledge on the local playgrounds, both those at school and those in the community. It seemed to be the perfect activity to combine real-life and play! I also spent time reflecting upon my own technology goals for this point in the year. I have been looking for a natural way to incorporate my student’s skills in Scratch, as well as work towards utilizing our newly-purchased 3D printer. These reflections then led me to create my BHAG and learning outcomes for the course.
Throughout this plan, I’ve worked to incorporate many different types of thinking and learning. Students will be immersed in practical, creative, and critical thinking. They will be using ideas that are familiar to them (cost and safety) to influence their planned designs and the direction of their projects. I’m most looking forward to seeing how the students personally connect to the course material and how their experiences in problem-solving will help them create meaningful connections to other areas of their lives. It is my hope that this course allows students to develop the desire to become involved with other initiatives throughout the school year and shows them that technology is a tool that can help bring your big ideas to life in ways that you may not have imagined.