Category Archives: English Poetry

Flipping the Classroom: Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel, Find Pre-Made Video Resources Online

There has been a lot of talk lately around the theory of ‘flipping the classroom’. Essentially, students preview lesson material and lectures at home to make time to do more hands-on, collaborative activities in class.
Watch the following short video or view this infographic for more details.
Source: Center for Teaching and Learning

However, what teacher has the time to create a high quality video for each lesson?

Allow me to be so bold as to say: no teacher.

Though I have seen success from teachers who simply record themselves teaching a lesson at the front of the class or from an aerial view then posting it in a place students can access such as on YouTube or school LMS. This simple act allows the student to pause or rewind any confusing parts of a lesson which promotes self-regulation in the learner.

Further, I have also seen success from teachers who record their screens during a lesson using tools such as EduCreations or the recording feature on SmartBoards. What’s great about this format is the accompanying online learning community of educators who have posted their own lessons to share. You could further check out places such as OpenEd or Share My Lesson for lesson sharing in a video format.

Flipping the classroom has many benefits: instead of students listening to a transmissive, passive lecture, teachers can utilize the collaborative environment of the classroom by guiding cooperative and exploratory tasks. It also frees up the teacher’s time to provide personalized instant feedback to students and differentiate instruction by pulling small groups of learners to work with.

However, there are many problems to the flipped classroom as well. What if the students don’t do their homework? What if there were technology issues? What if every subject teacher expected a student to learn lesson content the night before (how many hours of homework is that??)

The more prominent downfall I spotted in my sideline analysis of the flipped classroom is that student grew tired of the format. Making an educational video entertaining is a hard feat! Creating even a simple animation or instructional video to accompany or substitute a face-to-face lesson takes much effort and time on the teacher’s part.

What I realized is that I did not have to create the video myself – what it came down to is finding the best resource to fit my teaching needs. Why re-invent the wheel? Luckily there are many free educational video resources available online.

Cris TurpleVideo Resources for LessonsFollow On

I’ve also learned when it comes to the flipped classroom, as with anything, it works best in moderation. I appreciate many educational benefits to ‘flipping the classroom’. But I also am going to teach a lesson in the format which I feel worked best for the topic and my learning goals.

For instance, I chose to flip a lesson during a speeches unit I taught. In this lesson, I had students view Martin Luther King Jr.’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech at home, identifying literary devices and observing the vocal skills used in the speech. By flipping the lesson, students could view the video as many times as they liked. For the in-class lesson, we discussed the answers in groups and as a class before viewing another video which deconstructs the speech.

I used the extraordinarily user-friendly site Ted Ed Lessons to create this lesson, along with embedded instructions, formative assessment , and discussion forum.

The website sends the lesson creator a link to view what students have started the lesson and to review progress. Other teachers can also customize the lesson to suit their needs.

 

Exploring Culture, Identity, and Representation through Art Education

ploration of culture, identity, and representation. This realization was particularly important to explore on a more meaningful level in the multicultural learning environment of my school.


How are educators to challenge the assumptions surrounding culture?

How will we decide whose voices will be heard?

One approach to facilitate learning surrounding culture and identity is through art education. Art can provide us with a tangible object to discuss intangible concepts of identity, and help bring words and understanding to such abstruse constructs. Art is experienced through the senses and acts as a window into cultural representation. The representational power of art is intertwined with the interpretation of symbols used to communicate cognitive processes that are unique to each person. The creation of art can also be used to help students construct meaning surrounding culture and identity.

As an art educator, Stacy Friedman explores issues of racism through puppetry. She has students design, create and script puppets with a commentary on conflicts surrounding identity representations. She notes that the puppets “serve as sort of metaphorical Trojan horses helping us to enter into uncomfortable discourse through a seemingly benign medium” (2). Friedman’s intent is that the puppets open up a door to higher critical thinking and have the potential to become a mechanism for exploring the thoughts and voices of others. Art is an individual encounter based on the mental filters and prior experiences of a specific person.


French artist JR’s street art toys with identity by challenging preconceptions and reductive images propagated by advertising and the media. He work can be found in war-torn and conflict ridden areas of developing countries. JR snaps black and white portraits of local people and literally pastes blown up paper photocopies of these images in the streets. Powerful images of women were pasted around a slum in Kenya, Israeli and Palestinian portraits were placed next to one another in the Middle East, and portraits lined the streets of poor areas of India. JR does not explicitly explain the meaning of his art but instead allows the audience to interpret the art themselves by collecting the stories of those featured in his portraits. He also notes that his projects aid in the construction of his own mindset regarding culture and identity.




















Shouldn’t students become producers of art as an alternative to the traditional 

consumption-centred model to emancipate students from media bias 

and offer a different perspective of how meaning is created?

Authorship of media texts and tangible art can be applied to forms of critical analysis that “open up alternative positions from which students can think, debate, act” (3). Not only can art serve as a surrogate of abstract ideas surrounding culture, but the “truths” about identity and culture can be interrogated and constructed through the production of artifacts.

  1. Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  2. Friedman, S. (2004). Responsibility and re/presentation: Reflection on digital video and puppet-based inquiry.
  3. Goldfarb, B. (2002). Students as producers. Visual pedagogy: Media cultures in and beyond the classroom (pp. 57-83). Durham: Duke University Press.

Using the Power of the Internet to Connect People

Online performance artist Ze Frank’s discusses his “web playroom” in the video below. Traditionally, art endevours have been transmissive and do not involve the audience, whereas Ze Frank utilizes technology to connect humans to one another. What resonated with me was his pursuit “to feel and be felt.” This is not a new idea, but rather a long time need for humans which has been augmented by the development of new technologies. It is a concept I think our Generation Z students struggle with on a daily basis.

I find the idea of interactive art is very common in Asia. Around the city there are frequently art exihibtions which encourage interaction from the audience. Holiday decorations are even built as small cities meant to be walked through and experienced. Last November, there was a participatory show in Hong Kong called MURS described as an immersive, interactive outdoor Smart show.

This show really hit home with me because it brought a crowd of complete strangers together in an engaging manner. In a city like Hong Kong, with one of the highest population densities in the world, a place where you are NEVER alone (quite literally unless you are in your home) there is an overwhelming sense of disconnect among the people. I still cannot believe how lonely it can feel standing in a large crowd of people. Hong Kong is a city always on the go: people are in a rush to commute, aggressive to close a business deal, storefronts and buildings are in a constant renovation cycle, and the workforce is transient. All these factors contribute to a place where no one feels grounded and are aching to connect. I think this is one of the reasons an interactive show like this was so popular, and why art which brings people together goes viral.

In my eyes this is one of the greatest capabilities of new technologies for educational purposes. Teachers can transcend the walls of their classrooms to reach audiences around the globe. I have long been a fan of Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR Model which helps educators to think about HOW they are using technology.

Is a technology just a different way of doing the same old task or it is adding something and transforming the learning experience? 

I often refer back to this model when working with teachers to help them move up the ladder. Technology seems a bit less daunting when there are clear goals laid out to assist tech integration.

Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest

Gamifying Education: Not Just Playing Video Games

The observed motivators which engage children in free play are tantamount to the key elements found in games (1). Further, it is no question that video games are a dominant entertainment form in the twenty-first century and have the capabilities to engage users (2). Such game mechanics are beginning to be applied outside the immersive environments of games themselves, to create engaging experiences for participants in the real world. Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking and game elements to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self contributions (3).

The gamification of education is NOT just playing video games in the classroom – sometimes it doesn’t involve digital technologies at all.

Research reveals that the longer students stayed in school, the less likely they are to attend and feel engaged in their classes (4). Yet, game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail and problem solving skills – all behaviors that would be ideal for students to possess in the classroom. Games are important as they embody four elements associated with how people learn; games are “immersive, they require players to have goals and make frequent decisions, they adapt to each player, and they unfold within the context of a community that supports the social dimension of learning” (5). Through the new media literacies of play and performance, players of games have the capacity to experiment with their surrounding as a form of problem solving, and can practice improvisation from varying perspectives (6). Guiding learners through the curriculum by encouraging thought and action is the foundation of intellectual engagement and aids students in the development of original work, collaboration, and confidence as knowledge-builders (4).

I synthesized my understanding of academic literature to create this visualization of the key elements of gamification:

Special thanks to @TyRiddick for his input.

The gamification of education supports the constructivist theory where knowledge is not simply transmitted from teacher to student, but actively constructed by the mind of the learner (7). Games allow for role play and the immersion in experience through situated practice (8). Well-designed games allow for players to “construct understanding actively, and at individual paces, and. . . enable players to advance on different paths at different rates in response to each player’s interests and abilities, while also fostering collaboration and just-in-time learning” (1). Since the cycle between choice and result is much shorter in games than in life, hypotheses are regularly tested and refined, lowering the emotional stake of failing and encouraging risk taking (6). With this increased willingness to experiment, players continue to make choices, contextualizing facts and information as tools for problem solving (9). The intrinsic motivations instilled in players of games is only increased through extrinsic positive or negative reinforcements such as awards, achievements, or loss of power often found in games. This sort of operant conditioning affects the users’ choices if faced with a similar scenario later in the game (10). Students are forced to use their power of reasoning to construct knowledge for themselves when immersed in a game, no matter their age. The relevance of these capacities beyond a games context, form the basis of a modern literacy that should be developed by all young people.

See my (first) stop-motion video explaining the four principle elements in game that make them engaging to users:

James Paul Gee is a psycholinguistics researcher who has crossed over into literacy and learning. His book “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy” is an excellent account of gaming principles and discuses how these elements can be applied to the k-12 classroom.

Again, gamification is not playing video games – it in the idea that the elements of video games can be applied in other areas.

See the video below for an overview of his work:

  1. Klopfer, E., Osterweil, S. and Salen, K. (2009). Moving learning games forward: Obstacles, opportunities & openness. The Education Arcade. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    2.Prensky, M. (2001). Chapter 5: Fun, play and games: What makes games engaging. Digital Game-Based Learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Deterding, S., Sicart, M., Nacke, L., O’Hara, K. & Dixon, D. (2009). Gamification: Using game design elements in non-gaming contexts. Vancouver: CHI.
  3. Willms, J. D., S. Friesen, & P. Milton (2009). What did you do in school today? Transforming classrooms through social, academic and intellectual engagement — First national report. Toronto, ON: Canadian Education Association.
  4. Mouza, C. and Lavigne, N. (eds). 2013. Chapter 1: Emerging technologies for the classroom. Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems, and Performance Technologies. New York: Springer Science and Business Media.
  5. Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media Education for the 21st century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  6. Piaget, J. & B. Inhelder (1967). A child’s concept of space (F. J. Langdon & J. L. Lunzer, Trans.) New York: Norton (Original work published 1948).
  7. New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review. 66(1), 60-92.
  8. Gee, J.P. (2003). What video games can teach us about literacy and learning. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  9. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan

HOPE NEVER RESULTS A NOPE

Hope our eyes will never tell a lie,
And our confidence level will never die.
poems and literature
poems and literature
Hope the forests will always remain clean and green,
And the earth will enjoy this frabjous scene.
Hope our good dreams will come true,
And nobody in this planet will rue.
Hope the sun always keep shining,
And for UV Protection, ozone will always form a thick lining.
Hope everyone live in peace and harmony,
And no one will perform any illegal activity for more money.
Hope all humans will perform their assigned passionate roles,
And everyone reach their desired goals.
But most important thing is to keep scope of hope,
Which will never result a nope.

-Sahaj Sabharwal  

( Author of Book “Poems by Sahaj Sabharwal” )

-Jammu city, 

Jammu and Kashmir, India .

TRANQUIL NIGHT DREAM

dreams.jpg
Night dream is just a virtual world,
Till it is boundless and not bold.
A good night dream, 
Resembles a fresh, white, well toned cream.
Sleeping in tranquil night,
Aiming to achieve the goal at any height.
To get real success in any field,
Even night dream works to provide us the courage to yield.
In the mind of a stakeholder,
Mostly the goal got the platform and support as a strengthened shoulder.
Just hardwork and luck can help us achieving aim,
Which is just a night dream which has now been achieved and not just fame.
-Sahaj Sabharwal
-Jammu city,
Jammu and Kashmir, India .

 

LARGE RESULTS IN A LITTLE

sucess
Large numbers of rain drops,
Results in a little water body .
Large quantities of water,
Results in a little pure water.
Large number of books,
Results in a little competitive knowledge. 
Large number of pages,
Results in a little  book.
Large number of mistakes,
Results in a little problem. 
Large number of problems,
Results in a little solution.
Large amount of cereals,
Results in a little grain.
Large number of trees,
Results in a little green area.
Large number of achievements, 
Results in a little praise.
Large amount of hardwork,
Results in a little success.
 

-Sahaj Sabharwal
-Jammu city,
Jammu and Kashmir,
 India .

INNER VOICE

Inner voice
Inner Voice is a voice 
Which expels when no choice.
 
Tolerance is silent inside noise
Which becomes dangerous crime’s base.
 
Including burning heart cries
Which ignites when blood dries.
 
Tension reaches greater heights 
Which internally firmly bites.
 
Rascal when kept inside cine
Which hurts the mind, nothing fine. 
 
Work done with high anger line 
Which destroys the surroundings,no mistake mine.
 
Feeling high tempered alone 
Which everyone notices but not shown.
 
No friend here,just God is one
Which spreads blessings just like sun.
                                       -Sahaj Sabharwal 
                                      -Pacca Danga, 
     -Jammu city ,Jammu and Kashmir, India. 
                                       – Dps,Jammu.

 

REVENGE TIME

revenge timeRevenge time has come near,
Now, it’s your turn to be in fear.
Chance will be allotted  to you to try any gear,
But no one can stop me to watch your face in tear.
Forgiving time is over,
Even it was my mistake to start my process slower.
Your mistakes have reached the brim of the tower,
It’s guranteed that you will blame yourself forever.
It’s my open threat,
That it will be difficult for you even to take last breath.
Sure that you always remain meathead,
Guranteed that you might be in hell even after death.
No one can dare to stop me doing such an end,
In which each part of its body will rend.
Even God will help me in form of temporary lend,
By not punishing me for such an offend.
Be prepared for your last day on earth,
Now remember those crimes you did from the beginning of your birth. 
You destroyed many people’s hearth, 
Even after that you were in heartless mirth.
Now see what is going to happen with you,
For you it will be something new.
All the problems will stick with you like glue,
Excitement is of watching your life’s end view.

-Sahaj Sabharwal
-Jammu city,
Jammu and Kashmir,
 India .

Reservation in Promotion

India is a republic
Known by the public
People have the supreme power
Our Constitution does empower
Our elected representatives one and all
Rule on the behalf of the people
Run the governmental administration
Make laws and legislation
To ensure smooth functioning of economy
To ensure society from any anomaly
To ensure social justice and equality
To nurture love, respect and fraternity
To uplift the backward
To bring them forward
We devised reservation system
Based on caste system
I found boundary line diluting
After coming from rural to urban area
Perceived and became part of India shining
Without knowing caste and creed, with all dining
I found people asking not caste
But category, yes the categories
Created by the reservation system
The spirit of equality and social justice got sidelined
Instead of making progressive India
New social order got defined
The rich among the so called reserved categories
Enjoy the benefit of the reservation
The poor are still poor in poverty
The real benefit is not ensured
Aren’t we sustaining an unfair practice?
In the name of equality and social justice
How will an office perform well
When his juniors will take charge of him
To do this and do that he will tell
In spite of poor performance
Lower knowledge and experience
The reserved categories will get placed higher
How this will ensure performance better
The system of fair practice
Selection based on qualification will fail
The reservation in promotion is a bad item
Wrapped in beautiful packet
An infectious racket
This will usher in the revival of spoil system
Shashikant Nishant Sharma
Poet and Writer