I did a lot of reading and thinking about personalized learning last week, and this week I wanted to find a way to use my Makey Makey to personalize learning. The examples of personalized learning environments that I read about in my research last week were all very fancy – systems used computers to track student progress, learning preferences, etc. and design assignments and tasks specifically to lead each student to mastery. This is incredible, of course, but for many school districts this type of system isn’t feasible because of the cost. This week I had the opportunity to collaborate with some of my CEP 811 colleagues about our maker projects and the topic of personalized learning came up in our conversation. Someone referenced the fancy systems and how much they cost and we discussed how we can use the tools we have to personalize learning. It could be as simple as videotaping lessons so students can play them back and work through the content at their own pace. That conversation got me thinking about personalizing learning in a different way, using the tools that I have available, which at this point are computers and the Makey Makey. I think that a key component to a personalized learning environment is that “students are allowed as much time as they need to achieve mastery…rather than being forced to move on to the next topic even if they have not yet mastered the skills and understandings for the current topic” (Yildirim, 722). So, this idea of allowing students to repeat and review a concept until they have mastered it became a key component of my lesson. I also designed it so that students can receive immediate feedback about their responses and check their own understanding.
For this lesson, I created two different activities using Scratch. This program allowed me to create exactly the type of activity that I had envisioned. It took some figuring out, but honestly, if I can do it, anyone can 🙂 Several hours (and a lot of chocolate) later I am very happy with my products! I also made a controller using the flap of a diaper box, some tinfoil and tape. The controller is connected to the Makey Makey and allows students to move the sprites (Scratch characters) without touching the keyboard, similar to a video game controller. As part of the lesson, students will make their own controllers to use for the activities.
So, without further ado, here is my Maker Lesson Plan.
Students will have a handout that they will complete as they follow along with the activities (this is a Google Doc copy so that it can be viewed online. The actual student version is a MS Word document and looks a little cleaner).
The activities are demonstrated in the video below, and can be found (and played!) at the links that follow:
Enjoy, and let me know if you try the games!
P. Laurain, S. Lohitsa, S. Nowak, R. Rassel, B. Rimes, A. Scott, J. Shelley, M. White. Personal conversation. June 10, 2015.
Yildirim, Z., Reigeluth, C. M., Kwon, S., Kageto, Y. & Shao, Z. (2013). A comparison of learning management systems in a school district: searching for the ideal personalized integrated educational system (PIES). Interactive Learning Environments, 22:6, 721-736. doi: 10.1080/10494820.2012.745423. Retrieved from Michigan State University:http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/docview/1653146621/C4B4CB20DA354200PQ/5?accountid=12598