Mobile Minimalism: Teaching on the Go

Creative Commons License photo credit: improbcat

In my new DIY Eduversity life this year, I’ll be working with students in four different physical spaces. Two of those spaces require that I bring the classroom to the children. ((Afternoons will be student-directed, and they are on their own! I’ll provide the library card, internet acces, a bin, and moral support… not in charge of fly tying kits or war books or nature experiments.))

I should rephrase that, because I’d like to leave the word classroom and all of it’s connotations out of the picture. I need to bring rich, functional, adjustable learning supplies to students in order to meet personal learning goals as needed. Every item needs to be multi-functional and student determined.

I talked it over with several of my students (and yes, they are also my children), and asked if they would prefer to bring a backpack with their personal supplies or have them in a set place that I provide. Surprisingly, they preferred the latter.

I do too, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. ((Something about student personal responsibility and also about teacher control of the space is bugging me… not sure what exactly.))

My current thought is to purchase two storage trunks with wheels- one for Daily 5 Literacy plus tech and soft furnishings, and another for Daily 5 Math plus games and manipulatives. I’d rather have one, but I don’t think I can fit 8 student bins for math and for literacy in one bin, along with the other paraphernalia ((First time I’ve noticed that there was a ‘r’ in that word… para-fern-a-lia? I’ve always said/thought/read ‘fen’.)) I want to have available.

Locker 1 (Literacy):

  • Student bins w/ choice books, notebook, grammar workbook
  • iPod Touch (2?) w/audiobooks, ebooks, dictionary, apps like Boggle & Chicktionary
  • Laptops (2)
  • Multi-functional games (Bananagrams tiles, word magnet sets)
  • Personalized lap desks with magnetic & dry erase paint on one side
  • Soft furnishings- pop-up cube to read in, floor pillows (bungee to outside as needed)
  • Art supplies- scissors, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, mechanical pencils, mini playdough containers, wikistix

Locker 2 (Math):

  • Student bins w/ math textbook
  • Multi-function manipulatives (counters/game pieces, dice, pattern blocks, card decks)
  • Binders with math games in page protectors
  • Dry erase markers
  • Therabands and hand squishy balls
  • Science supplies as needed

Right now, I’m tweaking a “Mobile Learning” board on Pintrest. Help me adjust this concept and make it work for my 8 students. What would you add to this list? What would you take away? Would you head in a different direction entirely?

DIY Eduversity Enrollment

I’m enrolling in my own Teacher Preparation Program. Actually, it’s a Learner Preparation Program (LPP)… learning to be a better learner with young learners. Not unlike it’s counterpart, The School of Hard Knocks, this DIY Eduversity program will teach me much but will not grant any paper diploma for the knowledge I gain.

I’m enrolling in my own Teacher Preparation Program. Actually, it’s a Learner Preparation Program (LPP)… learning to be a better learner with young learners. Not unlike it’s counterpart, The School of Hard Knocks, this DIY Eduversity program will teach me much but will not grant any paper diploma for the knowledge gained.  There are no guarantees with this kind of education.  I don’t know what kind of future job this education will prepare me for. (Sound familiar?  This is the world our children are launching into…. where 65% of them will be in jobs we can’t even imagine right now.)

Here are my self-designed courses for the year:

  • DES 410 Integrating Technology in History & English Contexts for High School
  • DES 420 Sponsoring and Mentoring Intermediate Students
  • DES 430 Curriculum Design and Development for Personalized Learning Applications
  • DES 440 Technological Innovation for Small Schools
  • DES 450 Portable Learning Design: Mobility for Educators
  • DES 460 Global Collaboration for K-12 Students
  • INN 500 Student Led Learning: Personalization per Passion
  • INN 510 Detox for Educators
  • INN 520 Lab Credits at Thompson Innovation Lab
  • TWI 500 Lab Credits at Twitter University
  • BLG 600 Reflective Blogging: Documenting Learning
  • ANA 600 Inquiry in the Intermediate Classroom
  • ANA 610 Practicum at Anastasis Academy (6 hours per week)

I’ll be developing the specifics for each course and tagging posts for each as I progress through the year in order to document my learning.  I reserve the right to ‘Drop & Add’ as I go…. I’ll probably even rename a course or two.

Ultimately, I chose this path because I did not want to become a traditionally trained educator. I have yet to find a teacher preparation program that provides the kind of education that I need to complement my experiences, interests, and passions and prepare me to be the kind of teacher/learner that I want to be.  There are courses here and there, like those taught by Dean Shareski @shareski and Alec Couros @courosa , that are headed in the right direction. In the end, I’m taking responsibility for my own education, personalizing my learning, and preparing myself for an unknown job.

Risky? Maybe. I won’t have a ‘certificate’ or ‘license’ or a Masters degree. Right now, that matters in public education. But I trust that there will be a place for me in the future…. a place for people of all ages who have created their own educational path with the vast resources available to us through technology and personal connections.

Want to know more about how you can do something similar? Check out Anya’s @anya1anya  DIY University book and free Edupunk’s Guide to a DIY Credential.

(And if you know of a university or college who would work with me to give actual graduate credit for the courses above, please let me know. Will pay for credit, but won’t give up control of my learning!)