Ultra Micro MOOC

This week I had the opportunity to create any massive open online course or MOOC of my choice.  Here is my idea.

In my Valuable Volleyball course my peers will master basic volleyball skills by practicing then creating a video project while utilizing the class discussion board.

1. Course Topic: Volleyball
2. Course Title & Photo:  Become a Valuable Volleyball Player
3. Who is coming to your course? What will attract them? Why would they want to participate in this experience?

The focus of this course to allow anyone that has ever wanted to play volleyball or had little experience playing to enhance basic skills and provide rules for play.  I would attract people by having the following in the course description.

You only live once so why not learn a skill you have been meaning to learn for some time now.  This interactive and collaborative learning course will have you completing the basic skills necessary to feel comfortable to begin playing on the court.  The best part is you can do so in the privacy of your own home if you chose.  The outline below shows the progression of the course.

I.  Introduction

A. Here you will get a chance to learn about myself, my passion for volleyball through play, being a referee and also a coach.

B. Students will post in the discussion their experience with volleyball, if any, why they decided to take the course as well as what they expect to gain from the experience.

C. Students will also be advised to read everyone else’s post and comment on two responses.

D. Students will be required to purchase a volleyball.  I will give instructions on how to tell what is a good volleyball, where they can buy one as well as how much they will cost.

E. Students will create a gmail account to have small group google hangouts.

II. Passing-Week 1

A. Students will be taught that this is the most important skill in volleyball and why through readings.

B. Students will watch a video, created by me, that demonstrates the proper way to pass a ball as well as common mistakes people make (ie bending their elbows, swinging their arms).

C. Homework-students will be required to pass the ball and work on having control both by passing against a wall and by passing to themselves.  Goal: Complete 50 passes without the ball dropping each day.  Turn in log via Googledoc of when you practice and short response of how you did each time.  I understand that there might be days where you cannot practice so shoot for practicing a total of two hours a week, however how you divide your time is up to you.

D. Small groups arrange a time as well as meet on google hangout to discuss difficulties and even watch each other to help perfect the skill.

III. Setting-Week 2

A. A brief description of setting will be taught through readings.

B. Students will watch a video that demonstrates the proper way to set a ball as well as common mistakes people make (ie not using fingertips, allowing the ball to spin).

C. Homework-students will be required to set the ball and work on having control both by setting against a wall and to themselves.  Goal: Complete 50 sets without the ball dropping each day. Continue the log of when you practice and short response of how you did each time.  Also, please continue to practice passing this week.

D. Small groups arrange a time as well as meet on google hangout to discuss difficulties and even watch each other to help perfect the skill.

IV. Hitting/Spiking-Week 3

A. A brief description of hitting will be taught through readings.

B. Students will watch a video that demonstrates the proper way to hit a ball as well as common mistakes people make (ie improper approach, holding your hand incorrectly).

C. Homework-since it is hard to hit properly without other players and a net, you will just be required to practice a spike approach and keep a log as well as watch an additional video on different players hitting the ball.

V. Serving(underhand and overhand)-Week 4

A. A brief description of serving will be taught through readings.

B. Students will watch a video that demonstrates the proper way to serve a ball as well as common mistakes people make (ie high toss, holding your hand high for underhand).

C. Homework-since it is hard to practice serving properly without a net, you will be required to watch an additional video on different players serving the ball.

VI. Rules-Week 5

A. This week basic rules will be given via readings.

B. To test your knowledge of these rules take the interactive quiz, using prongo, complete with videos and matching cards.

VII. Project-Week 6

A. Complete a video of what you have learned so far in the course that demonstrates the skills you have acquired.  You may do so using any software you are comfortable using.  I will give instructions on how to create a video if you have never completed one before. A rubric will be given also.

VIII. Online Exam-Week 7

4. What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done? (Connect your thoughts here to the learning theories you explored last week and the design principles you learned this week.) How long is your course experience?

Due to the fact that students are presented information, they get the chance to try to apply it and then reflect on it I am using the experiential learning theory in this class.  The reason I chose this method is because it has always worked well in my coaching experience when I am right in front of the students.  The only difference is they have to watch my video and not be allowed to practice in front of me.

This week we have been learning about instructional design.   It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs (Siemens, 2002).  The design I created facilitates learning using an instructional design plan by the using the following components.  The problem; not knowing how to play volleyball, instructional objective; learning a new skill each week and practicing that skill, essential content: logs and group chats, evaluation: logs and creation of the video and the final exam, and methods: videos, readings and group chats.

Also, the backwards design approach by Wiggins and McTighe helped me to formulate the design of the course by starting with my desired results, which is to help people interested in playing volleyball understand the basics skills necessary to play.  Next, the progression of the course required students to give feedback and evidence of practicing the skills. Last, the students create a video in which they show how much they have learned.

5. What will peers make?

Above you can see that students will create their own videos to demonstrate their learning of the basic skills.

6. Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course? (Again, connect to learning theories, instructional design and consider how TPACK comes into play.)

The google hangouts really allow the students to connect with their peers and learn from each other and possibly catch errors that one might not realize they are making.  This will really help them progress the skill as well as reflect on how they are doing. The course log via googledoc holds students accountable for completing practices but more importantly is that reflection piece of the experiential learning theory that really tells me how they think they are doing.  The integration of technology into the course is so incredibly relevant to create an interactive course.  Without it, it would just be reading and responding which not only makes for a boring class, but doesn’t ensure progression of the skills except in writing.

7. How will peers help each other in your course?

Answered in question 6.


Prongo. (n.d.). Quiz Station. Retrieved July 27, 2013, from http://www.prongo.com/quizstation/

Siemens, G. (2002). Instructional Design in ELearning, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/InstructionalDesign.htm

Volleytastic. (n.d.). Volleyball Rules. Retrieved July 27, 2013, from http://www.volleytastic.com/playing-volleyball/basic-volleyball-rules/

Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition.  Prentice Hall.  pg 13-33.


Maker Experiment #1

Course: Math

Grade Level: 6th

Topic: Review of Basic Math Facts (+, -, x, ÷)


In order to integrate my makey makey into my classroom, I had to imagine how I could see this device enhancing learning for my students.  At first, I experienced difficulty in relating this to the topics and objectives taught in class.  Then ideas began coming to me.

My last blog post focused on centers for a kindergarten classroom because I had trouble relating it to my own class.  I then came up with the idea of making game centers in my classroom with the makey makey.  There are always fast facts and mental math concepts that I want my students to brush up on and master so that they do not struggle with new concepts that contain these elements.  Therefore, I have created this lesson to reinforce their mental math skills and promote scaffolding in the future.

To introduce the makey makey the first part of the lesson would contain the math basketball game.  Here two players can compete where a mouse and a left click button would be necessary.  I would create the mouse with a toy mouse of some sort connected to the makey makey and for the left click, a basketball would signal when the shot would be released from the players hands.

After demonstrating how this works and allowing the students to try, I would use a constructivism approach next.  The constructivism approach means to allow students to build on previous knowledge developed from past experiences.  Meaning, my sixth grade students come to me and they are supposed to be excellent at adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  Unfortunately, students always need to reinforce this skill, specially following summer break.  To enhance their previous skills, I would have my students get into groups of three or four and let them know that they can either work together or take turns with the task.  Next, I will have them go to mangahigh.com.  A recent study showed that the work environment requires graduates to have skills to work collaboratively over distance and time (Kohut & Yon, 2013) .  I would then have them find a game to play from that website and also create a game pad using the makey makey.  This would allow for them to practice basic mental math skills.

Each game played on mangahigh requires the use of the numbers 1-9 and an enter key much like the figure below.  Therefore, I would have them create a game board that they can step on much like the dance games that are popular now.  For connectivity to work, students would have to shade in the numbers with their pencil and connect each number to the makey makey as well as create an enter key with an object of their choice.  Once it is connected correctly students may begin reviewing the concepts by playing the games all while using kinesthetic learning to step on the corresponding number answers.  Research shows that students reacted positively to the exercise and showed an improvement on their scores at both assessment periods (Melander & Wortmann, 2013).  

Through this review students can relearn the math facts that they forgot as well as have fun playing.   Feel free to let me know what you think of this review activity.



Constructivism. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(learning_theory)

Kohut, G. F. & Yon, M. G. (2013). Student Perceptions of Cognitive and Social Learning in Global Virtual Teams: A Pilot Study. The Journal of Effective Teaching13(1), 19-32.

Melander, L. A., & Wortmann, S. L. (2011). Activating Theory in the Introductory Classroom: Erving Goffman Visits Wisteria Lane. The Journal of Effective Teaching11(2), 75-86.

Creating Centers with the Makey Makey Kit

My assignment this week was to explore my makey makey kit and come up with an idea of my own.  Through exploring, I watched a YouTube video where a boy and his dad create a robot costume.  This really helped open my eyes to new ideas.  After watching the video, Thinking Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Pedagogy & Content, I could not stop thinking about how to integrate this technology into the classroom.  This video shows how important it is to allow our students to be creative and use technology to build on the skills that we teach.  Our future depends on allowing our students to play and create new ideas that are novel, effective and whole (Mishra & Koerler, n.d.).  That is when my idea was derived.

My idea to integrate makey makey into the classroom seemed to fit for a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten classroom.  Although I teach middle and high school students, I could not figure out a way to integrate into my own classes yet.  My creation would consist of five centers in the classroom, each containing a makey makey kit.  The centers five centers I chose are listed in the diagram below.


Center 1: Rhyming-This center would have objects attached to the makey makey kit that would say the name of the object when touched.  For example the six items at the table could be a cat, dog, bat, spoon, log, and a moon.  My idea stemmed from my findings at a thrift shop that had a ceramic cat and a stuffed dog. Students at this center could place the rhyming objects next to each other.  Potential problem: Having to move the objects would cause the wires to cross and tangle, also not sure if items picked could conduct electricity (although I am sure there is probably a way to ensure it).

Center 2: Music-This center I though would be a great start to playing music.  I really liked the piano idea on the makey makey website.  Therefore I would take a simple song like Mary had a Little Lamb (since it has only 4 chords) and connect the makey makey to four colors using colored pencil.  I would then have a play sheet that the students would have to follow but I would change the colors of the notes.  For example:  The red color when pressed would match to the first cord in the song and the yellow to the second and so forth.  Potential problem: This could be a complicated process for that age and might have to be modeled first and the students might just end up playing the music not the actual song, but that is still exploring.

Center 3: Shapes-This center would just have objects that attached to the makey makey that would say their names when touched.  For example: a box would say rectangular prism when touched and a 4×6 picture would say rectangle. Potential problem: Once again the connectivity of the object chosen.

Center 4: Counting-This center would be where the use of four different types of fruit connected would be fun.  For example: If a student touches the banana a recording would count to ten and then say you try.  If you touch the apple the recording would count to ten by two’s to introduce/reinforce skip counting and then say your turn.  An orange touched might skip count by fives.  Potential Problem: If there are multiple students working at this center and they are all touching a fruit they might not be able to hear well or repeat the counting.  However, if students are told that they have to take turns and one person must select a fruit at a time and they all repeat the information it could remove this problem.

Center 5: Animals- This center could be done in a few different ways.  Students could have animal objects connected so that when they touch the animal a recording would say the name of the animal and also the sound it makes.  It could even state what type of food the animal eats or where it lives.  Potential problem: Once again this would have to be a take turn center or else there would be a lot going on at once.

I hope you enjoyed my creation of centers using the makey makey kit.  While trying to think of a creation I tried to think of how I could relate it to a classroom.  I am very proud of what I have thought up.  Please leave comments on how you might change this so that it would work a little better.  Thanks for viewing.


Koehler & Mishra (2008) Howitz, S.  Teaching Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content and Pedagogy.  [Video file], Retrieved from Vimeo http://vimeo.com/39539571

Little Tikes Music Sheet [Online Image].  (2013) Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from http://www.littletikes.com/kids-toys/Mary-Had-A-Little-Lamb.html

Scuba Pupp. Robot Halloween Costume [Video File]. (2012) Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbcO5lvFu88

Remix Video

This week, I learned that everything created was derived and altered from previous work. This is called remixing.  Using Mozilla Popcorn, I was able to become a maker and create a remix video to show the importance of integrating technology into the classroom.  Children are growing up in a world of technology and if we deprive them of using technology we are doing them a disservice by not preparing them for their futures.  Technology engages the students as well.  Although the video may seem quite simple, the process of creating the video was difficult and there was a huge learning curve for me. 

When it comes to technology I am the type of person who likes to try to figure it out before asking for help.  It took a while to figure out which videos Mozilla Popcorn would accept and also to find out that I could not import pictures.  From here, I watched a helpful video that showed me how to insert text and pop ups.  I also found two types of music by searching through SoundCloud and looking for a slow classical song as well as a fun classical song to help the transition of my video.  One of the hardest parts was making the timing right meaning where one video ended the other had to start.  In addition, it was difficult finding the exact time that I wanted a clip of the video to begin and end.  The biggest problem I had was uploading the video.  I have been uploading it for close to two hours now and it is still not complete.  I am not sure if this is normal or not.

Now that I have completed this project I feel like I could create another video in half the amount of time.  I did feel an enormous sense of accomplishment after completing it.  I hope you enjoy and that my video works.