Final Reflection

As I sit here, in the last moments of this course, before everything is due and really take a few moments to think about what we have accomplished over the past 14 weeks, what we have created, and learned, and read, and analyzed, two distinct projects come to my mind for two different, however related reasons.

The first project that really stands out to me from this semester was the code is beautiful unit. I absolutely loved this session of the course. I must say, I have always wanted to learn more coding than just code.org and scratch, and this course gave me the ability to do so. I never knew about code academy before, and I cannot say, if left to my own devices, if I would have ever taken it upon myself to start a course on code academy without the push from class. When I chose HTML it stemmed back from when I was a kid and would play the online game "Neopets". If anyone knows this game, they know that one of the fun aspects of it was of course playing all the games and trying to get the coolest Neopets, but also was designing your "shop" and your user-page. Now when I was kid, I would go and google "Neopet shop background HTML". I never quite realized what HTML was. When I got older, I realized HTML was a type of coding, and became interested in learning it, I just never had the opportunity or the push to go learn it. Code academy really gave me that option, and ability, and I loved how the lessons were set up to walk even the most novice coder learn a new style of code. I am also so glad to have learned about this coding website because I feel it is a great resource for our students. This is a wonderful way for all ages to learn how to code once students grow beyond the code.org and scratch level and need more of a challenge.

Here is my language log with my reflections from the whole code is beautiful course:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GypXXdb46V21doSSPtuj466emtHKSjuJ8DkNpM6oCSY/edit?usp=sharing

The other unit that really stood out to me this semester was the robotics unit. Now having completed most of the robotics work in the January Intersession course, I struggled with my assignment for this course. Leanne and I were giving the task simply to "create something new and exciting with the robots".... WHERE WAS I TO GO WITH THAT?! Was the question I asked myself over and over and over (times a million) for a solid week. I tried looking for ideas on Pinterest, I tried tweeting to twitter communities about it, I googled it... and still I was drawing a blank. Then one day I was watching You Tube videos about mBots, and there was a video of two robots that had balloons tied to the back of them, and a long arm with a pin connected, and the users were controlling their robots t drive around to pop the other robots balloon. I thought this was SO COOL. So I started looking for more videos of what people did with two mBot robots. This was wen Leanne and I decided that two is always better than one, and we were going to work together on our robot project. We met up and started playing around with our robots coding them in the same way and seeing what happened, playing with one robots code, controlling the robots by the remotes, etc. It was fun to collaboratively work with someone else and "play". That's the best way to describe it. We were brainstorming and we were problem solving, but at the end of the day it just felt like we were playing! Ads an educator, being abe to be on the other side, the learning side and experience how learning can be play was eye-opening. It was so much fun, and so cool. We tell our students how much fun learning can be, but until you really have that "play" learning experience don't think it really hits you as to how true that statement actually is.
Another big factor with the robots that I took away was when I worked on my Robot dance... I must say this was one of the most frustrating experiences for me. And because of this, it was the best experience. I learned through this mBot experience how it can feel for my students weather it is them struggling with a math problem, ELA essay, or a programing issue. No matter what issue they are having with any assignment given to them, I 110% felt their pain that day. It was a great experience because not only did I learn more about myself and my persistence level (which I'm happy to say was very high, I wasn't about to let that little guy beat me!), but I learned empathy for all of m students who have ever come to me grim faced and upset because they don't get it.

Here are some links to my mBot programs from this course:
Dance - http://pacecommons.org/blog/view/1137/and-when-you-get-the-choice-to-sit-it-out-or-dance
Other Work - http://pacecommons.org/blog/view/1129/mbot-video

All in all, I must say I really did learn a lot from this course and I am glad I was able to take it, to continue my learning in technology education. I think my next step is to get bac onto code academy and take another coding course!

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Sara,

      It has been great working with you in this course (and the last). And I appreciate the high standards you set for yourself and how hard you have worked. You are just terrific.

      Honestly, very little makes me happier than when you say this:

      Leanne and I were giving the task simply to "create something new and exciting with the robots".... WHERE WAS I TO GO WITH THAT?! Was the question I asked myself over and over and over (times a million) for a solid week. I tried looking for ideas on Pinterest, I tried tweeting to twitter communities about it, I googled it... and still I was drawing a blank. Then one day I was watching You Tube videos about mBots, and there was a video of two robots that had balloons tied to the back of them, and a long arm with a pin connected, and the users were controlling their robots t drive around to pop the other robots balloon. I thought this was SO COOL. So I started looking for more videos of what people did with two mBot robots. This was wen Leanne and I decided that two is always better than one, and we were going to work together on our robot project.

       

      This is just inspiring. 

      I look forward to whatever comes next.

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