I was asked to be a guest panelist on a Twitter chat on Monday November 13th at 8pm ET/5pm PT, #InfyXRoads – Combining CS and Maker Education with Physical Computing and Robotics. Here were the questions we addressed:
Q1: What are the benefits of teaching CS with physical computing and robotics?
Q2: What tools and resources do you recommend and for which grade levels?
Q3: Do boys and girls react differently to certain tools and resources?
Q4: How do we ensure access to such tools and resources reach all students?
Here is the collection of tweets (via Storify) from the event: https://storify.com/InfyFoundation/infyxroads-computingandrobotics
Glad to have been invited to the 2015 Global Education Conference Leadership Team!
Welcome to Karen Blumberg of the School at Columbia and Brandon Wiley of GlobalEdLeader to our 2015 GEC Leadership Team!
Make sure to keep colleagues informed about any outside professional development opportunities that might be of interest to them. See Karen Blumberg’s calendar as an example.
TEDxInnovations blog highlighted a couple of tweets from TEDxYouth@TheSchool on November 15, 2014.
MST Times for Teachers College, Columbia University, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Newsletter
Karen Blumberg, CCTE MA 2013, launched edcampMumbai, the first edcamp in India, on October 26. This was followed by edcampNYC, the 5th edcamp in NYC, on November 9th. Edcamps are unconferences, and they are unlike any other professional development experience. First, there is no set schedule until the morning of the event. As attendees arrive, they can post topics to the empty session board. (We have examples of session boards from previous years to give you an idea of the types of conversations held.) Second, you get to choose what sessions you want to attend based on your interests. If the topic doesn’t apply to you, or you don’t enjoy the session, you can leave and choose a different one. For more information, visit http://edcampmumbai.org and http://edcampnyc.org
“Youth” Events: There are roughly 100 TEDxYouthDay events held around the world each November—shorter (half-day), more student-centered events hosted by universities, nonprofits, and K–12 schools (including elementary and middle schools). Younger students can’t do as much of the planning and implementation of the event as high school students, says technology coordinator Karen Blumberg, who works at a private K–8 school in Manhattan called The School at Columbia University that recentlyhosted its fourth TEDxYouth event earlier this year. But “any event that can get middle schoolers literally on the edges of their seats is an accomplishment.”
…Rekha Puri, Founder of LINEglobal and her team were in Mumbai to meet with educators, visit schools, and experience India first hand, in order to design meaningful, authentic and culturally sensitive collaborations. The director of the Mumbai Center provided the team with insights to better understand India, beyond the schools they visited and the amazing people they met. The discussion focused on the enormity and diversity of the challenges facing India when it came to providing quality education to hundreds and millions of children in the country. Both the hard and soft infrastructure of the public schools system was in need of major sectoral reform and higher public investment, he said. He also said, It was especially heartening to have three members of the LINEglobal team from The School at Columbia University, New York, and watch their excitement being on their home turf at the global center, and pursuing what we do – seeing India as a place to learn from and learn with.
The members of LINEglobal team:
Rekha Puri – Founder of LINEglobal, and Director of Admissions, The School at Columbia University
Amani Reed – Head of School, The School at Columbia University
Karen Blumberg – Educational Technologist, The School at Columbia University
Emily McCarren – Director of International Center, Punahou School, Hawaii
Matthew Stuart – Head of School, Caedmon School, New York
Jennifer Donovan – Science Teacher, Trinity School, New York
Suzanne asked me some questions about the current ed tech climate in schools…
“I’ve been a huge fan of Google Apps for Education for a while,” says Karen Blumberg, an educational technologist at The School at Columbia in Manhattan. “Working in the cloud means easy access from a variety of locations and devices.”
There have never been more cutting edge tools available for kids to simply create the things in their imaginations. “A recent movement in schools has been to embrace the STEAM initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math),” says Blumberg. “Many schools are starting to build Makerspaces or FabLabs on site. A Makerspace is a place to make, tinker, ideate, invent, prototype, build, rebuild, craft, program, try things out and explore. … FabLabs are another term—both may also include 3-D printers, scanners, laser cutters and all sorts of tools.”
An important piece of making tech work for families is reaching out, and smart teachers are doing just that. “I started a monthly morning Tech Tuesdays for parents to come in and have coffee and ask questions about how we use the technology in schools and about anything else they wonder about, such as specific apps, privacy issues, parental controls, how to check the Web browser’s history, etc.,” says Blumberg.
“Technology can be a huge distraction,” confesses Blumberg. “I ask my students to shut their machines or even put their hands on their heads while I give verbal instructions.” She stresses the importance of proper online behavior.
“I have many conversations with my middle school students about how everything they post or share is public, permanent and traceable,” she says. “Plus, I constantly implore them to make wise choices and use our available technology academically, respectfully and responsibly.”
NAIS Teacher of the Future 2013-2014
Each year NAIS selects a group of teachers to be NAIS Teachers of the Future. These individuals exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom. They inspire academic excellence in students and are respected leaders among their peers. They effectively weave environmental sustainability, globalism, equity and justice and/or use of technology into their classroom teaching.
Through the NAIS Teacher of the Future program, these teachers are given a chance to distinguish themselves as teacher-leaders and to share their work with the broader independent school community. Each Teacher of the Future will:
This program and the development of online education communities are part of NAIS’s goals to provide valuable networking opportunities and to enhance the excellent education provided at independent schools. The teachers can advance independent school education by spurring discussion and idea-sharing about innovation in teaching and learning.
Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez & Gary Stager
Some of my experience working with kids to use 3D printers was shared in Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager’s recent book, Invent to Learn.
Connecting Online for Instruction and Learning: International Perspectives, edited by Dr. Nellie Deutch
I wrote a chapter in the book!
The chapters were written by 14 presenters of Connecting Online (CO12) for instruction and learning live online conference on the first week of February 2012. The free online conferences for educators and by educators started in 2009. The conference takes place on WizIQ Education Online on the first weekend in February of each year.
About the author:
Dr. Nellie Deutsch is an educational technologist. She is passionate about sharing information, active, collaborative, and relation-based learning, Moodle & WizIQ, and mindfulness practice though the Alexander Technique.
The authors of the book are Janet Bianchini, Karen Blumberg, Dr. Christel Broady, Dr. Michele Drechsler, Jennifer D. Klein, Dr. NIki Lambropoulos, Alain Gourdin, Sophi Michael Danis, Antonio Nazzaro, Lenandlar Singh, Kemul Gaffar, Dr. Ludmila Smirnova, Diethild Starkmeth, Steve Tuffill, J. Aleta R. Villanueva, Dr. Revathi Viswanathan, Jason West.
Last Thursday, a small group of New York’s independent and private school teachers gathered in the littleBits’ HQ to play with the Bits and provide feedback on how to improve our education program.
5 Good Minutes with Karen Blumberg (@SpecialKRB)
BestOfDL recently had the pleasure to chat with Karen Blumberg, one of our key digital learning influencers. In our five question interview, she shared her insights into technology, teaching, and her experiences in a field that is always changing.
#FF: 10 Key Digital Learning Influencers to Follow on Twitter (11-30-2012)
Super flattered to be included!
Friday’s list of 10 key digital learning influencers on Twitter. Make sure to follow these, and to share them with your friends and colleagues.
Article from June/July 2012 issue by Jennifer Demski.
KAREN BLUMBERG: I actually attended that first EdCamp Philly in 2010. I heard about it through Twitter, and I drove down to Philly from New York City with two fac- ulty members from my school who’d never been to an un-conference.
I’d been participating in various un- conferences for a few years— I’d already been indoctrinated into the idea that you can have a blank schedule and you can decide that day what you want to have a session about, so I was super-excited to have a space where teachers could go that was specifically designed for them to learn what they wanted to learn.
When we got there that morning, I saw two people I recognized from Twitter, and they were both holding iPads. I had brought my iPad too. It was late 2010 and schools had just recently started buying them, so I decided to put a session up on the board about how we were using iPads in the classroom— it was so obvious.
Jeffrey Bradbury hosts a podcast about education and archives lots of educationa resources at http://teachercast.net where he invites visitors to Listen, View, and Read about the latest in Educational Technology. Jeff was kind enough to invite Basil Kolani and me to talk about our work as organizers of EdCampNYC and TEDxNYED. You can hear us wax on in The TeacherCast Podcast #47.
Jeff sits down with Basil Kolani and Karen Blumberg to talk about EdCAmpNYC and the TEDxNYed events happening in 2012.
Distance-Education.org included me on their list of top 20 influencers in education on Twitter. As per their description, “this list of the best in education on Twitter not only includes those Tweeters who provide us with important tidbits about the current state of education, but they also offer their followers a number of tips and tricks, hilarious quips, and hours of entertainment.” Their super kind words are below:
Why We Think They’re Great
Education, photography, and travel are just a few of the topics that @SpecialKRB covers everyday. Offering her followers a number of really great tips, @SpecialKRB is the ideal influences to follow for anyone who loves mixing creativity and education.
NYCIST President 2010 – 2011, NYC
New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists.
As President, I was responsible for planning topics/locations for monthly meetings attended by technologists, innovators, and media specialists from all over the city. As per our tag line, “Knowledge is in the group.”
Article from 11/03/11 by Jennifer Netherby.
The Pen That’s Smarter Than the Pen: You’ve heard of smartphones – now smartpens are taking a familiar classroom tool into the digital age.
Blumberg says that the advantage of Livescribe for students is that they can draw symbols while describing the process they’re going through, an important metacognitive process in learning math. And for teachers, they can see students’ metacognition in play.
Kids can write down how they’re solving problems with sketching, with formulas, and talk through it at the same time,” she says. Then the teacher can determine how fluid the child’s understanding is.
Article from 10/13/11 by Kashmir Hill, Forbes Staff.
How to Teach Kids ‘Digital Literacy’? Build A Private Social Network Playground For Them.
“Drama happens. But my goal is: If you’re going to make a mistake, make it here, before it’s public and permanent,” says Blumberg.“We teach them that everything they do online is permanent and traceable: where you go, what you do, the computer you’re using, your IP address,” she continues. “We want them to understand that data is constantly being collected about them.”
Posted on October 3, 2011, edited by Ken Royal.
Exploring The Sketchpad App: Karen Blumberg
I have been a huge fan of The Geometer’s Sketchpad for years (since I was introduced to it in 1994!), and I believe it is one of the best educational tools out there. Therefore, I was incredibly excited when I learned about the release of Sketchpad Explorer. I will be supporting the 5th grade team as they incorporate the Sketchpad Explorer app and the Dynamic Number Project into their math curriculum this year. We’re looking to fully engage the students and encourage them to hypothesize, investigate, understand, and share mathematical principles.
Article from September 2011 by Alberto Luzárraga.
Leaders in Technology in the classroom: The School at Columbia University
New Media at The School
One of the seminars, “Collaboration with New Media in the 21st Century Classroom” highlighted the ways in which a school or even a single teacher can incorporate new computer tools to enhance the classroom experience for their students. Instructor Karen Blumberg, a technology coordinator at the school, led the seminar and sought to provide attendees with a slew of examples on how this technology is implemented, touching on topics as diverse as student created movies, to how to enhance student collaboration on various projects, to smart and safe Internet practices.
Article on May 30, 2011 by Adrienne Lu, Inquirer Staff Writer.
Teachers give a gold star to a free-for-all education camp
Karen Blumberg, a technology integrator at the School at Columbia University, has been teaching for 15 years. “I learned more at EdCamp than I did at grad school,” Blumberg said. “It was exactly the information I needed to know.” Blumberg said she learned, for instance, a lot about how to use iPads effectively in a classroom. Blumberg was so excited about the possibilities of EdCamp that after attending the Philadelphia conference last year, she organized another event in New York City.
Blog post by Elizabeth DeCarli on January 21, 2011.
Eat Your vegetables! Do your Math!
Take, for example, this lesson described by New York City educator Karen Blumberg. The sixth-grade students Karen worked with first studied reflections of figures in the coordinate plane, then moved on to rotations. For a culminating project, they created tessellations using dynamic geometry software. But wait, there’s more—after creating tessellations on the computer, the students then built physical models of them. So the students first applied their knowledge of shapes and transformation to construct dynamic tessellations using software, then got the tangible experience of working with a physical model.
I was shortlisted on the nominations for Best individual tweeter 2010. I am grateful to Lucy Gray (@elemenous) for nominating me. It is an honor just to be on the list. Besides, somebody had to be the underdog. I ended up being the 2nd runner up behind Shelly Terrell and Deborah Stewart!
The Teach Tech Award 2010, Columbia University, NYC
Independent Reading Site
Marisa Guastaferro and I were finalists and won a $500 prize for our Independent Reading Site created with Google Sites. It’s a simple GoogleSite that allows students and faculty to create reviews for books they read; Reviews can be in the form of text, video, slideshow, comic strip, and other forms. There is a search feature that enables you to search by title, author, genre, user, etc. Also, students are organized alphabetically by the year they graduate high school, so once they are entered into the site, there is no need for further restructuring.
A lively discussion with Lucy Gray who introduces us to Don Buckley, Karen Blumberg, Andrew Gardner of the innovative school, The School at Columbia.