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Teaching an #OS4GPD online summer course with @DonBuckley: “Intentional Curriculum Design and Design Thinking”

Above is an interview with me, Don Buckley, and Susan Booth (@SusanMBooth), Director of Professional Growth and Learning at Online School for Girls (@OS4G). Susan invited Don Buckley and me to teach an online professional development course this summer entitled Intentional Curriculum Design and Design Thinking, and this video interview is an introduction to the class. It makes for 10-minutes of fodder if you ever want to make fun of my facial expressions and frenetic hand gestures.

I’ve given presentations online, and they ranged from less awkward to more awkward. However, neither Don nor I have ever led a true online course. It’s been a challenge to transfer/translate that which we’d normally present or discuss in person to an asynchronous digital environment. The class is powered by Haiku, and I’ve gotten pretty good at learning the interface, organizing pages, creating various content blocks, and altering the page layout. I’ve never worked in a school that employed a content management system, so it’s been a pretty interesting experience to navigate the online learning environment.

For the class, we’ll be using shared boards on Pinterest to gather student work and an edmodo group as a place to prototype full-class and smaller-cohort discussions. Also, people will be tweeting with the hashtag #OS4GPD.

I love collaborating with Don. He is one of the smartest and most interesting people I’ve ever met, and I’m lucky to have had the last seven years with him as my boss, mentor, and friend. His next adventure is a non-profit he started, Tools at Schools, to bring Design Thinking to education. You should listen to his TEDxNYED talk below:

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My Pinterest board of MacBook Air 11″ cases

Last year, I thought the CaseCrown Book Cover Clip On Case was the perfect always-on case for our current 6th graders to use with their brand new MacBook Air 11″ laptops. Our students use the same machine for their 3 years of middle school, and then the school sells them back to Apple. This CaseCrown faux-leather cover is only $20 on Amazon. There are also other brands marketing the same case (Acase, SmackTom).

The CaseCrown cases have held up remarkably well! I totally though the elastic straps at the top would have snapped by now, yet somehow they are all intact. However, my two reservations have to do with the fact that the top corners of the laptop are exposed and some of the laptops are developing dinged/curling edges (as kids are clearly occasionally dropping their machines). Also, I don’t know if I love the snap at the front. I see fidgety kids snapping/unsnapping this closure during class discussions when their laptops are shut. It’s a super annoying sound when you notice it.

So, I have a begun a search for the perfect (or at least) better case. I’m going to be purchasing a few test models this week. Gina Marcel (K-2 Ed Tech here at The School) suggested I gather interesting models in a Pinterest board (see below). I’d love suggestions if you know of other great cases to consider…

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