Paper Circuitry: Hack Your Writing
Background: Hack Your Writing is a production-centered academic activity. Production-centered learning is #connectedlearning students learn because they created /made something not because the instructor said to learn it. Hacking can serve as a gateway into writing utilizing technology for student engagement. This activity encourages students to think about writing creatively, bringing new knowledge to light.
Materials Needed: LED lights, copper tape and 3V coin battery, small binder clips, paper, writing tools i.e. pens, markers, crayons.
Participants: The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) 2015 Leadership Conference and Retreat, 15 students both traditional and non-traditional. Academic level varies from first year college freshmen to students completing their third year at Ocean County College.
Activity: Hacking is an innovative customization, think of hacking like remixing. Using the sticky note app LINO I explained the concepts behind hacking. I also provided students with sample paper circuitry templates from Chibitronics, we worked with parallel circuits.
Sticking with the theme of the EOF Leadership Conference and Retreat students were asked to select a quote that summarizes what it means to live authentically.
Reflection: What does it mean to Hack?
“Are we writing a paper?” Most students think of writing only in essay format seldom do they consider other possibilities. Hack Your Writing is a gateway; prompting thoughtful reflection. When I began the activity, “are we writing a paper?” was the first question asked, it was also the second questioned asked by a latecomer. Connected learning pedagogical theories and foundation cause a paradigm shift, asking how can we as educators enrich the learning experience for 21st century learners.
This activity encourages students to think about meaning, which words or art will be illuminated. I observed the students tinkering with the tape and discussing where to place the lights. The illumination adds meaning enriching the activity. The most valuable academic outcome is the peer learning. The students actively worked together, those who were able to illuminate their writing more quickly than others helped their peers.