Coetail Course 5 Project on Menagesh Supha National Forest, Ethiopia

The biggest Juniper tree under threat of pathogens

 Before saying any thing, I really want to put my greatest commendation in the name of all my group members to Mr.David White, who has taken the lead in making this redefined curriculum of IB ESS study a reality through PBL design.  Fortunately enough this project was the vision of our school leadership team too.

40kms South West of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is the site we chose to work on for our SUNY Course 5 Final Project. The project mainly focuses on creating awareness to conserve  Menagesha Forest. The project leaders, Belaineh, Lemlem, Elias and Dereselign all work at International Community School of Addis Ababa, ICS.

The  IB Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) teacher, who is also the project leader and a key role player in the whole student involvement has been  Mr. David White.

 On Day 1, students were briefed on the project and told to brainstorm on the idea. The product, goals, guiding questions, schedule and assessment were also discussed. Students expectations included doing a research on Menagesha Forest and locating three websites related to specific old growth forest conservation. They were also expected to read the IB text, Pearson and do further reading on conservation before hand.

The ICS IT Director Mr John Iglar and Sienna Bums briefing about website development

 Day 2 was dedicated to web design planning. Guest lecturers were invited to class and introduced the software and its application. Afterwards, students engaged in drafting their website having explained their reason for choice, strategy for creation/completion and divided roles and responsibilities among group members.

Students had a formal assessment of their webpage on day 3.

Relevant firsthand data collation was
core part of the trip

Days 4 and 5 were field trip days. Students went on a field trip to Menagesha Forest. There they commenced their field study. They interviewed experts and held discussions with community members. They also obtained visual components and took time collecting data related to the field study.

On days 6 and 7, students were busy designing web which exhibits components created, site put together and tested lab report of the field study. Students in their groups collaboratively participated in the website creation by writing and editing both visual and text.

 Giving it a final touch and final revisions of website testing, and planning their presentation,  day 8 was spent by preparing for the presentation.

 Day 9. This was the last day. Students presented their website to IB coordinators, teachers, curriculum department and others as it can be seen on the three links below below.

Group A : ICS Menagesha Forest Conservation Project

Group B: The Great Ethiopian Wilderness

Group C: Visit the World’s Oldest National Park

The presentation of the above three websites is included in our video below.

Passion-Based-Learning in the Sea of Technology

Would there be a differences between a passion-based and project-based learning? In my case I found the second one more sound because it seem better in explaining the differentiated learning , that is the    natural way of deep understanding. The following review is made based on the article of ISTE about passion based learning.

An important question in the article was, how we can facilitate  conditions so that   students get the passion of learning? It can be helpful to visit Dalton Education at a NYC Public School, and Confratute conference targeting on ways of talent development, advanced-level enrichment experiences and progress follow up methods based on students interests and strengths.

For instance to find our passion and interest one can use the interest inventory booklet of Renzuli Learning Profile . There are again multiple ways to help students identify their  passion of learning.  Bloggers of our interest area  can be searched again from Technorati web site. The already identified interest/passion area of learning can be followed up using RSS as we have covered it in COETAIL 1 and 2.

The next point is how to advance my connectivism for a better communication. In this regard social bookmarking sites such as Diigo are helpful. At this stage we need to be encouraged to produce as many types of comments as possible. As a tech-oriented citizen we can further be trusted with the types of groups we are acting in.

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The exercise of blogging seem to be mandatory in our virtual circle of influence where we can explore, select and utilize the vast digital tools in here; for example to create video, develop podcast, design a game and promote competition among members. At this level it is advised to exploit higher education sites through You tube edu.

To sum up, this blog compiles the core protocols that a student can follow to be a competent tech-oriented passion-based-learner.



7 Things We Must Know About Flipped Learning Things

In the World of great diversity and dynamics,  21st century educators should not be in a  mentality of putting learners in class just like the pumpkin pile here. Let alone humans even this pumpkins do lose control at any incidence spontaneously.

While reading about the truth of flipped learning and the myths to be cleared the generous web World gave me seven more things on this issue. On my side again the passion of mastering the facts geared me develop this  embedded Google presentation.

The seven things are indicated in yellow sequentially in separate dark background slides.

Project 5 Proposal

For our course 5 final presentation we came up with three different options to show student’s learning and student’s activity engaged in the learning process using video, images, monkey survey, interview, Lab activities, etc. We tried to sketch out the three options in mind for final course of the COETAIL program. The fourth cohert seem to be committed to implement many of the tools, applications and the theories we have gained throughout the program.

Option I

Bringing a local authentic environmental issue to a global agenda through connectivism and technology power of our students. We think this unit is a good possibility for our course 5 project because the site location we are thinking to work on is called Menagesha Supha National Forest. It is one of the oldest national forest in the country, preaty near to 500 years of age that needs an urgent conservation action , typically targeting the farmers community in the surrounding.

Our goal is to to facilitate conditions by which our students design an awareness creation project as part of thier IB Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) study through the high level connectivism and technology access than any one else in Ethiopia. This option has already get an approved redefined curriculum design that is organized as follows. It is a PBL intended to produce a website where this particular forest issue is going to be a global agenda through an ongoing link with the students that are taking this course all over the World. Attached bellow, is the intended  unit plan.

Which way attract kids? And which way do they learn more?

A Single Device Attracting and Engaging Many

What are these smart fellows staring at to this degree of passion by their own, where there is no adult in place supervising? They are in the sea of tech-based common medium. Why not then the educators redefine lessons that same way or better so that students take it home and play the lesson games? On the personal interview I made in  the blog  only the connected teachers do win the game, one of the students who is really a computer programming crazy told me the possibility of network based game production for many of the scientific facts many students struggle with in the classical lesson systems.

Looking at his passion I promised him to come up with one chemistry concept manuscript that he will try to convert into an eye catching interactive commuter or mobile devises compatible game this school year. What a big idea is this? I am so obsessed to see the process going on.

Why game matters in education? TED TALK

Why do games matter in education? As we all know in developmental psychology basics, humans do learn rigorously while playing patterned game among their peers.This again directly agree with the fact that we remember 100% of what we teach each other. The social and emotional make up of humans seem to trigger other learning domains as mentioned below.


Some of the core ideas covered in the article of user generated education are:

  • Gaming generates the passion of learning by repeated act until success line is achieved;  this avoids the fear for failor .

  • Brain cells chemical trigger, the dopamine is maximized optimizing the pleasure level and pushes us to keep playing.

  • Games do come up with best results in a group two up to four  students, if more than that few students will become passive listeners hence not benefiting well.

  • Students do get evoked, make decisions and finally find their future .

It is wise to watch the gamification presentation. YouTube Preview Image


Only the Connected Teachers Do Win the Game

It is not a matter of ageReaders of this article please understand that the mentality with which I am writing now is as a technology infant one. What I mean is, I am in a complete learner spirit, making the former technology and change resistant heart of mine wide open for learning as we can easily prove this in the  video below. YouTube Preview Image  The ISTE members call it   “Second of Me”.

My current on site mentors are my students. Mind you that the  expectation of the standard is at least to have a teacher that approaches his students, level.  As far I am a bigger, my former students but now  my high level tech teachers are mentoring me through  the NETS profile of G9-12 composed of the ten standards. Mind you that the expectation of this standard is at least to have a student that approaches the level. Where would be my level then? We will see soon.

Through the first discussion we made with my current teachers the following important web links come to  view with their complete description as follows.

So based on what they thought me I found some packages of  websites well organized as follows.

Finally I am proud of our students in that there are websites they developed and lead for diverse purposes.Some of which are:

See you all then at our current second tribe the for connectivism and development.

IB profile VS Jesus Profile

GoogleI am sure that the moment you observed this post you may question ” What a connection is this guy talking about?”.  Any way do not go too far, it is just to make our way towards the ten IB learning profiles stylish, more visual, comparative and eye catching. If you like the presentation below, share it to any body you want. This presentation is done using Google presentation tool with its feature mimicking a power point being online, rich in font diversity, images, easily publishable to web, embed or share. Just as that of Google docs a presentation does accommodate multiple users at ones that makes it an ideal tool to build group work in classrooms for educational  purpose. Enjoy watching the 10 IB profiles through the Google presentation tool below.



Remix Seem Freedom of Learning

RemixI was one of the people who strongly argue on the deficiency of originality on the current media products especially the audio and videos. But after this COETAIL Course3  I realized that many of the media products that I do not give attention due to my prejudging mentality  are having their own values especially on the side of the remixing tools and skills demanding. Just to make my idea a bit louder, if the remixing act of this “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People ” presentation took me this much, how much commitment and resources (money, time, energy etc.) would it take for the production of those all globally winning documentary films and  albums of education and entertainment.

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Stephen R. Covey ,Tham gia de download 10.000 ebook theo yeu cau mien phi


Our Brain The Visually Inspiring Organ

The incidence was at the beginning of last  year’s HS chemistry lesson which was about “Lab safety first“. Students were not that much to the power point presentation above. It was evident that the way we present the lesson need to be an inspiring one like this video. YouTube Preview Image  Then  after students were given all the necessary digital recording equipments and we have come up with the following amazing result. YouTube Preview Image To do this assignment the students were given two weeks, where they showed an incredible devotion, sacrificing even their lunch time and after school breaks, making the lab the busiest of all the times ever until  they came up with their final remix. As of my evaluation the inspiration level they manifested during those two weeks was pretty grade seven (7)  of the IB standard kept in hand. Had it not been  for the impact of the above inspiring  lab safety video, in no other way we could develop that level of devotion in the brain of students. So we can say that our brain is a visually inspired organ. Who can say  then,   they are not learning now??? Have they been learning only lab safety issues, or the advanced digital skills too??? As of my they have been learning so much diverse 21st century life skills.

Lab Safety First

TitleInfographics are visual presentations intended to communicate complex information quickly and clearly. Their form can be  charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, maps and lists. The basic material of an infographic is the data, information, or knowledge that the graphic presents

In many cases the lab safety posters I encountered have a pattern of bold big font documents paraphrasing lab rules that are not that much attractive to student for easy referencing. In my view I have sorted the core lab safety issues below into four:

  1. Basic personnel suits and facilities
  2. Major actions to be taken in case of hazard incidences
  3. The symbols and signs of safety and
  4. The core lab attitudes we should not manifest

 I think one can categorize  this infographics as diagrammatic because it represents a huge topic of safety into an eye catching pictures talking about the above four concepts. It is obvious that a single picture can represent thousand words, in addition to the fact that no one is ready to read much during emergencies; in the contrary picture and symbols do serve even better than audios alone because they:


  • can easily be understood by students,
  • can serve as a very good point of entry for lab activities planned for every lesson,
  • have a pleasing aesthetic than others that are full of word documents,
  • can easily be referenced using a laminated colored print copy of A4 paper size in every lab activity per student making them tidy enough.

My plan next is to evaluate how far this safety infograph is applicable to student service during the lab activities.

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