Collaborate, Create, & Share

Let’s play, create, and share in the cloud! If I would have announced that to my students at the start of class just 5 years ago, I more than likely would have experienced complete silence in the room or may have heard murmurs of “What is she talking about? This is a Web Programming class not an Astronomy class.”

While creating a 21st century lesson plan this week, I looked to Renee Hobbs’ (2011) list of “five core competencies as fundamental literacy practices: Access, Analyze, Create, Reflect, and Act” to help me develop a lesson for my Introduction to Basic Web Programming course.

I chose to use a web-based front end development code editor and playground environment in the cloud called CodePen to acclimate students to using a programming technique called pair programming. In addition to learning about pair programming and using a web-based tool to develop a simple web page, the students will share their web page in the form of a “Pen” within a Google+ virtual community created specifically for the course and then discuss and evaluate each team’s work within a virtual environment.

Google+ Logo

CodePen is a playground for the front end web.

As I created the 21st century lesson plan for this week, John Seely Brown’s statement from “The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown (Highlights from JSB’s Keynote at DML2012)” played over and over in my mind: “As we move into the 21st century, we have to completely rethink the work scape and the learning scape.”  In addition to Brown’s statement, I also decided to place emphasis on two of the five core competencies described by Hobbs (2011): Access and Act. I want my students to use CodePen for problem solving as well as self-expression (Hobbs, 2011, p. 16). The students as a team, will choose a topic of their choice and create content (self-expression) to include in the basic web page that they are developing (problem solving) using CodePen (web technology) and sharing within a Google+ virtual community (web technology). I want the students to gain the experience of using web technology  to”rethink the learning scape” as Brown (2012) spoke of in his Keynote at DML2012.

In addition, one of Hobbs’ critical questions perfectly aligns with teaching the students the concept of pair programming. Hobbs asks the question “Do they recognize how to leverage the strengths of others to accomplish a common goal?” (Hobbs, 2011, p. 19). This encompasses the whole idea of pair programming! In pair programming, each member has their own strengths that they bring to the table and as a team, they work together to “accomplish a common goal” (Hobbs, 2011, p. 19).

The utilization of multiple web technologies to perform problem-solving tasks and demonstrate self-expression while “leveraging the strengths of others to accomplish a common goal” (Hobbs, 2011, p. 19), positions the Collaborate, Create, & Share lesson nicely into the realm of 21st century learning.


Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Brown, John S. (2012). The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown (Highlights from JSB’s Keynote at DML2012) [Video file]. Retrieved from


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