As students in fifth through eighth grade embarked on a 1:1 iPad adventure I collaborated with teachers to identify the best way to help students learn the ins and outs of their iPad and it's workflows. We settled on a hybrid Boot Camp that would combine face to face sessions with online learning modules. Teachers identified basic apps and skills they wanted students to have and in what order the apps and skills should be introduced. We worked together to identify activities that coordinated with advisory or curriculum topics as a means of introducing and teaching the apps. For example, to introduce the iMovie app's trailer feature, students were given the task of creating a trailer about a book they read over the summer. Videos were shared with classmates and one advisory created a RedBook (similar to a RedBox) station where classmates could watch book trailers to find new books to read. Through this hybrid design, students were able to learn workflows and apps while retaining reference materials for future use. Tasked related to their school work helped to reinforce how the apps and workflows were used. Overall, teachers felt that this process improved students' ability to use their iPads […] Read more!
High Flying Hijinks Creative Processes In collaboration with the art teacher, 4th graders learned about clay and stop motion animation techniques. We became animators, thinking through the story writing process and discussing what makes a good story. Students learned about the storyboarding process to plan their animations and sketched out their sets and characters. During the character creation phase, students learned about how animators use armatures to build characters. We also explored 2-dimensional animations using construction paper. Once characters and sets were constructed, students learned about photographic techniques used to create stop motion animations. Stop motions were created with clay and construction paper. Enjoy More Stop Motion AnimationsSmall But MightyKlever KittyStop Motion Animation Playlist DSC_0007 DSC_0006 DSC_0005 DSC_0003 DSC_0001 Read more!
Celebrating Computer Science Week Every December schools across the country celebrate Hour of Code as part of Computer Science Education Week. We celebrate with students throughout the school day and invite families to celebrate during an evening event led by students. Middle School students work to research and develop a coding activity for various age levels to share on that night. Student projects have included a MaKey MaKey coded with Scratch to create a Magic 8 Ball, a Tynker tilting iPad game, Dash robots programmed to draw shapes and letters, Kibo robots, and BeeBot robot activities. Parents and students spent the evening discovering, learning and creating. DSC_0708 DSC_0707 DSC_0698 20151208_184248 IMG_2482 IMG_2483 IMG_2490 IMG_2499 IMG_2505 IMG_2514 Hour of Code ResourcesHour of Code ResourcesTynker Tilt Game Instructions Read more!
Bringing parents and children together adds value to a learning experience. In the winter of 2015 my colleague and I offered a 5 week series of technology workshops focused on student/parent engagement and creative uses of technology. This program, Family Creative Learning launched by MIT, was designed to help parents better understand the technologies their children are exposed to in order to better support their child's explorations and learning. Over the course of the 5 weeks, students and parents learned about programming with Scratch, how a MaKey MaKey worked and how to program with Scratch and a MaKey MaKey. The workshops used a design thinking model to guide families from the beginning of programming to developing their own project that integrated a variety of media, Scratch and the MaKey MaKey. Throughout the process, families worked collaboratively and independently to acquire knowledge of programming and circuits. Families brainstormed potential ideas, drew up plans for a prototype, built a prototype, tested, revised and started the process again. The group was supported by parents who were programmers and engineers by profession. The final day of the workshop was spent finishing family projects for a project showcase. Each family shared their creation and […] Read more!