Kick your project up to the next level by making it interactive! In this installment of our Maker Activity series, Linus teaches how to create a display that students can interact with using the MaKey MaKey.
Based on the ScratchJr programming language co-developed by the MIT Media Lab and Tufts University, PBS has released PBS KIDS ScratchJr, a free app to help children ages 5-8 learn coding concepts as they create their own stories and games using over 150 PBS KIDS characters.
Shannon Hyman, a librarian at one of our elementary schools, invited #TechTakeout to her AMAZING MakerFest Day to run ten different stations. Each one of the stations highlighted a tool that the students would have access to in her library. Every 4th and 5th grade student had the opportunity to attend the event and learn about each tool. The students had about 5-8 minutes at each station since we wanted everyone to get a chance to see everything. This was enough time to introduce the tool, but in some cases the students had a hands-on experience. Judging from what the students were saying throughout the day, when we return from winter break they will be rushing to the library to work with all of the new tools!
"Had a great couple of days this week facilitating Mr. S’s BLAST classes! We challenged the students to do some simple programming with Sphero using the Tickle App.
Our goals were to:
* teach the students some collaboration/teamwork skills * introduce the concept of coding * teach students to own their failures and learn from them * teach students to problem solve for different outcomes"
The latest versions of iOS for iPad include a great multitasking feature called Split View, which, much as it sounds, allows users to split the screen on the iPad between two active apps side-by-side. iPad and iPad Pro users can adjust the size of each app panel or have them take up an equal amount of space, enabling users to essentially use two apps at the same time.
A few weeks ago we reviewed some very good web tools teachers can use to create rubrics. Today we are curating another list of rubric generators for iPad. The apps will enable you to easily create rubrics to use for a wide variety of instructional purposes that include grading, formative assessment, lesson planning, classroom management and many more.
In today’s blog we share 10 of our favourite TED talks for and by educators. They’re a great way to keep up with the latest teaching techniques, as well as be inspired by other passionate members of the profession.
TinyTap is my favorite tool for creating your own educational games. TinyTap lets you create games on your iPad and or Android tablet. Games that you create can be played by your students on their iPads, Android tablets, or in the web browser on their laptops. This week TinyTap introduced a new game format that you can use. That format is called Tap n' Type.
Bitsbox is donating completely free coding kits to teachers for Computer Science Education Week (December 7th-13th). Each kit is enough for thirty students, and they come with a teacher's guide to help run an Hour of Code.
Ever wish your could quickly access another app without having to switch away from the app you're already using? With slide over, you can! Slide over is part of the new multi-app multitasking features for iPad in iOS 9. With slide over you can briefly access a secondary app to jot down a few notes, reply to a few messages, or check a few references, all without having to switch away...
Maker education (often referred to as “Maker Ed”) is a new school of educational thought that focuses on delivering constructivist, project-based learning curriculum and instructional units to students. Maker education spaces can be as large as full high school workshops with high-tech tools, or as small and low-tech as one corner of an elementary classroom. A makerspace isn't just about the tools and equipment, but the sort of learning experience the space provides to students who are making projects.
Maker Ed places a premium on the balance between exploration and execution. Small projects lend themselves to indefinite tinkering and fiddling, while larger projects need complex, coordinated planning. Often, small projects can organically grow into larger and larger projects. This deliberate process strengthens and enriches a learner's executive functioning skills. Additionally, communication and collaboration are two of Maker Ed's fundamental values. Making allows learners to practice their social communication skills in a variety of groupings, whether affinity-based, role-specific or teacher-assigned. It's important for all different groups to be present in student learning spaces so that all students can practice their social skills in multiple settings. Lastly, Making presents unique opportunities to generate flow learning and allow the teacher to leverage high-interest projects and activities and turn them into learning objectives within a curriculum.
Last month comic templates were added to the popular Book Creator iPad app. Book Creator is hosting a contest to showcase those new templates. The contest is open to students under the age of 13. To enter students have to create a comic story by using the templates in the Book Creator iPad app. The winner will receive an iPad Pro and two runners-up will receive iPad minis.
Have you ever had a contract, agreement, or service form emailed to your iPhone or iPad that you need to sign quickly? Perfect, because now you can digitally sign and return a document directly from the Mail app of iOS. The Mail signature feature lets you quickly sign a document attached to an email and send it back on it’s way without ever having to leave the mail app, the entire signing and returning process is very fast and easy thanks to the Markup feature set.
How do your students send you their work from iPads or laptops? Through Google Drive? Dropbox? Student Server? Do you use Showbie? How about SeeSaw? Or do you go old school and have them save to a flash drive? There are MANY ways that work can be submitted from both laptops and iPads. If you are an elementary school teacher then you know the obstacles that arise when we try to get 6 year olds to send us their work from their iPads.
"The best thing about a makerspace is making things and learning along the way! Here are some great sites to help you find your next maker project. Where else do you go to find inspiration for your makerspace projects? Let us know in our Makerspace Forum and continue the discussion. We’ll start keeping a list."
This week I had the pleasure of presenting a sneak peek of my Librarian’s Guide to littleBits through a webinar with School Library Journal. (You should be able to access the archived webinar soon!) The guide itself will be published on SLJ and the littleBits website for you at no cost and should be up in about two weeks. You can be sure I’ll let you know as soon as it is live!
The webinar coincided with the end of a design challenge I’d held in my library makerspace for the last couple of weeks. One of the things I’d mentioned during the webinar is that free tinkering time is awesome and necessary. However, you eventually have to guide students with a Design Challenge to introduce the concept of long term projects. To quote myself from the Librarian’s Guide to littleBits, “A design challenge will give your makers a time limit, test their abilities, and most importantly give them a chance to show off their work.”
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