Stop Motion Studio is a great app for creating stop motion videos. The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac operating systems. The basic (free) version of Stop Motion Studio lets you take as many pictures as you like and string them together in a sequence that plays back at a frame-per-second rate of your choosing. Each frame can be edited individually before you produce the final video. You can also add narration to your video in the basic version of the app. Completed projects can be saved to your device and from there you can share them on YouTube or on your favorite social network.
A few years ago, I recall walking past the door of our school makerspace and noticing a crowd of kids surrounding a table. Inside a group of 5th and 6th graders were hovering around someone, listening intently to directions. As I inched closer I heard the quiet voice of a parent demonstrating how to do several hand stitches. The mom, a PTA regular and all-around super volunteer, was showing our students some basics in sewing. Both boys and girls watched as she shared tips and tricks. Soon the students dispersed and moved back to their workspaces around the room working on their pillows, shirts, purses, and other sewing projects.
The parent volunteered an hour each Tuesday around lunchtime to work with our students during our “open studio” time. She served as a facilitator and mentor to young makers in our elementary school for several years. The connection that she made with students helped to demonstrate the link between hands-on learning and its purpose in the real world, as well as the value that parents and community bring to the school setting. This type of active parent involvement is one effective way to begin building a network of creativity and innovation in your school
“Thinking is like cosmic knitting,” Waldorf school founder Rudolph Steiner wrote nearly one hundred years ago. Steiner developed a comprehensive handwork curriculum for Waldorf students based on this idea, filled with knitting, sewing and woodworking, believing that “a person who is unskillful in his fingers will also be unskillful in his intellect, having less mobile ideas and thoughts.”
Today’s Waldorf students still knit socks and whittle kitchen spoons and many Waldorf schools shun the use of technology. Those two things — handwork and technology — might seem at first glance to be at odds. But there’s a case to be made that handwork and computing — and the kind of process that links the two — are more closely related than one might think.
We typically teach students a growth mindset through online programs that demonstrate how the brain changes with learning (how the neurons grow stronger connections when students work on hard things and stick with them) and how to apply this to their schoolwork. These programs also contain testimonials from other students about how they've used a growth mindset to approach their schoolwork and to work toward meaningful goals in their lives.
In the wake of the many exciting research results, educators became increasingly interested in promoting a growth mindset among their students. This was extremely gratifying. To see some of the great successes was even more gratifying. However, I slowly became aware that not all educators understood the concept fully.
How might we encourage our students so that they understand their own power and ability to change their world by taking action? The answer is simple: start small, make it relevant and local, and use Design Thinking to manage the process. Design Thinking is a codification of the artistic or scientific process and starts with empathy and understanding. Students gather insights, define the problem and then brainstorm multiple solutions before moving forward to prototyping and testing their ideas. In this post, I will share ways you can use Design Thinking to foster global competence in your classroom.
When you think about flipping a lesson or a class, you must, on some level, embrace the messiness of a dynamic learning environment. But that does not mean you lose control or let chaos rule your classroom. In fact, because there are so many variables in the flipped classroom, you need to be even more organized, and put systems in place to help you and your students focus on the learning.
In the age of #CSforAll, there are hundreds of online resources to teach you and your students how to code. But is it possible to learn this digital skill through an analogue method?
For those of you that love the touch, smell, and feel of books, below is a list of recommended reads to get you started with coding. All but the first would also be great for students to use in class or at home; I’ve sorted the list by grade level.
"Five years ago when I started DIY Girls, I envisioned a community for girls driven by an interest in making. I was inspired by the maker movement. The movement was making equipment and resources that were formerly only available in engineering labs more accessible and I wanted to teach girls to use and create with them. I was excited.
Then reality hit. I started in the Los Angeles community I grew up in and I quickly ran into what I thought were barriers of working in an under-resourced public school. The classroom space where I was going to run the program for girls didn’t have wi-fi, there were no computers and I didn’t have enough money to buy the equipment I thought would make this a real maker program. People also thought I would prepare the girls to compete in expensive engineering and robotics competitions. That couldn’t happen."
"As the school year draws to a close, many reflections are running around in my brain. The biggest one though stemmed from a question I have asked myself about our school mascot, the penguin. Why a penguin? They are cute, and fun to observe; but where is the value in having this little formal wearing bird as a mascot? After much reading and many discussions all via twitter chats, I have come to discover that being a penguin is an amazing feat...maybe even more amazing than one may realize. I have observed and interacted with my students in new, scary, unchartered, and sometimes crazy fun waters this year (Genius Hour, Maker Space, STEAM, getting ipads, etc.) and through it all have come to realize what it means for my students to Live Like a Penguin.
I am sure many of you educators out there have heard of the author, Dave Burgess, who wrote "How to Teach Like a Pirate", "How to Learn Like a Pirate", etc. In his books he assigns term to each letter of PIRATE that encourage innovation, risk taking, and determination. Taking inspiration from him, I have come up with an acronym for our mascot, the PENGUIN that seems to truly fit how my students and I lived this year of teaching and learning and how I hope we both continue to so in our futures. Live like a PENGUIN:"
While close to 99 percent of seniors aged 65 and older in the United States and Europe use mobile phones, there appears to be a "gray divide" in how seniors use information and communication technology, according to a Ben-Gurion...
Today I sat in the White House listening to the President’s Proclamation of the National Week of Making being read. Yeah, I’m still asking myself if it all really happened. I heard from inspiring makers from around our country doing the daily work. Work that is changing lives. Work made of their passions and poured from their souls.
In case you missed it, Sylvia Duckworth released another of her wonderful Sketchnotes last week. This time, it deals with reasons why you should have a PLN. It's well worth sharing for those who aren't connected well with other educators or organizations. I strongly agree with all of the 10 points in the Sketchnote. Once…
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