Tag Archives: makered

Region 20 Library Resource Roundup

The last couple of weeks have provided a few great opportunities for me to learn, and I would like to reflect on them in this week’s blog posts.

My partner-in-crime (actually, I’m generally the victim of her crimes), Angelique Lackey, who is our school’s librarian, submitted our names to present at Region 20’s Library Resource Roundup on a 3d printer curriculum we are using.  We were accepted – which meant I got to attend some awesome sessions while nervously waiting for our presentation time near the end of the day.

One of my big interests is makerspaces, and there were some great sessions on these at the conference.  I learned how David Gallin-Parisi provides a space in his high school library for students to remix, imagine, and create using Little Bits and the 3D printer (among other things).

I also met Joe Tedesco who works for Northside ISD, a district that is doing some revolutionary things with makerspaces in the library. Joe is very interested in collaborating, and has started a Google Site called, “SA Makerspaces for Education.” (SA is for “San Antonio.”)   One idea that Northside is trying is to make “kits” for librarians to check out from their Central Office so costly materials like Little Bits can be rotated around the school for maximum usage. (For more info on makerspaces, check out this Pinterest Board or search my blog.)

At lunch, I had the great honor of sitting with Angelique, Dee Dee Davenport (our district’s Library Services Coordinator) and local author, Jeff Anderson.  Jeff has written a book called Zach Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth.   It is set in San Antonio, and the main character is a 6th grader.  It’s hilarious, and a great suggestion for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans who are ready for a book with less pictures.

jeffanderson

Another highlight at lunch was a presentation by Moonbot Studios. Moonbot Studios is the incredible company behind The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  This book, and the  imaginative short animation of the story, are two of my favorite resources.  A representative from the company came to speak at the conference, and then we were supposed to Skype with the author/illustrators of the book (and many others), William Joyce and Joe Bluhm.

However, a happy accident occurred.  We could see, but we couldn’t hear.  So, not to be deterred, William Joyce took us on a silent but delightful tour of Moonbot Studios – showing us work they had done as well as works in progress.  William Joyce skipped around and hammed for the camera like a young boy, and proudly showed us the Oscar for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

moonbot

I was so inspired by this wonderful day spent with librarians, authors, and makers!  This is the kind of professional development I would gladly participate in on a regular basis 🙂

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Ozobot Cardboard Mini Challenge Playbook

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge, Gigantic, ENORMOUS fan of the Global Cardboard Challenge.  Here are some of my lessons learned from last year’s incredible adventure.  And here are some of the reasons I love the Cardboard Challenge so much.

This year’s Cardboard Challenge culminates on October 10th, 2015. You can read more about it on the Imagination Foundation’s website .

One of the companies partnering with Imagination Foundation this year is Ozobot.  For those of you who don’t know, Ozobot is a tiny robot that performs actions based on colored lines.  The latest version of the robot, Ozobit, also has the capability to be programmed using Ozoblockly.

For ideas on how to use little Ozobot as part of a cardboard creation, you can download Ozobot’s Cardboard Mini Challenge Playbook, which has Cardboard Challenge resources and activity suggestions.

You don’t need an Ozobot to participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge – but it sure can bring an additional element of fun to your project!

Image from: BenSpark on Flickr
Image from: BenSpark on FlickrOzo

 

The Serious Business of Play

At the intersection of art and science, you will find 3M’s recent Rube Goldberg Machine video.

It is a masterpiece that proves that logic and creativity are not mutually exclusive.

Play-is-serious-business

 

How to Hack 5 Education Trends

If you’re like me, you might have set some professional goals for the summer – books you have been meaning to read, technology you wanted to learn, etc…  If you’re also like me, you may be in a bit of a panic right now because none of those things got accomplished.  You foolishly frittered your break away spending time with your family binging on Netflix and making videos for a global scavenger hunt that your daughter convinced you would be fun and not too embarrassing.

labor-day-ecard-someecards

So, now the beginning of the school rushes toward you and you are well aware that the professional goal that will take precedence over all the others will be, “to survive.”

I’m here to tell you that there are still ways to weave those professional goals into the new school year without becoming overwhelmed.  Below, I’ve listed a few trends in education that you can learn more about while doing some on-the-job-training:

Trend

Full Immersion

Hack

Growth Mindset Read Mindset, by Carol Dweck, and/or try resources from this Pinterest Board. Print out these alternative ways to praise from Angela Stockman and use them in your classroom regularly.
Makerspaces Read Worlds of Making by Laura Fleming and/or Invent to Learn by Martinez and Stager, check out this Pinterest Board, and create a dedicated space for making. Use “Challenge Boxes” in a center in your classroom.  You could also participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge.
Genius Hour Read Pure Genius by Don Wettrick, check out Joy Kirr’s LiveBinder for Genius Hour, and comb my Genius Hour blog page for resources and ideas. Give students more choices on how to be assessed on their learning.
Programming Learn how to use Scratch, Scratch Jr., and/or Hopscotch.  Explore the resources on this Pinterest Board. Participate in this year’s Hour of Code in December; all materials and tutorials are supplied for you free!
Augmented Reality Learn how to use Aurasma and/or Daqri 4D Studio to create Augmented Reality Experiences.  Check out my Augmented Reality page for tons of apps, lesson plans, and tutorials.  Katie Ann Wilson also has a great page of resources. Try the Quiver Vision free Educator pack that allows students to create and integrate Augmented Reality in the classroom.  Also, for an easy trial run, use their page (also at the above link) that celebrates Dot Day.

 

The “Hacks” listed above will not make you experts on any topic, but they will allow you to learn more about each trend. Then, you can decide for yourself if you want to try out some of the “Full Immersion” suggestions!

Teachers’ Day Out at HSM

If you are a teacher who happens to be in the vicinity of the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas, this week, a great opportunity awaits!  The Mill is offering free admission to teachers from August 5th to August 7th and the chance to win $100 credit to spend in their Science Store.  I’ve mentioned this wonderful spot before on my blog, and I highly recommend you make a visit.  There are activities that the entire family can enjoy!  Click here to learn more.

hillcountrysciencemill

Legos are Awesome

There. I said it.  I never thought I would.  Growing up, I had ZERO interest in Legos.

As an adult, I’ve continued to have ZERO interest in Legos.

Until a couple of years ago.

It turns out that Legos are a lot more versatile than I thought.

I briefly related my newfound respect for Legos in one of the posts I did for my Maker Space Essential Series.  If you do a search on my blog, you will find plenty of other posts related to Legos.

Since this is the National Week of Making in the United States, I thought I would curate a few more resources for you that offer opportunities to use Legos for more than just following the instructions in the box.

Make Magazine has an online page of Lego Ideas, which includes how to make a Lego puzzle.

The Lego Quest blog has 52 Lego challenges on it, one of which was to use Legos to represent a favorite song.

image from Lego Quest
Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” – image from Lego Quest

Finally, here are 25 Lego Learning Activities, which include making a balloon powered Lego car.

Don’t have your own Legos?  Well, you might have great success, as I did, just asking for donations.  Or, you could always make your own, like this student did on his home 3D printer to make a gift for me. (He made the green ones.)

3d Printed Legos

Yep. I used to think the only way Legos could make me cry would be to embed themselves in the bottom of my bare feet at inopportune moments.

Now they make a different kind of impression on me.

#NationOfMakers

According to the White House, the United States is celebrating a “National Week of Making” from 6/12-6/18 this year.  A National Maker Faire was held in Washington, D.C., on the 12th and 13th, and people all of the country are sharing ideas with the #nationofmakers hashtag.  You can go to this link to get ideas on ways to engage in making.

As many of you know, I am a huge proponent of the “maker movement” – especially within our schools.  It’s good to see it getting this kind of attention for the 2nd year in a row.

For a list of makers who participated in the National Maker Faire, check out this page.  You will see new ideas and new people that you might want to reach out to for “maker” advice.

If you would like some more resources, I have a Pinterest Board full of ideas and links to great websites for Makers!

image from
image from Go Make video on A Nation of Makers