One of my favorite projects last year was a design thinking challenge where students had to design and 3D print cookie cutters for teachers in the building. Our theme for the year was empathy, and this challenge required students to create a design for a specific client, ask for feedback, and iterate on that feedback. The best part of the project was all the plates of cookies we received from happy teachers!
For many of my friends with children December 1st marks the start of finding new and creative ways to pose their elf on the shelf. Inspired by these photos, I created a template for students and teachers to build their own scenes using Google Drawing. You can access the template here. Please share your completed scenes with me!
Also, I would love to include a more diverse set of elves to this template. If you are anyone you know have PNG files of diverse elves (race and gender) in various poses please contact me.
When I was going through my pre-service training my facilitator passed an external hard drive containing all of her curriculum around the classroom for us to copy onto our laptops. She jokingly told us that the key to being a successful teacher is to follow the C.A.S.E. Method: Copy and Steal Everything.
Fast forward ten years and I am presenting at an ed tech conference. Scrolling through the hashtag for the event between sessions I see someone delivering parts of a presentation I gave at an earlier conference using the same templates I had created. Intrigued, I pulled up the deck on the conference website and was surprised that these resource weren’t credited to me. This individual, like many of us, was following the C.A.S.E method and like many of us, don’t always attribute where we are getting our resources and ideas from.
I've been hearing more about more about schools purchasing 3D printers, but teachers being unsure about how to actually implement the technology in their classrooms. Last year I built out a makerspace at my former school complete with three 3D printers. I introduced a series of design thinking challenges that asked students to 3D print artifacts for an actual user. One such project asked students to create and print a necklace pendant for a friend.
Last month, I was honored to present my jewelry design thinking project to my colleagues at our district's annual tech conference, Tech Talk & Googlepalooza. You can view my deck from the session here.
Last month Gartner released their annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies and claims that augmented reality (AR) is two to five years away from reaching mainstream adoption. However, given the popularity of Pokemon Go; AR filters on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram; and the upcoming release of ARKit with iOS 11, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a giant leap in AR adoption much sooner.
My love of AR and my colleagues geeking out with Breakout Edu over the summer led me to start thinking about ways that we might integrate AR into Breakouts. Here are some of my current favorite FREE apps (that aren’t Aurasma) and ways to integrate them into a Breakout.
This year we are welcoming a new STEM school to the district, William H. Brown Elementary School. When planning for their introductory professional development, as a team we knew that we wanted to have the teachers participate in a high-quality STEM activity that incorporated the five elements of a STEM unit: STEM standards, authentic (real world examples), STEM careers, transdisciplinary, and the Four Cs).
My colleague, Chris Nho (email, twitter) had the brilliant idea to have the teachers participate in an activity inspired by Dear Data. Dear Data was a year-long project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, two award-winning information designers. Once a week the designers sent each other personal data in the form of hand drawn postcards and through these messages, they learned more about one another. You can watch a short video about the project here.
I've always placed a huge emphasis on not only interpreting data in my class, but also the importance of students organizing and presenting their own data in a professional manner. Over the past few years I have moved away from having my students make pen and paper graphs (a skill have already covered in elementary school) and have required them to create digital graphs in Google Sheets. These graphs can easily be inserted into Slides and Docs, giving student presentations and lab reports a more polished, professional look.
Originally posted on the National Science Teacher Association blog.
On July 30th, eight high school students and four teachers from the United States traveled to Tokyo to participate in the third annual TOMODACHI Toshiba Science and Leadership Academy. The goal of our trip was to work with Japanese students and teachers on two science and engineering projects that I will also be implementing in my classroom this year. The first project was to build a marble elevator using the engineering and design process and the second project was to use science and technology ideas to improve a real-life community by making it smarter and more disaster-resilient. At the closing ceremonies each group presented their suggestions for one of the following communities: Jakarta, Beijing, Lesbos, or Kuchineorabu-jima