Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Secret Garden Model

The Year 7 and 8 elective group have had a lot of fun with 3D printing. The scale model of the secret garden has been coming on nicely. The scale we used was 1:40 and the maths involved in the process has been a good challenge for the group. We have made some of the items with cardboard but many of the specific details are printed.  The next step is to put our ideas to the management, get some funding and turn the model into a reality. I am again reminded of the importance of grounding this kind of learning in real life contexts.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

3D Design

This term I have been working with the Year 7 and 8 students on 3D design. We have been up skilling ourselves with 3D hand drawing, using Tinkercad and 3D printing. That has been a lot of fun but our main purpose is to use these skills to develop plans to visualise the Secret Garden.

The students have big ideas to re-develop the area with improved gardens, seating, decking and paths. To express their plans they have drawn their ideas but also will create a 3D model to persuade the management to invest in this project. We will be creating printed scaled 3D versions of the seating and sculptures to place in our model.

The iPad - The All Purpose Tool

Today I was working with a Year 4-5 class on a technology challenge. They had to design a marble run that caused the marble to go as slow as possible, so it could take long as possible. The iPad was the ubiquitious tool from the beginning of the process to the end. It was used at the beginning to search out examples. It was used to photograph and record the process. It was used, of course for the important and critical timing. Finally it was used to video those most successful runs. A memory of a triumph in design!  It reminded me how important open ended, hands on challenges are for learners.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Our class are currently enjoying the Scratch website and app. We have been experimenting with games, stories and quizzes but the possibilities are endless. Software that allows this level of creation are very important and we need to be careful that we are not just gauging students skills according to their consumption of digital content.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Developing a Culture of Learning with Devices

A nice thing happened to me the other day in the class. We were in the middle of a lesson when a student said “I hope you don't mind me interrupting and I know this is off the topic, but the latest update of the Google Docs app allows you to directly import photos. The class then spontaneously broke out into cheers. Everyone was excited and I was quite surprised by the response, but we all agreed this was a really useful addition to the app. It would make us more productive. It was exciting to see students who saw their devices is an important tool for learning.

Google's baseline apps are Docs, Slides and Sheets and these three allow all kinds of productivity in the classroom. In Room 21 we used Google Slides to share our learning at the festival. It is great to see Google apps being used in all the Year 5 to 8 classes.

One of their biggest advantages is of course that they are free and multi-platform. This means that work can be accessed from any device or computer at school or at home. Please do take the time to look at your child’s work. These tools are all about communication and we want our students to be great communicators. Read their work, let them know what they are doing well. Take the role of an audience and help them enhance and improve their language and ideas.

Last week’s festival was all about developing culture. We want our students to develop a culture of learning with technology.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Kiwis Can Fly

Room 21 are very excited to be in the top ten entries for the Air New Zealand safety competition. They used the Stop Motion Studio app to make their animation. The music was created using Garageband on iPads and also iMacs. Each animated clip was complied and edited using iMovie. Good luck to them. They worked really hard on this project. Other finalists can be seen here...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Stop Motion Studio

In Room 21 (The Green Dragon) we have been learning what our learning style is. Are we auditory learners, or maybe visual learners? Do we work best with a group or by ourselves? What are our learning smarts?  Are they kinesthetic, linguistic or nature based?

We used the Stop Motion Studio App and Lego to present our discoveries. Here's Charley's take on his learning style. Knowing how we learn best is useful as we embark on a year of school.