From June 22 – July 24, I led technology projects at Marymount’s Summer STEAM Camp in the awesome FabLab Makerspace at their 5th Avenue campus. It was quite an experience to gather, develop, and run projects for campers with varying skill sets in grades K-5 for five weeks. Also, each grade level had a different and unique theme almost every week, and I challenged myself to plan integrated projects that correlated with their themes.
Thankfully, I regularly attend lots of professional development events including meetings, workshops, and conferences. Plus, I have a pretty big network of people generously willing to share ideas, so the hardest part was to research different options for each week’s topic and narrow down the choices. Blessedly, Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo) was there for the final week of camp to help with crafting automata and laser cutting gears. She’s an amazingly gifted engineer and design thinker who also leads wonderful learning opportunities at The Beam Center (@beamcenterNYC) in Brooklyn and beyond.
IE1 and IE2 in grades K-1 were the youngest campers I worked with. They met the least frequently for one or two 45-minute sessions per week. I had a set of iPads available, so after some brief instructions and examples, kids worked independently or in pairs to explore a variety of coding, building, and learning apps including Kodable, Hopscotch, Scratch Jr., Blokify, Tinkerplay, and PrintShop.
@i_ballz are a well-designed and unique way to protect a variety of tablets and devices (and provide seemingly endless opportunities for low-brow jokes). They cost $24.95 retail, and he price goes down to $15 or less for schools. They come in a few colors, and there’s a mini version for smaller tablets and Kindles. I can totally see having a bunch of them in a bucket next to the charging cabinet. Then kids strap on the balls when they take an iPad to use for class. Depending on the charging cabinet, the iBallz could just stay on all the time.
The guys behind iBallz are a dynamic duo based out of San Francisco. They also designed a great holdover iPad case Check our their website at iBallz.info
Katelin O’Hare (@oharebros) teaches 6th art and was interested in doing an end of year tech project. Katelin led a stop-motion unit with 8th grade in the fall, and she considered trying it out with 6th grade as well. I suggested using Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches as inspiration, since 6th grade was finishing up their unit on The Renaissance: Romeo and Juliet in English, debates about Galileo and Copernicus in Social Studies, Golden Ratios in Math, etc…
Students created a storyboard using post-its on a large sheet of paper in order to detail the key frames of their short film. They were tasked with shooting a minimum of 10 seconds at 10 frames per second (100 frames). They used brads, string, sticks, and wire to make the tiny movements of their paper cut-outs. Some of their finished shorts are below. Enjoy!
Kindergarten teacher, Karlyn Adler (@karlynadler), has been toying with the Aurasma augmented reality app since December. For KA’s parent share last week, she captured video of the kids explaining their recent work and uploaded these clips to their class’s Auasma channel. Parents used iPads with headphones to access these videos when the iPad faced key places on the wall to trigger the video overlay. (Katie Pabarue (@kpabarue) has been using Aurasma with her 1st graders to capture delightful book reviews – I hope you have time to ask her about that too!)
Speaking of Karlyn’s awesome new online space, below is a description for my Teach21 workshop on Wednesday, June 18. I hope you’ll join me for it or for the other two I proposed…
Our Portfolios, Ourselves: Crafting a Digital Portfolio of Your Work as an Educator
Curation is a 21st Century skill, so let’s show how to gather archival evidence of your professional endeavors and classroom projects in a digital portfolio. You’ll learn tips to get started: What to gather? Where to put it? How much will this cost? How to organize it? What settings to use? How to link or embed artifacts? How to connect with others?
This is a half-day workshop offered from 9:00 – 11:30. Please stay and join us for lunch.