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Monday, 27 March 2017

STEAM Fest 2017

ur Anual STEAM Fest was a huge success!

If you would like to read up on the prep, please click here.

This STEAM Fest, our school maker faire, was different in some ways than STEAM Fest 2016, in that the students defined the projects from day one. Last year, was our first attempt and we found that we ended up supplying a list of potential projects for students to sign up for. This year that wasn't necessary as staff and students had been through the process once before and had a good idea of what it is they would be taking on.

This year we tried something new. We live streamed our event to our School's Facebook pages. Several members of staff wandered the various venues with roaming cell phones and filmed, interviewed and talk with participants throughout the day, following a published schedule.

We found this really useful as we were able to open up the event to parents and families who were unable to attend. They were able to tune in o the event at given times to view the action.

Here is a short video from the auditorium, we took using Facebook Live Stream.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words.
Here is a link to our Flickr Gallery from the event. It speaks for itself.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

IT Security Videos-11th ITGS

The 11th grade ITGS students were learning about security issues this past week as well as how to avoid them and how to deal with them. They were asked to put a short video together to explain these concepts and did so over the course of two lessons.

The first step, after deciding on a focus was for them to identify key terminology and language they planned on using. Next,  they wrote short scripts and began their recordings. It was great to observe the variety of methods and applications they chose to produce their videos.

Here are three out of the many examples, compiled into one video. In these cases the students opted for Powtoon, whiteboards, and drawings, as well as presentation videos, in that order.


Monday, 20 February 2017

A Better World 2017

Each year our 6th grade students take part in the A Better World Project, an ABCICT global initiative.

During the project, students explore global issues, learn about the UN SDGs and engage in research activities, while fine-tuning their research skills. They learn search strategies, evaluate websites and learn how to take notes.

As the project progresses, the students apply their learning in a variety of creative ways.
They choose one global issue per pair and collaboratively write rap songs. Later, they mix music tracks on the iPads and record themselves singing using Garageband.  They create music videos using singing avatars created in Tellagami, Chatterpix and CrazyTalk,  and also record a few live shots, usually in front of a green screen. All of this footage is finally compiled in student produced, music videos. They use both DoInk's Green Screen App and iMovie on the school iPads to edit and render their videos.

All of this work is uploaded at certain stages,  throughout the process,  to student Google Sites and reflected upon.

The project is now winding down for the year, the plan being to have students finish off their sites and reflect this week.

Here is a preview of two student rap songs that we are quite proud of.

Do check back in a few weeks, to view the final project list for 2017.

Friday, 3 February 2017

STEAMing Along on Our Way to STEAM Fest 2016

This year's STEAM Fest is going to be bigger and better than last year's in a variety of ways. 

The number are in and the response has been overwhelming, from our  6th grade to 12th grade students.  Close to 100 students, from across Secondary have now formed teams and volunteered to plan and develop a STEAM project for this year's event. 

This doesn't take into account teachers, nor does it include the hundreds of  Primary students who will be working diligently in their lessons, on their projects as well. Upper Primary will present one final project per class, as well as several ICT projects, at this year's event.

The Logo Competition

Several students from both Primary and Secondary challenged themselves to design a new logo for this year's STEAM Fest, based on our new Motto which is: MAKEe a Difference, Think Globally, Act Locally!  The Logo Competition winners have been chosen and we have two of them.

The design below was created by combining both winning logos. These were selected from a collection of submissions as the ones that best illustrated our new Motto. 

BTW: You may recognise the last part of that motto. It isn't our own, in fact, we have borrowed it. If you would like to know more about this interesting quote you may want to start with this interesting  Wikipedia article about it.

Here is the winning announcement which will go out to students and staff this today.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

STEAM Fest Preparation

Our second annual STEAM Fest event will take place on March 10th this year. In fact, STEAM Fest will officially kick off Science Week instead of closing it as it did last school year.
This year's motto is: MAKE a Difference-Think Globally, Act Locally

While we have been meeting as a core committee over the last few months, and promoted it in various ways around the school, the real action and visible preparatory activities have just gained momentum.

The kids were introduced to STEAM Fest prior to Christmas Holidays in order to start gathering up their ideas and building their teams. Upon return to school in January, student project sign up began for a spot at the Fair. The deadline to fill in the Google Form  was last Friday, January 13th however, we left the intentionally left the receiving responses option activated on the Google Form and it has paid off.  We have had a continuous flow of submissions over this past week as well.

We are taking things up a notch this Friday. The predominately 10th, 11th and 12th grade STEAM Team leaders who have been actively speaking to students across Secondary in Assemblies, will be running a Mini Maker Meet-Up at the cafeteria during lunch time. As soon as the bell rings they will roll down a mobile maker cart and run 2 different activities of their own choice,each.

These activities are designed to capture student interest, imagination and enable everyone to have a  'taste' of some of our newer Gadgets, and design activities as well as encourage additional groups to sign up a project.

Below are the photos from the event.
If you would like to learn more about STEAM Fest 2017 or STEAM Fest 2016 have a look at our Official Website.

Please click here to view the entire gallery on flickr.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Input Devices 2

This week we have continued our study of Input Devices in 11th ITGS. The students randomly selected one input method to focus on and then scripted a short In Plain English Style video.

Some opted for paper cutouts, other whiteboards, and pens. The resulting videos were varied not only in content but in method. The students not only consolidated their understanding of these input methods but also found creative ways to teach others about them.

Here is a short mash-up of those that were turned in today.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

AR and VR in the LRC

With the arrival of our new Leap Motion devices, and our existing Google Cardboard we have had the opportunities to really explore with our students. These coupled with our existing iPads and QR code Apps, have lead to a series of exciting activities so far, this school year.

Leap Motion in 11th Grade ITGS 

We have been  looking at input devices in 11th grade ITGS. This was a prime opportunity to test out with the leaps and have the kids prepare their own activities. During the session, we worked with both the Leap Motions and MakeyMakey input devices, both of which are powerful learning tools, however, this post is about AR and VR, so we will leave the MakeyMakey discussion for another time.

In order to prepare for the lesson, I provided students with a link to the Leap Motion Gallery and asked them to choose and download a couple of modules they were interested in trying out. It is important to note that there are a great variety of activities to choose from, unfortunately, some are not available for Mac users. It was easy to share the information with students, as we are using Google Classroom to run our lessons and communicate with each other. The kids had a wonderful time exploring different modules. You can view some of the work they did in this mashup video from the input lesson.

*We did find,  that we had to really work initially to get used to the range that the Leap Motion would detect. Students persisted and did get the hang of it rather quickly in the end.

Google Cardboard in 12th Grade ITGS

In 12th grade, we have been looking at wearable technology, what better time to bring out the Cell phones and Google Cardboard.

The kids downloaded the appropriate app to their cell phones for homework and after a brief introduction they partnered up and we took the tech outside. It is important to have kids working in pairs with VR as it is easy for them to trip and bump into things. Our students spotted each other in partners and took turns with the viewers.

The excitement quickly crescendoed,  as students explored using these simple cardboard devices. They were immersed in what they were doing,  actively exploring, evaluating the technology and having a great deal of fun doing so. All we needed to accomplish this was the cheapest of cardboard viewers,  their own cell phones, and the free apps. You can even download templates to help you build your own cardboard viewers.

Here are a few options for doing this:
Google Cardboard Production Kit

Please see the previous post for a short video and further details on this activity.

QR Code Scavenger Hunt-6th Grade LRC Orientation

Each year we host an orientation session in the Learning Resources Centre for the 6th grade students moving up to Secondary.

This year we decided to take advantage of the popularity that has grown around Pokemon Go and use it as our hook. We used our Pokemon theme, along with our existing iPads, a QR Code reader (We prefer i-nigma),  paired with physical QR Codes to build a massive (I kid you not-over 100 students strong!) scavenger hunt.

The  QR codes were used to place scannable text clues within Pokeballs which were distributed around the school, along with Pokemon characters. We used Google Maps to create a perimeter map for the work and determined different routes for each team.

Teams started off with a small Ziploc bag containing their first QR Pokeball clue and a copy of the map. Each team was given an iPad.  It was delightful to watch the students tearing across the field, verifying their positions on the map, discovering their clues and rushing to see which would be the first group to finish. Some of them even ended up in the shrubs outside the headmaster's office. Upon arrival at the LRC(They all ended up here), they had a book related clue to resolve and activity to complete upon finding the right location and identifying the book. They were then given some time to browse the resources on offer.

Here are is a link to the photo gallery for the event.

We have plenty of other activities planned for the school year involving our modest collection of AR and VR devices and applications and are looking forward to discovering, even more applications to use in our regular lessons and special events. The next step is to have t-shirts made for our annual book week, covered in interesting codes and having students scan us as we move about the school.

*One last note, we used to create VR pop-up books using Zooburst, which was a great application, however, the site has since closed.  They do offer an App however that seems to still be available. It is an app worth investigating.