Add This

Bookmark and Share

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.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Google Cardboard in ITGS

Last week we spent half an hour testing out and evaluating Google Cardboard in our HL ITGS class. This was  part of our preliminary work on wearable tech. The students viewed a video overview, learned how to use the headsets and the Cardboard App (which runs 360 degree videos), then assembled the devices. Next, we headed outdoors to the grassy area in front of the LRC. Luckily, there was a respite in the rainy weather and the grass was also dry, enabling us to purposefully wander around the grounds, whilst immersed in different VR environments.

It was fascinating to observe the kids as they took tours, spotted their partners and shared their locations and findings, all without leaving the lawn in front of the LRC. This work was punctuate by excited exclamations, location call outs and the regular directions of the spotters.

The next step is to continue the debrief, and record their findings on their response sheets. Interestingly enough, the students were very impressed by these cheap cardboard constructions built for cell phones, despite their awareness of the range of alternative high tech VR devices currently available. It will certainly be interesting to read their written responses to the this experience.

Friday, 10 June 2016

PBL, Sustainable Farming and Salad Day

Over the last few months we have been working with our 7s on a rather large, but very exciting sustainable farming unit. 

This involved research and recording, learning how to use spreadsheets for orders and plant growth, planting vertical gardens and caring for them as well as creating vertical gardens in Minecraft Edu.
Click here to view the lessons.

The unit came to an end last week with what we have named Salad Day. It isn't actually a day, but about two hours of harvesting, washing and sharing the produce that grew. 

Our cucumbers were still flowering as were the tomatoes, but the basil, radishes, cilantro lettuce and even some of the carrots were ready for eating. 

The kids had a lovely time as did the teachers and everyone really enjoyed the fruits of their labour. 

Click here to view more images from this event. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Our New 3D Printer

We have deliberated for more than a year, about the purchase of a 3D printer for the Learning Resources Centre and ICT Department. During this time, we looked at many models under $1000, had people in, gone on courses, and viewed even more at ISTE 2015. Finally, last week,  we made a decision. We really liked the Polar, and may buy one yet,  however it was too late for us to spend that kind of money. We decided to go with the XYZ Davinci instead.

It took a week for the printer to get  to El Salvador, which was a feat in itself and about 2 days, made up of a few minutes here and there, in between lessons and end of year activities,  to get things going.

Our first calibration attempt failed and the first printout was messy, probably due to the quality selected and the calibration having failed! Perhaps the most challenging aspect of setting it up was getting the filament to catch. After reading numerous forums and trying things out based on advice, I decided to give it an gentle nudge while the extruder was trying to engage it. Finally, it worked!

I am presently trying a slightly different model at a higher quality to see what it can do. The XYZ is a wonderful not so little machine and XYZ website is very useful. I would strongly recommend the beginner tutorials. They are quick, to the point and very helpful for noobs like us.

I can't keep my eyes off of it. I find myself entranced, watching it create its little model. It is like watching XYZ TV.

Here is a short video to show its progress. I have also included an image of the SketchUp model it is based on, which was created by one of our very able 8th grade designers.

I will upload a shot of the final model as soon as it is done. Which according to the screen should be in about 55 minutes time.

Here are the two first attempts. The improvement is quite noticeable.
The next step is to calibrate it tomorrow and try again.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

DVA 2016

Inline images 2

The 6th Annual DVA was a Fantastic success. This was a gala event in which students, teachers and parents came from across the school in celebration of ABC student digital video work.  A wonderful audience was in attendance to witness the numerous awards that were given out during the evening. 

We would like to offer an additional word of congratulations to Victor Hugo Salazar in 11th grade, who this year became a member of the DVA Committee and produced the final video production for the show. 

Do have a look at our Flickr Album, The LRC Facebook page additional for photos and details about this event.

Here is the list of winning videos:

2nd Grade Animation

Ariella Schaeuffler for The Hungry Shark

3rd Grade Animation
Gerardo Cuellar Scratch Toy Design

4th Grade Animation

5th Grade Animation
Adriana Menjívar for Agario Animation

KS3 Animation
Eliza Giammattei, Pablo Hernández,Daniel Figueroa, Adriela Grijalva for Snowflakes on Track

KS2 Educational
Diego Salguero for How to Make a 2x2 Piston Door

KS3 Educational
Maria Paulina Garrido for Huge Volcano Eruption

Star Wars Parody
Airi Shibata, Ivana Salomé, Montserat Gagliardo Monge for Star Wars A Capella

Independent Trailer
Víctor Hugo Salazar and Natalia Castaneda for Buble gum

IB Promo

Víctor Hugo Salazar and Andrés López for Introduction to IB Film

11th Grade Short

Víctor Hugo Salazar, Gabriela Zedán and Mauricio Velásquez for Time to Move

IB Short
Javier Miguel for Letters to Heaven

Movie of the Year
Victor Hugo Salazar, Gabriela Zedan and Mauricio Velasquez for Time to Move

    Tuesday, 10 May 2016


    The 6th Annual ABC Digital Video Awards is almost upon us.  Thursday May 19th is the date for this this gala event, the purpose of which is to highlight excellence in student video work, done throughout the school year.

    This year we have 52 student filmmakers, from 2nd to 12th grade,  involved as nominees in the following categories, (some within several subcategories):

    Best Animation
    Best Educational Video
    Best Star Wars Parody
    Best Advertisement
    Best Short Film
    Movie of the Year

    The theme is Star Wars, and at 7:30pm on the 19th of May, those people lucky enough to be in the PAC, will be transported to a galaxy far far away.

    Community voting opened on Monday and will be closed as of 3:00 this Thursday, in time to tally the votes and prepare the awards.

    We would like to thank all of the parents in advance, whose children have been nominated for an award,  for their support the evening of the event. Please ensure that you fill in the RSVP you were sent.

    Do mark your calendars as this is an event you will not want to miss.

    Saturday, 19 March 2016

    STEAM Fest 2016

    Our first ever STEAM Fest was a great success. 

    The ABC and local community came together in a full scale celebration of STEAM. The projects were wonderful, and the energy crackled as the whole school, whole day event took centre stage across 3 different venues. The level of engagement and excitement was paramount, as student and staff presenters, and creative centre leaders from our school, as well as from around El Salvador, worked and interacted with students, staff, visitors and local dignitaries.

    Here are some of the preliminary photos from the event. The organisers of the event issue a huge thank you to the hundreds of people that made it all possible! 
    We now look forward to STEAM Fest 2017.

    Thursday, 10 March 2016

    WAAM-We Are All Makers

    Next week promises to be spectacular. Not only will Brain Awareness Week and Science Week come together, but this year they do so along with our community of makers, which will trigger an explosion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics initiatives. The event is STEAM Fest and it promises to captivate, compel and inspire the community through creativity and innovation.

    This is the first ever STEAM Focused event to take place at the ABC, which brings together the whole school, schools from the community, as well as local educational and STEAM based organisations.
    Over 240 ABC Staff and students are directly involved, as are several local schools, international organisations and businesses.

    The Fest or Faire opens on March 16th at 8:00, with a keynote delivered by the British Ambassador on the topic of British Science Week. The Ambassador will then award the prizes for the winning Primary and Secondary Science Faire projects. The event will run all day and end at 2:00, with the final Keynote delivered by via video, by one of our very own STEAM pioneers, Exabrit Roberto Melendez.

    During the day students, staff and visiting teams will run exhibits, creative centres and in some cases, competitions. A total of 57 exhibitions and creative centres and 34 Science Fair finalist projects,  will fill the Auditorium and PAC, and spill over into the Auditorium Mezzanine and Drama Studio.

    Classes from every year group will visit STEAM Fest during the course of the day and be able to engage in creative, active experimentation and learning. STEAM Fest promises to stimulate all the senses and build cognitive and community connections for everyone who involved.

    Parents are invited to drop in during the day and visit the various STEAM Fest venues, which will be open all day, but close briefly at Secondary lunch and break times. Parking for the event will be on the basketball courts, which can be accessed through the Administration parking lot. 

    We do hope to see you there and  invite you watch our latest teaser , which will give you a good idea of the sorts of activities that are taking place, in preparation for STEAM Fest 2016.

    Finally we would like to thank our wonderful STEAM Fest sponsors, who play an important role in  STEAM Fest 2016.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 9.09.24 AM.png

    Thursday, 3 March 2016

    Book Week 2016

    ABC Book Week 2016

    The ABC annual Book Week event wound up today. Book Week is a whole school event, which takes place around World book Day, and is a  celebration of books, a love of reading and and a love of writing.

    Many activities took place during the week, in different sections of the school.
    Secondary school students arrived on Monday to encounter a large reading tree, which had sprouted at the centre of the LRC. This tree was quickly embellish by students who prepared and hung their very own book reviews on its branches. The annual Book Week Fair took place from Wednesday to Friday and hosted a variety of  local book shops and artisans. A good number of students and other members of the community seized the opportunity to visit the stalls in lessons and during break times.

    The LRC Librarians organised several visits by acclaimed local authors, who lead workshops and talks for many of the students during their Spanish and French lessons. Amongst these authors were Carlos Colindres from the American Embassy and Susana Reyes, each of whom spoke to the 11th grade students. Ligia Salguero Mediateca from the Spanish Embassy, Isabel Barrientos from the Colegio Liceo Francés, Lucia la Guacalcía, and Josué Peña, all local authors, ran reading and writing workshops for the 6th grade students.

    A book donation centre was placed at the front of the LRC for members of the community to deposit new and used books in. This will remain in place for the following week. The donations, which are destined for the Centro Escolar Católico Virgen de la Paz, Tamanique, La Libertad are greatly appreciated.

    The week’s activities culminated in the annual Character Day, in which students demonstrated their love of books by dressing up for the day as their favourite book characters.  Alternatively, students had the option to show their support of school charities, by wearing charity focused  t-shirts.

    This was a high energy Book Week, full of activity and special events, which focussed on the joy to be found in reading and writing. I would personally like to thank Hilda Gomez and Eugenia Rivas for their hard work in organising Book Week in the Secondary.

    Jennifer Garcia
    LRC Coordinator

    Here are a few photos from the week. They entire collection can be accessed from the LRC Flickr Page.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 6.01.20 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 6.00.28 PM.png

    Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    STEAM Fest 2016

    This year has been a year of transition for the LRC. Not only have we created a 3 tier maker system of drop ins, an extra curricular club, and making in our ICT PBL units, but we are about to launch our ver first STEAM Fest on Wednesday 16th of March.

    This whole school event will be partnered with both Primary and Secondary Science Fairs, as well as Brain Awareness Week. It will provide a venue, not only for our school community, but for other schools and organisations around the country, at which to promote educational development and student innovation through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics) projects.

    STEAM as an educational approach, focuses on the whole child, through inquiry, problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. STEAM focuses on the learning process and provides students with learning opportunities to investigate, plan, and develop meaningful open ended projects.

    STEAM Fest will provide opportunities throughout the day for students to participate in creative activity centres, view expositions and interact with presenters. Please visit our STEAM Fest Site to learn more.