This month, in the Scarfe Digital Sandbox (Scarfe 155) every teacher candidate in the Bed program (elementary, middle and secondary) will have the opportunity to participate in a ‘Makerspace’ as part of your orientation to Library and Information Literacy with your LLED 350 and LLED 360 course.
In Scarfe 155 (through the ed lib), we’ll begin with a brief overview and discussion about the ‘maker movement’ and ‘maker ed’ and how this fits with the revised BC Curriculum including the Core Competencies and the BC Applied Design Skills and Technologies Curriculum (ADST).
Following this brief overview, it’s all hands on, minds-on exploration. You will have the opportunity to play and learn at several different stations. You are also invited to return to play during some noon hour ‘pop up making’ opportunities during the month of September or you can drop by the TC Tech Coach table in the Scarfe foyer Tuesdays and Thursdays 12 – 2 beginning Sept. 12th.
During your orientation, you will also participate in an Augmented Reality exploration of the library. There are a number of applications that teachers can use to create their own AR experiences – Aurasma, Zappar, Augment to name a few. In your library orientation, you will use an app created by a UBC student as part of a project developed by Wendy Traas, our own Ed Librarian!
Making Stations include the following:
Keva Contraptions (Bricks or Planks) – explore concepts including force and motion as you create a course or even a Rube Goldberg machine! The Keva website has some design challenge ideas and lesson plans to get you thinking. Check out ‘Audri’s Monster Trap’ video to see the engagement that might occur when a child designs and tests their own machine!
Unplugged Coding – Help students build their computational thinking skills without the need for digital devices! There are many examples of unplugged coding activities you might engage in with your students. We might try ‘binary bracelets‘ or My Robotic Friends. Visit Code.org for many plugged and unplugged coding ideas and resources. Check out ‘hour of code’ for some one hour lesson plans from K – 12.
Osmo – Some interesting possibilities (particularly at the elementary level) with this hardware and the associated apps… We’ll also have some interesting augmented reality applications at this station.
Button Maker – procedural knowledge is important to literacy! Creatively design your unique visual story and learn to follow the steps to create a button… ok, this one isn’t so much about the valuable learning opportunity as the sheer fun of creating a unique button! Add a little ‘flare’ to your wardrobe!
On the Maker Kit Shelf during the session – feel free to explore!:
Makey Makey – create your own game controller using any conductive material. I’ve even seen interactive posters created using Makey Makey kits! The Makey website has some lesson plans you can adapt for your own use.
Squishy Circuits – explore conductivity, circuitry and electricity as you problem solve and persevere to make a buzzer buzz, an LED light shine or a motor spin. Visit the University of St. Thomas Squishy Circuit website for recipes and lessons ideas.
Magnet Play – what can you learn when you simply play with various types of magnets? K-7 Science curriculum includes properties of matter at most every grade level… allowing children the opportunity to free play and explore the properties of magnets helps to naturally scaffold their learning. Students will learn about polarity, attraction, repulsion and more and may even invent a new toy or device as they play!
Sphero – a programmable robotic sphere that is not only fun to play with but also an excellent access point for students of any age to explore coding. Consider creating a ‘design challenge’ using a Sphero as a motor (The Sphero website has an example of a chariot challenge... how can you take this to the next level? Perhaps open up the challenge to include any type of vehicle (yes, the sphere is also waterproof!). Students can work together to use the iterative design process to create their own land or water vehicles using various found materials and then use the Sphero to test their prototypes. Once satisfied with the vehicle, they can then program a path using drag and drop programming (use of such programming language is included in Grades 6 – 9 of the BC ADST curriculum and can be incorporated even in the early primary years)
If you didn’t get a chance to play with one of the above and would like to try it out, check out the kits available on the shelf in Scarfe 155 – (available for loan beginning September 25th with more to come – Use them in Scarfe 155 anytime or sign them out at the circulation desk)