Having discussed Makers Empire as a source of possible T & D for 3D printing in 2018 I thought I would post a couple of videos that will help teachers understand what Makers Empire offer. For more information about Maker’s Empire click here.
If you are interested in educational technology, want to be inspired by ideas from other schools and understand better how to lead the implementation of technology in schools then this podcast is one you might be interested in listening to. This podcast while called Leading Change is not just for school leaders. The podcast discusses and shares what students are doing and how it has impacted on their learning and there is a lot to be gained by the classroom teacher who is interested in developing their use of technology with students. Episodes are approximately 20 minutes long.
A dynamic behind the scenes look at how school leaders across the Asia Pacific region deal with the rapidly developing technological age. Those leading the change take you on a passionate, inspirational and honest journey through the planning, implementation and evaluation of classroom technology. iTunes Description
I believe this Podcast is only available in iTunes. You can access it through the Podcast app by Apple or open iTunes on your computer and select Podcasts and type in Leading Change: The Technology in School’s Podcast into the search bar to download episodes.
iOS 11 has just been released and it offers many new features some of which I have commented on at the end of this post. The main aim of this post though is to focus on two of the more significant alterations to the previous iOS. These are the ability to screen record and Apple’s new ARKit (augmented reality).
Apple’s new operating system iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded to the following devices (source – MacRumors):
Being able to record what is happening on the iPhone/iPad screen is a great addition to the latest operating system. As teachers this function could assist us to make short instructional videos, for example showing students how to use an app or how to effectively search on Safari. These videos could be Airdropped across the class set of iPads ready for students to access during the lesson. It also allows students another way to present their learning, for example completing a presentation using Keynote and then creating a video of that presentation with audio.
“iOS 11 introduces ARKit, a new framework that allows you to easily create unparalleled augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around you, ARKit takes apps beyond the screen, freeing them to interact with the real world in entirely new ways.” Apple, 2017
The ARKit which is part of iOS 11 provides a platform for augmented reality apps to be downloaded from the app store and used with the iPhone or iPad. It is worth noting that to get the full functionality of ARKit you require a device which uses an A9 or larger processor. This means you have to have one of the following models: iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X, all iPad Pro models and iPad Air 2017 (5th Generation). For most of us we will be consumers of the augmented reality apps developed to use with ARKit as opposed to creating and developing apps.
The following videos are examples of applications created to take advantage of Apples ARKit.
The new IKEA Place app lets you select items from the company’s vast product catalogue and drag them into your own home. Source
My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR by Touch Press, the company behind the award winning iOS, Android and Windows apps based on the book, will see you nurturing your very own adorable caterpillar, playing with it and helping it grow a garden. Source
For budding CGI blockbuster moviemakers, 3D film visualisation tool ShotPro is taking advantage of the ARKit platform to make embedding dragons and dinosaurs into real locations a simple drag and drop affair. Source
Using Apple’s AR framework and the nothing more than the camera sensor in your iPhone or iPad, the FREE MeasureKit App can measure just about anything without hunting down a ruler or tape measure. However, unlike a ruler, MeasureKit provides precise dimensions not just for height and width, but also measurements of distance, angle, trajectory, level, square, and more. Source
Other cool features
Note: The following information is taken directly from forbes.com
Do not disturb while driving
The Do Not Disturb feature is known for being useful by preventing notification noises while you are sleeping. Apple enhanced the Do Not Disturb feature by providing an option so that you do not get distracted while driving. When you start driving, your iPhone will be able to sense that you are in transit so it can prevent you from being disturbed with phone calls, text messages and notifications. People that try to reach you while Do Not Disturb While Driving is activated will be notified that you are not available right now. Source
iOS 11 is bringing a new app to the iPad called Files. The Files app allows users to search, browse and organise all of your cloud and locally stored files. This includes files stored in cloud services such as Apple iCloud Drive, Box and Dropbox. You can also bookmark your favourite files in a folder on the sidebar called “Favourites.” The Files app on the iPad now feels more like a computer desktop. Source
New Control Centre
The Control Centre has been completely redesigned in iOS 11. And now you can customise it with different shortcuts and preferences. For example, you can add the ability to dim the lights, control Voice memos and place a shortcut for Low Power Mode. And applying 3D Touch (long hold instead of tap) to the Control Centre presents additional controls. Source
Speaker support for multiple rooms
AirPlay 2 support is integrated in the Home app for iOS 11. And with the AirPlay 2 integration, you can control the volume and playlists for the smart speakers in each individual room from the Home app. This allows different music to be played at different volumes from the one device. Source
One of the best new features coming to iOS 11 is Indoor Maps in the Maps app. With this feature, you can view the indoor maps of hundreds of shopping centres and major airports. Now you can see which restaurants are beyond security at airports and the stores that are on each level of the mall. Source
Document scanning in notes
The Notes app now has a Document Scanner function that can automatically detect when a photo of a document is taken. And then the Notes app automatically crops the edges and removes tilts and glares. Plus you can fill in the blanks or sign it with the Apple Pencil. Once you are done editing the document, then you can export it as a PDF or document file. Source
There are significant benefits to communicating a child’s learning to parents outside of the traditional term report, take home book and parent teacher interview. This post looks at two ways to engage parents and caregivers beyond the traditional structures schools put in place to connect student learning with home.
The following are benefits resulting from increasing parent involvement in a child’s learning:
- Children tend to achieve more, regardless of ethnic or racial background, socioeconomic status, or parents’ education level.
- Children generally achieve better grades, test scores, and attendance.
- Parents have a better understanding of the teacher’s job and school curriculum.
- Parents’ perceptions of the school are improved and there are stronger ties and commitment to the school.
- When schools have a high percentage of involved parents, teachers and principals are more likely to experience higher morale.
- Teachers and principals report an increase in job satisfaction.
- Schools that actively involve parents and the community tend to establish better reputations in the community.
To see another 16 reasons why engaging parents with their child’s learning is important click on the following link: Excerpt from Home-School Relations: Working Successfully with Parents and Families, by G. Olsen, M.L. Fuller, 2008 edition, p. 129-130.
The following two communication methods are practical examples of how classroom teachers can connect with parents. Both methods have been successfully used this year by Kelly and Ange.
Kelly uses the Seesaw app (available on Apple and Android devices) which allows moments in time to be captured via image or video along with student or teacher comments and made available instantly to the parent of that child. If time does not allow for sharing instantly then video, images and comments can be uploaded later at a more convenient time. It allows Kelly to create portfolios of work for each child with control over what is posted, who can see it and when it is posted. These portfolios can be divided into subject folders.
The benefits that Kelly has found by using Seesaw over traditional take home books include:
- The ease at which information can be sent home.
- An instant connection with parents. Parents will often comment on their child’s work the same day it is sent.
- It provides parents with a more regular up date of their child’s progress as opposed to a take home book that only goes home at the end of each term.
- The regular nature of sharing student learning allows parents to have better informed conversations around their child’s learning at home.
- Seesaw allows video to be used which is much more powerful (at times) than static work samples or images found in a take home book.
- Kelly no longer has to store and keep track of a take home book for each child.
- Kelly no longer has to spend time cutting and gluing work samples into a take home book.
- NIT teachers for Kelly’s class can be connected to the account and add to student portfolios.
On Thursday of week 10, term 3 Ange invited parents in for the last lesson of the day to have her students show parents some of their learning. This began by showing parents Mindset videos students had made around the topic of maths. This was very powerful as not only was it reinforcing the importance of mindset to students but it was educating parents at the same time. This means that a certain level of consistency has been created between what students are learning and what parents understand to be happening in the classroom. Students then took parents out into the wet area and demonstrated their coding skills with the Bee Bots. The students final task was to show their parents two Keynote presentations which had been made on the iPads. Students had to go through their presentations explaining the content they had created. One presentation was on spiders and the other on a country of the students choice.
Ange’s classroom was packed with parents and caregivers all keen to see what their child had been doing. Every child had an adult attend.
Having had conversations with the parents and teachers involved in these communications methods it is clear there has been some significant upside including improved parent understanding of the curriculum and the teacher’s role, improved parent perception of the school, improved parental engagement in student learning and a sense of job satisfaction felt by the teacher.
Dan Haesler has written an article titled [Still] struggling to get our head around social media in schools… about how social media is taught in schools – with a focus on what not to do. He describes how schools (and parents) focus on the negatives of social media without considering how students can use it to create a positive digital footprint. The point he makes is that avoiding a negative digital footprint does not mean avoiding a digital footprint altogether.
While accepting the need to help students navigate social media safely and responsibly he makes it clear that teaching young people how to develop a positive online presence is also critical. He frames this online presence specifically in relation to future employment.
If at some point every one of our students will experience and use social media what can we do to help them use it in a positive way?
The following video is Dan giving a talk on the subject in 2016 to a group of teachers.
Makers Empire are an Adelaide company that produce software and programs for schools in the area of 3D printing. During Feb – June of 2017 Makers Empire partnered with DECD to roll out 3D printing programs in 50 primary schools. The program, titled Makers Empire learning by design involved a 20 hour professional learning program which culminated in schools presenting their completed projects at Grange Primary School. To read more about this click here. To see a list of schools involved in the project click here.
Makers Empire does not supply or sell 3D printers but supplies the training, software, programs and lessons for teachers to use 3D printing in the classroom.
See how the Makers Empire software works
Here are some examples of how schools have used the Makers Empire software.
To see more videos from schools and how they used Makers Empire click here.
Daniel has made a demonstration video using the Parrot Airborne Cargo Mars drone. The video demonstrates some of its features as well as explaining the app Tynker which can be used to program and control the drone. This app is on our class set of iPads. While the app allows you to control Parrot brand vehicles it is also a coding app that teachers may find useful as alternatives to Daisy the Dinosaur, Kodable and Hopscotch.
Please note: I have only recently put the app onto the iPads and did not realise extra content had to be downloaded into the app (all the Tynker projects). This cannot be done through our filtering. So I will need some time to download the programs at home (15 programs per iPad x 30 iPads). Once these programs are downloaded they will work without the need to access the Internet so our school system will not be a problem. I have tried this process with the program Daniel used to run the Parrot Drone and it worked. Students can also be save their coding locally to the app.
To find out more about Parrots mini drones click here.
To read a review click here.
To find out a price click here.
The following is taken directly from the Power Anchor website.
“The Power Anchor is a smart way of delivering power to car, ground effect vehicles and aircraft deign projects. The beauty of this is the vehicles aren¹t weighed down by batteries. You don¹t have to worry about any steering either because the vehicles are pulled around the Power Anchor by the same cable that delivers the current. The vehicle designs can be kept simple and when it comes to testing, results can be reliable because many of the variables are removed.
- It is portable with the four 6V batteries fully enclosed in the base, there is no need to plug it in.
- It is sturdy, made from tough materials.
- It is easy enough to use that even young students can work independently.
- And it looks great which adds to the classroom excitement when doing project work.”
The Power Anchor comes with five classroom ready STEM projects which all use the Power Anchor to control and test the project.
What is the Power Anchor?
Power Anchor includes tether cables and hand controls (4 x 6V batteries not included) $950
Full set of 5 Teaching Resource Packs $450 ($185 each if bought separately)
Equipment: Scissors, screwdriver, Power Anchor, teacher resource pack $185, Class pack 30 students $390.
Concepts: speed, acceleration, velocity ratio, power, terminal velocity.
Equipment: Rasping file, hot glue, soldering iron, Power Anchor, teacher resource pack $185, Class pack parts 25 students $240, class pack modelling foam 25 pieces $95.
Concepts: speed, acceleration, aerodynamics, terminal velocity.
Equipment: Scissors, hot glue, soldering iron, Power Anchor, teacher resource pack $185, Class pack 25 students $255.
Concepts: lift, ground effect.
Equipment: Scissors, hot glue, soldering iron, Power Anchor, teacher resource pack $185, Class pack 25 students balsa sticks and sheets $185, class pack of parts 25 students wheels/axels/motors/propellers $195.
Concepts: lift, drag, centre of mass, control surfaces, thrust.
Equipment: Screwdriver, hot glue, soldering iron, Power Anchor, teacher resource pack $185, Class pack 25 students Forex car parts cut to size (or templates for schools with CNC or Laser Cutter technology) $165, class pack of parts 25 students wheels/axels/motors/gears, gear box, spares $345.
Concepts: friction, power, gear ratio, acceleration, down force, drag.
DECD have opened registration for their STEM Lead Learning Expo which will be held twice – 8th Sept and 3rd October. You can register through the PLINK site. Click here to go to the registration page.
The Expo will allow teachers and leaders to hear about how lead sites:
- design STEM learning shoulder-to-shoulder with kids
- develop self-directed questioning techniques
- leverage learning ‘huddles’ to drive engagement and stretch thinking
- foster deep learning through nature play
- enable learners to identify real world problems for rich inquiries
- foster industry links that build positive STEM dispositions
- use design thinking to critically and creatively solve real world problems
- use a community of inquiry approach to inform their STEM learning design processes.
For a quick look at each school presenting at the Expo see the videos below.
This is a great app for creating teams in PE lessons or learning groups in your classroom. One of the powerful functions of this app is the ability to group students based on strengths. It can also be set up so that:
- certain students will never be in the same group
- certain students will always be in the same group
- groups can be all male, all female or a mix
- the teacher can randomly select one student.
These two videos provide a good overview of the app and its functions.