Green Screen by Do Ink

Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and photos. Classroom-tested by kids and teachers, this app emphasizes ease-of-use and simplicity while still enabling fantastic results. With Green Screen by Do Ink, you can tell a story, explain an idea, and express yourself in truly creative and unique ways. DK Pictures, Inc

“Use Green Screen as part of a project based learning unit…highly recommended..” – Teachers With Apps

“Green Screening and creativity go hand-in-hand.. with the amazing DoInk Green Screen app for the iPad.” – UKedChat

“Recording in it is easy as pie and can be used in elementary, middle or high school.” – Examiner.com

“Do Ink’s excellent Green Screen app is a fantastic addition to the amateur film maker’s armory.” – iPad Insight

“Single best green screen app ever produced…” – iPadEducators

This app is on all of our classroom iPads and combined with the green screen and lighting kit in the STEM centre provides an opportunity for students to create some great videos.

Introduction to Green Screen by Do Ink

 How to use Green Screen by Do Ink

Using a laser cutter to create moving models

I wonder if these models could inspire our students to design, engineer and create their own moving models. The only materials needed are rubber bands and wood (and a laser cutter).

The following models were created by Ugears a company formed in 2014 in the Ukraine. The company has an online presence in Australia – to find out more click here. Amazingly I found out about these these models through a local shop in the main street of Moonta just recently.

Sphero Edu App

Thanks to Jackie and Kelly for introducing us to the Sphero robots last Wednesday. As a follow up here is an overview of what is available on the Sphero Edu app. Currently the filtering at PBAS does not allow content from the Sphero website to appear on the app but I have requested that the filtering be changed to allow the content. So be aware that at this point in time you cannot access the following but very soon will be able to.

Home – Feed

This shows the Twitter feed for Sphero Education.

Home – 3D Models

This section allows you to see an exploded view of the Sphero.

 

Home – Settings

The settings section gives you a variety of options including links to the Sphero blog and JavaScript Wiki. So if you are keen to learn about JavaScript (written code) this may be useful.

Programs – My Programs

This is where the programs that you or your students make will be saved.

Programs – Sphero

This is where you can access programs created by the employees of Sphero. When you click on a program you get a written explanation of the program and a video to watch. There will be a link to open the code that has been written. The code will open in the Sphero Edu app and can be used by you or your students. This option allows students to invsetigate and analyse detailed coding. I have included a video below of the Animal Origami program.

Programs – Community

These are programs provided by the community of Sphero users who have submitted their programs to the website. Again you get a written explanation, a video and a link to download the code. To access the community programs you need to sign in with an account. It is a simple process to create an account for yourself.

Activities – Sphero

This section provides activities for teachers to do with their students. You need an account to access these in full. A great source of ideas!

Activities – Community

A huge range of STEM based activities created by the Sphero community. An excellent resource for teachers. I recommend signing in and and having a look at these. They provide step by step lesson plans and extra resources like videos and web links to support the lesson. I have added a video below that briefly shows the K’nex Chariot Challenge. While the video is not brilliant it gives you an idea of what you can expect to find when you access this content.

The Shadow Game

The concept of making something move using a motion path in a Power Point is fairly simple. The concept of projecting it up on a wall and having students interact with it physically, problem solve and share their solutions helps develop basic movement skills and promotes collaboration.

Here is a game given to me by @matulisj who created the Power Point you will see projected on the wall in my video. The second video shows two of his students in October this year using a computer and motion capture technology to create their own game. Pretty cool stuff!

Coding

At PBAS this term Jackie and Paul have introduced Coding into their classrooms challenging their students to think creatively, problem solve and work collaboratively. The resources they have available to them are the iPad apps Hopscotch, Kodable and Daisy the Dinosaur. The school also has a set of Bee Bots which allow simple directional coding.

Paul recently shared an article with me that he had read in the latest edition of Australian Educator (Spring 2014, issue 83) called Code Commanders. One of the resources in the article lead me to a site called Code. After having a quick play with the website I found it engaging and easy to use. As a resource for teaching coding I think it would be excellent. There is a student and teacher sign up process which allows the teacher to track progress over time. The site can be used without an account but any learning cannot be saved.

Below are screen shots from the site which explain what type of courses are available.

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Tutorials range from an hour in length (the beginner tutorials above) to courses 15-25 hours in length.

The new Digital Technologies Australian Curriculum requires aspects of coding to be taught and is an area of the curriculum that for a lot of teachers will be new. The Code site would be a great starting point for any teacher keen to develop their own knowledge about coding. It is also a great resource to form the basis of a coding program to deliver to students.

The adventures of a cardboard box

How many ways can you use a cardboard box? Kids absolutely love playing with boxes creating everything from buildings, cars, planes, rocket ships and kitchen appliances. Some of you may remember the Cardboard Arcade video that went viral around the world and I posted on this blog back in April 2012. The video posted below is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box. Imagination and creativity at its best!

I found this video while looking through the Australian Curriculum Lessons website. The lesson is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box – 17 Activities to Inspire Your Class – 2/3/4. If you have not been to this website I suggest you do – a great range of lessons linked to the Australian Curriculum.

 

Coding for Kids

What is coding and why is it useful?

Coding allows us to create computer software, apps and websites. A computer can’t function without someone installing code so that it can function in the way that we want it to. In a technology rich world the skill of coding is valuable.

In the US alone there’ll be a million more computing jobs than computing science graduates by 2020.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”. I realise we are not the US but you get the picture.

“The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) shortage – In Australia we’re already languishing near the bottom of the OECD in creating students interested in S.T.E.M.. Australia actually imports more STEM graduates than it educates at university.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”.

What do we do at PBAS?

Currently at PBAS we do very little around Coding and Programming although we have had and used Lego Robotics for a long time and dabbled in the use of BeeBots. This has tended to be at higher year levels or to select groups rather than across a wide range of students.

With the introduction of iPads we now have a resource that is easily accessible and able to introduce and help us teach concepts around coding. The apps Kodable, Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur have been put on the iPads during the holidays and offer a range of coding options from junior primary to senior secondary. The Kodable app also provides teacher learning guides to assist with the app.

Where does coding fit in the Australian Curriculum?

I have had a look at the Technologies – Digital Technologies R-6 Australian Curriculum and found where where this learning fits. I have created a single A4 page that outlines this information for teachers. Click here to see this document.

I have provided some videos below to help with the introduction of the coding apps on the iPads.

Primary staff meeting Week 2, Term 2

In addition to this post I am also planning to discuss coding in the week 2, term 2 Primary team meeting. I am hoping we will have the chance to play with the iPads to see how the coding apps work and discuss the idea of teaching students simple coding concepts.

Kodable

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Daisy the Dinosaur

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Hopstcotch

Hopscotch

Year 9/10s presenting concepts with MacBooks

In HPE the 9/10 students have been learning about the benefits of physical activity in three areas; physical, social and mental. We did some background work on the benefits in each area through a great website called Life Dojo which provided short videos explaining the benefits to each area of a persons life. We collated notes individually and shared these in class discussions. I then wanted students to consolidate their learning by presenting their information using iMovie Trailer.

iMovie Trailer is very structured and is limited in the amount of text students can use. The format allows students to drop in images or video and add text, however the images/video flick through at predetermined speeds from 1.5 – 3.5 seconds. The trailers themselves range from 50 seconds to just over 1 minute. Just think of any movie trailer you have seen and you get an idea of what iMovie Trailer does.

It was the structure that attracted me to using this tool as a way for students to present their work. The limited text and short time span meant that students needed to consider very carefully how they were going to get the message of “The benefits of physical activity” across to and audience. Below are two finished examples by Bianca and Connor.

How great is it that our 9/10 students can use this software at school and also at home on the same machine. For those students who have not completed their iMovie trailer in the allotted class time I can comfortably ask them to complete it at home knowing they have the tools to do so.

Connor’s iMovie Trailer “The benefits of physical activity”

Bianca’s iMovie Trailer “The benefits of physical activity”

Ever Wonder? – Wonderopolis

Ed thought this website might be interesting for staff and students (he can’t help himself). I have had a quick look and it has some great things on it. If you hadn’t made the connection the site is all about wonder and encouraging kids to learn new things. There is one particular page which caught my eye called Explore Wonders and if you click on the image below you will be taken to this page. It has a huge array of videos on a wide variety of topics, some of which you can see in the picture. Each video is combined with text to encourage thinking about the concept. Some videos are instructional while others have no direct instructional value but when combined with the text cause you to think and wonder.

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