Changing Tack?

I have spent much of this term working and learning in the robotics lab with my students. This includes a Spin Module (90 minutes a week), Big Project (3 hours a week) and 2 My Times (flexitimes at 50 minutes each). Right now, I’m not thinking of being in here as much in future.

To meet the needs of our students who were interested in Robotics I got involved and have benefitted greatly from external support of those far more knowledgeable in this area than I am. But over the last week or so I have begun to question how much of my focus has been on our robotics areas. Because I do not have the skills and knowledge in this area, I am constantly needing to learn more and have found at times that I have not been able to help students as they struggle with certain aspects they are working on. Youtube, Instructables and Arduino tutorials have certainly helped but at times even then I have been flummoxed. So more time being spent (in school and out) learning and curating resources to help me and the students as we progress with their projects.

Of course, this then leads to the critical reflection points of am I adding value for these students? Continue reading

Authentic Challenges

Another full on week at HPSS where I really focused on continuing to make sure the learning was authentic. This was the next step up as I try to continually improve the learning occurring and much of what happened in the week was due to what had occurred the previous week.

The Galileo Educational Network have an awesome inquiry rubric that I regularly refer to. This image below is of the section on Authenticity that I have looked back on whilst reflecting on the weekend:

Galileo Authentic Inquiry Rubric

Galileo Authentic Inquiry Rubric

Continue reading

An Acclamation for the Maker Community

You may have noticed in recent posts that I have been spending a lot of time making and playing with robotics lately. This is a new interest and definitely not something I had any skills in (in fact my partner would gladly tell you about how useless I generally am at stereotypical manly making type skills). I have, however, been learning rapidly and this is due to the awesome help I have been receiving from others.

This post is primarily a thank you to those who have personally helped me and my students but also indirectly to share the awesomeness of the global Maker community who exemplify a culture of helping others. Instead of guarding their inventions and tinkering privately, they share instructions, the code that makes it run, have help forums and openly encourage people to take them and try to improve them. In this manner, the community is self-perpetuating and constantly improving itself.

My interest was initially sparked by seeing and hearing about the tinkering of Mark Osborne and Stephen Lethbridge. Continue reading