Saturday, April 23, 2022

activity or CV update

This is an update of my maker ed or constructionist activities since I’ve arrived in Alice Springs over four years ago (and some earlier activities too). I developed this while upgrading my CV. If you want to read one of the articles labelled blog then either search this site or follow the link at the bottom of the page.

  • bought and demonstrated the 3Doodler pen to staff at my school
  • developed new Scratch cloning and list processing activities for a year 8 Digital Technology class
  • 3D printed some Halloween masks requested by indigenous Bridging students
  • one of our teams won the rebooted Alice Springs RoboCup competition (LEGO robotics). I wrote an article for the school newsletter about this.
  • visited and had discussions with expert Digital Technology teachers in Melbourne (Veena Nair, Carlin Greaves)
  • have been teaching myself Spike LEGO in preparation for use with a Year 8 Digital Technology class
  • Wrote an innovative 21stC maker ed pathway (part one and two)
  • wrote Innovation meets resistance: the war between ancients and moderns (blog)
  • participated in LEGO EV3 workshops (Alice Springs RoboCup preparation LEGO group)
  • two articles were published in the schools newsletter about the 3D printer build activity (both initiated and one written by me)
  • led 3D printer building and development Ex Activity
  • wrote Own your own factory, that makes more factories (3D print philosophy statement, blog)
  • developed Snap course for year 8 Dig Tech class
  • participated in the Snap online forum
  • my article, The Wider Walls was published in 20 Things to do with a Computer: Future Visions of Education Inspired by Seymour Papert & Cynthia Solomon's Seminal Work (2021) edited by Gary Stager
  • initiated and developed a 3D printer build course (families buy kits and students build the printers at school)
  • researched 3D printers – found and talked to expert teachers (Veena Nair, Kirsten Hebden) and decided on (a) best buy (b) how to make it work in a school
  • wrote The 3 game changers: high level overview of the possibilities (blog)
  • wrote 21st C curriculum, a description of 13 possible emergent subjects (blog)
  • wrote Thoughts on reading Paulo Blikstein, the founder of the Fab Learn school movement (blog)
  • pursued a Community Fab Lab initiative by approaching a variety of people in Alice Springs to discuss the concept
  • used Turtle Art, browser variation with a Year 7 Bridging maths class
  • developed a musical glove for the Circuit Playground Express
  • wrote Maker space and middle school curriculum reform, the vision, the possibilities, outcomes and required equipment (blog)
  • ran a Circuit Playground Express robotics course for Bridging students (based on Rob Morrill’s course which I found on the web)
  • ran sessions about Makey makey with Scratch to develop musical instruments at Polly Farmer
  • wrote don’t separate the what from the how (blog): documented Mitch Resnick’s insights into the criteria to use in teaching digital technology
  • used Leah Buechley’s Lilypad Arduino Sew Electric Kit to design and make a monster who sings and twinkles when you squeeze its paws
  • completed a variety of Circuit Playground Express tutorials and developed worksheets (about the pins, neopixel strips, sensors, examples, projects and games)
  • developed activities to show that the Circuit Playground Express is a viable curriculum alternative to the microbit
  • further upgraded my year 7 Scratch course so that each introductory project is a mini story
  • bought the Adeept sensor kit for the microbit and completed their 34 tutorials in both MakeCode and Python
  • developed Course outlines in 2 new areas: artbotics and digital wearables
  • initiated discussion with Performing Arts faculty about the potential for digital enhancement using microcontrollers (wearables) – not successful
  • received an Innovation Award from my school
  • received a $15,000 budget to help develop an innovative course (Artbotics) at my school
  • presented ideas for a new course in Artbotics to school leadership
  • ran sessions in microbits for indigenous students at Polly Farmer
  • organised Tape Blocks sessions for a Downs Syndrome student to help her understand electrical circuits
  • outlined how 75% of the maths curriculum could be taught using Scratch, SNAP and Excel
  • ran a Round Square Scratch coding competition for Year 7s
  • developed the 3 game changers idea through reading books Stager / Martinez and the three Gershenfelds.
  • wrote a course based on ACARA Digital Technologies criteria. For these lesson I’ve focused on computer coding using Scratch 3 and the Creative Computing Curriculum Guide (Scratch 3.0) developed by The Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • developed a set of indigenous icons suitable for use in Scratch and have used these successfully in class.
  • purchased a Chibitronics Love to Code kit which uses electronic circuits on paper in a storybook format.
  • continued my research by reading online PhD theses by Tom Lauwers, Debra Bernstein and Jennifer Cross available through the Bird Brain Technologies Research page
  • wrote Culturally Situated Design Tools: Dotted Circles Exemplar (this blog contained some original theory as well as examples!)

  • completed two courses run by the Computer Science Education Research Group at The School of Computer Science, The University of Adelaide (CSER MOOCs). These were:
    • CSER F-6 Digital Technologies: Foundations course
    • Years 7 & 8 Digital Technologies: Next Steps Making Apps course
  • the latter course utilised MIT App Inventor and using this program I wrote several apps for my Android phone
  • published one of my apps online (“Arrernte Language”) which improves the learning of an indigenous language (Arrernte) and could be easily modified for any other language.
  • wrote and published “The teaching of coding” (2,100 words) which outlines a creative and productive way to teach coding.
  • explored the Collabrify suite developed by Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris, with a view to improving collaboration between students
  • purchased a Tello drone and explored its functions
  • read “Internet on the Outstation” by Ellie Rennie and co about the still unsolved problems of providing Internet to very remote locations in Australia. Followed up later by talking to Ellie Rennie in Melbourne
  • explored the possibility of using RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education & Learning) to solve the problem of poor Internet access to very remote Australians. It's a portable plug-and-play server which stores educational websites and makes that content available over any local (offline) wireless connection
  • wrote a preliminary course outline for the microbit
  • ran micro:bit workshops for IndigiMOB in three Alice Springs town camps and at the Polly Farmer after school program at Centralian Middle School
  • explored micro:bit extensions into electronics with the Kitronik and Monk Makes kits.

In 2008-09 I designed courses for students to evaluate the software on the One Laptop Per Child project and published the results on the web.

I was a leading member of the Computer Game Design, Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics cluster (2005-07) which won funding from the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project. I was recognised as a CEGSA (Computing Education Group of South Australia) Leading Light (acknowledging contributions to ICT in Education) in both 2006 and 2007. I have presented papers to teachers at state and national conferences about Logo philosophy and related issues: game making, Seymour Papert's constructionism and Alan Kay's educational philosophy

I am an advocate and active user of Open Source software since it is free and often great software. I note the potential of indigenous language dictionaries being incorporated into Libre Office.

I have a long term ongoing interest in the issue of affordable / cheap, reliable computing hardware. I was an active participant in the OLPC (one laptop per child) project and pursue an interest in Raspberry Pi and tablets.

My "big picture" publications about the 3 game changers of 21st Century learning

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