Dogs, Ponies, FabLabs and iPads: Another Typical Day at Liberty Elementary

Jennifer Medbery (@jenmedbery) wrote this enlightening article about Liberty Elementary School in Baltimore. The Principle of Liberty is Joe Manko (@joemanko).

liberty elementary school

Baltimore-based Liberty Elementary School is a refreshing reminder that it is in fact possible to be a neighborhood public school that takes a holistic, 360-degree view of student performance. Far too often in the debate about education reform, we're pitting teachers against technology, or dangerously narrowing our definition of education to academic content mastery as demonstrated by standardized test performance.

The Kaleidoscope Fishbowl: Makey Makey In The Classroom

Teaching "innovation" is tough because you are trying to trigger a whole range of skills at once. Ryan Read (@Ryan7Read) has a series of blog posts about this. In this post he looks at using Makey Makey as a complementary exploration of innovation with 4th Graders.

Makey Makey is a natural fit in our 4th grade class, because it bridges two concurrent units. The first is a unit on electricity and magnetism. The second is a unit on technology and innovation. Since Makey Makey relies on completing a circuit using conductors, it's a great extension for exploring completed circuits and the use of conductors. Used in conjunction with Squishy Circuits, it can really expand students' concept of conductors. But because Makey Makey blends the physical world with the virtual world, it's also a great way to explore innovation.

Fish In Water: Makey Makey Project from Sammy Keyes on Vimeo.

“EPICS” program serving K-12 schools

Tom Heck (@TomHeck) is about to take up the role of introducing EPICS (Engineering Projects In Community Service) to K-12 schools. EPICS is a programme run out of Purdue University. Tom has kicked off a conversation about the project:

My goal is to (1) train 5th grade teachers of the normal functioning students to use the Makey Makey as a tool to teach introductory engineering and design skills. Then (2) after the 5th graders have some skill using the Makey Makey, challenge them to make Assistive Technology solutions for the kids in their school who live with disabilities.

I already have two elementary schools ready to pilot this project. Once I get the model wired I’ll share the curriculum online and train teachers online as part of my work with EPICS K-12 at Purdue.

Please reach out to Tom if this is of interest to you.

Tom has done some amazing things in the past, so it's really exciting to see what will be achieved with the resources of Purdue.

collaborative play

Physical Computing for Kids

Lindsey Own (@LindseyOwn) has put together a great blog post about her week long programming course for 6-8 year old students. She has provided some great resources.

kids rocking it

This past week, I taught my "Physical Computing" camp for 6-8 year-olds... and we actually learned some programming in 5 3-hour days! (And I really mean "we"... there's no better way to learn something better than to teach it.) The idea was generally: Scratch and MakeyMakey.

MakeyMakey Something Awesome by Joe Park

Joe Park (@MrParkMusic) is documenting his summer project:

One of my goals this school year is to create the projects I am assigning to my students. One of the projects is creating a homemade instrument. For mine, I am making a homemade electronic drum kit with the MakeyMakey and samples in Scratch.

happy place

Parts 1 and 2 of the adventure are now online.

Summer Making – Fiber Arts, Animation, & Makey Makey!

Jessica Gray Schipp ‏(@boaatt) has provided an amazing collection of photos and videos of kids succeeding through making:

...when a child connects with themselves as a maker, a visible shift is made. Not only in the quality or type or style of work, but in the creative process behind it.