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DIY: a maker site for kids

  What it is: I LOVE everything about this site.  It truly embodies everything I love about learning and technology.  DIY is an online club for kids to earn maker skills.  Kids (otherwise known as Makers) share their creations and work with a larger online community and collect patches for the skills they learn.  Each skill has a set of challenges that help kids learn different techniques and create something fantastic.  When a child completes a maker challenge, they can add photos and video to their online portfolio to show off their creation.  DIY is a website where kids get a public portfolio, an app that they can use to upload videos and pictures of their projects, makers can choose to do challenges to earn “Skills” badges, and a parent dashboard where teachers or parents can follow along on all activity. Maker identities are always secure, children are asked to choose an animal and a nickname to help protect their privacy. Parents get access to see what their kids are posting online. I love that this site encourages creativity, reflective portfolios and using technology constructively.  It is an outstanding balance of online and offline activity! How to integrate DIY into the classroom: At Anastasis, we strive to encourage a maker community.  We do have a 1:1 iPad environment.  For many, this equates to a technology rich environment (it is) where everything is done or consumed on a device.  I can think of nothing sadder than reducing learning to a device!  We most often use our technology to capture and share our learning.  DIY is a fantastic site that makes way for kids to be curious about the world around them, create something new and use technology to innovate. DIY is a great place to help students discover the love and joy of being a learner and a creator.  It fosters a classroom culture of innovation and sharing of learning and accomplishment.  So many of the challenges incorporate learning that support standards and other learning that is “required” in the classroom.  These challenges would be great to take on as individual makers, in small groups of makers, or to tackle as a whole class.  Don’t think of DIY as an “extra” thing to add into your classroom routine.  Instead, look through the challenges through the lens of how it can enhance the learning objectives in your classroom.  Embrace the maker culture in your classroom and allow room for creativity and innovation.  The inquiry model of learning lends itself beautifully toward this.  DIY could be the catalyst to making the shift away from more traditional learning and into an inquiry based model. Tips: Instead of assigning “traditional” homework (read: piles of worksheets), assign a challenge from the DIY site.  Better yet, let students choose their own challenge to tackle and make time in the classroom for them to share their creations and accomplishments. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  DIY in your classroom.

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Big Huge Labs: Magazine

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2008

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What it is: Big Huge Labs: Magazine is an online magazine cover creator. Students can create custom magazine covers from photos on Flickr or photos uploaded from the computer.

How to integrate Big Huge Labs: Magazine into the classroom: This would be a great tie-in to a persuasive writing unit. Discuss with students why magazine covers need to be persuasive. Students can create a custom cover for a multitude of projects. This might be a fun Mother’s day/Father’s day gift as well!

Tips: Set up a class Flickr account and link to Big Huge Labs for easy access for your students.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Big Huge Labs: Magazines in your classroom.


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