Featured Post

Rock Our World: Using music to collaborate and change the world

What it is: Rock Our World has one goal, to give students authentic global collaboration opportunities by connecting them with music.  Rock Our World has been doing just that since 2004.  Students and teachers collaborate in composing original music, making movies, and meeting each other in live video chats. Using GarageBand (Apple), each country creates a 30 second drum beat.  Every Friday, the drum created rotates to another country, where the bass guitar is added. It gets passed from country to country with another instrument added at each stop.  When it gets back to the original country, it is an original piece of music that has been created with the help of kids around the world. While the music is being passed from country to country, students have opportunities to meet and discuss various topics of curriculum in live video chats.  Incredible companies have been involved in this project including Apple, Fablevision, Discovery, American Film Institute, Smart Technologies, NASA, Visual Learning Company, Lintor Publishing, Mariner Software, actor Will Smith and more.  Pretty impressive! Applications for Rock Our World will be accepted for pre-kindergarten through university  in January. You can sign up for membership by providing your email address to be alerted to the exact date you can begin applying. How to integrate Rock Our World into the classroom: This is an incredible opportunity for your students to work and collaborate with other students around the world.  Not only will your students be learning and interacting with new cultures, they will also be learning more about music.  Your students will be a part of creating a unique song by adding their piece to it. At the end, each country will have a song touched by students around the world.  How cool is that?! It would be really neat at the end of the project to create an iMovie of the final song that includes the globe animation zooming into each country as their bit of the song is played and including a slideshow of students from each country. Tips: Take a look at previous projects by clicking on the “Media” tab. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Rock Our World in your classroom.

Read More

DIY: a maker site for kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Art, Character Education, Create, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-03-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

 

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!

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 10.42.58 AM

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.

Comments (1)

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Write a comment

*