Thursday, September 11, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maker Camp 2014

I remember reading about these MakerCamps last year. There are certainly no physical camps near us, although I do remember hearing about a maker group that uses a building in some city park...

Anyways, the maker movement is all about making stuff. Using pretty much any medium. So it could be wood, wool, digital, or something crazy like 3D printing. Often this has great educational implications. I mean you could learn how a pully works, or you could do something with one!

Google, with Make, offers these camps during the summer. There are 6 different weeks of activities, from Makers in Motion, DIY Music, and Fun & Games. There are activities every week, as well as an online field trip! For example, the Fun & Games week camp includes a field trip to LEGO in Denmark.

Maker Camp 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mozilla Webmaker

I've played around with Codecademy,and it is a lot of fun to learn, but it is very structured. Mozilla Webmaker is the complete opposite, and instead gives the chance to play around with a site. It is certainly a different tact, given users a lot of options to mess around, change things and just break it, and I am glad to see it. I love Codeacademy style lessons, but more than occasionally while doing the lessons I really wanted to play around with what I learned and I didn't have a great venue to do so.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Google Earth Tours

Google Earth is awesome, and you can do all kinds of fun things using it, including exploring the world. It also has some fun methods for adding information to the globe, but they tend to be slightly clunky to use. Enter Google Tour Builder, and viola, problem solved. It is just in Beta at the moment, and hopefully it isn't one of the things that Google will kill off, but for now it works great. Students can log onto the site, and very easily create a tour around the globe showcasing some different information. If you are studying the world it is a much nicer format than slamming everything into a powerpoint or a prezi. We just finished an activity with the Grade 6 students where they had to show an athletes journey to Sochi. While hardly perfect, it was the first time working with it for me and the students, and I think there are some decent jobs in there. You can see all of them by click on the 6 link at the top of the page, or you can view a great example one below.

Fred's tour of Alexandre Bilodeau

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I don't know exactly who released it, but buildwithchrome is now out! I remember sometime last year maybe? It was available, but in some strange quirk it was only available in Australia. You could build on plots of land on the Australian continent.

Well now it is available for everyone! And it is really cool. There is a build academy, which just seemed to be a tutorial,  but quite a nice one, and there are blocks, and base plates, and different color blocks. Oh man, in short, it is great.

It does seem to have a limitation of only being able to share your work on Google+. I don't mind that because I use it all the time. Also, I am not sure you can save your builds if you don't finish them.

Regardless, I still like it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Learning Programming doesn't fix everything

I liked this article. The author doesn't suppose blindly that learning how to program will solve all the ills of education. Plenty of counter-arguments are given as to why simply learning the skill won't be a plethora for all educational ills. Ben Williamson does give plenty of reasons that learning programming is good though, especially the notion that learning how things work gives the user some power of them, instead of simply being subject to it.

So, it is a interesting article, especially as programming seems to be a current big trend in tech education.

Programming Power? Does Learning to Code Empower Kids?