Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Interactive Fiction with Python! #MakerEd #Coding #ISTE21

Thanks to everyone that made it to the webinar. I was able to take the recording and add it to YouTube. You can watch it below. Feel free to share it with your students and with others around the internet. Here are the links to the resources used.

Trinket.io

Raspberry Pi Tutorial

My game with advanced elements



Here is my game I made. Press play to start.

 

 If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and we can connect.

Virtual Hugs and High Fives,

NP


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Teach Creativity with Adobe and Khan Academy

I am very excited to share with you the FREE online course that Adobe has created in partnership with Khan Academy. As the school year winds down, this self-paced course is something I would recommend to all educators looking to improve their practice. Below are a few highlights from my experience completing this accredited course. 


Self-Pace Yourself


One of my favorite aspects of this course is the fact that it is self-paced. Online classes that meet on a regular basis can be tough on our busy schedules. Unlike the set meeting times I had to work around while getting my Masters degree for Educational Technology, this course allowed me to work through the material at my own pace. 20 hours of work can be done over the course of a week or a month. Find the time that works for you and get the work done when you can. 


The Four C’s


I love that this course focuses on Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical Thinking as these Four C’s are pillars of my design class. Instead of simply stating how important these skills are to foster in students, the course features over 100 lesson plans and adaptable materials for teachers to use.  Here is a practical assignment that a social studies teacher could use in their class.


As you know, I am a huge fan of Project Based Learning so anything that has students create something to demonstrate understanding always gets my attention. 


Digital Literacy and Content Specific Examples


Another part of the course that is awesome is its focus on digital literacy. A staple of Khan Academy is its videos and this course does not disappoint. There are great videos with every lesson making the course that much more engaging. Here is an example of a lesson in the Digital Literacy unit of the course that teachers can use in their classrooms and modify however they need.


If you're like me and enjoy walking away from a professional development course with something tangible you can implement into your class as soon as possible, you'll find this course especially valuable. 


The course also provides a breakdown to help educators apply these digital tools to whichever subject area they teach. 



Too often, examples leave out a wide variety of content areas and teachers are left wondering how they can apply their learnings to their classrooms..This course features unique examples for each specialty areas, like math, history, and literature, to be relevant to various educators. Best of all, understanding how teachers in other subject areas can utilize the same digital tools may even open the door to cross-curricular opportunities. 


Pixar in a Box


The last thing that I want to point out is how the course connects to the amazing Pixar in a Box lesson released earlier this year. These 9 lessons give students the chance to really flex their creative muscles. 

I will be introducing this lesson to my students in my new digital design focused class next year as it looks like an amazing way to engage my students in a fun and creative way. 


Overall, this course is the perfect resource for teachers looking for ways to expand their knowledge base, but at their own pace. While this post was created in partnership with Adobe Education, Teach Creativity with Adobe and Khan Academy is something I encourage every educator to explore when they have the time. Not only will you not be disappointed, neither will your students.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Shout out to @AdobeSpark

This is the Week of Making 2021 and I wanted to give a shout out to Adobe Spark for making it super easy for me and my students to share our making with the community. 

I have been using it for a couple of years now with my students and I love how easy it is for them to create and share with the class. I use it for examples for the students as well. Here are a couple of examples,




For my middle schoolers, it is important to not overwhelm them with lots of bells and whistles when it comes to new tools. Spark is great because it is very intuitive and the students can play around until they get their project to look like they want. Whether it is a poster like these, websites, or video, Spark gives my students options for their work so they can share with the community. 

I am an ACE Rewards Program member with Adobe, but that doesn't make Spark any less awesome in my classroom. 


Friday, May 14, 2021

Using Adobe Aero and Adobe Spark for Project Showcase

I’ve been playing with a variety of Adobe apps the more I have been working in the makerspace. As more and more students use the space, the more variety in projects we are starting to see. One of the projects I have started using in my Innovation and Design class is a Design Thinking exercise.

Students need to create a shoe for a partner using limited supplies; 4 sheets of newspaper, 1 foot of duct tape, and 1 foot of yarn. Once students completed their design and build, they needed to create an ad to sell it. It has been lots of fun to see all of the different shoes and ads the students created.

Students share their ads on SeeSaw and parents and the teacher can see it, but what about everyone else? Then I explored Adobe Aero on my phone and iPad and realized I could import images I had saved from SeeSaw. With that, I created an AR gallery of some of the student ads. You can watch the video below.



If you want to check it out yourself, you can download the app on your mobile device and click on this link. 

Another cool feature is that it can connect to the Creative Cloud so any creations you have made and stored there can be pulled into Aero. I was thinking about how cool it would be to use different Adobe apps to create the different planets of the solar system and then import them to Aero to create a moving solar system. Maybe recreating an animal cell and seeing closeups of the mitochondria? There are so many possibilities for teachers and students. New apps like this make project based learning even more appealing to students. 

Disclosure - - I am an ACE Rewards Program member with Adobe, but that doesn't make this idea any less awesome.