Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Discovering Passions

Today we took delivery of some gadgets for our little classroom MakerSpace. So far we have received a Raspberry Pi and a Makey Makey. Last week I showed short videos that demonstrated how each of the gadgets worked. Needless to say, the kids were excited to get their hands on them. We divided into three groups during class: one to explore the Makey Makey, one to explore the Raspberry Pi and one to explore the Google Cardboard viewfinders that we received last week. The learning was awesome!

Caleb and Trevor had some experience with the Raspberry Pi and want to use it for their 20% Time project, creating a video game app. Derrick also had some experience with the Raspberry Pi and so those three boys took charge of leading the group exploration of that technology. Meanwhile, Ian, Linsey, Taylor, Dylan and Andrew were busy working with the Makey Makey. In the hallway, Nicole, Hannah, Alexa, Steph and a few others were exploring the capabilities of the Google Cardboard.

This class period was the kind of learning we love to see. The kids were animated and fearless. They tried, failed and tried again. They saw each device as a puzzle to solve. They shared ideas, debated, experimented and finally solved some of the immediate problems like what apparatus is necessary for each device and how to properly hook up the boards. The Google Cardboard group was busy discovering an entire YouTube section devoted to Google Cardboard environments. Such cool stuff.

We hope that exposure and access to these devices will expand kids' thinking and help them come up with a 20% Time idea that will interest them for a long, long time. Already, Andrew wants to come in before school to rearrange the room so that we have a proper space for the Raspberry Pi station and Trevor and Caleb are working with our tech specialist to get the Raspberry Pi ready with all of the necessary peripherals. They have taken responsibility to create their own learning and learning space. Isn't this what we say we want? It sure is!

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