Leaders create a culture where teachers and learners are empowered to use technology in innovative ways to enrich teaching and learning. Education leaders:
- (3a) Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
- (3b) Build the confidence and competency of educators to put the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators into practice.
- (3c) Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
- (3d) Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
- (3e) Develop learning assessments that provide a personalized, actionable view of student progress in real time.
3a, 3b, 3c
In my role as the Director of the Glimcher Tech and Design Hub (see standard Visionary Planner) I frequently have the opportunity to work with other faculty to develop innovative ways to scaffold their current curriculum in a maker-mindset utilizing a combination of tools in the Makerspace and educational technology software. Examples of this are as follows:
Augmented Reality and Vector-cutting with Epilog Laser
The Advanced French class visited the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub to brainstorm how they could use some of the equipment to augment their project highlighting the various regions of France. After some discussion they opted to learn two new technologies: Vector design to utilize the Epilog laser cutter to create a 3D representation of the Eiffel Tower and augmented reality as a launchpad for their narrative, leveraging its ability to tell a digital story. The finished product was a four-foot model of the Eiffel Tower that had symbols on all four sides. When a smartphone utilizing the Aurasma (now HP Reveal) app hovered over the symbols a digital story (video) explaining the symbol’s representative region of France.
The German class visited the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub to pitch an idea on using the Epilog laser cutter to cut out Gingerbread panels to be used in their Gingerbread House competition. While presenting a slideshow made by the students of different German crafts I saw a Christmas pyramid and convinced the students (and the teacher) this would be a better use of the space as it presented a design challenge. Could the students create a pyramid that told a story (A German fairytale) utilizing balsa wood, cut and etched with the Epilog laser. As the heat from the candles rose, turning the propellers, the panels would each showcase part of the story. The students needed to chose an appropriate fairytale and then in groups, design a mechanism that would rotate by whatever method they chose (heat, crank, motor, etc.).
Virtual Reality in the Math Department
During one of my faculty “Maker Mondays” we explored the use of virtual reality in education. The math department became very interested in the possibilities of having students manipulate objects in virtual space. Utilizing the app Google Tilt Brush the faculty designed geometric sketches as they would on paper but in a virtual gallery. Students then had to navigate this 3-Dimensional environment and solve the problem sets. What made this unique from a typical worksheet was the ability of the student to walk around the geometric construct to see it from a different point of view.
3d. (needs pic)
Recognizing there are different learning styles in her class, a Spanish teacher approached me to see if there was a way to utilize Virtual Reality or some other technology to take the place of formal presentations on the Aztec, Incan, and Mayan civilizations. We settled on Minecraft as a possible solution where students could create temples or cities in Minecraft and then use their avatar to present their material (via camera angles in Minecraft and voice narration). Students who were uncomfortable giving presentations in front of their class found it easier to create this type of ‘virtual’ presentation which was only augmented further by the pride on their Minecraft creation.
Glimcher Equipment Certification
In order to use the various equipment in the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub, students need to participate in a certification process on each piece of equipment (3D printers, Epilog laser, SawStop, etc.) they want to use. The certification process involves four steps (Tell, Show, Do):
- Access to a website that serves as an overview that outlines the equipment, it’s use and any safety precautions a student or faculty might need to know
- A physical demonstration of the equipment by the trainer
- Supervised use by the student being certified
- An assessment via Google Forms
Once a student is certified they are able to use the equipment without supervision (barring anything in the Wood Shop, which always needs adult supervision). Each piece of equipment is controlled by an arduino-based controller. In order to use the piece of equipment a student must pass their fob over the sensor and it will query the user against a database of students and their appropriate certifications. If a student is not certified the equipment will not turn on and their access attempt is logged.