Last week I listened to 14 educators from Ontario who were brave enough to stand in front of 100+ and give a five minute Ignite Talk. I am truly inspired by the passion that radiates from these fine folks. Members of the audience travelled from afar, some even came after work just to listen […]
This week I was reflecting on my experience with Genius Hour and whether or not a scheduled one hour per week was sufficient. If you are familiar with the work of Seymour Papert, he didn’t much care for computer labs as scheduled events. Papert would make claims like “we don’t go to the pencil […]
Why not. I hope to capture my learning as well as the reflections of others across the country and beyond. A few have reached out via twitter to offer a passenger service and some have even emailed. If I am going to be in or around your city, let’s go for a drive! Subscribe to […]
It really is amazing what you can accomplish with a simple idea, a few alligator clips, tin foil, some curiosity and a sense of wonder. Check out the Makey Makey Whack A Mole game!
We love seeing the things educators and their classes invent – they bring us closer to a world built by everyone exploring their ideas and reinventing the things around us. Makey Makey is perfect for the classroom. Students can invent projects that combine the tactile materials of the classroom with the coding projects they’re […]
Avusta helps me communicate my feelings. Button A – I am happy Button B – I am sad Button A + B – I am anrgy
Here are a few materials you might find of interest. Please share.
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. Source: http://www.aneverydaystory.com/beginners-guide-to-reggio-emilia/main-principles/ […]
Follow me on a year long journey exploring coding in Canadian schools. This video is a part of the requirements for my MPED Capstone project at Western University. This documentary will recount a full year in review from my perspective (and recording on my phone) and will explore the grassroots coding movement across Canada from […]
When Back to Black landed 10 years ago today (October 27, 2006), some dismissed Winehouse as little more than a novelty. Here was a tatted-up, boozed-out Brit bringing hip-hop vernacular into vintage American R&B. Even her name — conveniently abbreviated to “Wino” by the U.K. press — made her appear a cartoon character, a switchblade […]
Well, there you have it. Once toted as a ‘game changer’ for education, it is time to say goodbye to Vine. Here are a few “best ever” in the kids category according to someone other than me.
In this activity we will code an unfair coin to demonstrate probability with the MicroBit. It was announced this morning that MicroBit is launching an educational foundation and educators across the globe will be able to get their hands on this gadget. As such, we will build a quick app to demonstrate an unfair coin. […]
In this activity we will build an app that 1) generates the first 10 perfect squares and 2) prompts the user to determine the square root of one of them, chosen at random. To begin, create a variable. I have named mine counter. Set counter to 1 to begin and setup the loop structure as […]
In this activity we are going to code an interactive map of Canada. Thanks to Ryan Smith (@ryan_psmith) for the lesson plan. This. Totally This. https://t.co/bDapD4WPxM — Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) October 16, 2016 The Scratch app will detect what colour your mouse cursor is hovering and reveal the appropriate Province or Territory. In […]
In this activity we will build an app that determines the hypotenuse when given side lengths of a right angle triangle. Check out the activity below:
Makerspace is a growing trend in education that requires aligned pedagogical beliefs and philosophies, but unfortunately gets implemented without much foundation, research or understanding of constructivism. Maker culture leans heavily on the idea of constructivism – that is, the notion that learning is best done through doing. “I am convinced that the best learning takes […]
In this activity we are going to mod a Ms. Pac Man TV game, iCade, batteries and wire to make a tabletop arcade. Materials: Ms. Pac Man Plug N Play TV Game iCade Speaker Wire Speaker Paint 5″ LCD Monitor To begin, I had to disassemble the Pac Man toy. I was careful not to […]
In this activity we are coding a particle theory simulator using Geometry that shows how particles speed up when heated. Source: http://static.nsta.org/files/ss1403_10.pdf Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (Debugging, Logical Reasoning, Spatial Sense) Geometry (Location & Movement) Science (Viscosity, Flow Rate, Particle Theory)
Recorded live at Connect’s annual conference in Niagara Falls – April, 2015.
Sigh. Last week someone very near and dear to me reached out for some advice. Her son has just begun High School and is adjusting to the new workload. He hadn’t experienced much with regards to homework in elementary school so this was a bit of a shift, among everything else. The homework assignment he […]
This clip is from the Microsoft #HackTheClassroom webinar recorded live from Redmond, WA on September 24, 2016.
In this challenge we are going to create a Stopwatch (Countdown timer) and Random Letter Generator using Scratch. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, debugging) Mathematical Thinking (greater than, less than, integers, random) Literacy (consonants and vowels, parts of speech, rhyming, patterns of speech) Activity: You might wish to do this activity as a class and […]
I may have caused some tension on Saturday when I sent this tweet. In no way was I suggesting we shouldn’t teach writing (or any other subject). Teaching kids to code means to make them think and solve problems through risk taking and trial & error. #FCLedu pic.twitter.com/FlJzLM6dAw — Brian Aspinall (@mraspinall) September 17, 2016 […]
In this challenge, students can code an app to determine the rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division of two integers. Classroom application: After building this Scratch app, have students run through a set of different numbers and record their observations (e.g.: multiplying two negative numbers yields a positive product). From here, have them determine […]
In this challenge we are going to write code to simulate the Beep Test training program using Button A as input to trigger the application. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, patterning, debugging, analyzing) Number Sense (Intervals, Data Ranges) Physical Education (Running, Sprinting, Interval Training) The multi-stage fitness test, also known as the beep test is a […]
In this challenge we are going to code three Micro:Bits to display 1) Characters, 2) The setting and 3) The problem. As an added bonus, students would code each Micro:Bit to randomly choose one criteria from a set list. Big Ideas: Writing a narrative story Computational Thinking (design thinking, logical reasoning, debugging, conditional statements) Probability […]
In this challenge we are going to code the MicroBit to track steps. Using the OnShake command, the Micro:Bit can detect movement. First you will want to create a variable. I called my “steps”. You’ll see from the screenshot below that I increment “steps” by one every time the device detects movement. I also use […]
In this challenge we are going to code a game in which players must catch coins on the Micro:Bit. Big Ideas: Geometry – Location & Movement Computational Thinking (breaking down problems) Conditional Statements Block coding We will use the accelerometer as input to move the LED light patterns. To begin, we will create a sprite […]
In this challenge we are going to code a simple script that plays sounds based on inputs to the Micro:Bit. Our sounds will be triggered by the Pins and input buttons A and B. We will display different LED light patterns corresponding to each input to give an equalizer feel. We will use […]
In this challenge we are going to create a Stopwatch (Countdown timer) and Random Letter Generator using the micro:bit. Our program will use input button A and the LEDs as an output: Button A will trigger a random letter Button A on the timer will start the countdown Step by Step Solution Watch […]
Task: In this activity, students will create a working coin flipping simulator using the Micro:Bit (or online simulation). Learning Goals: • Compare experimental probabilities with the theoretical probability of an outcome involving independent events. • Create simple algorithms that reflect computational thinking • Create visual representations of problems and data • Explore visual programming Head […]
As part of the requirements for my latest MPed course, I created swirlly for students to inquire about changing variables and drawing circles. The goal of this course was to explore STEAM – more specifically how to engage kids in arts and mathematics. As a grade 8 math teacher, I thought the spirograph would be […]
In the article “Why the Arts Make Sense in Education” Linda Nathan makes claim that “our young people need to be immersed in artistic experiences (and) they must also develop strong intellectual skills” (p.178) which sounds very similar to Papert’s Mathland when describing LOGO in Mindstorms. “The Turtle World was a microworld, a ‘place,’ a […]