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Showing posts from October, 2016

Halloween Kids Coding Sites

Hello and Happy Halloween! It’s that time of year again when a lot of our beloved coding sites share with us their ghoulish coding puzzles. I have list a few of my favorite below in hopes it will be updated this year:
Tynker’s Make-o-Lantern found at: http://www.tynker.com/ide/?p=580794afaf92312a378b45b4
Google’s Made w/ code Yeti Animation found at: https://www.madewithcode.com/projects/animation
Tynker’s Trick or Treat Tombs found here: http://www.tynker.com/ide/?p=57ffc005af923193728b4674
Another great coding game from Tynker; Monster High found at: https://www.tynker.com/courses/monster-high/host
And another….Halloween Hostage located at: http://www.tynker.com/ide/?p=57ffc093af9231e0738b46d3
Code.org’s “special level” drawing a ghost: https://studio.code.org/s/SpecialSeries/stage/1/puzzle/1

Happy coding!

Gamification: Why play when you can make a game?

Topic: Gamestar Mechanic: learning how to design a story-based game.

Suggested Grade: 6-8

Materials: Gamestar Mechanic Account. Free or paid. It is cheap to have a paid account ($2 per student exclusive education price, and I strongly urge you do. You can survive without it though.) You can set up an institution and track student progress!Pixabay.com or other sites that offer royalty free images.Intro to gaming video: https://youtu.be/x24KoVNliMk


Tech Tips: What better way to teach students about game design than playing a game while they learn? Gamestar Mechanic also allows students to design as well as share their games. This is my third year using Gamestar mechanic as an introduction to game design. Students will learn about the principles of game design: space, components, mechanics, goals and rules, as they learn how to independently design on their own.

Gamestar Mechanic takes the stress out of students learning to code and places value on design only. Keep this in mind. I love how s…

Ready? Set. Play!

There are many approaches to teaching your students a new "tech tool" and depending on the amount of time that you have will vary your approach. One way that I introduce a new tech tool, other than walking the student step-by-step through the process, is allowing them to, well, play!
Why I love allowing students to play with a new tech tool: It promotes creativity. I don't expect an end product. It alleviates stress of having to create something that has such a binding contract. It fosters collaboration and teachable moments. If you allow require your students to get out of their seats and assist their peers, the entire learning process is now in their hands. Talk about student-centered learning at it's finest. When it comes time to create the "final product" they understand the tool (maybe even more than you do at this point), and may reiterate to you what they have learned more clearly. They may take advantage of the advantages of 20% Time (awesome read right

Climbing Hills. Welcome to EdTech!

I am a Triathlete. That sounds amazing. According to my USAT membership and the handful of Triathlons I have participated in, it's true.
What made me decide to become a Triathlete resonates into why I chose the career of educational technology; I love the challenge.
In the beginning, training for a Triathlon was hard. I had a few personal challenges to overcome (I drowned twice as a child, so you would say swimming was my first hurdle). But what I remember the most about tackling my training, was over coming those hills.
I purposely would find overly elevated hills to become stronger and stay focused. Man, they were steep. But keep in mind, whether you're training for a Triathlon, or to be the best Educational Technologist ever, the hills look a lot bigger from a distance.

Once you start climbing the hills, and I suggest you do, you become a master and able to defeat anything.

Today I received a phone call from a fellow new-to-the field colleague from a neighboring school. {I cu…

Using PowerPoint to Create Interactive Digital Stories

You can learn more about this lesson, by visiting my class Website found here.
I hope this gave you some inspiration for today!

Using Google Slides to Create a Brochure for Student Project

Google.
Who doesn't love the ability that Google gives us to share, collaborate and create? My school has been a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school for about four years now. We have had our share of trials and speculation as we began our journey, but it is now almost second nature to open a Chromebook and have students take notes, write stories, create presentations, or respond to peers using Classroom, Docs, Slides, and Forms.

The below tutorials are an example of a project that I do with my 4th-grade students, entitled: I Love NY. In this project, students need to research a city/town within NYS to vacation. They are to research the history, discover what there is to do in their selected town/city, and create a spreadsheet for the associated costs. The end result is a beautiful brochure that will persuade you to visit their selected town. You can find the entire project here.

Otherwise, if you are more interested in how to take a Google Slide and turn it into a brochure for …