Sunday, 26 March 2017

Week eight reflection

This week a feature of the point opened, the rifle range. This was part of the old hobsonville base and one of the structures that has been decided to be kept. It is now a performance space, in which it shows off its potential at its opening.

Getting down to business. As the term goes the first parts of the check in with students are happening. Getting students to develop pieces of evidence. One has been around sketches as well as 3D sketchup of some of the features of the point. While qualification students get to grips with HTML and css.

As listed in one of my blog posts this week, it has been one of how to have all students getting their evidence. One students is wheelchair bound, and the first trip we did to the church did not go so well. This week with the help of his mum, he managed to get to the church, go around and take his own photos using a go pro mounted onto his wheelchair. He was so proud.

The last week of orienteering this week, with 6 of our students making it through to the finals. Just remember to turn the page over.

I have been trying to get some extra 3D printers in for a while now. We now have them and I have been busy printing some tests off, as well as finalising some research into different ideas into how to use it in class. Following the ideas of orienteering and contours, there is a potential to develop mt everest as a number of tiles. I am looking at the idea of gamification to help develop ideas as part of next terms course.

Adventure training continues in the dark on friday mornings, great to see how positive the students are at this time of morning./

Retrieve a missing cache. I finally got back to the domain where I was happy to find the missing GETLOST cache from last year not to far away from where it was placed.

This weekend I went to the museum to see the urbaniceberg. What a treat it was to the museum turned into this. Some great visuals and sounds which made me think of the trips to the glaciers in my childhood.











Challenging the ideas - 3D Printing

I have watched over the years of teachers doing some great things with the technology they have. The problem is when it comes to 3D printing, I see simple things being created. This kind of put me off. It has been however a journey, once since starting at HPSS and watching a great idea joining Mathematics and Technology and Art. Designing a pattern using mathematics, manipulating the pattern using technology and then using art to make it in clay and fire it. It was then I started to be interested.

We put in the budget to get some more 3D printers this year to start making use of the ideas that students come up with. Better still has been Tim from mindkits.co.nz providing some much needed ideas on getting them hooked up to the cloud through a raspberry pi and 3dprinteros. I have been trying it out this weekend and it is so much better than sd cards.

The 3d printers - ultimaker 2+ arrived this week and have been pushed into action to try out a few ideas, one is around learning spaces, or more the fact of developing tiles with ideas on them. This will form the basis of one of the projects the students will be working on in term 2.

"Not only were educators introduced to how easy it was to 3D model an object, but they found that with the right tool it can unleash unlimited creativity."
http://weareprintlab.com/blog/future-learning-spaces

The other is around a piece of infrastructure my brother needs to get his weather station, which I will be ripping off the data set for our students.

One of the ideas that I would like students to delve into is this one. 16 tiles to represent Mt Everest. I am hoping that the lessons will provide a basis for us printing off our our terrian around school to be able to develop tactile model.


It has been interesting developing the ideas that will go into a 10 week, 2 x 80min blocks around this. Also to go with the Innovate. Engage. Inspire. nature of this place.

Getting students to know where PLA comes from, and the plastics that they use everyday is one thing, getting them to think about the changes that can happen with technological products is another.

Also the ideas of gamification, hexagons seem to feature at the school to show links. Finding an activity to support this has been difficult.
The first idea was to develop the ideas of a city or a part of our area.

Then came kideville, I found this while doing some research around small cities/villages. This is a uk project that has parts of social science and technology, which, when I look at it seems clever at best.
Getting students working on a project, rather than small parts will allow for students to develop greater depth. Its not just solely based on one thing. It brings in the key competencies, as well as design thinking. I look forward to finding out more from the reseller later this week.  




Starting to manage 3D prints online....
Wonderful.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

inclusion?

Inclusion? I put a question mark here because I am not sure around the title.

Developing programmes of learning for all learners. I remember something here from when I was at Teachers College. But other things stick with me.

My mates at school who were always out at Reading Recovery, or a Mathematics programme. A student who in the same class year after year with the same teacher, she had down syndrome. A blind student who was part of my Bachelors classes at Polytechnic.
Working at the primary school before I started teaching who had a special needs unit and some of the greatest students who I remember today. The school also had a deaf care taker who I learnt sign language off in the working mens club on friday after school whit a jug of coke and raspberry drink. My first secondary school who had a special needs unit on site, who I would join for lunch and head up to the camp for the evening so they knew a teacher at school. The Deaf education centre who had a number of students in class who taught me so much about who they were.

I suppose I am lucky to have met so many wonderful people in my journey, and it continues. We have a unit on site and the students are made to feel part of the school. Many times walking down the runway(corridor) they are waking with me as I head off to a Learning Space or a break in the day, they great me, and I them.

But todays post is about some other students who are in my class. One who is a wheel chair who I have had on GET LOST and in other classes before. But this year it feels different, the WOT POINT Module is about getting to know the community, some of the history. While other students get to go out and find their building/structure, for this student it is a little bit harder. The paths and not formed well in the old areas, the bushes are overgrown, and because we are semi rural, sometimes there is not path to be found. We had tried to go out before, but the difficulties were too great. However, it sat in the back of my mind, we need to get him out, too see the building and take photos. Talking with the teacher aides and finding out what could be done. It wasn't until I was sitting in the Library talking with our staff that someone suggested a go pro. That I had in the office. Finding out about transport was through the SENCO. A plan formed and a chat with his Mum. Transport was organised. Today we used the handle bar mount from the go pro and attached it to his wheel chair so he could operate the camera function. Trail and error block 3, getting him to record a video of the hallway, and also take pictures of the library staff. He had the confidence to be able to use the go pro on his own.

At the end of lunch, a fresh battery, he was on his EOTC trip, up to the Hobsonville Early Settlers church.

A wonderful smile on his face when he came back. Proud that he had done what was needed. The photos were quickly transferred from the go pro and emailed to him. He now has his own images from his own EOTC trip and is busily going through critiquing them before he uses them on his work.


Thanks to the teacher aides that help him with his work, translating my answers, providing me with ideas to help, and also trying to help put into place what is in my mind. To our staff at school who support me by answering my questions and also giving me ideas to assist the students to have success with learning.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Week seven reflection

I think this week is one of the pit... This is something that we have talked about as a staff the last couple of years. It is something that we recognise, and the fun and humor of the place helps to reduce the impact. I would say however that this term I probably have missed something going on. I think its something that I may need to focus again.

This week I recognized students steeping up and helping others, especially in the WOTPOINT class, students have been working on developing their ideas for there 3D building in sketchup, and when students need help, others step in. I acknowledge Serena, one of our Teacher Aides who stepped up to help one of our students in developing the knowledge to build his own 3D church. He was engaged for the whole period, which is something to be said.

The fire service came to visit this week, yeap the smoke detectors work. It wasn't me.

The mornings are particularly stunning at the moment, we often sit in the staff room before school and watch the birds, this week has been building up my mathematics knowledge around networks and fractals. The conversation soon turned to distance between the birds landing on the rail, is there an order, where does the next bird land, and do they have friends or is there a pecking order on who lands where?

DESIGNW is focussing on developing skills and knowledge in image manipulation, this is the third year I have used the photos from places around the school. It is great to see how you can use a resource like this again and again with new students and what you can do with it.

I am often acknowledged for the other stuff I do in the school, this week was being able to support the volleyball girls at their final. Great to see them win, the coaching from the sports coordinator.

6:30am on a friday morning is when Adventure racing training starts. This week different interval training around the school field. You would think that the students would struggle at this time of morning, but they are up for the challenge.

We have Michael Hurst in on friday to do his one man show. I must say that Leigh has got me going to see a bit more arts and culture. A wonderful experience that our students got, and for some of them to learn to be a bit better audience member.

St Patricks day on friday, a good place to end the week.










Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Technological Products-thoughts

This is one that I am struggling with at the moment.

Technological products are material (tangible) objects that have been designed by people and developed through technological practice to serve particular functions.
In every technological product there is a crucial relationship between the (chemical) composition and structure of the materials used and their performance properties.
For this reason, technologists need to be able to evaluate different materials and select the most suitable for their purpose.
They also need to understand how existing materials can be modified or new materials formulated, and how choice of materials impacts on the design, development, maintenance, and disposal of technological products.
Being in a digital technologies space, what am I to do?
I have bene thinking about what 3d printing material could be used to show this, the ideas of plastics(pla) and being able to reuse.

Looking at the other ideas of 3d printing, wood, flex(rubber). Just thinking about the amount of printing and projects to work on.



Thinking about the idea of disposal, how do we dispose of our waste within the school? What waste do we currently have? 
Developing a piece of work to show the waste and the outcomes from it.

All the exemplars I can find are around wool(fabrics) or food technology.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Week six reflection

Week six reflection. This week was one of difference. Due to athletics day being on a Wednesday, it would affect the amount of days that big project runs, so swap Tuesday and Wednesday. This helped with one thing for me, an EOTC trip to the pop up globe to see Othello. Watching the students digest the play, the blood and the atmosphere was awesome. It was a play that I did not have the opportunity to study when I was at school. The opportunity for our students to see it performed in a like globe theatre is something special.

Getting students to understand how their brain works and what quadrants are at work is one thing that we spend time on. Students being able to understand themselves as a learner. Yes, I included play-doh (from my nephews, thats what they get told), for students to develop something physical.

Orienteering continues, in a cold wet day, which they loved, once they got over the, oh no, I going to get wet. The conversations around route choice continue in the van on the drive home.

The first prototype of the runner system was built and tested this week. Including a list of future enhancements.
  • admin page to see all times, clickable to see individual user profiles
  • data dump from box to araako
  • different profiles for different event types on box
  • Character correction on names of people
  • different colours on neopixel for different aspects
  • 3G
  • update website to include hobsonville run, safety, course
  • process to get community engaged, media
  • second box for school
  • Make the website a bit more pretty
  • weather integration
  • change profile on settings page
  • preloaded settings for neopixel
  • lost tag procedure and process
  • tracking who is still out on course, not tag off
  • backup of all web files and sql before next development

It is entertaining to watch our students practice for the shakespare festival coming soon. It is amazing how much they understand and want to get it right.

Adventure racing
training started this week, a 5km run, which the runner system was used for the first time. It has been great to see the students so far committed to the 6:30am starts.

And last, fear, I have a fear of heights, something which happened when working on a construction project when I was younger. A former student offered tickets to go bungy jumping, something I hopefully one day will attempt. But not today. Instead today was just enough to go walking under the harbour bridge to the aj hacket bungy pod.

Earlier this year, one of our teachers who teaches physics jokingly said that he wish he could go bungy jumping. A former student occasionally offers some tickets to be able to do this. I managed to get a ticket to enable our teacher to do this.
In the process of todays jump, the other ticket when to someone I knew for the school, it was great to be able to catch up and talk about 12 years ago.

I look forward to next week, and must start thinking about what to do in the holidays coming up.

Oh yeah, athletics got cancelled, so Wednesday was Tuesday at school.

How are modules and SPINS going? Progress reports have just been completed, just the odd student needing to get their evidence in check.
WOTPOINT moves on from sketching to development on the computer through google sketchup.
WALLE moves on as students have been working on their programming and development of sensors, need to work on the teamwork a bit more.
DESIGNW, students have confidence in using tags to create webpages and are now moving onto some image manipulation.
HWMGHTWE, moves away from khan academy and the SQL work, this stuff is honestly at NCEA Level 3 sometimes, I must say that I am impressed at what the students have managed to cover. Now to move onto the next part, php understanding.

I must say that I am missing PROJECTS, I have just been offered the development of something rather cool, which would fit in with projects really well, has a great partner and travel.

Hub is going rather well, students have noticed the step up in activity and work. I must remember that friday is reflection day. I have had two more students added to hub, which is good, one student was in my hub two years ago, the other will keep her brother in line. A comment from them on friday, "This is the first reflection I have done this year." 











Sunday, 5 March 2017

Week five reflection

This week has been around getting to get things going. I try and do one practical hub activity a week, which is something interesting and requires team work to make it happen. Marshmallows and bamboo sticks were this weeks mystery box activity. Having enough marshmallows at the end is always an issue as resources seem to go missing throughout.

Exploring the point is something I still enjoy. This time was to the other side of the yellow bridge into old Hobsonville. Windows of the house that was removed to make way for the motorway, a pottery lava flow that I understand turns into a stream when it rains. Getting students out to explore and make sense of our past.

I am not part of the projects staff this year, but that does not stop me from getting involved. Students are wanting to promote a community event that is coming up and thought of our local coffee providers. Getting stakeholder feedback from these provided the students with some valuable skills.

Getting involved in sports, orienteering for our adventure racing students is a must, something they identified last year that they needed to improve. Listening to their stories when they come back and looking at their routes makes me want to take it up again.

During hub on Wednesday I was challenged to complete a maths worksheet, complete a column and see how long it takes you. I don't think I have done this type of activity since working at the primary school. I must admit that I left some answers blank.

I normally attend sports games to watch students play, this year I think is the first time I have gone and watched one of my hub/form class students in an outside play. Based in the early 1900's in a place called Grovers Corner.

Getting the 3D printer up and working after a break is always something filled with problem solving, especially if the filament has been out in the air and light, it goes brittle. This was made a little bit easier as I asked one of my former hub students for a broken guitar string to help clean out the nossle. The robot was successfully printed and added to the collection. The students work for the aquabots challenge is being printed currently.