Category

Sala de Aula

MINHA JORNADA MAKER por Julyana Brasil

By | Agency by Design, Aprendizagem Craitiva, CEM, Formação de Professor, Maker-Centered Learning, Narrativas Incríveis, Português, Project Zero, Sala de Aula, Testemunhos, Thinking Routines | No Comments
Julyana Brasil tem 22 anos e é professora aqui na CTJ.
Ela foi um dos 40 educadores que participaram da
primeira edição da Certificação de Educador Maker,
e conta aqui para nós como foi sua experiência.

“Assim como muitos educadores, eu tenho o sonho de transformar a educação. Tenho o sonho de que o conhecimento seja acessível e prazeroso para todos e que promova um impacto positivo capaz de transformar pessoas e realidades. Sei que é um sonho ambicioso e muitas vezes me sentia desencorajada com o cenário ao meu redor.  Foi então que ouvi sobre o aprendizado centrado no fazer (Maker-Centered Learning) e um pontinha de esperança se reacendeu no meu coração.

Nesse semestre, eu tive o privilégio de participar da Certificação de Educador Maker (CEM) promovida pela Casa Thomas Jefferson. Pude conhecer de perto os conceitos por trás da metodologia maker, como também projetos incríveis que têm mudado realidades mundo afora. Tivemos um curso online intensivo que terminou com um final de semana de imersão aqui no Makerspace da Thomas.

.

Que final de semana! Quantas pessoas de todo Brasil empenhadas em fazer da educação uma experiência significativa e transformadora. Foi inspirador conhecer profissionais que têm de fato colocado a mão na massa. Com essa experiência, percebi que muito mais do que conduzir projetos inovadores, a educação centrada no fazer desperta a curiosidade e a vontade de aprender. É maravilhoso ver o brilho no olhar dos alunos quando eles conseguem construir algo ou quando eles superam algum obstáculo e descobrem tantas coisas novas. É ainda melhor quando vemos que, além de aprenderem a fundo sobre um tema, os alunos são capazes de usar aquele conhecimento para buscar solucionar problemas do cotidiano.

Comigo não foi diferente. Na CEM eu tive a oportunidade de me colocar no lugar dos meus alunos. E como foi bom poder aprender colocando a mão na massa e, além de aprender de forma prazeirosa, poder ver o resultado dos nossos projetos. Ainda mais quando o trabalho final resulta nos rostinhos sorridentes dos nossos alunos.

O desafio era montar uma trilha de aprendizagem maker e aplicá-la em sala de aula. Até aí tudo bem. Pensei em falar sobre instrumentos musicais, pois era o que estávamos aprendendo. Para isso, contei com a ajuda de uma amiga musicista que trouxe vários instrumentos. Ela os apresentou, tocou e permitiu que fossem manuseados pelos alunos. Foi lindo vê-los animados com os sons e perdendo o medo de explorar e de tocar os instrumentos. Trabalhamos o vocabulário relacionado ao som dos instrumentos, às partes do corpo que usamos para tocá-los e às famílias musicais a que eles pertencem. Além de aprender sobre música em inglês, eles estavam desenvolvendo o que o Agency by Design chama de capacidade maker de “olhar de perto” (looking closely).

.

Depois disso, partimos para a parte de “explorar a complexidade” (exploring complexity). E aí é que veio o desafio. Inspirada nas ideias incríveis que vimos no Makerspace, resolvi dar uma de programadora e utilizei a plataforma Scratch para fazer um programa que simulasse o som dos instrumentos. A princípio, eu estava muito receosa, pois nunca havia feito nada do tipo. Se tinha uma pessoa que não entendia nada de programação e linguagem computacional, essa pessoa era eu. No entanto, lançado o desafio e com a ajuda e encorajamento do pessoal do Makerspace, lá fui eu explorar essa plataforma e tentar fazer essa programação. E como é bom quando a gente percebe que nossos medos muitas vezes são infundados ou muito maiores do que a realidade. Foi isso que eu percebi. Descobri que o Scratch é super tranquilo de mexer e que até uma leiga como eu poderia fazer projetos super legais usando linguagem de  programação.

Para completar o desafio, resolvi usar também o Makey Makey. Ele é um hardware que se comunica com o Scratch e faz com que a sua programação ganhe vida. Resumindo, com ele seria possível conectar a programação feita no Scratch à objetos que, quando manuseados pela sua superfície condutora, poderiam emitir sons. Parece complicado né?! Mas para minha surpresa não foi.

.

Os próprios alunos construíram seus instrumentos de papelão. Eles colocaram alumínio em algumas partes (porque o alumínio é condutor) e então o ligaram ao Makey Makey. Em certo ponto da lição, eles mesmos fizeram a programação para que saíssem outros sons e até gravaram algumas informações sobre o instrumento. Tudo em inglês, claro!

Essa foi uma experiência muito desafiadora, mas  extremamente gratificante. Juntamente com os alunos, superei medos e acabei aprendendo muito com isso. Para mim, educação centrada no fazer é sobre isso. É sobre colocar a mão na massa e superar obstáculos. É sobre cooperação, percepção, criatividade e interação. É sobre ser professor e aluno tudo ao mesmo tempo.  Agora, o céu é o limite!”

.

MERGE CUBES : Realidade Aumentada em Sala de Aula ao Seu Alcance

By | Aprendizagem Craitiva, Competência Digital, Maker Movement, Maker-Centered Learning, Projetos, Sala de Aula | No Comments

Muita vezes o uso de tecnologia em sala de aula é justificado pela motivação dos alunos. Em 2016, o Project Tomorrow fez uma pesquisa com desenvolvedores de software e a resposta foi similar: tecnologia motiva os estudantes. No seu livro Learning First, Technology Second, Liz Kolb cita diversos estudos que usam o mesmo argumento (Bebell & O’Dwyer, 2010; Martinez & Schilling, 2011; Spires et al., 2008). Mas para realmente mudar a maneira de aprender, precisamos ter claro que substituir uma atividade por outra mais animada e colorida, motiva o aluno no começo, mas precisamos manter o aluno engajado e dar oportunidades para que ele desenvolva habilidades cognitivas mais profundas. A autora oferece uma maneira interessante de pensar em tecnologia e um modelo para que nós professores possamos refletir sobre o uso da mesma ao sugerir que mantenhamos o foco no tipo de aprendizado e interações que a ferramenta oferece. No livro Life Long Kindergarten, Mitchel Resnick também tem uma visão muito interessante sobre o uso de tecnologia. A Plataforma Scratch, cuidadosamente pensada por uma equipe de educadores e pesquisadores dentro do MIT Media Lab, está alinhada ao construcionismo, permite que nossos alunos se expressem criativamente e compartilhem o processo de aprendizagem e conteúdos dentro de um ambiente seguro e acolhedor. Admiramos plataformas que tiram as pessoas do papel de consumidores e ao invés disso, encantam e engajam e trazem princípios muito relevantes para a sala de aula moderna. Pessoas no mundo todo estão passando muito tempo na frente de telas consumindo material extremamente criativo, mas se queremos nos tornar pessoas mais resilientes e criativas e criar com tecnologia algo que realmente tem significado, precisamos estar atentos as necessidades aos nossos modelos mentais quando planejamos uma aula ou oficina. Caso contrário, mesmos plataformas projetadas para incentivar o uso criativo, podem ser usadas de formas tradicionais.

Ano passado seguindo a hashtag no twitter – #notatiste, vimos pela primeira vez o fenomenal Merge Cube – um dispositivo holográfico que coloca na mão das pessoas a oportunidade de segurar e interagir com objetos em realidade aumentada (AR). No entanto, devemos olhar de perto e refletir sobre o uso que queremos fazer de qualquer tecnologia extremamente colorida e dinâmica. O fato que a tecnologia no cubo é criativa, não garante que ela ajudará jovens a serem criativos. Devemos sempre nos perguntar: o que os meus alunos podem criar com a partir dessa tecnologia? Que tipo de interações e engajamento essa tecnologia favorece? Essa tecnologia dá aos meus alunos a chance de se expressar e serem realmente criativos? Na maioria das vezes, promover ou não a competência criativa dos alunos a partir do uso de uma tecnologia educacional depende somente de como ela será usada na sala de aula.

Com o Merge Cube, não é diferente. Dependendo de como for usado, o cubo pode promover o aprendizado iterativo sim. O Merge Cube dá aos alunos a oportunidade de aprender e criar de maneiras totalmente novas, ao mesmo tempo em que oferece aos professores ferramentas simples de AR / VR que aumentam o envolvimento do aluno, a curiosidade intelectual e o aproveitamento em sala de aula, se o modelo mental do facilitador estiver alinhado com práticas progressistas. Mas o que é, como usar, onde encontrar os templates e onde acho exemplos de práticas de sala de aula?

.

O que é o MERGE CUBE?

No site, eles se declaram um recurso escolar que expande o aprendizado para além das telas dando aos alunos a chance de interagir com objetos virtuais. Pausa para a reflexão. Uma tecnologia fantástica que substitui uma página ou tela onde alunos consomem conteúdo pode ser interessante e aumentar o engajamento. Segurar um sistema solar na mão pode ser mais encantador para alguns alunos, mas não podemos entender esse uso de tecnologia como o objetivo final, pois os alunos estão somente no começo da trilha de aprendizagem. Fica a cargo do professor aproveitar o engajamento inicial e promover atividades que estimulem os alunos a desenvolver mais competências.

.

Onde adquiro MERGE CUBE e os aplicativos?

Disponível para compra nos Estados Unidos, a Merge VR disponibilizou um template para educadores testarem a experiência. A ideia é fazer um cubo de papelão ou outro material durinho e revesti-lo com o template. Uma dica: fique atento ao tamanho da folha da impressão e não ajuste para caber na página. Testamos laminar o cubo depois de pronto para aumentar a durabilidade, mas o reflexo do plástico de laminar compromete a leitura do cubo. Cubos cortaedos em papelão funcionam super bem, e os alunos se divertem muito com a montagem, mas caso você tenha acesso a uma cortadora a laser, baixe os arquivos de corte que fizemos aqui no Thomas Maker [abaixo] e tenha cubos mais duráveis:

Cubo pequeno [6x6 cm]

  • Impressão: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sbw85mwyu2p5NTM4yo5EucrXc2NZSj1v
  • Corte: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fbMMDZEculReo3HQn4oAw-HOJjF7lIG8

Cubo grande [26x26 cm]

  • Impressão: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1XWxaXZJ6_jv0Yqhfiax4RQf5M4nOR379
  • Corte: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sbQySFl244Yklr2rhyg3nOneyIw2azme

Muitos aplicativos gratuitos aparecem todos os dias para o cubo, mas vale a pena ficar atento ao fantástico site do Merge onde além de experiências pagas e gratuitas para o cubo, você também acha videos 360 fantásticos. O mesmo cubo pode, ao ser “lido”, acionar todos os aplicativos, então você pode fazer um cubo, baixar vários aplicativos e testá-los para sua sala de aula, laboratório, biblioteca e makerspace.

O que mais preciso para começar?

Você irá precisar de um celular ou tablet para escanear o cubo e ver o holograma. Caso você não tenha um para cada par de alunos, crie atividades em estações ou use os celulares dos estudantes. Nesse caso, lembre-se de pedir que eles baixem os aplicativos antes da aula. Caso você tenha somente o seu próprio celular para usar, projete a sua tela e convide alunos a observarem, essa alternativa não é ideal, mas caso você consiga que seus alunos criem objetos fantásticos depois dessa primeira fase, você tenha argumentos mais sólidos para uma possível negociação com o seu diretor ou secretaria.

Preciso adquirir os óculos de VR para começar?

Não somos entusiastas dos óculos pois eles podem isolar os alunos e o que queremos promover é a socialização de ideias. Usamos os aplicativos pelo nosso celular. Logo que você aponta o celular para a parte do cubo que tem a logo, o app te perguntará se você tem o cubo. Logo abaixo da pergunta aparece um texto discreto – SKIP THIS, siga esse link e voilá! Seu cubo se transforma em objetos fantásticos em realidade aumentada, bem na sua mão.

Como posso expandir a experiência de observar um objeto no cubo?

Se vc tiver a conta paga do Cospaces, os seus alunos podem criar suas realidades aumentadas com princípios básicos de modelagem 3D e programação. Você pode fazer parte de um grupo de educadores do mundo todo que compartilham projetos, ideias e dicas - https://www.facebook.com/groups/mergeeducators/

Como o Thomas Maker pode me ajudar?

Se você é professor da rede pública, entre em contato conosco e ficaremos felizes em te ajudar.

.

Maker-Centered Learning [MCL] : base teórica

By | Food for thought, Formação de Professor, Maker Movement, Maker-Centered Learning, Sala de Aula | No Comments

O movimento do fazer abre oportunidades para que aprendizes (estudantes e educadores) possam ressignificar a maneira que ensinam e aprendem no século XXI. Mas quais são as principais características do design instrucional e das metodologias que facilitam e fomentam a entrada da Maker Education? Como nós podemos embasar o movimento do fazer ao ponto de argumentar a seu favor dentro do currículo escolar? Muitas das características principais de atividades maker – descobrir as coisas por conta própria, aprender fazendo e colaboração, são conceitos definidores da educação progressista e baseiam-se em três pilares teóricos e pedagógicos: educação experiencial, construcionismo e pedagogia crítica.

John Dewey (1859–1952)

O filósofo John Dewey enfatiza o aprender fazendo. Dewey rejeitou noções tradicionais de educação que tratavam o conhecimento como algo que poderia ser depositado em mentes passivas. Ele via o conhecimento como um processo dinâmico que se potencializa por meio da interação reflexiva e iterativa com as exigências e desafios práticos de se fazer, criar e construir.

“Dê aos alunos algo para fazer, não algo para aprender;
e se a atividade exigir pensar e conectar ideias,
os estudantes naturalmente aprenderão

John Dewey

Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)

O pensamento do psicólogo Lev Vygotsky originou a corrente pedagógica socioconstrutivismo ou sociointeracionismo e promove a ideia de que toda aprendizagem é social. Vygotsky propôs a ideia de desenvolvimento proximal – a distância entre o desenvolvimento real de uma criança e aquilo que ela tem o potencial de aprender – potencial que é demonstrado pela capacidade de desenvolver uma competência com a ajuda de um adulto ou um parceiro que saiba um pouco mais. Em outras palavras, a zona de desenvolvimento proximal é o caminho entre o que a criança consegue fazer sozinha e o que ela está perto de conseguir fazer sozinha. Saber identificar essas duas capacidades e trabalhar o percurso de cada aluno entre ambas são as duas principais habilidades que um professor precisa ter, segundo Vygotsky.

Em uma sala de aula tradicional, na qual alunos são nivelados e todos estudam os mesmos conteúdos ao mesmo tempo, esse desafio pode ser maior. Em uma aula maker esse compartilhamento de informações é mais dinâmico e estimulante. Apesar de não ter formulado uma teoria pedagógica, a vasta obra de Vygotsky, com sua ênfase no aprendizado, ressalta a importância da instituição escolar na formação do conhecimento. Para ele, a intervenção pedagógica provoca avanços que não ocorreriam espontaneamente.

Ao formular o conceito de zona proximal, Vygotsky mostrou que o bom ensino é aquele que estimula a criança a atingir um nível de compreensão e habilidade que ainda não domina completamente, “puxando” dela um novo conhecimento. Para o psicólogo, todo aprendizado amplia o universo mental do aluno. O ensino de um novo conteúdo não se resume à aquisição de uma conteúdo ou habilidade, pois amplia as estruturas cognitivas da criança. Numa aula maker, por exemplo, com o domínio da programação, o aluno adquire também capacidades de reflexão sobre como pode criar o seu próprio jogo.

Paulo Freire  (1921–1997)

Paulo Freire criticou a educação e a descontextualização do currículo. O educador acreditava que projetos da sala de aula devem estar conectados com desafios reais, seja em nível pessoal ou comunitário, e que estudantes e professores devessem projetar soluções para esses desafios. Temos no Brasil exemplos de projetos premiados que implementam essas idéias, com reconhecimento mundial. O trabalho da professora Débora Garófalo e do professor Jayse Antônio nos mostram que é possível mudar a maneira que trabalhamos nas escolas públicas se vencermos as nossas barreiras políticas e sociais.

Seymour Papert (1928-2016)

Seymour Papert, matemático que trabalhou ao lado de Piaget por anos, foi um dos primeiros a advogar pelo uso de tecnologia digital na educação. Considerado por muitos como pai do ressurgimento do fazer em ambientes educacionais, ele sustenta que o aprendizado acontece melhor quando os aprendizes trabalham diretamente com “mídia manipulável” – Lego, argila, aplicativos de codificação, máquinas de prototipagem rápida ou até mesmo recicláveis. Papert deixou clara a relação entre construtivismo e construcionismo, a ênfase importante em fazer projetos tangíveis e a inclinação para compartilhar.

Construcionismo (uma teoria da aprendizagem e uma estratégia para a educação) tem por base dois tipos de construções: Primeiramente, explica que a aprendizagem é um processo ativo no qual pessoas constroem conhecimento por meio das experiências com o mundo real.  Pessoas não absorvem conhecimento, elas o constroem; Esses novos conhecimentos são mais facilmente construídos quando pessoas estão envolvidas na criação de um objeto ou sistema que tenham valor pessoal, que faça sentido e envolva interesses pessoais. Esses objetos podem ser um castelo de areia, um poema, máquinas de LEGO (Resnick, 1994), ou programas de computador (Harel, 1991; Kafai, 1995). O que realmente importa para o construtivista é que os aprendizes estejam engajados em um projeto que desperte paixões e motivação intrínseca, resolva um desafio real com pessoas e o compartilhe com outras pessoas fora da sala de aula.

Project-Based Learning [PBL] X Maker-Centered Learning [MCL]

O Maker-Centered Learning (MCL – Aprendizado Centrado no Fazer) possui fortes conexões com o Project-Based Learning (PBL – Aprendizado Baseado em Projetos). Ambos são orientados por interesses, podem usar conhecimentos e habilidades especializados e estimulam colaboração e iteração com frequência. Além disso, usam diversas tecnologias de aprendizado (de lápis e papel a ferramentas digitais e analógicas) e em ambos, espera-se que os alunos criem produtos tangíveis que tornam os processos de aprendizagem visíveis. Existem de fato muitas semelhanças entre as duas abordagens, mas existem também diferenças importantes.

Em PBL, os projetos executados pelos alunos são tipicamente desenvolvidos ao longo de período estendido de tempo e giram em torno de uma pergunta norteadora intimamente relacionada ao conteúdo do currículo. Esses aspectos podem estar presentes no MCL. Por exemplo, MCL é normalmente guiado pelo interesse dos alunos; às vezes envolve a utilização de conhecimento e habilidades de experts; é frequentemente colaborativo; envolve o uso de estratégias e ferramentas de aprendizagem desde de sucata até uma variedade de recursos digitais; e ao produzir objetos, os alunos criam representações tangíveis de sua aprendizagem. No entanto, as diferenças entre PBL e MCL precisam ser observadas. PBL é uma abordagem instrucional bem estruturada que possui determinados critérios que são frequentemente utilizados para enquadrar um currículo inteiro e é tipicamente regida por perguntas abrangentes que propiciam a investigação interdisciplinar. O MCL não precisa estar vinculado a um currículo tão estruturado, ele pode conversar com várias disciplinas e aulas, muitas vezes acontece no o seu próprio espaço conceitual e físico e permite que o engajamento seja  regido pela atração e desafio de criar objetos, como videogames e engenhocas.

Uma sala de aula maker estimula o fazer em grupos e o aprender é um ato social. São estimulados projetos onde alunos muitas vezes precisam ensinar aos seus professores ou seus colegas. Por exemplo,  um aluno pode saber mais sobre a programação que um professor, e ensiná-lo. Aprendizes podem ajudar o professor ao dar suporte como mentor de um aluno que quase consegue fazer a atividade ou projeto, mas ainda precisa de um pouco de suporte. Alunos podem ensinar uns aos outros, ou entrar em contato com especialistas, mesmo que estejam do outro lado do mundo. O movimento do fazer atribui um papel crucial às relações sociais no  processo de criação de soluções. MCL nos dá a oportunidade de colocar os ensinamentos de filósofos, pesquisadores e educadores progressistas em ação e criar espaços onde a grande virada de uma educação construtivista para uma educação mais engajadora aconteça.

Bibliografia

John Dewey. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2018) Disponível em: <https://plato.stanford.edu/>

Paulo Freire : a brief intellectual biography. Disponível em: <http://oxfordre.com/education/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264093.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264093-e-10#acrefore-9780190264093-e-10-div1-1>

Mindstorms : children, computers, and powerful Ideas. (1980) Disponível em: <http://worrydream.com/refs/Papert%20-%20Mindstorms%201st%20ed.pdf>

AKERMANN, Edith. Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: what’s the difference? Disponível em: <https://learning.media.mit.edu/content/publications/EA.Piaget%20_%20Papert.pdf>

KAUFMAN, Dorit. Construtivist issues in language learning and teaching. (2004) Disponível em: <https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4dcd/a4ae8ba46837662b8467854c26bca7802270.pdf>

CTJ Makerspace @ STEM Tech Camp Brasil 2019

By | American Spaces, Design Thinking, Escolas Públicas, Formação de Professor, Maker Movement, Português, Programas Sociais, Projetos, Sala de Aula, Sem categoria, STEAM Activity | No Comments

Clique aqui para a versão em PORTUGUÊS.

Last February the CTJ Makerspace was invited to participate as part of the facilitators/mentors team of the STEM Tech Camp Brasil 2019, held at PoliSUP, São Paulo. We spent a week sharing experiences and knowledge with an amazing group of educators, empowering them through targeted digital and media literacy training as well as sessions on the maker movement and current education trends.

What’s a STEM Tech Camp?

It is an impactful workshop week, part of a broader two-year program by the U.S. Embassy in Brazil, in close partnership with the Technological Integral Systems Laboratory (LSI-TEC), Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (Poli-USP) and the Mais Unidos Group. But why is it important? The 2019 Brazilian edition was carefully planned and executed to make sure it reached its ultimate goal: structure a network of multipliers formed by educators, representatives of the 27 Brazilian State Secretariats of Education and teachers leading important school initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). And the timing is just right, as Brazil is on the verge of implementing a massive education reform that poses great challenges to all players involved. In this scenario, the 2019 Tech Camp is of high relevance because it motivates collaboration among people with the potential and leadership to articulate and improve existing and new actions aimed at advancing STEM. See the full list of Participants here.

The Camp puts together great players and inspirational leaders who live by what they preach. Dr. Roseli de Deus Lopes from USP and her talk about 21st Century Skills is a call for arms. She backed her speech with relevant data in an insightful tone. The private sector was represented by IBM, Instituto 3M, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Educando among others. They talked about their educational programs and conveyed a loud message: look for partners near your school, strategize, network, involve the private and civil society in order to significantly make a difference. All in all, the organizing team created the perfect environment for people to connect with ideas and projects, and develop an “I-can-do-it” orientation toward developing a sense of common, shared projects that have great potential to better prepare new generations of educators and students toward a more meaningful and engaging educational system.

Speed Geeking rules

The Camp challenged us, facilitators, to change our perspectives not only by delivering but also experimenting active engagement and active learning. And there is no better way than giving facilitators and participants opportunities to do just that. We had to pitch, convince, and “sell” our sessions against other great presenters. And so many great sessions there were. As presenters, it was a unique opportunity, since we got to feel how the audience responded to our ideas and troubleshoot our own approach to what we were bringing to the conference, trying to better tap into our audience’s needs. Participants were eager to hear what we had to say and asked questions to better understand if our proposal was feasible and adaptable to their own realities. They could choose only three training sessions, so they were excited, energized and EAGER! The experience really showed us that we can inspire and get inspired by new ways of teaching and learning when we engage people differently. Check what happened in this one-of-a-kind active learning experience.


Design Thinking helps every time

Whenever a multidisciplinary group of committed people sits together in a brainstorming session in a collaborative effort to solve a problem they genuinely care about and use Design Thinking framework, magic happens. Participants were separated into groups representing the five regions (Sul, Sudeste, Centro Oeste, Norte, and Nordeste) and asked to talk about the challenges and not be paralyzed by them. They had to find a need and develop an action plan. Having Renata Duarte from IDEO with us maximized our chances of achieving good results because she helped all the groups with their “How Might We…” question – the basis for starting a human-centered plan towards action. The approach was proven correct by the outstanding projects all the regions presented on the last Day.

Maker-Centered Learning in a STEM Tech Camp

Reading popular media, one might mistakenly think that the benefits of maker-centered learning revolve around science, math, engineering, and technology skills. Thus, maker sessions at a STEM Tech Camp are about fostering the maker mindset to introduce active learning in STEM classes, increase student engagement, and have them succeed in STEM. However, research conducted by the Agency by Design Project (AbD) team suggests that a central promise of maker-centered learning is more than the specific academic knowledge (STEM). Project Zero, home of AbD at Harvard, describes the primary benefit of maker in education as the concept of maker empowerment – a kind of disposition characterized by seeing the world (designed objects and systems) as something you can change. Maker empowerment has also to do with understanding oneself as a resourceful person, eager to gather the “just-in-time” knowledge necessary to repurpose and redesign things through making, creating, and engaging in collaborative projects. Maker-centered learning is a cry for action, community building and strengthening networks, so, having a maker empowerment session at the Camp makes a lot of sense. All people involved need to observe, question, and repurpose the way systems work. In order to succeed, they need a trusted community of cross disciplinary professionals, willing to provide insights and support – and the USP team will help them fully. It does not get more maker than that: community, process and environment to improve the way we teach and learn in Brazil.

Evident relatability & Leveraging what we have

On the third day of the Camp, we were all thrilled to learn about some extraordinary educational programs in Brazil. A group of 2018 Stem Tech Campers were invited to tell their success stories, and the impact on 2019 campers was powerful. Learning from the Alumni of the STEM Tech Camp Brasil 2018 was both inspirational and relatable.

We also enjoyed the business Panels and Interaction (Q&A) with Microsoft, Instituto 3M, IBM, Qualcomm, and Educando by Worldfund. There is so much already going on out there, and we should build on the strengths of others and learn together. See the business panels bellow.

Some finalists of Mostra de C&T 13M showcased their phenomenal projects during STEM Tech Camp. Hearing both youth and teachers advocate for their work was very motivating and highlights the need to have more research and hands-on making in basic education. Students talked about the thrill of purposeful learning and making and how the projects impacted their lives. Youth being their own advocates was a current topic at the NY Maker Faire, as MIT Admissions Officer, Chris Peterson shared MIT’s reasons for adding a maker portfolio as one more way applicants could express their ideas. Candidates have to integrate their making with a story of how, why, and for/with whom you make. I could notice that this is just what Instituto 3M Mostra did. Even if not all students will become scientists, being able to justify their project choices is already a good reason for advancing STEM for all students in the public system.

Now that the first workshop week is over, the teams will work in close collaboration with USP and the facilitators. We from CTJ Makerstpace will do our best to contribute to all projects and are eager to see them all succeed and create a wonderful ripple effect.

And we wrap it up with Raul Seixas’ song “Prelúdio”, sung by the participants during their presentation:

“Sonho que se sonha só
É só um sonho que se sonha só
Mas sonho que se sonha junto é realidade”

.

Makerspace & EFL | Unique Learning Experiences

By | 21st Century Skills, English, Maker Movement, Narrativas Incríveis, Problem Solving, Sala de Aula, Testemunhos | No Comments

To solve the many problems we humans are bound to face, we will need to have people who know how to collaborate and efficiently put thoughts and skills to work together to solve challenges. So, it is phenomenal when teachers see their English Teaching practice as malleable and experiment with Maker-Centered Learning [MCL] within their curriculum so as to provide youth with exciting and dynamic learning experiences. Last week, a CTJ teacher, who loves seeing teens thrive and engage in the learning process, brought her group to the school’s makerspace. Her journey underlines some of the real benefits of adopting a framework for Maker Empowerment. What you will read below is Elizabeth Silver‘s testimonial of her class. Enjoy and become part of a growing number of educators willing to experiment and identify the benefits of MCL.

students-working-1

“Want to do something fun and easy with your class? This activity is adaptable to any level and can be done in both the Makerspace and/or the classroom. The challenge is to see how much weight dry spaghetti noodles can support. This idea was inspired by 5B’s Unit 9 – Engineering Wonders.  To take better advantage of the content offered here, I went looking around on the internet for something to construct with my class. I came upon these two sources:

https://frugalfun4boys.com/2016/10/25/strong-spaghetti-stem-challenge-kids/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strength-in-numbers-spaghetti-beams/.

What you need in terms of materials

  • A couple of bags of spaghetti (the cheapies will do)
  • Styrofoam boards – about 3cm thick and 1 meter long (I used one for each group, but you could cut it in half)
  • Box cutters/craft knives/utility knives (whatever you want to call them)
  • Objects to put on top of the dry spaghetti to test the strength
  • Baggage hand scale to weigh objects (I happen to have this, so I made use of it. You could just estimate the weight or even use vocabulary of comparatives and superlatives to talk about the objects).
  • Optional additions are LED lights and batteries, which give the students another level of making/designing. I also had on hand markers, paper, string, toothpicks, and scissors – but NO glue, which would defeat the purpose of the activity.
  • Design Thinking form – the outline for this is on the PPT. I have the students copy it down, do some pre-design thinking on the objectives, materials available, how they plan to execute their idea and their expected outcome. Here is a perfect moment to include the target language. After they do the activity, they revise their forms according to their experiences. Then I have them hand it in for basic corrections and as a way to wrap up their findings, thus leading to a class discussion. I also do this to stimulate critical thinking, reflection, and analysis.
  • Slides

Figuring it out

They were so engaged! They took it upon themselves to divide into groups, got the material (even asking if another Makerspace material was available for use), and spoke only in English (this time I did not have to insist on that); they cooperated, collaborated and shared ideas. The final structures were so different, showing the diversity of thought among the students. The Makerspace staff, who provided support and ideas, readily assisted them.

Developing a sensitivity to design

The result of this experience was beyond expectations. We used the Makerspace, which in itself takes your class to another level – what I like to call a ‘shift’. The idea above is not in and of itself so innovative or technological, but the dynamic that took place with my students was phenomenal.

Learning from tools and from others

At one very cool moment, two  Makerspace staff members brought out a specialized tool for cutting styrofoam and demonstrated how to use it (less mess than a box cutter). The class stood around them watching how it works, and they were in such awe that they literally let out a collective “AAAHHHH!” The word we heard the most from them during it all was “satisfying”. Summing it up, we had fun – smiling, chatting, joking, laughing. It was akin to a social event. They are begging to go back… to be continued.”

Elizabeth Silver is a  CTJ teacher since 2012 
and is always looking for different ways to 
ignite the learning spark in her students.
She uses our makerspace as her sandbox to ideate, 
prototype and even run maker activities with her groups.

20180407_120749

Mkaer Summit 2018

CTJ Maker Summit 2018 – A Professional Development Experience

By | American Spaces, Formação de Professor, Maker Movement, Sala de Aula, STEAM Activity | No Comments

On the 24th of January, CTJ Makerspace held the first Maker Summit for our American Space educators. OUR ULTIMATE GOAL was for teachers to feel truly inspired and motivated to take risks in adopting a Maker mindset, that is, we wanted teachers to feel motivated to use Maker activities in the classroom, as well as to feel capable of effectively integrating them in their classes so as to boost language practice/production. We wanted the Maker Day to be a memorable collective experience and that teachers felt empowered to innovate in their classrooms and to be the drivers of positive change in our school culture.

The first step toward maker-centered education is to “teach the teachers.” And what better way for teachers to learn than by becoming students for a day? That was the idea behind the 2018 Maker Summit. Equipped with some of the latest technology, teachers had to figure out how to manipulate the likes of virtual reality apps and glasses, Osmo Words kits, stop-motion videos apps, green screening, and Design Thinking. Educators got firsthand experience of the challenges, insecurities, and benefits that their students may have with interactive, exploratory, creative learning.

20180124_143311

After the event, the facilitating team sat together to discuss feedback from the involved teachers. Upon reflection, a series of important conclusions arose, the most important of which are:

  • It is paramount to be prepared to adapt activities in case technical issues occur, and not to let potential failures dismantle the whole project. In short: you always need a plan B!
  • In the mindset most of us were raised in and are accustomed to, it can be easy to think of discovery-driven learning as unclear and lacking in instruction, of noisy classrooms as messy or out-of-control. Therefore, it is important to keep an open mind and come to terms with the fact that learner autonomy in the classroom requires, also, that facilitators have the skills necessary to harness students’ creative energy for learning.

Overall, the 2018 CTJ Maker Summit was a valuable immersion experience for all involved parties and one that should yield fulfilling results in the near future.

See here photos of this great teacher development opportunity.

Written by Paula Cruz

 

 

banner-eventbride-jmd

Maker Activities to Boost Language Acquisition

By | English, Sala de Aula, STEAM Activity | No Comments

Would you agree to say that nowadays many kids spend way too much time indoors consuming technology? Would you go as far as saying that all this time in front of multiple screens have few positive aspects to it? But, isn’t  it also true that  many kids who are extremely frustrated in classrooms are YouTubers, gamers, coders, or hooked on tutorials and creative play?  How might we narrow the gap and design learning experiences that are both relevant  and engaging to children who easily become bored, start squabbling and end up playing games on their smartphones?

Many schools and libraries are turning to project-based learning and redesigning the ways people interact, understand, and take part in their own learning processes. This change in the educational setting is welcome and much needed. But, we must not be naive. Kids are natural makers, and if you  give them a few tools, their imagination will do the rest. However, they will probably need to learn how to be persistent, resilient and collaborative before they engage in industrious and creative work.

One of the first lessons CTJ makerspace staff  learned after delivering maker workshops and camps is that students don’t always know what to do with maker tools like Snap Circuits or Makey Makey and might  get overwhelmed with too many choices. Many do need help unlocking their creativity and dealing with frustration as they build their maker capacities, at least at first.

So, how to engage children in meaningful, purposeful tinkering, especially if they do not speak English as their first language?

 Let  children experience maker activities.

CTJ makerspace has been offering youth in Brasilia a rich portfolio of activities. Parents may choose from 3D Printing for Kids, Coding, Super Hero Design Challenges or Goldberg Machines. Each of these activities involves kids learning how to use real tools safely, getting a mission, and collaborating to solve a challenge, using their own hands and creativity.  During our last Maker Day – Make Your Own Superhero, students were encouraged to think about challenges we face nowadays.  A skilled Casa Thomas Jefferson English teacher facilitated the session and used strategies to make sure students not only coped with the authentic language that emerged, but also participated actively and unleashed their problem solving and creativity.

 Design Challenges

During maker-centered activities, students get interested in making the project work. Sometimes the task may seem too ambitious for the short time teachers have. So plan challenges that revolve around prompts, but  still  allow students the flexibility needed to make the project their own. When students are immersed in making, there is intrinsic motivation involved, and they most likely will be eager to share what they have created. This genuine interest to talk and write about their inventions might facilitate the acquisition of the English language, for when students purposefully devote themselves to a task, they are more prone to achieving success.

Share

Both project-based learning and maker-centered learning involve the creation of tangible products. When students are excited and engaged in the inquiry process supported by learning technologies that help them push beyond their current abilities, they become able to create a set of tangible objects that they will probably be proud of. If the teacher motivates these learners to publicly share their results, there is a great chance they will do it eagerly and produce language to their best possibilities.
Maker Day

Glowing firefly- vector illustration

Enriching Teacher XP | Professor Fazedor

By | Competência Digital, English, Formação de Professor, Maker Movement, Makerspaces, Português, Sala de Aula | No Comments

The first makerspace in a binational center in Brazil, CTJ Makerspace, has one main goal: we aim at bringing the library into the 21st century – teaching multiple literacies through print and digital content. With the support of a dedicated staff, we are always more than happy to help teachers use pieces of technology to enrich their lessons. A good example of this practice is how the English teacher Lucia Carneiro learned how to use an image editor (Adobe Illustrator) to create unique learning experiences for her learners.

Our librarian and makerspace supervisor, Soraya Lacerda, helped Lúcia use technology to get creative and design an innovative storytelling session. Students participated in the telling as the teacher projected characters on the ceiling using a flashlight and cutout bugs. Lucia also took to class a template of a firefly, facilitated a session in which students made the bug light up, and recorded their singing the song “Fireflies” (OwlCity) while playing with their creations. As a result, students were very enthusiastic about their production and families realized how creative her lessons are.

EFL Learning | Maker XP 

A Casa Thomas Jefferson é um centro de excelência acadêmica muito comprometido com o treinamento de professores. O CTJ Makerspace é um local onde educadores buscam novas vivências e se aproximam de tecnologias para enriquecer suas práticas de sala de aula. Um bom exemplo disso foi o aprendizado da professora Lúcia Carneiro no makerspace esse semestre. Ela veio ao espaço e com ajuda da bibliotecária e supervisora, Soraya Lacerda, pensou em duas atividades para os seus alunos. Lúcia usou a plotter de corte para criar stencils que, usados com uma lanterna, projetaram imagens no teto. As alunos participaram ativamente de uma contação de história bastante inusitada que trazia vida ao vocabulário estudado. Lúcia também usou o makerspace para criar os templates  que os alunos combinaram com bateria botão e LEDs para construir vagalumes. Ao final da atividade, os alunos cantaram a música “Fireflies” (OwlCity) e gravaram um video que foi encaminhado aos pais. Lúcia, intrinsicamente motivada, aprendeu uma habilidade, adaptou ao seu contexto, encantou seus alunos e compartilhou o seu conhecimento com colegas. Pontos fortes de um DNA maker de profissional do século 21.  

IMG_2567

17626586_1458208407584159_2937804603781053491_n

Augmented Reality and Wildlife Conservation

By | 21st Century Skills, American Spaces, Competência Digital, English, Maker Movement, Narrativas Incríveis, Sala de Aula, STEAM Activity | No Comments

In March, 2017, 30 youth participants came to Casa Thomas Jefferson Taguatinga  to have a quite unique English learning experience. Participants made a customized sketchbook with an augmented reality cover. In the beginning of this program, we  talked to participants about encouraging environmental protection (such as wildlife conservation or response to climate change). We explored the concept of augmented reality and told participants they would make a sketchbook.

We used the app Floresta sem fim (Faber Castell) that  depicts Brazilian wildlife species and engaged participants with hands on activities. We had 30 youth participants eagerly working and practicing the English language out of the classroom through making a tangible object.

17634567_1458208297584170_6359431626691180713_n

img_20161112_065655

Access Students @ CTJ Makerspace

By | Competência Digital, English, Escolas Públicas, Eventos, Maker Movement, Makerspaces, Programas Sociais, Sala de Aula, Smithsonian, STEAM Activity | No Comments

The English Access Micro scholarship Program (Access) provides a foundation of English language skills to youth ranging from  13 to 20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors. The program makes available  after-school classes and intensive sessions in well known language institutions.  Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects and Casa Thomas Jefferson is always careful with the design of the lessons and material choice so that access students are offered the best teaching practices.

On November 11th, 60 access students came to our makerspace and our staff  provided them with learning opportunities  specially designed  to “fulfill the human desire to make things”. Our team used years of teaching experience aligned with the knowledge we have gained making our space to design activities for our access students. During the sessions, students worked in groups and had to perform three tasks. The underlining assumption in each of the tasks was that success in a knowledge society is not about knowledge alone. Learning environments  must focus on building a culture of innovation, beginning by creating a foundation for lifelong learning. All the activities motivated collaboration and  provided students with digital and analog tools to support learning practices that inspire such culture.

 

 

14317400_1178065298931806_306156304991541757_n

Developing reading tasks with Lego© & Technology

By | American Spaces, Competência Digital, Formação de Professor, Makerspaces, Narrativas Incríveis, Sala de Aula, STEAM Activity | No Comments

CTJ Makerspace fosters a community of committed teachers, who are eager to learn new technologies to implement in their classrooms. During the first EdTech Hub in the makerspace, teachers were exposed to Stop Motion Studio App that makes creating stop motion videos really easy. The Edtech facilitator, Mariana Sucena, guided teachers into the task of preparing short videos based on pieces of reading from varied levels: Junior, Teens, Flex Flex, or  Top Flex.

In sync with the maker spirit, teachers learned by doing and were really excited about the power of integrated activities: reading, making, and using technology with a clear pedagogical goal in mind. Educators left the session with some feasible and exciting ideas to engage their students. It was a creative and exciting day at CTJ Makerspace. Please, see what some very creative teachers created below.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 9.04.09 PM

Earth Day for Makers | Sub Irrigated Plant

By | American Spaces, Maker Movement, Narrativas Incríveis, Sala de Aula, Smithsonian, STEAM Activity | 7 Comments

Earth Day is the annual celebration of the environment and a time to assess the work needed to protect the natural gifts of our planet. Earth Day is observed around the world, although nowhere is it a national holiday. In the United States, it affirms that environmental awareness is part of the country’s consciousness and that the idea of protecting the environment – once the province of a few conservationists – has moved from the extreme to the mainstream of American thought. There are simple ways to engage participants with activities that will help them think about their own actions and consequences for the planet.

Sub irrigated Plant

Sub irrigated Plant

IMG_0636

Rube Goldberg Machine

By | Maker Movement, Makerspaces, Narrativas Incríveis, Sala de Aula, Smithsonian, STEAM Activity | No Comments
rube_goldberg _small

Goldberg Machine

There are low-cost, simple ideas for STEAM activities that might add a very nice touch to your programs  in American Spaces.  A clear example is building a Rube Goldberg machine - a contraption, invention, device that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion. When kids start making a chain reaction with access to materials and tools like a hot glue gun, soldering iron, and Strawbees, they feel the thrill of making something, work collaboratively, and exercise logical reasoning. This engaging activity could be a great hands 0n component for a program on invention and innovation for varied age levels.  Participants generally love including a chain reaction and learn about the American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883–1970).

For this activity, we used adapted material from the Smithsonian Institution to boost participation and engagement.

CAM01593

Releitura de obras de pintores famosos

By | 21st Century Skills, American Spaces, Maker Movement, Narrativas Incríveis, Programação, Sala de Aula | No Comments
Rereading famous paintings

RC Activity

Em 08 de maio é celebrado o dia do artista plástico e o Resource Center da CTJ de Águas Claras aproveitou a data para explorar o potencial artístico, criativo e crítico dos alunos, buscando assim oferecer uma atividade que promovesse a liberdade de expressão e também o conhecimento cultural.

Selecionamos três quadros de artistas famosos, sendo 1 brasileiro e 2 estrangeiros. O objetivo da atividade apresentar esses artistas, despertar habilidades artísticas e envolver os participantes no fascinante mundo da arte.

Utilizando conteúdo do  Smithsonian Institution  sobre Leonardo da Vinci, foi possível enriquecer o conhecimento passado aos alunos sobre esse artista.

Antes de começarem a releitura, as obras eram apresentadas para os alunos, informando seu título e autor. Utilizamos o aplicativo Masterpiece do Osmo, para auxiliar os alunos na produção dos desenhos. Com os desenho pronto os participantes tinham a opção de pintá-lo utilizando materiais diversos como giz de cera, lápis de cor, tinta guache e até mesmo colagem com papeis picados, formando mosaicos.

Alguns participantes se limitaram a tentar reproduzir a obra de forma mais fiel, mas a maioria buscou imprimir suas próprias interpretações criativas sobre as imagens. Em uma das releituras realizadas tivemos um Abaporu com 6 dedos, onde o aluno justificou que “ele era um mutante“. Em outra a tradicional Monalisa se transformou em uma moderna e alternativa jovem, com piercings e tatuagens. A obra mais surpreendente foi a da Nicole de apenas 6 anos que, com a ajuda do Osmo, foi capaz de reproduzir uma Monalisa colorida e definitivamente muito mais feliz.

Tanto as crianças, quanto os adultos que participaram da atividade tiveram a oportunidade de explorar, criar e recriar. O Osmo foi um grande diferencial na atividade, pois com ele, até mesmo aqueles que não sabiam desenhar, puderam realizá-la.

As obras ficaram expostas no Resource Center da Filial Águas Claras por cerca de duas semanas, após isso os alunos podiam levar sua masterpiece para casa. Confira as fotos da atividade aqui.

Escrito por Thaíse Nogueira e Lucas Marques

Resource Center Águas Claras

 

IMG_0209 (2)

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.29.49 PM

Google Forms

By | American Spaces, Competência Digital, Sala de Aula | No Comments

There are many ways to promote engagement and making in the classroom. Using gadgets to give students the opportunity of being producers of content is a not only effective, but also very relevant nowadays. I am teaching a group of 12 very active teens, who are constantly talking about their idols and favorite songs. On the very first day, I asked them to make a list of singers they enjoy listening to. When I realised that the book I am teaching (TimeZones 2 by National Geographic) had comprehension questions about a teen fashion idol, I guessed it would be a good opportunity to engage students in a sentence level grammar practice.

The first thing to do was to make a Google form myself, for I needed to understand how it works. I resorted to the list of students` favorites, and made an example form a quiz about Ariana Grande. I loved the possibility of adding videos and images straight from the web, but as with any other digital project with kids, I faced some challenges. I made a list here so that you can learn from my experience and have a wonderful digital maker learning experience with your students too.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.59.36 PM

https://goo.gl/Nvv3D6

 

Internet was slow

I could not get my students to open the form in class because the connection was slow and many iPads were not logged into the right account. Fortunately, I had saved the link, and I projected the form using the classroom`s  projector. The result was an engaged group of students performing the task I.

I decided what would engage students myself

Some of my students were really excited, but others were not so enthusiastic since they do not like Ariana that much. The result of my making a form about a person I assumed students would like could have been catastrophic, but, as it turned out, I was very lucky. Students asked me if they could make their own questions about their own idol, so the activity moved from students answering questions on a form to having them actually make their forms, practice language, and  learn a digital skill.

I did not know how to facilitate students` making their own forms

Having set the model, I wanted my students to make their own forms because I was aiming at having them produce digital content and language, but I had no idea how I would do that. I learned from Thais Priscila, an IT team member at Casa Thomas Jefferson, that students would have to access GoogleForms using the web, not the app. We had emails and logins ready for each group, and all they had to do was login one Ipad per group and start typing the questions and answers we had been working on.

I had no time to spare

To make sure everything would work smoothly, I made sure I delivered clear instructions and monitored the group closely.

IMG_20160404_145946378

Even after proofreading, students kept making new mistakes on the forms.

When students are ready to share, make sure you tell them to add you as a collaborator so that you can also edit the forms after they have finished. I took notes of their mistakes, and provided corrective feedback. We opened the forms and edited the language mistakes as a group.

Students made the forms. Now what?

language teachers know how to take advantage of learning possibilities. I will share with students all the forms so that they will be exposed to correct language and have meaningful exchanges of information in the target language.

IMG_20160404_144108774_TOP  IMG_20160404_144606177  IMG_20160404_144050279

 

I hope this posts makes you feel like using Google Forms with your learners. Check some of the forms students made below.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.29.49 PM

https://goo.gl/2tFMMM

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.29.23 PM

https://goo.gl/tKAdLu

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.28.51 PM

 https://goo.gl/KnxAKw

Coding

Teaching Code through Digital Media: Hour of Code and Beyond

By | 21st Century Skills, English, Sala de Aula | No Comments

This year’s Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week (Dec 7-13) is about to start, and institutions willing to kick off simple and engaging makerspaces should learn how to design  learning how to code environment.  One of the main concern of parents and educators is the amount of time kids spend in front of their devices, and learning how to code can turn some of this comsuption into production time. The point of having coding events is that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

Last week, I watched a  webinar called Teaching Code through Digital Media: Hour of Code and Beyond. The ideas presented are appropriate for students age 10 and up and we learn methods to integrate coding into any subject area. To increase girls’ participation in computer science, Melissa provided an overview of Vidcode, a platform designed to teach programming by making video projects with code. Through a hybrid interface of block-based and syntactical code, Vidcode functions as a bridge between visual programming languages like Scratch and more complex text-based coding while tapping  into a hobby teens are already immersed in: video and photo sharing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 5.09.59 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics covered include:

  • How to incorporate code into other disciplines through creative projects
  • How to participate in this year’s Computer Science Education Week
  • Projects ideas for semester and year-long classes
  • Introduction to the Vidcode interface and curriculum and ways to get started right away
  • Explanation of continued training and support for both computer science and non-CS teachers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20151113_121207

Por que fazemos maker showcases?

By | 21st Century Skills, Português, Sala de Aula | No Comments

Para fazer um maker showcase funcionar, trocamos muitos e-mails, fazemos toda a logística, nos certificamos de que todos os maker kits estão funcionando bem, colocamos tudo em caixas, saímos duas horas mais cedo para nos certificar de que teremos tempo para treinar um novo membro da equipe, colocamos tudo no carro e… Mais um showcase ACONTECE.

Temos uma rotina agitada, mas altamente reconfortante. Nós fizemos pelo menos dez maker showcases em escolas parceiras nos últimos três meses e podemos afirmar que o engajamento e entusiasmo dos alunos começa no minuto em que chegamos. Para todos os lugares que olhamos vemos pessoas:

  • Experimentando programação em uma plataforma muito amigável com Kano
  • Fazendo lindos projetos com Littlebits
  • Aprendendo conceitos de circuitos com Big Bits
  • Fazendo arte com Spinning art
  • Aprendendo sobre “physical computing” MakeyMakeys
  • Jogando para aprender com Osmos
  • Construindo circuitos impressos com Snap Circuits

Durante as nossas açōes do Mobile Makerspace, onde quer que olhemos, vemos pessoas que se deslocam alegremente de estação em estação aprendendo um conceito novo ao criar algo na vida real. Ouvimos perguntas como: Tem mais amanhã? Quando vocês voltam? Onde posso ir para fazer mais dessas atividades?

Um pai na semana passada me fez uma pergunta muito interessante enquanto eu ajudava seu filho a adicionar um dimmer no circuito que ele tinha acabado de fazer. “Você trabalha em uma escola de inglês, certo? Então, o que tem a ver o ensino da língua inglesa com coisas como programação, impressão 3D, circuitos e eletrônica?”.

Eu posso pensar em pelo menos três razões muito boas para um American Space fazer showcases. Makers representam conceitos da cultura americana, como: a busca pelo conhecimento, comprometimento, empreendedorismo; conceitos muito interessantes para se estimular em qualquer ambiente educacional. Ao participar de uma ampla gama de atividades em grupos, participantes apropriam-se (internalizam ou tomam para si) os resultados produzidos ao trabalhar em conjunto. Estes resultados podem incluir tanto novas estratégias ou conhecimento.

Mais uma vantagem de ter showcases é o fato de que temos pelo menos um mentor em cada estação para questionar os participantes e facilitar o aprendizado.  O conceito de Vygotsky’s de Zona de Desenvolvimento Proximal - área onde uma pessoa pode resolver um problema com a ajuda de um colega mais capacitado – pode ser facilmente observado nas interaçōes dos grupos enquanto trabalham juntos para superar desafios. Quando fazemos maker showcases, despertamos a imaginação das pessoas entorpecidas pelo genérico e o produzido em massa e convidamos os participantes a se envolverem com atividades que aguçam a genuína curiosidade. Todo American Space procura envolver participantes em atividades criativas e enriquecedoras para promover aprendizado e fazer a diferença na vida dos alunos e prepará-los para os desafios do século XXI. Agora, os American Spaces têm como aliado a força do Movimento do Fazer e todo o entusiasmo que o cerca.

Veja abaixo alguns momentos “maker” das ultimas semanas.

GRAFFITart + Maker Showcase @ CTJ-FAN  - https://goo.gl/IlYDge

Mobile Maker Showcase @ Galois Infantil Águas Claras - https://goo.gl/HwrP7n

Mobile Maker Showcase @ CIMAN - https://goo.gl/cfi7m2

Mobile Maker Showcase @ Festival Literário do Colégio Santo Antônio –  https://goo.gl/Y3i3PH

Mobile Maker Showcase @ Feira de Tecnologia do Colégio Cor Jesu - https://goo.gl/3snPwT

Mobile Maker Showcase @  Leonardo Da Vinci Asa Norte –  https://goo.gl/cqiZox

Mobile Maker Showcase @ Sigma Águas Claras –  https://goo.gl/KhsgVr

Mobile Maker Showcase @ Sigma Águas Claras –  https://goo.gl/RyxCmR

 

Families that make together…

By | 21st Century Skills, American Spaces, Sala de Aula | No Comments

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 1.15.03 AM

The semester has come to an end and we must prepare our Top Kids students for the end-of-term party, when they show their loved ones what they have learned throughout the semester. We prepare songs, play games and shows the pictures taken during classes. The kids are dying to show off, the teacher is apprehensive and eager to please and the parents are passively waiting to see their money’s worth. What the parents might not expect though, is to have the opportunity to learn themselves something new with their kids. Yet, that was my idea when preparing the following activity.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 1.15.12 AM

Me and the kids had been working on parts of the house, and tired of gluing and coloring, I decided to challenge my students to make a cardboard house with different rooms. Of course, they stepped up to the challenge and it was awesome. So awesome we decided to paint our houses the following class. They loved making a toy of their own, with their own touches and details. Every class they would me if they could they could take it home and I said they had to wait for the glue or the paint to dry, but that was not entirely true.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 1.15.21 AM

Finally, it was the last day of class, they knew they were going to take their houses home, but little did they know I still had plans for them. After the circle time and the presentation of the songs, I asked them to come closer and pick one item from each box: a LED light and a button battery. Surprisingly, most of them knew what they were and their parents knew how to turn on the light just touching the battery. I told them we needed to finish our house with something that was missing and they got it: a lamp! I showed them the materials at hand (paper, masking tape, play doh, popsicle sticks, tin foil and paper clips) and the two prototypes I had previously prepares and I told them they had to make one of their own.

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 1.15.30 AM

To my surprise and amusement, not only did the parents help the kids, but they also enjoyed it a lot! They sat on the floor, explored the materials and tinkered until they reached a satisfying result. And the results were many, not one of the lamps was remotely similar to the models. It was just amazing to realize that no matter how old we get, we all have a kid and a maker inside of us, and they like a challenge!

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 1.15.37 AM

Helena Galvão

The Maker Movement and English Language Teaching

By | Sala de Aula | No Comments

The Maker movement has inspired teachers to explore interesting new tools and materials like robots, 3D printing, e-textiles, etc.  However, its focus on digital fabrication, hands-on craftsmanship, and programming seem perfect for STEAM, and not feasible for English Language Teaching.  ELT teachers wonder how they can integrate STEAM principles into their teaching reality and why they should do that.

Making something of value is thrilling and exciting, and maker activities in English schools can build problem solving skills, promote opportunities for meaningful exchange of information, and genuinely motivate students to use the target language to convey meaning. English language teachers have always used hands-on activities, but now we might do it interdisciplinary and focus on tasks that motivate learners to take the role of producers of shareable content and learning artifacts.

Last week, I co-presented a mini-course called Make it in the Classroom, and I asked Paola Hanna, a teacher at Casa Thomas Jefferson, to share some of her insights with the audience. She had a verb tense spinning wheel, and she used it as a model for students to make a learning artifact to learn collocations. Watch the following video for an overview of what happened and hear what Paola’s take on this task is.

How to Make your First Electric Car

By | American Spaces, Sala de Aula | No Comments

10481848_774384349299905_8576994075777949801_o

When I asked a student what he thought about making his own car, he told me that what he enjoyed the most was showig  everyone “the process he went through [and] the work he put into it.…”

This kid for sure has many nice toys at home, but it is simply fun when you make something you’re really proud of and other people are interested in it and give you compliments. 

Ideally, you provide the materials and let students tinker and design their own prototypes so that they experience what exploring and making is all about.

If you are a language teacher, you could use this activity to teach superlative and comparative forms of adjectives. Students could create their cars and have a race to practice language. Alternatively, you could start making the car and having a race; Students will probably need to use comparative and superlative forms, and they might start using it (with teachers help) before being formally exposed to it.

What you’ll need

10619980_774376605967346_3647219314162039647_o

How to make it

How to Make Your First Wearable Circuit

By | American Spaces, English, Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

1235950_10155029437205107_6780974537386070107_n     Making simple wearable circuits is usually a big hit in makerspaces. This simple project might entice young makers and empower them to set creativity free and experiment with different materials. You could ask  children to make masks, monsters, hats, stuffed animals, or let them play freely. 241125_764018243669849_5141205968619777668_o If you are a language teacher, you could carry out one of the following tasks:

  • Ask students to create characters for  storytelling.
  • Have students make their own monsters to practice describing features.
  • Have students create a product and advertize it using modal verbs.

Here is what you will  need for this project. 10264036_774295072642166_1059743152918155543_o

How to Make an Electric Insect

By | American Spaces, English, Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

photo 2

The idea of making your own circuit is very empowering. There is something magical about being able to make something for the first time, and people who engage in these kind of activites learn much more than circuitry; They learn that they can actually sit down and try to understand how things around us work.

This is a simple maker project that you can offer in your makerspace to reach different learning goals. In a language class, a teacher might propose this task as aprompt for a writing activity, teach narratives, or build a sense of community, for people will need to interact to succeed.

What you will  need:

10857237_774235589314781_2262742167771603795_o

Tools; hot glue,soldering iron and solder

 

Procedures

Display all the materials on the table and ask participants to tinker. Do not show them how to do it, but ask questions to trigger thinging.

How to Make a Doodler

By | American Spaces, English, Maker Movement, Sala de Aula | No Comments

photo

When Glauco Paiva told us to build a doodler, I had no idea where to start. I could see all the materials on the table and some people seemed to know what they were doing. Feeling a little lost at first, I decided to get my hands dirty and started my project. So, every time someone celebrated an accomplishment, I went there and tried to learn from it. Slowly, my own doodler got ready and I could also celebrate and see first-hand how rewarding it is to learn collaboratively. I felt the thrill and excitement of making something functional, and students who experience this feeling might be more involved and attentive. My take on this activity is that there is something very exciting about making something from scratch, and hands-on learning followed by reflective practice might boost and deepen learning. If you are a language teacher just like me, you might be wondering how to use such an activity in your language school or lesson. Here are some suggestions:

What you need

10714132_774338982637775_6348503000731894662_o (1)

IMG_4803

  • Ask students to write a narrative using past tenses or a sequence paragraph.
  • Teach conditionals.
  • Practice reported speech by reporting the interaction among people during the activity.

 

 

From Plastic Straws to Spider to a Bandstand with a Swing: Making and Letting Imagination Go Wild

By | English, Maker Movement, Sala de Aula | No Comments

 

10801951_762669793804694_3629100874132611237_nRead what our guest blogger Jose Antonio da Silva has to say about his experience with the Maker Movement.In a recent plenary for a Braz-TESOL local chapter event, Gisele Santos told us that we teachers were all makers. She was right: we really are. We are always planning lessons and creating materials for our classes. Our students, however, are in many occasions very passive participants in the learning process. We do try to get them involved, but we approach content with abstractions that require them to think without necessarily involving one of the most powerful tools they have: their hands. Having that in perspective, maybe we should rethink what we do in class and try to design activities that make use of brain/hand coordination more often and use the required language as a tool to accomplish making tasks.

One specific event was what made me ponder about the role of making in a language class and what it entails as a pedagogical practice. Just last week, I had the privilege of being a member of a group of educators   invited to a makers’ workshop with Glauco Paiva. This event was sponsored by the American Embassy and had teachers from several institutions. My invitation was a maker kit: a brown bag with a package of white plastic straws and connecting pieces. The task was to create an object and send a picture to the organizers when I was done. In the beginning, I was a bit paralyzed but it did not take long for the child/maker in me to awake. A little clumsily, I started fiddling with the pieces and in my mind there were lots of possibilities: a Gaudi style cathedral, our national congress building, and so on.

1

Once the enthusiasm and the deluge of ideas receded, I had to deal with the constraints presented by the task, my limited designing skills, and the material I had in front of me. One may say constraints are a drawback, but on the contrary, they are the springboard of ingenuity. Limitations help bring to life the engineer in each one of us. Therefore, asking our students to make something with limited resources challenges their creativity and inspires them to strive for innovative solutions. So, as I played around with my maker kit, I first came up with spider. As my imagination ran wild, I saw how that spider was a metaphor for how this tinkering with my hands had taken over my digital life. I decided to capture that insight (see picture below). Some of my limitations did not allow me to snatch the full scope of this spider crawling over my laptop. I felt like a child and imagining myself telling this story about a spider. That is what making does, it starts with our hands and brain working together, but then it triggers other creative processes that are so important for learners young or old.

2

After examining my crawler for a while, I decided it was not good enough and said to myself that I could make something else: a bandstand. I dismantled the spider, got some scissors and cut every straw in two halves, put pieces together and got my bandstand with a swing in the center and little boy swinging. I was a bit disappointed because my boy would not stand upright, but it was clear to me what it was. At that moment I realized I could tell a whole story about that place, that character in the swing and the whole city around it. So, it was making with storytelling.

3

I know my designing skills are poor and the final product is crude. However, I also know that when it comes to making is the reflection that takes place afterwards that matters. Therefore, after playing I thought about what such an activity  could to my students. Giving them an opportunity for using their hands to create something might prove to be a golden opportunity to exercise their minds, hands, and hearts. I could visualize the kind of language they could use while putting pieces together (conditionals, imperatives) and I could also see the stories they would tell about their final product. It would probably be an endless story because they would keep improving design, process, and the final product in their minds.

IMG_1768

Christmas in the Making

By | Maker Movement, Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

Building a maker mindset in schools motivates people to become makers, give it a try and take things apart to try to do things that even the manufacturer did not think of doing. While technology has been the spark of the Maker Movement, it has also become a social movement that includes all kinds of making and all kinds of makers, connecting to the past as well as changing how we look at the future. Teachers who embrace the movement witness how students learn from others, what zone of development is in practice, and how important it is to foster collaboration and creativity.

Read below about making in class from a teacher`s perspective.

SONY DSCHelena Galvão -It´s the end of the semester, and we begin to say good-bye to our groups. At Casa Thomas Jefferson, we have the opportunity of having our Kids groups for a whole year; we get to watch our students’ development closely, which makes us (teachers and students) eager to show their families how far we have come. For that reason, at CTJ, we throw an end-of-term party on the last day of class. We prepare for weeks, we practice songs, we make a portfolio, and we tidy our classroom to get ready to showcase our English skills. After singing songs and showing pictures, there is usually a lot of time left and, as a teacher, we like to enjoy that precious time to involve family members and students in a meaningful activity to wrap-up the semester.

Having that objective in mind, we came up with an idea for an arts and crafts activity: making a snow globe, but we didn’t want to simply give instructions to be followed. Having a maker mindset to guide us, we thought of giving family members and students a set of different materials (paper, popsicle sticks, sequins, glue, glitter-glue, cotton, ribbons, etc.) for them to decide how to make their own original Christmas tree. Of course we didn’t leave them in the dark, we gave them a whole sort of visual references to spice up their creativity. There was a catch though; they had to construct a tree that would fit inside a glass globe. At this point, we didn’t explain why the tree had to fit the globe, but they soon started to realize what they were about to make.

The kids approached the tables with the materials shyly, whereas their family members didn´t approach them at all. We had to invite family members to join the kids who were, at this point, sorting through the big amount of options they had. Some had an idea and followed through with it; some had to tweak their ideas in order to make them work; some had to start again, for their first idea hadn’t worked out; some had to make the tree smaller; but all of the teams were able to accomplish the task.

It came as no surprise that the teams managed to give up their reluctance and shyness and finish their trees; the biggest surprise was that the teams started blending and helping each other. It started because of two little kids who didn’t have any family members around, and it went on because a mother had a baby on her lap and someone needed to help her kid. Fact is, I turned around to close the first snow globe and when I turned back I saw about twenty people working together and sharing.

In order to accomplish what I had hoped for in this end-of-term party, I had to plan in advance carefully, but the best part of the party was definitely the unexpected outcome of challenging people: the community feeling that makes them share. Well, if that is not Christmas spirit, I don’t know what is.

windmill

Brown Bag Challenge – Windmill

By | Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

windmill

As libraries around the world become more dynamic learning spaces, our classrooms and resource centers must offer participants opportunities to engage in collaborative, hands-on, interdisciplinary activities. To create new learning spaces you could make the bags and display them on a shelf for people to tinker with, use them for classroom activities, or create events in your institution to build a maker mindset.

 

Windmills

In this challenge students get the materials on the label and race against time to finish the task in twenty minutes or less. To promote more practice and engagement, you could ask them to record tutorials or do a show and tell.

 

It works!!!!!

Tutorial

STEM Engineering Challenges for English Schools

By | Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

 

Photo 04-11-14 13 44 18 (1)

We have been adapting STEM Engineering Challenges for our English school, for nothing feels quite so exciting in any learning space as the productive buzz when students are passionately tackling a challenge. This sort of hands-on, mind-on learning promotes critical thinking, real world problem solving, and addresses a host of STEM content, which makes language production authentic and collaborative.

Planning a lesson with the Maker Movement in mind demands a combination of practicality and creativity, and the best way to help educators and institutions to start the maker movement is to network and collaborate.  In this spirit, here we share a list of some brown bag challenges we have already tried out in English language classrooms. See list of materials here. For more info and directions open the links below on the post http://www.starfisheducation.com/2013/06/The-Brown-Bag-STEM-Challenges.html

 

Windmills

Floating ball

Rocket cars

iPhone Speaker

Marshmallow Towers

Pom Pom Cannons

Paper Helicopters

Roller Coasters

Paperclip Sailboats

Building Windmills

Hovercrafts

Zip Lines

Solar Ovens

Lunar Landers

 

 

How to Make Your Robot_ Maker Movement Makes It into Language Teaching Classrooms

By | English, Sala de Aula | No Comments

It’s easy to understand the enthusiasm of many teachers when they hear about The Maker Movement, for its experiential aspect and how it engages people with a kind of learning that triggers emotions and connection.  Some months ago, I came across a great tutorial that called my attention because the activities proposed have students explore and then brings in the theory behind them, which make learning significant and authentic. However, any teacher committed to learning might consider any change carefully. Do we have class time? Is this activity going to help students learn? How are students going to react? How can I facilitate learning? The maker movement is relatively new in Brazil, and early adopters are the ones responsible for reflecting, opening the way, and helping change teaching in private and public schools. Last week, Ellen Cintra proposed a maker activity to her teen students and shares her insights below.

UntitledI have been an English teacher for the past 9 years, 4 of them at Casa Thomas Jefferson, and the the contact with different technologies, from paper to Ipads, have always made me think about how I could improve my classes. When I am preparing my classes for Casa and for Fundação, where I teach Portuguese to sophomore high schoolers, I keep on thinking “How can I make use of different technologies and tools to prepare relevant activities that  basically present the “gain-gain” side of the equation (challenging and engaging, efficient and not too long) and fit my schedule? How can education really make a difference in these students’ lives?” These questions are always on my mind and after different conversations with Dani Lyra, who led me into this maker world (where I’m still crawling…), I was able to realize that we can make our teaching more meaningful when we give students different opportunities to manipulate and produce knowledge, try, fail and succeed.

I have recently had a first hand experience with the maker movement when together with Dani Lyra and Carla Arena at the former´s house I witnessed kids building a robot from scratch.

I then thought we could try it at Casa after working with Unit 11, from the Teens 2 course. The connection was clear: we had just talked about a robot (Asimo) and students had worked on readings and had watched videos about him… and they loved it! Next step was to produce a paragraph in which they would give life to their imagination and create their own robot. I tried to make the writing about the robot a fun moment and we speculated and played around with ideas about what our robots could do. Next, after talking to Dani, I teased them about how nice it would be if they could really produce a robot and when I told them we would really go for it, they were enthusiastic and looked forward for the big day!

The preparation included selecting materials at home, doing some more specific shopping for the missing parts and making a robot on our own, so that we really understood the steps for building the robot. In class, a little before taking the students to the Resource Center, where the librarians and school staff also helped by monitoring and guiding students, we brainstormed what the robots would be able to “really” do with the materials we were going to use additionally students started to think about closed circuits and equilibrium. Next, we started by eliciting vocabulary (the names of the pieces we would put together) and then we checked pronunciation a little bit. The students spoke in English most of the time, especially when they needed to use the target vocabulary. First students checked if they had all the necessary parts and then they connected the batteries while Dani and I prepared the containers by making holes  which would later receive different pieces. After that, students used plastic clamps to tie the batteries and the motor into the container and that was followed by attaching the switch. In the following class we continued by having students try to close the circuits and then we could see some more critical thinking going on: they tried, failed, asked a more knowledgeable mate, tried again, got angry, tried something new until they understood what they were doing wrong and how to fix things, so that they worked. It was great to watch students persistence and progress, as well as using creative alternatives to make their robots work. They used the target language, and relied on their peers and teacher to assist them with the “little bit” they needed to move on. In the end, students used different materials to personalize their robots and used some parts of the writing they had produced before to talk about their robots abilities. Teacher Dani recorded the students´ robots description and later combined the recording and the pictures of the robots using the app ChatterPix. Students then played around joyfully and left the class in excitement. They had learned lots of things and I can assure you that their brains were releasing lots of dopamine!

This fun and challenging activity could also be used in different scenarios, as for example in my Portuguese classes to sophomore high schoolers. I could tease students to think about technology and how we human beings can manipulate materials to suit our needs until we got into talking about robots. Then, I would challenge students to try to build robots in groups of 4 (I would give them the kits with everything they needed) and would assist them as necessary. After that, they could play around a little and engage into “competitions” before we started exploring written fiction related to robots and their use. An interesting link would be having students relax a little in the dark and listen to me reading an interesting piece of the book “Frankenstein”, by Mary Shelley. Next, they could work in groups or individually and elaborate a new end to the narrative.  Later, we would work on having their robots “tell” their stories by using the website “Blabberize”, which connects voice recordings and pictures the same way the app does. This could be extended to a more interdisciplinary approach by having other areas work cooperatively to enrich students’ critical thinking and scientific background. History, Philosophy, Sociology or Physics teachers could engage by bringing in discussions about Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics” and how circuits and energy distribution work; Geography and History teachers could talk about technological innovations and how they have changed history and the way humans socialize, produce and consume (food, equipments, etc); Biology teachers could have students think about alternative ways to reduce pollution by having robots perform certain roles and help in research.

It seems too much to be done… it really does. Nevertheless, once we give students the power to go after things, we reduce our workload and they actually produce and engage much more than if we just stood at the front of the class lecturing… I truly believe it is worth a try.

Brown Bag Challenges

By | English, Sala de Aula | No Comments

Photo 04-11-14 13 44 18 (1)

The Brown Bag STEAM Challenge-  Project Ideas for Engaging students 

This activity combines art, science, The English language and play. I’m not overselling it when I say it’s mesmerizing. Helena Galvão has been a maker since she was a little kid, and now that she has graduated in psychology, and has been a teacher at casa Thomas jefferson for a while, she advocates for the maker Movement in schools. We strongly believe that students need to be challenged and use the language they learn in authentic and meaningful situations to promote deep learning. Helena  was teaching her teens four group a unit in their coursebook that talks about invisible ink and had a great idea. Why not making the ink with them? She was set to organize this maker activity in her classroom for nineteen teenagers, but she did not stop there. We organized a science fair in the resource center, and the idea was to bring eight different challenges for students in brown bags; each bag had the name of the materials and what they were supposed to build with them, but no instructions on how to do it. Then, students had to write a how to manual using the language in the unit (going to) for a digital show and tell. They took photos of their inventions and recorded the tutorial using the app ChatterPix. It was just amazing to see how much language production and  interaction took place. For a better idea of this maker activity watch the video below.

My Robot Can Talk!

By | English, Sala de Aula | No Comments

Photo 04-11-14 10 49 10
The Maker Movement is relatively new here in Brazil, and I believe it has come to stay. Maker activities arouse curiosity and connect the mind and the body to highten the experience of learning. Curious students seem to have more energy, and they are more willing to participate and take risks. However, eighteen years as a full time English teacher has taught me a few things, and I do understand people when they say that our schedules are too tight, and that we do not have any class time to waste. Planning an activity with the maker movement in mind might take more time because it requires a combination of creativity and practicality, but the pay off is the time it saves as students are much more responsive, exercise creativity, and create a bond with the subject matter, classmates, teacher and institution.

In our school, we are modernizing our resource centers by making them more dynamic and enticing to students. Our idea is to have programs that teach about entrepreneurship and innovation, which are important aspects of the American culture and English language. And, also help teachers redesign their practices by offering them a learning space they can take students to and  that inspires creativity.

Last week, Ellen Cintra, a teacher at Casa Thomas Jefferson, was talking about robots as context to teach students the modal verb can. The Maker Movement is also about learning together, and that’s where all bi-national centers and English schools find opportunity to collaborate and make English teaching more meaningful, innovative, and relevant. Teachers can not settle for teaching only language because we have now the chance to work together and help students believe they can be makers who can create things to improve the world around them. Watch the video below to understand what happened in the resource center and see how engaged students were.

 

Making Personalized Games

By | Sala de Aula, Sem categoria | No Comments

471211741

 

Amazing new tools, apps, materials, and skills turn us all into makers. Making in the classroom promotes learning that originates from direct experience. Educators worldwide agree that cognitively engaged students learn faster and many times free of behavioral issues so common in the traditional school environment. To get people in the educational system to agree with educators like Piaget, Dewey, and Montesorri is easy, but the question that lingers is how to bring back experiential learning when we need to deal with standardized tests, teaching for the tests, and the decrease of play and time to do projects. The answers are out there, and the shift towards experiential leaning come back is easy to spot in social media and the news. Small steps, and effort to change what needs to be changed is our way out of brick and mortar dull classrooms. Mobile learning is an easy way to start, since there are great apps out there nowadays for teachers to take advantage and bring to their classrooms the kind of learning that involves engagement, design , and building.

From my experience, Tinytap, an app created by an Israeli startup, provides the path for educators to create engaging learning opportunities to help students not only develop content related knowledge but also get empowered to use their creativity to learn how to learn and share what they make online with a rich and growing community.

This platform is a pearl because learners can easily create and play fun, interactive games from their own pictures and videos for their peers. Students can also make quizzes and games for younger kids, and we all learn that there is no better way to learn something than by teaching it. There are hundreds of ways to play with TinyTap, here are a few ideas to get you started. If you are:

A librarian –  Convey your message, advertize your reading events, promote books in a fun and unique way through a game, a digital challenge, train staff, and more.

A Brand – Create a game to engage with your target audience, specially kids! Send trivia quizzes about interesting topics. Turn fun institutional videos intogames, etc.

An educator – Explore the app in class so that students use se their personal images and videos to learn content is a VERY meaningful way. Content producers (students) who make  personalized puzzles,  record a soundboard, tell interactive story.

Learner

  •  Create your content oriented learning object for yourself or share it with your learning community or a much wider  audience!
  • Teach a concept, for nothing helps us learn a content more than teaching it .

 

See some examples of what you can do for and with your students in an EFL language classroom below:

Body parts

Colors

Teens - Superlative trivia quizz

Zoo animals

Family members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnetism Mystery Bag Challenge

By | English, Maker Movement, Sala de Aula | No Comments

 

Kbrown bag 2Kids love challenges. They NEED to have space to tinker, play around and fail to become resilient and motivated to learn.  I was reading a blog post about how to unleash children’s creativity and the brown bag challenge, and I decided to adapt it to teach my English language learners.  In many course books, we have topics like the wilderness, hot and cold, or surviving as a springboard to teach second conditional sentences. What if we had a different lead in to arouse curiosity and gear our class into a dynamic environment using some principles of magnetism?

Procedures:

Tell students that they are lost, and challenge them to invent something using some of the items in the bag to help them out. But, tell them that they will have to do it in groups, it’s NOT a competition, and that they will have only six minutes to play around. Monitor students, and give them some tips when they get stuck.

e.g. What would you really need if you got lost?

What would happen if you hanged the magnet?

What would you need if you wanted to make a compass?

brown bag 2

What is in the bag?

Scissors

Craft sticks and/or tongue depressors

compass rose

Small ring (donut) magnet

String

Masking or electrical tape

 

Distractors:

Paper clips

Pencils

Straws