This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to showcase several students and resources we have available for students and teachers to use in our building at the regional Ozarks Maker Faire. We spent two hours showcasing a variety of things from the Learning Commons work room. I asked a couple of students to pack boxes with materials and devices we might want to showcase, and to make sure the iPads were loaded with the correct apps and everything was fully charged. We ended up bringing the following (with links for more info on each): Snap Circuits, Ollie, Bee Bots, Osmo, Makey Makey, and Little Bits.
Along with several iPads and Chromebooks and an assortment of foil, paperclips, and bananas to help with our displays. Once we arrived, setup was quick and the time was spent mainly with the five students demonstrating and explaining the different tech tools they were playing with. The kids’ enthusiasm was contagious!
— Lara Garrett (@laragarrett) September 10, 2016
Most of my questions involved asking how we use these in classes, and the educational purposes of each. I honestly answered that management and dividing time and resources fairly between students is the biggest struggle with these kinds of tools. The best way I have managed to use these in the classroom is through clubs during recess or by using stations with a set rotation of students each week to insure each student has some time with each of the resources.
The Bee Bots and Ollie robots are new and I haven’t actually used those in a class yet. I need to research and experiment more with each before I figure out how to best use them in my setting. However, I’m hoping teachers will be excited to check out all of these things and try them with their own students and let me know what they discover!