My other computer costs $35

Last week, I was lucky to participate in Picademy at the Ann Arbor District Library and am now a Raspberry Pi certified educator! This was an amazing experience to connect with a cohort of like minded educators from all around the globe and learn physical computing. Our instructors were stellar! Raspberry Pi used to be intimidating to me but thanks to them, now I can see its many affordances. Raspberry Pi has a variety of educational resources. I am excited to start integrating this in my school district and share it with the rest of my technology integration team, administrators, teachers and most of all, the students! I encourage you to try it.

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One of the most powerful activities we did was learn how to transition from coding in Scratch to Python. I loved the way this activity was scaffolded and it was a great way to transition from block coding to text language. I want to do this activity with students so that they can make connections between the two. That feeling of hooking the Raspberry Pi up for the first time and making a light illuminate is incredible! To make it light up again in a different way made me feel extra accomplished.

We explored many different components and projects over the course of two days. I learned how to use the camera, button, motion sensor, motor, sense hat, Sonic Pi and servo motor. I was able to make several iterations of a photo booth, a ferris wheel, pixel emoji art, scrolling messages, and music. We also played around with orientation, humidity and temperature.

My favorite project was The Beethoven Project. I worked with a small group to make an automatic page turner for sheet music. As we started to brainstorm, we realized that this invention could also work as an assistive technology for individuals who have a limited range of motion, too. By the press of a button, the page turns. We would want our next iteration to be able to flip the same page in reverse and be able to flip multiple pages. This was my favorite project because we did not use the servo motor in any previous activities and we figured out how to use it.  I wrote the code for this project and learning the code for servo motors was not easy. I was proud of myself for making the Raspberry Pi do what we wanted it to! This activity was different because we weren’t writing a predetermined code and altering it. Our code was new, unique and I wrote it!  Check out tweets from The Beethoven Project team below.




Learning Google

Check out Google’s free technology curriculum for your classroom.  Help your students succeed online and apply their digital skills to real life problems.

If you’re looking for some technology learning to do over the summer, consider going through the Google training courses:

You’ll learn how to use Google tools to increase efficiency, inspire student learning and creativity, and engage in professional growth and leadership.  These courses are completely FREE and you are not required to take the certification test at the end.

Touchcast & Everfi

Touchcast is a video creation tool that allows you to create interactive videos.  This is a free iPad app that helps with engaging the Youtube generation.  I used this app at the beginning of the year when I shared this video with you.  It works well as a free green screening tool, even if you don’t want to utilize the interactive piece of it. Check out @Touchcastedu on Twitter to see how other educators are leveraging this tool.
Everfi is promoting Hockey Scholar, which teaches STEM concepts through the game of hockey. Students who complete at least one 15-20 minute module and submit a reflection by May 12 will be entered to win a STEM scholarship! Here’s more info on the scholarship and a curriculum guide. If you are interested in Everfi, here is an educator’s quick start guide.

Screen Free Week & Global Day of Design

Screen Free Week is May 1-7th, 2017.  This is a week to unplug and go low tech.  It is important to balance tech time and going screen free for a bit is a nice way to do that.  Read a book, create something, explore, exercise.  Please share with your families!  They may even celebrate Screen Free Week at home.
Global Day of Design is coming up on May 2nd. This is a day dedicated to learning by making, playing and building. If you sign up to participate, they will send you a free design thinking toolkit.  You can follow #GDD17 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 
Edulastic is a great tool that you can use to create your own technology-enhanced assessments.  It has an auto-grading feature that also syncs with Google Classroom.