The next stage of the Cherokee Nation digital exchange project (see posts below for progress so far) is for MA students from University of Brighton, the two participating Brighton Schools (Blatchington Mill School and Cardinal Newman Catholic School), the Cherokee Nation schools (Fort Gibson Public Schools and Maryetta Public School), and Same Sky to co-produce some digital art and display this at the Brighton Festival Children’s Parade in May 2013 that Same Sky organise..
This is thanks to having obtained some CUPP (Community University Partnership Programme) funding which will enable Digital Arts MA students from the University of Brighton to work with Wired Sussex, Same Sky and the Brighton schools to expand the project. The partners will be working with the school students to create a piece of collaborative art which will be paraded through Brighton where the theme of the children’s parade this year is the Alphabet. The children will be using the Cherokee Syllabary as inspiration to ultimately produce a shared piece of artwork for the wider community to engage with.
To this end the MA students will provide direct support to pupils and teachers as part of an existing course module in social media ‘Virtual Culture & Network Practices’. They would link with Same Sky who would offer the support of artists and access to bespoke workshops for the schools. A wider aim is to develop links beneficial to Same Sky that will help them include use of digital media into the workshops they offer.
The University of Brighton will help guide the school students and teachers in the use of digital media in subject areas outside of ICT. It will also provide new opportunities for schools and the University to work together and learn how technology can be effectively used in the classroom to generate creative learning practices.
Most of the teams were adults (even: real companies), but a team of students from Blatchington Mill School won, with their idea for an iPhone/iPad app: “My Science Lab”.
Team: Quantum Games
The three students named themselves “Quantum Games”: Jon, Nick, and Oli. All three of them have been studying for their GCSE’s in parallel with this project.
They’ve been supported by Mark Leighton, Assistant Head / ICT Director at the school.
For mentoring and game-development expertise, they had me – Adam Martin – previously CTO at MindCandy and NCsoft Europe, now an iPhone/Android developer
The students chose to focus on a game that would help other students revise the “Momentum” part of GCSE Physics.
In summer/autumn 2012, they learnt the basics of game design and development. We didn’t do any formal teaching – they simply had to pick up the skills they needed as we went along. YouTube videos, and “trial and error”, were our primary techniques…
By the end of 2012, they’d written their own physics engine, some basic gameplay, and a simple simulation of an exercise/problem in Momentum.
The big thing this month has been BETT. Pearson had a large stand, and asked the students along to talk about the project. They gave an excellent presentation to an audience of approx 30 people at BETT, covering the background and some of the things that went well, that didn’t, and what they’d learnt from it.
Leading up to BETT, they worked hard to squeeze in a new build of the game, with a rethink on the interactive sections and how they hang together. Unfortunately, we hit what seemed to be a major bug in Unity’s camera-handling, and none of us could fix it in time (nor could we get an answer from Unity support in time). But the students managed to invent a workaround at the last minute which worked fine for demoing at BETT.
The game isn’t finished yet – GCSE’s and schoolwork left too little time to complete it before BETT – but we’re very close now. The students are aiming to finish it off this month and next, and I’m hoping I might even be able to take a copy to the GDC conference in March (taking place in San Francisco, GDC is the commercial games industry’s main annual conference).
In the meantime … you can sign up now on the Quantum Games website (http://quantumgames.co.uk), and we’ll email you as soon as the game is ready – or sooner, with a private beta-test!
At the February 2013 meeting of Digital Education Brighton Andrew Sleigh outlined what Brighton Mini Maker Faire is with some further info about the general global Mini Maker Faire movement.
Below is some further detail about this and if you are interested in becoming involved or knowing more please do contact Andrew at mailto:email@example.com
What is Brighton Mini Maker Faire?
It’s a 2 day exhibition, workshop and education event, with follow-on activity, in Brighton, where Makers come together to show off their creations, teach, and inspire creativity. Projects cover a huge range, from traditional crafts, smart fabrics, to computer games, electronics, robotics, and novel crossovers of all of the above. Visitors can meet the makers, learn, be inspired and get hands on with craft and technology.
Brighton Mini Maker Faire exists to inspire and enable people to use technology creatively. We’re particularly interested in the fertile crossover between disciplines like fabric crafts and electronics, robotics and gameplay, and the spectrum of making and fabrication, from traditional techniques like glass and pottery to new technologies like 3D printing and laser cutting. Our aim is to inspire and provide opportunities for visitors to try their hand at making things and leave with a new confidence in their own ability to be creative.
BMMF is part of a growing global maker movement (http://makerfaire.com/press/highlights.html), with over 80 Mini Maker Faires planned for 2013, explosive growth in community workshops (‘hackspaces’) and exciting developments in maker tech appearing every day (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, 3D printing, etc).
Here’s a video of our 2012 event, which attracted 7000 visitors: http://vimeo.com/channels/brightonminimakerfaire
BMMF and young people/schools
A large part of the enjoyment of making is learning new skills. And likewise, one of the benefits of making is discovering that self-directed, explorative learning is rewarding. We believe that everyone can benefit from this, and it can be a useful complement to other types of learning – especially the kind of learning young people get in schools and FE/HE.
What we want
1. More young people, classes or schools to submit maker applications (these open in May). Or just to come to the event. (Can be tricky as it is usually in the first weekend of September)
2. How do we provide opportunities for kids to learn to make beyond the weekend itself?
e.g. Bringing workshops to schools, running weekend workshops at the community hackspace (http://www.buildbrighton.com/wiki/Upcoming_Workshops), getting makers into schools to do talks and demos, running after-school clubs, etc.
And how do we do that in a sustainable, manageable way, given that we already have a ‘free job’ (putting on BMMF), and that many makers are hobbyists, not professionals (not to mention all the constraints of working with schools and young people).
We feel there’s an opportunity here for something really exciting, but we’re not sure how to make it work. We’d love to work with people who can help make it a reality.
Dan Meyer writes:
Here are five quotes, some of which are from edtech startups in 2012 while others are from an advertorial for “Individually Prescribed Instruction” published in ASCD in 1972. Can you tell them apart?
Educators and parents across the country seem to agree that a system of individualized instruction is much needed in our schools today. This has been evident to any parent who has raised more than one child and to every teacher who has stood in front of a class.
[This product] allows the teacher to monitor the child’s progress but more important it allows each child to monitor his own behavior in a particular subject.
The objectives of the system are to permit student mastery of instructional content at individual learning rates and ensure active student involvement in the learning process.
This is a step towards the superior classroom, because the system includes material that can be used independently, allowing each child to learn at his own rate and realize success.
The technology, training program, and management technique give the teacher tools for assessment, mastery measurement, and specified management techniques.
Find out which is which on Meyer’s blog here. And while you are there, check out some of the other blogs too – v. interesting.
We had a fantastic trip to the Brighton & Hove Albion AMEX stadium on Thursday 15th November 2012 as part of the Cherokee Nation Project. We had 33 year 8′s from Blatchington Mill School many of whom had taken part in the launch event in September. The Cardinal Newman students are having a separate visit as the numbers would have been too large for both schools together.
We split into two groups: one group went on a stadium tour to collect photographs on 10 ipads to create short films. The remaining 15 students Skyped 15 Maryetta students using 3 iPads in groups of 5. Similarly, the Maryetta kids had 3 MacBooks with 5 children around each. Each Maryetta student had prepared two questions to ask the Blatch kids and we let them loose! It’s probably fair to say they loved it – the number of kids meant there were no awkward silences and they would have gone on for longer than the 15 minutes we allowed if they could have. The portability of iPads allowed the kids to show off the football pitch and the stadium out of the window and for them all to have a chance to show their faces.
We had intended to use FaceTime instead of Skype but this required having an iTunes ID (need to set up with a credit card) for each MacBook and iPad which Maryetta didn’t have. The Albion iPads did as they use FaceTime a lot. But Skype was fine on both sides of the Atlantic and worked without any technical hitches.
After the Skype session that group had a slightly shorter tour and collected photos for the short films, again on 10 iPads.
The two groups came back together to make the films using iMovie (which the teachers had been trained in at the Albion training session on 25 Oct) which they found very easy to use. They added voiceovers, titles and music and then they showed their movies to each other. It was easy for them to share the 20 iPads between 33 students as they had been working collaboratively anyway to take the photos and ensure everyone was included. The films are being uploaded to the Albion secure YouTube channel and I’ll upload them to Edmodo (the platform we are using to communicate between kids and teachers) as well to share with the Cherokee schools.
To keep the momentum going with the Skyping and to allow the other group to participate we are trying to arrange for Blatch to use the end of their Wednesday ICT lesson (between 2-3pm) to Skype from school hopefully every week. This is being facilitated with Maryetta.
(and how to correct them)
Saw this on the Edudemic Blog
Over the last few years K-12 schools and districts across the country have been investing heavily in iPads for classroom use. EdTechTeacher has been leading iPad professional development at many of these schools and we’ve seen firsthand how they approach iPad integration.
Read it in full here.
A digital cultural exchange between school students in Brighton, UK and Cherokee school students in Oklahoma, USA.
In the first blog post in December 2011, Phil Jones wrote: ‘This project aims to use digital media to significantly enhance the way that existing cultural exchange programmes between schools are run. The idea is to test and develop ways of using technology to encourage school students from different cultural and historical backgrounds to engage in real time interaction, to co-create content and to use visual and story-telling media, enabling them to build strong relationships through a mutual understanding and knowledge of each other.’
Since then, we’ve had a new school sign up from the Cherokee Nation – here’s a reminder of who’s taking part:
US – Fort Gibson Public Schools http://www.ftgibson.k12.ok.us/ and Maryetta Public Schools http://www.maryetta.k12.ok.us/ Another school, Sequoyah, http://sequoyah.cherokee.org/ a small school which is one of the only ones that teaches students in the Cherokee language is taking part through an after school club.
One of the first things we decided was that we needed time to discuss the project with teachers across the continents, get them talking to each other, find out what technology they were using already and to try to set a framework for the curriculum. We also needed to agree how many students would take part to start with and identify classes and teachers. We didn’t want to be too prescriptive with the curriculum as we really wanted the kids to take hold of the project when it started and to help drive what they would be doing in the lessons set aside for the project. One of the things the Cherokee side wanted from the project was to identify possible teachers of the future to help keep Cherokee tradition and language alive and that came into the mix as well.
It’s all about a digital cultural exchange, and those three words are what sums the whole thing up and it’s important to keep all those things in mind (at the same time!)… we wanted the kids to reflect on their own culture and lives and then think about how they could communicate that to people they might never meet (although more of that later)… and the tools they might use to do that. One thing that needs to be done is to find out what devices and technologies the kids already use and know, make use of them and introduce new technologies to them through the curriculum.
Although the first phase of this year-long project from April- August 2012 has been mostly to set things up, the Brighton schools have had some preparatory lessons in June and July. Year 7 English language pupils at Blatchington Mill have been studying some background about the Cherokee Nation using materials supplied by the Cherokee Nation Foundation, http://www.cherokeenationfoundation.org/new/ a charity that supports the education of Cherokee students. They were introduced to the beautiful Cherokee language syllabary and to recordings of traditional Cherokee lullabies and then spent time reflecting on Brighton and their own lives. Then, and here’s the exciting bit, they made short films in small groups to introduce themselves and Brighton to their Cherokee counterparts. They used Movie Maker to do this, which was new to the teachers.
Year 7 History students at Cardinal Newman school had similar preparatory lessons and also produced materials to share with the Cherokee children. They used various technology including Powerpoint (it’s a start) and Movie Maker.
A highlight of the project so far is undoubtedly the visit to Brighton in July 2012 of Andrew Sikora, the US project manager and a star Cherokee student, Corey Still, in July 2012. Corey is currently studying at the University of Oklahoma and is a great ambassador for the Cherokee Nation. He was in the UK to take part in an event with the UK government to celebrate the 250th year anniversary of the “Emissaries of Peace” Cherokee visit to the UK to see King George III in 1762. Fortunately for us, he had time to visit Brighton and we organized visits to both Blatch and Newman schools so Corey and Andrew could meet the pupils and teachers on the project. Corey was a real pro at talking with the kids and we had a Q&A session at both schools as well as meeting senior staff and being taken on a tour of each school.
To communicate across the pond we’ve been using Skype and Basecamp so far. We’ve had a number of conference calls using Skype and had an interesting time figuring out that you can’t do group calls using an iPad if you want visuals not just sound and that one person in the group needs Premium Skype in order for you to all see each other. All the teachers taking part in the project are signed up to Basecamp as well as other interested parties who want to contribute. Use has been patchy but is being revitalized particularly by Fort Gibson school’s teachers who are regular contributors. We’ve shared the initial materials the year 7s made through Blogger and we’re discussing what platform we might want to try out as well – one US schools uses Edmodo http://www.edmodo.com and we’re also talking about Posterous https://posterous.com which none of the schools have used before…
We’ve had a launch event but that’s the subject of another post… More later
Our first UnTeachMeet will be held at BACA* from 5.00 to 7.00 pm on the 21st June (follow link for address details). You may well be asking “what is an UnTeachMeet” – well, a TeachMeet follows certain rules which allow only teachers to present topics (follow links to our TeachMeet projects to get an idea). We thought it might be quite interesting for teachers if a few of our local businesses were able to do similar presentations, whilst at the same time, still being barred from making a hard sell. This would give the opportunity to see what educational projects are going on locally and possibly offer the opportunity for collaboration, prototyping, work experience etc.
To this end we are proud to present 9 talks – some from DEB members and some from other local establishments. It could well be an entertaining and useful session. If you are interested in coming along, there are still a few places left. Please contact Gill Ditch asap.
Here is a list of the presentations:
Maths Doctor – online maths tutorials
Retenda – Spaced Learning techniques to improve memory retention
Iris Connect – cpd through lesson observation and online community
Vital – professional development programme provided by the Open University
Iamcreative - opportunities for 13-19 year olds to work on live creative briefs from some top brands
Learnlocalfirst – citypedia of Brighton and Hove for and by KS£ students
Maker Fair – free interactive festival of creativity and invention
Locomatrix – developer of smartphone games using gps played outside, in the open air
Pling Toys – bringing objects to life
* Brighton Aldridge Community Academy
Paul Platts, Anne Caborn, Paul Bonett, Anna Pedroza, Adam Martin, Richard Vahrman, Sue Korman, Judith Good, David Holloway
Rose Luckin, Darren Kelly, Richard Freeman, Jon Pratty, Kevin Grist, Gill Ditch
Sue Korman thanked attendees on behalf of trustees of Brighthelm Centre (Twitter @brighthelmurc) and spoke about the sustainable living project being developed at the centre. The biggest challenge is the garden and its development (within local planning regulation).
Teachmeet - planning meeting being set up for next one. Plan to run one during the Brighton Digital Festival in September. There was also a brief conversation about Kidsmeet and whether something could be done connecting the two. To be picked up at next planning meeting for Teachmeet.
Smartphones in the classroom – Sue and Mick have been working at Blatchington Mill. Plan for more work after the half term. Need to explore ways of getting people from outside education involved in the classroom in a way that is not too onerous.
Smartphone repository – Mick is still trying to get hold of phones for this. There was further discussion around occasional use (phone loan) for specific projects. Another option might be to find funding sources and purchase a number of phones for school use. Adam also suggested contacting phone manufacturers who might donate phones. But this approach requires specific projects to get phone companies interested. Project outlines to be passed to Adam for forwarding. Another piece of kit to look at was iPod Touch.
Cherokee Nation – further work needed on project structure. One aspect might be quad blogging.
Programming in schools – Judith explained that students have completed practical work and documentation. Wide variety of projects. Looking at hosting arrangements via the university so people can access and possibly reuse projects. Next step is a subgroup involving Richard and Judith and others to look at the projects and their longer term application / reuse. Call will go out for people who would like to participate.
DEB monthly schools competition – currently no takers. Relooking at the concept and possibly better targeting. Richard to send something to Paul Platts that can go out in the weekly schools’ bulletin.
Taking the Tablets tour – Richard updated on progress including interest from the software manufacture interested in working with schools. Anna suggested contacting the subject association for geography. David also suggested the Hamilton Project.
Unteachmeet – using the Teachmeet concept reframed for businesses working with schools for them to talk about projects. First one will take place June 21. Information will be sent round. Please put the message out.
DEB input into NESTA programming in schools report – session has been set up on May 21 TBC. There has already been significant interest in attending. There was then a general debate around the teaching of ICT across the key stages.
West Hove Infants trial of Smartphone’s and handwriting/phonics apps to improve handwriting -
two phones and 3 apps being used for the trial. There was a discussion around a possible presentation to Mobile Brighton the app developers’ forum.
DEB presence at STEM festival in Crawley on 5th July – update next time.
DEB heard from David Holloway from Ideas Foundation and Iamcreative.
Ideas Foundation has been going for 7 years. A key aim is to promote diversity within business. For example, IF might going into a school and work alongside teachers, showing them how industry works in practice. They will look at the world of ideas and then bring people into the school to talk about what it’s like to work in that type of industry, what you do, what you wear… There may also be work placements. http://www.ideasfoundation.org.uk/
Now looking at a new vehicle devised with help from IF’s scholar council – their advisory group. This is iamceative http://www.iamcreative.org.uk/ The project is not yet officially launched but there has been a pilot. Hard launch planned for September.
There are creative briefs posted on the iamcreative site from various high profile companies. Young people can review the briefs and contribute. The work can be undertaken across curriculum – not just ICT. There are prizes, placements, bursaries and apprenticeships. Companies pay to put their briefs on the site.
3 access points – young people can download briefs, schools can register and workshops can be bought in from iamcreative; thirdly, industry mentors can be brought in. Young people also get the opportunity to build up a digital portfolio that could help with job seeking.
iamcreative wants three schools for each of the briefs. David would like to work with schools which are interested in being involved.
Updated version of DEB Basecamp
issues around access. Richard is dealing.
DEB reps in education establishments in Brighton
will be raised by Paul Platts at coordinators meeting.
can people say when they are coming to DEB meetings and not just say when they’re not coming?
Date and location – June 12, location TBC
Chair – TBC
Note taker – TBC
Presenter – TBC
I remember my very first geography homework (even though the past is a foreign country). I had to draw a map of the street where I lived and the surrounding roads. This began a lifelong fascination with maps. But I am now imagining how geography would have been, if we had access to the internet (or even computers). In addition to the wealth of information out there, one has so many resources when you want to mess around with maps. In planning for the long walk, I have been looking at a very versatile system from ViewRanger. And it is looking as though this will be the main system that I will use:
- to prepare maps in advance of the walk (one had access to OpenStreetMap)
- to find my way using my mobile on route (it has an offline mode so you can still see maps when there is no mobile connectivity)
- to send info back to LocoHQ.
- to let others track where I am.
You can even embed the prepared maps onto sites, as the following shows (this is the last stage of the route which I hope some of you may join me on). If anyone is interested, we would be quite happy to talk to you about using maps, GPS and how they can be used in lessons. *
* Since writing this post, I have been thinking more about a short curriculum based around maps, GPS and mobile phones, and I think it would go something like this.
- A brief history of maps. Early times, Ordnance Survey, maps on the internet – Google, Google Earth, Bing. Looking at things in 3D
- OpenStreetMap – what it is= the wiki of mapping, how it came about=crowd sourcing, things for free
- GPS, compasses – how they work, how they are used, SatNav, on mobiles, limitations=mapping indoors
- Where am I? Tracking me – threats and opportunities. 4Square and commercialisation
- Putting it all together for a long walk. Useful apps – ViewRanger + BuddyBeacon, GPS-Status