Digital Lesson Enhancements

3D Modeling Unit  
Dreamhouses, Design, and the Tiny House Movement

This is a short unit for 3D Modeling and Design.  Starting with the idea of Maker culture and using the specific example of the Tiny House Movement and Earthships, we discuss the idea of designing a lifestyle through architecture.  Students then built their dreamhomes using Google SketchUp.  


This unit is now being taught three times a year by CCES's technology teacher!  Students are loving this freedom to explore and design their dreams.


The idea of creating a space that encourages a certain lifestyle is certainly a good antidote for consumer culture, encouraging the idea that we construct our own lives rather than buy our dreams.

Comparative Geography Realignment for Empathy!
Fall 2013

This is a comparative Geography unit design template.  This was implemented for 8th graders in the fall of 2013 at CCES in Greenville, SC for Donna Burns' classes.

Thinglink Digital Textbook

Supporting Document for Empathy Realignment

Spring 2014

This Thinglink I created with Donna Burns put research on rails.  After the first successful unit with comparative geography, we decided to upgrade on the research process.  8th graders should know how to research in traditional libraries (Disqus online) but video comes more naturally.  


By having an interactive map, students spend time looking at where each country is and get a variety of media types to take in the data and then Donna can focus them on making that information it come to life.  That was the reason for the Comparative Geography Unit Above.  This time semester, we are focusing on the resources like this one!


In Donna's class, empathy is the highest priority for geography, and understanding data in terms of real life experiences is powerful!


Next, we have to ensure they reflect on the content.  Just like with standard texts, assessment is part of the motivation.  In this case, however, rather than a test, we will use discussion boards to demonstrate understanding, share insights, and also verify the work was done.

Elements of Art and Principle of Design Mind Maps

This is the visual for a lecture I give on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design for studio art and art history.

In Maker Education, I have a modified version that forms a similar foundation for design and technology.

Create Resource Videos from Traditional Instruction Using a Justand an iPad, Smoovie, AirServer and a Projector, We Build a Library 

Brent is an art teacher who as a potter and soccer enthusiast is very kinesthetic.  The onramp to digital innovation was not immediately clear until he discovered Smoovie and the Justand.


The Justand allows an iPad to be mounted like an overhead projector.  In this way, a teacher can draw, edit, map, whatever in the old analog ways stopping occasionally to record changes just like stop-motion or clay-animation.  The results from this innovation was to create two Smoovies.  


The first shows how to create gesture drawing lines on a portrait composition and another that shows shading and value contour modeling but in reverse as he erases it so students can understand his compositional choices!  Great stuff!

Discussion Boards

Different Teachers Want Different Levels of Partnership

No lessons are the same in any classroom and this is even more true about teachers.  Technology Integration ranges from simply finding Apps and suggesting pairings of pedagogy to technology all the way to guest teaching an entire unit.  


This day was spent working with students using discussion boards in English.  We start with a simple anticipatory set about pets for an upcoming novel about a boy and his dog.  Then we add specifics, replacing pronouns with proper nouns, labels with citations, and all the way to research and citations.  


Sometimes the simplest of tools can be the most earth-shattering.  Do you remember the days before cut and paste?  It was a very different thing back then to finally type your thesis statement in paragraph ten on a manual Remington!


Technology should connect us.  Then we use our social skills to enhance our efforts at communication and refining our ideas.

3D Modeling and Experience Design

Using SketchUp to create video mockups and to explore the concept of designing simple experiences using 3D modeling in a video "sketch"

Expert Teams. Using Pecha Kucha for PD.

CCES teachers, this one is for you!  Don't hesitate to ask for tutorials for anything you need to create presentations to share your innovations!  No matter how large or small your contribution, it moves the whole community forward and gives all of us the opportunity to be better.  That means our students have better learning experiences!


This also allows teachers to understand what this year's students learned last year and how they went about it.



Biomimicry Design Thinking Project

with Biology Teacher Paulette Unger

Paulette created an awesome lesson using design thinking and empathy to study biomimicry and also to preapare students to carry out their own scientific inquiries.  Students interviewed stakeholders on campus to find deficient objects.  They then began to brainstorm about what innovation inspirations they could appropriate from nature to improve these products to the satisfaction of those who they interviewed.  This is not an easy task and their shared Google Doc started getting overwhelming.


By using Prezi as a shared digital workspace, they were able to share their ideas visually as well.  Now, we could all see what others were doing.  They also had the option to create prototypes in SketchUp.  When students made 3D prototypes from common materials, they also were given the option of capturing them with 123D Catch and then digitally revise their prototypes.  Paulette's students are amazing!

This is one of the captured prototypes.

This prototype was designed to get rid of the perpetual soap blobs that waste soap and create annoying cleanups.  The straw delivers the soap with the water!  The organic form of the bowl facilitates self-cleaning through biomimicry.


The prototype is made from paper towel roles, straws, coffee filters and duct tape.  A little more editing and it will be a fully digital prototype.

This is an evolving presentation about how to use ePortfolios.  Everyone knows what ePortfolios are in a general sort of ways even though the formats and presentations grow rapidly every year.  What is talked about too little are the radically different ways we can use them to build and reinforce our student's understandings, how we teach them lifelong self-initiated project habits, and also mindful gap-filling so they can self-assess, seek feedback, and develop solutions to improve where improvement is needed.


I am adding example works, software sugestions, and DIY toolboxes as time permits!

Chapel of the Good Shepard Aurasma Project

This is the first phase of the Chapel of the Good Shepard Aurasma Project.  This presentation allows Christian Education Teachers to present our beautiful and thoughtfully chosen stained glass windows and the passages they illustrate.  


Next, we can assign students to research the passages more thoroughly so students can create videos that explain each work of art and the significance of the scene in detail and in the bigger picture of the Bible as a whole.  


Once the videos are made, we can upload them into Aurasma so that pointing an iPad at individual stained glass windows will play the student-researched and student-created videos.  This will allow self-guided tours by CCES students.  Now that is taking ownership of both education, community, and one's own beliefs!

Pearl Trees are a great way to organize your hyperlinked idea sets!  The white circle is for Apps and the Modalities they accommodate in project-based learning.

This Pearltree allows me to keep track of the different Apps and WebApps I use to differentiate lessons and to offer specific kinds of organization and analysis from visual to video, audio to collaboration.  Cool stuff!  Its also a lighter App than PersonalBrain with a much smaller learning curve.  


Powerful stuff for ensuring synthesis takes place in lessons and for effective idea prototyping!


Best of all, these become a toolbox/menu where one click takes you to the tool that is best for the job.