The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 6

This session of the Virtual Coffee Shop podcast features an in depth discussion with music educator Josh Hill.  I think you will enjoy learning about his fascinating insights into the fabric of education.

I have my coffee ready.  Do you?

Settle in to a comfortable chair and enjoy the discussion!

Connect with Josh:

Watch his  TEDxKitchenerEd talk.

Follow  @gaelsmusic  on Twitter

~Mark

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Evolving the Sphero Challenge

A year ago, I attended my first WRDSB hosted sphero programming challenge. At this event, students worked in teams to program their sphero ball to travel on a predetermined “track” created with large sheets of chart paper taped down on a gymnasium floor. The focus was on a team approach to solving the path through coding. The excitement and collaboration levels were high as the students worked away at solving the puzzle. Have a look at the video to get a sense of the action.

Original sphero challenge

 

The next iteration of the WRDSB sphero challenge took a approach. Teams were provided a set of criteria to create a sphero track, which they would then solve using the collaborative approach as was done in the first challenge. I liked the concept behind this new approach combining creativity, differentiation and problem solving. Given the time constraints of running an after school event that involves teams from different schools, and therefore transportation etc. I thought this first attempt went well, although I did observe that some teams struggled with time management in the creation phase so there was less time available to solve the puzzle – good learning on the time management front, but some teams were not able to show their coding skills to the fullest. Check out the action captured in this short video.

Shero challenge 2

I certainly left each of these events on a positive note and pondered “what next”?  In terms of track design, I wonder if a mid range approach might work – perhaps having a common start to a track and parameters to complete it to help with the time efficiency element. I applaud the efforts to create a coding challenge that requires collaboration to solve the problem. Over time, it would be great to see more students have this type of opportunity and also have students experience different roles within the team functions.

Related Resources:
STEM sphero guide:
http://stemeducationguide.com/classroom-activities-sphero/

Coding with spheros with  Scott McKenzie  and  Megan Lowe: (workshop summary)

Coding with spheros (full):

~Mark

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 5

This podcast session features a conversation with Jane Gingerich on music education then and now.

Make a cup of your favourite brew and enjoy the conversation.

~Mark

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 4

This session of the Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast features a conversation with Jane Mitchinson Schwartz.

Jane shares her experiences in school hosted radio programming through the perspectives of community building and interesting curriculum connections.

Head to the kitchen to prepare your favourite brew, relax and enjoy the conversation.

Resources
Connect with Jane on  twitter 
Visit Jane’s website

~Mark

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 3

This Virtual Coffee Shop podcast features an interview with educator Tanya Avrith. Our conversation centres around building digital fluencies through creative & engaging learning processes.

Grab a cup of coffee, relax in your favourite chair and enjoy the conversation.

Resources:
Connect with Tanya: @tanyaavrith
Visit Tanya’s  website
Subscribe  to the Virtual Coffee Shop podcast

~Mark

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 2

This edition of the Virtual Coffee Shop podcast features an interview with WRDSB teacher Carrie Wilson. Carrie shares her experiences and perspective on shifting practice to a more student centred approach in the languages classroom.

Grab a coffee, settle into your favourite chair and hit play.

Resources:
Connect with  Carrie.

~Mark

The Virtual Coffee Shop Podcast – session 1

Today’s post is the official launch of my Virtual Coffee Shop podcast.  Podcasts will be featured on this blog as well as part of the fabric of VoicEd Radio.

I was thrilled that  Tania Bumstead  joined me for this kickoff discussion.  Listen in to hear her take on STEM, innovation and changing practice.

Resources:
Follow Tania on Twitter: @taniabumstead
Read Tania’s  Blog

~Mark

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