Prior to Design Lab, I had put the 9V battery into all 5 of our MeeperBots. The screw was a little tricky so hopefully our rechargeable 9V batteries will have a long enough life that I don't need to do this frequently.
I put out the MeeperBots next to the legos and watched as our students started to check them out. Each student downloaded the MeeperBot app onto their iPad. Honestly I did nothing except show them how they could tell if they were connected. I need to rename the MeeperBots because students wanted to connect to specific colors.
Circumstances delayed this post.... the night I was planning to write this post, I lost one of my pet bunnies, Coco...
The power behind the MeeperBots tended to blow the lego construction off of the top of them but that didn't bother any of our students. I appreciated that our young and old students were drawn to them as well as it was gender neutral. I can't wait to see how more students respond as all 5 were quickly taken and used.
Time has come to say goodbye to the first 3D printer that took our school down the journey of 3D printing. After 1 year of good quality printing and 3 years of fixing and learning, it has become more work to get it to work. Farewell to a printer who launched our journey.... thank you to Donor's Choose and MakerBot for providing this printer to our school for $98 and changing so many students access to 3D printing. But now we must say goodbye ....
I hope that we will find a replacement to continue this journey. It is bittersweet that I say goodbye. It is like losing an old friend that has changed your life.
I am thankful because Wonder Workshop and Little Bits have stood behind their products and many times have replaced broken pieces. Now I have to contact them again. Over the course of the last year, Wonder Workshop has replaced three of our Dashes... even paid for the shipping and Little Bits has replaced several fans and vibration motors. I really appreciate both of these companies because they understand how powerful their product is for our learners and don't make it difficult when something goes wrong even if it might be a student's fault.
A few days ago I received a notice that I could try a new product called Magik Bee Blocks designed in Portugal.
Now that the iPads are out and in the hands of students, I get the pleasure of participating in the magic that our teachers are creating by blending strong teaching practices with student access to their own device. Over the course of the next few weeks, I have the opportunity to partner with one of our fourth grade teachers, Jennifer Peterson. Yesterday was my first visit and I already was swept up into the learning environment that she is creating with her students.
The lesson that I was able to observe blended a hands-on project about the geographical features of Wisconsin with the task of searching for images to support this research on Google. It was really fascinating to see how the ability to search using the internet is another essential skill that needs to be developed at school. This activity really helped students to understand how technology can facilitate their learning through accurate search terms.