So our 1 year warranty expired and our Dash robot only goes in circles now. Wonder Workshop offered a $75 credit towards a new Dash.
Now most people probably would just buy another Dash... but whoever thought I would be considered normal.
So this Saturday, Mark and I decided to explore the innards of Dash. It was a fascinating journey into the complexities of how Dash is built. After opening Dash up, I was even more impressed with the robot. It did take 2 hours of our Saturday but it was worth learning about it.
The motor to the tire no longer worked which required taking the entire Dash apart to find out. Sadly we can't fix the motor as it is a soldered piece.
In my new role as full time Educational Technology Coordinator at two of our elementary schools, I get the opportunity to have more than one attempt at implementing different ideas. For the next two weeks, I am able to introduce our students to different ways to learn and use coding through the Hour of Code but also to help debut options that are available in SP Design Lab, SP Innovation Lab, CV Lightbulb Lab, and CV Makerspace.
After my first attempt the day prior, I was able to be prepared for 6 Hours of Code at Stoner Prairie on Friday. Thank goodness I had already had some practice because three hour sessions back to back with a half hour break and then three more hour sessions back to back isn't for the faint of heart.
The Learning Environment
Pictures cannot capture the feeling in the room. A huge thanks to our high school volunteers - Michael E., Eduardo C., Mason J., Cam M., Ethan F., and Peter D. We even had a special visit from Mr. Stremlow who made it possible for our students to be supported with high school friends.
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.
What is DENSI? Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute is my "teacher" camp where if I am selected, I get to spend a week with 150 educators from the U.S.A., Canada, UK, and now several other countries learning and discovery about different uses of technology as well as other amazing ideas. Last year I learned about BreakOut Edu and this year I hope to learn even more.
Presentation - Coding Beyond Code.org
This year I will be presenting with another fabulous DEN member LeaAnne Daughrity about coding on Wednesday. Our session will be very hands-on and a nice complement to the following day of the DEN Maker Playground. Below are screen shots of the website that we will be using.
DEN Maker Playground
This year I am working on the DEN Maker Playground for our unconference day on Thursday. I have been reaching out to companies to get promotional products and also to arrange hangouts where educators can talk to the people who are designing and using the product. I am really looking forward to making this happen.
I've created table flyers with QR codes for people to learn more about the product but also contribute to a shared padlet of ideas.
Last year we started to blend our science fair with more making activities. It was a great success with families learning about different science projects as well as making different things with their children. This year we continued the combination. What a wonderful night!
In the afternoon, there were 2 more sessions with 2 more classes in each session learning together. We had two wonderful volunteers from the high school to help mentor our afternoon groups. Students had a lot of fun working with someone new and learning how to code in many different ways.
SP Community Night of Code - Dec. 10th from 6-8p
Here is what one of our parents had to say about the event.
Friday, Dec. 11th
The Facilitator Presentations
Participants are Signing Up
Come join us! There is still space and we would love to have you and your child join us.
Paper Coding with Ozobots
Sphero and Ollie Golf Maze Challenge
Dash and Dot Robotics Challenges
The missions and robotics have become a conduit for different students from different classrooms to learn how to work together and celebrate together. In my opinion the missions and the competition have already been won because students are problem solving, persevering, collaborating, and finding success together on a daily basis.