Since the beginning of the month about 9 classes at SP and VAIS have been testing the Makers Empire software and lessons. This 3D design software allows our students to create in many different ways - shaper, blocker, character, toy, and doodle. Along with the ability to create in different formats, the software comes with standards and curriculum connected lessons and tutorial videos.
In the three weeks, students have created bubble wands, cookie cutters, snowman, mazes, bookmarks, and name tags. For the first time since we have had the 3D printer, all of my students are able to create and design using their iPads.
Using the donations from the Fitchburg Block Party, we are able to purchase Makers Empire until May of 2019 for all of our students to create and design. My next step is to start connecting this amazing software to lessons that we are already teaching and with the lesson library, this will be super powerful.
Noticings - Student designs aren't always showing up on the dashboard so I marked some students as not having completed an activity only to have them show me on their device that it was in their gallery and completed. The keyboard tends to freeze up the app which causes design loss.
You know that moment where the high of trying something new.... hits the reality of what students do with it? That moment when you look a little deeper and realize that not everything is going as well as you think it is?
This happened to me on Friday evening. As I looked at the Teacher Dashboard I marveled at the amount of designs that students already had after only 40 minutes of design time.
My Reflections from the Teacher Dashboard
Day 1 Instruction
Day 2 Instruction
Next Teaching Steps
After looking over the stats of completion, I communicated the following to the classroom teachers.
My Bubble Wand
Today 6 classes at VAIS and SP participated and designed using Makers Empire. Both activities received rave reviews.
Today 6 different classes at SP and VAIS started the trial of Makers Empire - VAIS 2, 3, 4/5, Kenny-Johnson 5, Prathivadi 5, and Peterson 4 (Caithamer 5 will be joining on Friday). The goal is for students to trial the software and lessons over the course of three weeks (twice a week for 30 mins.). After the trial, students will determine if this is a good software for 3D Design as well as select their favorite design to 3D print.
To introduce Makers Empire, I created a class and shared the QR code for each class. For the most part it went very smoothly. I learned how to merge accounts since if a student uses a silly name the teacher cannot change it in the dashboard. The introduction went very smooth with having the overview video and then providing students choice time to create and share.
Our next lesson will be trying several of the different tutorials and having design time.
Today was the last day of Hour of Code to reach all of the students at SP and VAIS. The classrooms today were Prathivadi, Kenny-Johnson, Durnen, Magnus, Murphy, and Johnson.
Today the following classrooms participated - Davis, Chartier, Wong, and Nelson. Our high school volunteers were fantastic and really brought a positive energy to our Hour of Code. Thanks to Aaron Y., Jake H., Max H., and Vivek S. for helping make this happen for our students!
Today was the wrap up of the Book Creator Non-fiction Writing unit. Next week students will be sharing what they have created. It has been exciting to watch the process unfold. Finished authors helped mentor other authors who were finishing up.