Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Projects, Paradigms, Preconceptions & Survival??

A brief survey of the stuff that is coloring my decisions this 9 weeks in class & another plea for online community for my students...

Paradigms, Context, & Survival...
Now it's video clip time. I just want to share with you a bit of the context in which my thinking has been framed lately, before I talk about why I'm blowing up my curriculum and pursuing things that are driving me crazy. Many of you have seen this stuff before. If you haven't, watch these. They're good for you, like fiber & anti-oxidants all rolled into one delicious sweet roll:

Sir Ken Robinson.


Diane Ravitch - This video reminded me of  this article, which came across my Flipboard the other day, thanks to my awesome PLN... (supplemental reading)
 

Jane McGonigal


Projects, PBL, and Online Community
One of the awesome things about being Middle School BCIT instructor is the freedom I have to teach a skills based curriculum in whatever context I choose. I've been providing a projects-based curriculum for some time, as a result of my constant diet of Edutopia, ISTE, & the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Until recently, this consisted of a Sustainable Design project for Seventh graders and a Visual Design project for Eighth Graders.

As a result of my current pondering, reading, & media viewing, I've decided to open up both projects (plus three more, including Game Design) to both grade levels.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Videos on Tracing Floorplans in Sketchup

One of the projects students may choose in my CIT 7 & 8 classes is Sustainable Design. The Goal: Design and advertise a home for a 4-person family living in the US using (around 3,000 sq. feet max) at least one Sustainable Architecture principle or Green Energy Source.

As a part of the project, students will demonstrate a variety of technology fluency skills in the context of completing the following components:
  1. Research (tagged to your student Diigo account and our class Diigo group).
  2. Scale Floor Plan drawings (rendered in Google Sketchup or MS Visio)
  3. Student Choice 1:
    • Promotional Materials
    • Interior design Moodboards
    • Landscape Design Plan
    • Elevation Renderings in Sketchup
  4. Pecha-Kucha presentation of project as endcap (last week of class).
In addition, students will regularly participate on an online community on Edmodo that includes multiple schools across & outside of the country.

One of the challenges of providing a choice of complex projects in which students may demonstrate skills is managing the instruction of myriad specialized applications. I've been accomplishing this through Schooltube & Screencastomatic. Here are three of my most recent tutorials on drawing in Google Sketchup.

Step 1: Importing a Sample Floorplan into Sketchup

Step 2: Drawing interior & exterior walls

Step 3: Push / Pull & 3d awesomeness...


These are part of the larger series listed here:
  1. Step 1 - Import & Prep your Floorplan
  2. Step 2 - Finish Interior and Exterior Walls
  3. Step 3 - Push / Pull Walls etc.