Year3-Week12: The Value of Pressure in Learning

2018-11-05 STEAMLab_wk12 pressure_12_steam-lab

The original idea was to post at the end of every week something with much more reflection and thoughtfulness than my previous daily social media posts that I had done over the past two-years. I was able to keep to that schedule for the first eight-weeks or so, but have faltered and failed since then. Continue Reading

Year3-Week5 & 6: There’s No Place Like Home

2018-09-10_STEAMLab wk05 google-earth_02

I came up with this idea that I wanted to work with Kindergarten & first grade using the theme of “my community,” building on what it’s like to live in North Las Vegas and a child’s almost infinite capacity to create based on the tiniest bits of lived experiences. Continue Reading

Year3-Week4 – It’s not like it’s rocket science, kind’a

2018-09-04 STEAMLab_wk04 WeDo-kits

2018-19 school year week 4. How do you turn left or right with robots that only have one motor connected to a single axle? Hmmm… I hadn’t thought that about that. Continue Reading

Year3-Week3 – Welcoming Our Robot Overlords

2018-08-27 STEAMLab_wk03 WeDo-kits

I’ve been wrestling with this problem since coming here in 2016: how to get robots into the hands of all of my students in the best way possible… And I was so excited that I didn’t take any photos/videos of the first class that began working on their LEGO WeDo robots (you know that’s excited!). Continue Reading

Year Three Week Two – The Plan’s First Trial

“No plan survives contact with the enemy,” Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, German Field Marshal

I think I scared myself last week when posited the difficulty of teaching a single subject across six grade levels much less five subject areas across said six grade levels. Oops.
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Learning LEGO EV3 Robots & Kids


The first time you deploy anything in the classroom, much less something involving lots of small moving parts, I can guarantee that things won’t go as planned but if you planned well you’ll be able to see all the areas you need to fix/change the next time you do the lesson/unit. I’ve been waiting over a year to give my students a chance to do some hands-on learning with the EV3s, mostly fretting over how I was going to share eight LEGO robots with over 400 students spread over 21 classes and survive the experience. Today was the end of our first four-week attempt and boy did I learn a lot about what NOT to do next time (with the next group of 5th grade students beginning next week).Continue Reading

Reflecting on My Photography Editing Deficit (Taking Lots of Photos at School)



On March 2nd I shot over 150 images and videos on two cameras & my iPhone covering two student assemblies for the Jump for the Heart initiative. On the prior Wednesday, February 28th, I shot over 270 images covering a rugby demo/promo event. The Friday before that, February 23rd, I shot over 270 images covering my school’s Black History Assembly. Add to this, shots taken daily covering all of the random things happening on campus and in my STEAM Lab, that’s over 800 images/videos shot in last three weeks. There are stories here that I want to share, I just need to find the workflow and schedule that will help with this editing/posting/sharing log jam. I’m so insane to imagine that this is at all manageable. 😎

Many years ago I remember telling my middle school yearbook/journalism students that of the 500 shots taken at whatever dance/event, I needed them to find the three to five shots that told the story of the event. Alas, things have gotten much more complicated now in that for any given shot there might also be a six-second video version and I’ve added 360° video to the mix. Previously I would just have to slug it out through the hundreds of images/videos and find those five images. But now I can create a slideshow video version of the event that is built by the computer of the hundreds of images AND videos taken of the event. I still need to go through the process of tossing any image that is poorly shot or does help tell the story. I used this automated slideshow method with the big robotics events and behind-the-scenes images/videos. I still need to find the three to five shots that tell the story but I can also let the computer build a 1-minute version that uses 100s of images and video clips from the event(s). Except in non-digital environments (like a printed yearbook) this feels like a win-win. Now I need to decide whether I’m going to jettison my Lightroom monthly subscription because I can get the job done using less expensive tools.

6 Levels Towards Virtual Worlds

I’ve been thinking about the decades old promises of virtual reality and how my graduate students have responded to their first experiences with Second Life and thought that an info-graphic break down of virtual reality might help us approach the subject with less anxiety or frustration. It really comes down to thinking of the ol’ “right tool for the right job” mindset. BTW, this infographic/presentation was created with Piktochart. I’ll have a link to tool & presentation at the end of this post. Enjoy.
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