This week, Mazo staff spent part of their October meeting tinkering in the Learning Commons. This was a great way to introduce them to some of the incredible adventures and discoveries students have been treated to, not to mention a way to challenge their thinking and collaborative skills, too!
Those who dabbled with green screening found themselves under palm trees, surfing the waves or playing a round of Quidditch. Discussions surrounded the use of green screening technology in subject areas like Social Studies, History and Geography. There was also talk of putting yourself in various characters’ shoes – literally!
Some teachers chose to build. The Makedos were put to great use as staff constructed a dream house complete with a second floor balcony. Their area of focus was on the use of various three-dimensional figures. Another group used K’Nex to build miniature models of well known buildings and bridges from around the world. They wanted to make the most stable structure possible, so they took their time and built from the ground up.
The most intriguing centre seemed to be the Virtual Reality “field trips” – imagine walking through the pyramids in Ancient Egypt, or moving through the various systems within the human body! The possibilities are endless, and what an incredibly powerful way to add to student research and help further their understanding of concepts that can otherwise be abstract or un-relatable!
Similarly, there was great interest surrounding the entry-level coding table. Teachers learned to program BeeBots and Ozobots. They walked their BeeBot through various mazes and grids, programming each step, one at a time. Using four simple colours, staff persevered to figure out how to colour-code each Ozobot. They quickly recognized the importance of patterns and consistency. Teachers were once again abuzz, talking about the obvious curriculum connections and benefits to students (and themselves).
Regardless of their choices, each and every group relied on collaboration. They worked together to succeed. It was an amazing experience, full of risk taking and “outside the box” thinking. Many are looking forward to further challenging their students and themselves!