A little Kindergarten and A little Starbucks – Universal Classroom Design

We designed our learning space with a little Kindergarden and a little Starbucks  – Here is how it happened: In June 2014, we were informed that we would be moving to an empty/unused classroom at Holbrook School (HWDSB). We were also informed that our proposal for new technology was granted which included 1:1 computers, projector, interactive whiteboard, doc camera (microscope), tablets, 3D printer, and NXT Robotics. Regardless of the fact that we were at the mercy of the physical space and size, including windows, electricity and lighting, we were absolutely pumped to design our “dream” classroom space that was Universal  for all learners.   From the onset, we wanted a space that not only engaged students to be active Continue reading A little Kindergarten and A little Starbucks – Universal Classroom Design

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The Road Not Taken – Making, Crafting and Constructing Meaning in Minecraft

The Road Not Taken – Making, Crafting and Constructing Meaning in Minecraft  Designing lessons that foster creativity, collaboration and depth in thinking is multifaceted. We need to use tools that provide an opportunity for interaction and collaboration. This includes a method for students to help one another and provide feedback. The context needs to be relatable and flexible. The content, whatever it is, needs to have value and personal connections and it needs to matter -and if it does, it will have depth and purpose. I offer the following as an example. Summary of Lesson: As a whole class, students would create (Yes, actually build )  the poem “A Road Not Taken” using Minecraft as a Medium (using a Continue reading The Road Not Taken – Making, Crafting and Constructing Meaning in Minecraft

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Design Thinking ~ Make Urban ReDevelopment a Reality in Minecraft

The purpose of this lesson is to inspire and engage students to use creative and critical thinking skills to make decisions and designs that impact an urban area. This cross-curricular approach to Design Thinking, allows students the freedom to use and connect  their inquires to real examples. The activity is intended for group or collaborative learning and uses a combination of whole class and small group facilitation with access to a variety of tools. The final product is a Design and proposal of a chosen Urban Landscape in their own community. Minecraft (and lego) are ideal platforms for students to use resources and tools collaborative to display their concepts.  The example lesson (below)  was facilitated with a group of Continue reading Design Thinking ~ Make Urban ReDevelopment a Reality in Minecraft

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Design Thinking, Teaching and Learning with Minecraft and Lego

This lesson was facilitated with Grade Five Gifted Students. This is an example of how to combine a variety of collaborative tools (Collaborative thinking/planning, Blog, Web2.0 Doc, Minecraft) with a hands-on approach to building and designing prototypes that focus on world problems. Minecraftedu, large amount of assorted lego, a class full of engaged students and a teacher/facilitator provided the necessary resources.  It was incredible to witness the dialogue, creativity and critical thinking as the students explored and designed their ideas into something concrete.  Inventions Big Idea: How do past and present inventions impact our world of today? This is a sample lesson that can be used at a variety of ages and grades. Because this lesson is based on the concepts Continue reading Design Thinking, Teaching and Learning with Minecraft and Lego

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