This was indeed a weird semester! So to end it on a high note, I taught classes on image manipulation, digital photography, and Web design on three consecutive days. Using Google meet, of course.
Photoshop was something all my students had asked for. It’s an opportunity to also connect it to real-world issues such as doctored images in news –a blood relative of ‘fake news’ — digitally altering historical figures –Churchill without a cigar, MLK at a cleaned out podium on the Mall — and simply knowing how to be aware of what could be Photoshopped.
Photography may not seem related to a computer class, but we all know that taking pictures, editing, and sharing is now a given in a young person’s life. Any device is now a ‘camera.’ To make it more interesting, I invited a photographer from Sri Lanka to co-teach the class. (This is distance learning after all, so what’s another 10,000 miles?) Nazly Ahmed, a photo-journalist uses various cameras, spoke of lighting and composition, depth of field, framing, why aperture settings and ISO are important.
As for web design, the goal for the class was to give students an opportunity to design a site that could be home to their digital portfolio, or even a rudimentary business.
I also added a photography contest, so that students could go and use the techniques they learned. The winners are announced on my class website, here.
Just got back from a short trip to Sri Lanka, where I conducted two workshops for teachers.The first was in Maharagama on Dec 15th & 16th. The second workshop was in Kandy on Dec 18th.
Here are some stories about the workshops:
Much thanks to my co-presenters:
- Dr. Paul Funk – Engineer, US Dept. of Agriculture, New Mexico (Via Skype)
- Ruben Gameros – Autonomous Collective Systems Laboratory, Arizona State University (Via Skype)
- Scott Logan – Montessori International School, Mesa, Arizona (Via Skype)
- Lal Medawattegedera – Lecturer, Open University of Sri Lanka
- Nalaka Gunewardene – Science writer, author, trustee of the Science and Development Network
- Nazly Ahmed – Web App Dev at Social Seed Media
Also the two Keynote Speakers:
- Dr. Ajit Madurapperuma – Dir. Of Information Communication Technology, ICTA
- Dr. Nalin Samarasinha – Astrophysicist at Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona (Via Skype)
Finally, thanks to the American Center in Sri Lanka who made this possible – especially Joshua Shen.
Hands-On Engneering – Spaghetti Tower Challenge
Hands-on session on Audio Recording
Hands-on session on Motors and Electro-magnetism
Scott Logan & students at Montessori International School, teach class – via Skype
Aaron Fernando facilitates session
Using audio and video for content creation
Photography in Science – From SLRs to GoPro
Nazly Ahmed, Social Seed Media explains Depth of Field
Engineering & Problem Solving – Building a Solar Oven
Paul Funk, US DOA
Teaching Science Writing
Future Ready Classroom – Google Cardboard & Augmented Reality
Future Ready Classroom – Teaching Robotics
Ruben Gameros, ASU, teaches class on robotics – Via Skype
Joshua Shen Delivers Opening Address
Thanks Nazly Ahmed, for taking the time to teach a 35 minute class to my 4th graders this morning. It was 8:45 am Arizona time, and 9:15 Pm in Colombo, Sri Lanka. But what’s a few time zones when it comes to learning from experts?
This technology class was a bit of a ‘planned surprise’ for them. Some have even seen a GoPro in action. I happen to have one in class, so before I introduce the hardware, I wanted to bring in a user to talk about it. There were three cameras in class – not counting the one on the PC for our Skype call. Nazly used screen-share from his end, to explain different camera perspectives. Forget drones with cameras. We watched the flight if an eagle mounted with a GoPro!
And students wanted to engage, so the class was (nicely) interrupted by many questions. One student volunteered to document the session on a regular camera. Everyone said they wanted to work with the GoPro, which will be in a forthcoming class.
Now if I could only find an eagle that’s willing to participate in an Ed-tech experiment 🙂