Drone Review: Syma X5C Explorer

Drone Review: Syma X5C Explorer Upon the recommendation of some of our 7th Grade students, I purchased a drone for $40 that was delivered surprisingly on Easter Sunday. The Syma X5C Explorer is the perfect drone for beginners and those prone to rooftop crashing. I was amazed to discover the nearly indestructible design of this little drone. After bouncing it off the pavement a dozen times, the Syma drone operates just as well as its first flight. Lightweight, inexpensive, and still very precise, the Syma is easy to charge through your computer usb port. The remote control requires 4 AA batteries, and it […]

Drones: Gateway to Learning, Design, and Impact

Drones: Gateway to Learning, Design, and Impact Drones provide a gateway to learning many practical and helpful uses for human-centered problem solving, as well as simple fun and curiosity. Here are a few ideas to consider… Paint Your House Advertise your product/company with a flying drone billboard Ambulance Drone for Medical Emergencies Submarine Periscope Save the lives of African babies with HIV testing Drone Racing is the Sport of the Future Search for Lost Dogs Monitor Marine Reserves and Spot Illegal Fishing Droneport for Africa A Robot That Flies Like A Bird Find the Best Waves for Surfing Safely Avoid […]

Maker Wars: 3D Printer Comes to Life Thanks to Students

Maker Wars: 3D Printer Comes to Life Thanks to Students A few weeks ago, 3 students approached me and asked if they could use our 3D Printer. “Of course!,” I said, not knowing that the printer wasn’t actually working. The students identified the necessary part and purchased it. They repaired the machine and it has been buzzing ever since, cranking out some cool, preliminary calibration products.      How might we encourage our students’ passions and create greater access to maker technology and curriculum?  Resources:  What is the Maker movement and why should you care? Mount Vernon students use 3D […]

Students Want Access

Students Want Access The past couple of mornings, I’ve received several unexpected student visitors to my office. My desk is covered in papers, my nose buried in a laptop while diligently working to accomplish a variety of projects, but thankfully I know when to put all of the ‘important stuff’ on hold. What’s more important than taking the time to listen and talk to a passionate and curious learner? One student came in to show me the BB-8 robot he got for Christmas. He just walked right in, opened up the box, placed the robot on the floor, and showed […]

Hacking ePortfolios

Hacking ePortfolios (cue sudden, startling music) There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it? Our school launched eportfolios a few years ago. Feedback from students and teachers confirms we have not yet cracked the code on how to use them effectively. Why not? Lack of clear purpose Middle School kids don’t have to be coaxed into seeing the relevance of Instagram or Snapchat. It’s social. It’s about them. It’s a way to share and be ‘in the know.’ In fact, not being part of it leads to a desperate feeling of being on the outside. The purpose of eportfolios has […]

#16 Thoughts on Digital Citizenship

Students have the power to make decisions in the realm of social media where the consequences can stick around for a long time. Educators must model and instruct the proper use of these tools. Parents should closely monitor their student’s activity while the student gradually earns trust by their consistent actions. All three stakeholders should discuss and agree on guardrails that allow students to utilize the latest technology while simultaneously maintaining responsible digital citizenship. Not an easy task. Parents… 1. Be informed and involved with your student’s social media life. They know more than you do in this realm. How […]

Why ePortfolios? Workspace & Showcase

If you try to follow #eportfolios on twitter, you may be disappointed. When you search and view samples of ePortfolios on the internet, you will find several schools with templates and beginnings. You won’t find many quality ones in the grade levels proceeding college. At least I haven’t yet. Many of them appear more like resumes than an instrument that not only documents learning but accelerates it, too. This summer, our team is designing an ePortfolio for students spanning Preschool through Grade 12. The team consists of representatives from Preschool, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School working together to […]

Scroll Up