Category Archives: K4STEMLAB Details

lecture-hall

Fw: 20 Things Educators Need to Know about Learning Spaces

This terrific piece came to me via email (thanks Krisca Te) and it’s too good not to share. “20 Things Educators Need to Know about Learning Spaces” talks briefly about Stephen Heppell’s work including his Ingenium project, but the crux of the article is 20 of Heppell’s learning space design ideas in tasty, bite-sized morsels.

[5 Days to Go] Screencasts tested; IdeaPaint applied; Foam mats placed; Words inspire

Screencast Beta Testers
Today was another busy day with a smattering of amazing breakthroughs, minor setbacks and significant milestones.

[One Week to Go] Chromebooks arrive, furniture still enroute; IdeaPaint going up Friday; Lesson plans? What lesson plans?

Command Center
Does this look like the desk of a teacher a week before school starts?

(You never know when a can of black spray paint will come in handy.)

It’s been a solid week since my last update,  literally haven’t had a spare moment to blog since. We’re in prime ultra mega crunch time now, so I’m gonna keep this short.

[14 Days to Go] Power tools go home; Z-Rack complete; Major classroom technology wins nearly complete the space

Z-Rack Under Construction
I had been dreading the final stage of the Z-Rack build, but in the end, I was successful. it isn’t perfect, but it is excellent, and I did it by myself (though Fay Crooks, Mary Lou Best, and Michele Seals all helped me wrestle the freshly-mounted board onto the vertical poles.) Its completion (and the other fabrication wins today) mean my power tools are no longer needed. The only major remaining space tasks/needs are dry erase paint for one giant wall in the back and my student work tables/chairs. We do have a few more surprises coming, though…

spaceballs_ludicrous_speed

[16 Days to Go] More LMS {Haiku} Progress; Classlink Launchpad almost ready for lift-off; Furniture Arriving, More Enroute

Work on the K4STEMLAB continues accelerating at incredible … (dare I say – ludicrous?) speed.

Key classroom and learning management system components are quickly falling into place.

The day started with work on our Google Apps for Education domain, preparing over 1,000 user accounts for their first use.  That was before breakfast.

[17 Days to Go] More Space Details Finalized; Deep Dive into Haiku LMS

Last week was a blur of activity even though I was only able to work two out of five days on the K4STEMLAB, Monday & Tuesday. Wednesday I ran technology workshops all day in Atlantic City for the ETTC and Thursday I was part of the team that brought the Padcamp unconference to life. Friday I got hit with a nasty stomach bug and didn’t accomplish much of anything. I had plans over the weekend to get into my LMS (learning management system) options but didn’t make as much progress as I’d hoped.

Whoa! The Northfield Education Foundation Has Donated $1,500 to the K4STEMLAB!

Don’t know what else to say but THANKS! Last week, the Northfield Education Foundation (NEF) donated $1,500 towards classroom supplies for the K4STEMLAB! The NEF has a long history of supporting our school, staff and programs, funding after-school clubs, field trips and more. It’s this kind of community support that makes teachers like me work even harder for the kids of Northfield.

So, what are we going to spend (almost all of) this money on?

FOAM CUBES.

Yes, that’s right.

painted

Key Milestones Achieved; Learning Space Preparations Nearly Complete; Focus Now on Pedagogy, Lessons & Screencasts

What a week it has been since our last update! We have made major progress and are well positioned to power through the remaining 32 days (!) until our first day with students. Sounds like PLENTY of time, but I have eight days of out-of-district commitments and a metric ton of of school technology infrastructure “to-do’s” I need to complete as well. Anyway, on to the highlights…

A Chromebook Screencasting Solution – not a moment too soon!

I’ve been searching for a very long time for a solution that will allow me to produce high-quality screencasts using our Google Chromebooks. Thanks to a quick Google search today, I came across a month-old Youtube video that explains one solution in detail:

I’ve gone ahead and ordered the Avertv HD DVR High Definition / Analog Video Capture Card and the StarTech.com DP2HDMI2 DisplayPort to HDMI Video Adapter Converter. I just need to find out when our order of Chromebooks will arrive. I’ll get this card set up on my home PC and be ready to start shooting videos!

requirements

Requirements Definition: Beginning with the End in Mind, Part II

It’s been a while since my last update. Sorry about that. We had some rough weather a while back and had not power for several days. The area is mostly back to normal now, though evidence of the destruction remains. Damage estimates for our area are still being formulated, I am betting the number will end up in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Fortunately in our area there was no loss of life. So it’s been a little hard getting back into the swing of things. Meanwhile, the clock ticks on…

Before I became a teacher, I worked in the world of Information Technology as a Senior Business Analyst / Project Manager. That means I either designed or managed teams of people who designed information systems, in particular, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) by Oracle. I was … a software engineer, essentially.