This week revisited TPACK and working at the interface of technology, pedagogy and content to achieve effective learning with understanding. (Remember that Quickfire TPACK activity from CEP 810?!)
The Task: Go thrifting and get creative to repurpose items and incorporate them into a maker kit – in my case, Chibi Lights.
The Result: LIGHT!
I started by playing with the Chibi Lights STEM Starter Kit and completing my first circuit. As seen in the video, it was really quite simple – just adhere the conductive tape to the path drawn on the sketchbook taking extra care at the corners, add the circuit sticker and attach the battery with the binder clip – and Huzzah! There was light!
Now the question was “How could this work for my classroom?”. Two ideas came to mind: visual aids and an on/off switch for the Mazemaster compound naming and formula writing game.
This week just so happened to be the week we were on vacation (hooray for asynchronous technology!) so the “thrifting” got interesting as I rummaged through my car to see what I could come up with. I desperately searched for a crayon to use as a nod to Punya Mishra and the Deep Play Research Group’s 2012 paper Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century:Crayons are the Future, but alas, it was not meant to be. Meanwhile, I had the option of a half eaten animal cracker and a toy car so I thought it may be best to wait until we arrived at my parents to dig through their closets! Luckily, that turned up some sticky notes, a pencil, double-sided tape, a scrap of snowflake cardstock – snow would be nice right about now! – and a magnet for a kitchen refinishing company.
First the visual aids. These were pretty simple. The atomic structure photo illustrates the protons and neutrons in the center of the atom, in the shape of a “plus” because the nucleus is positive, while the electrons are very tiny and spread out away from the nucleus. The second image explains energy absorption and emission during the flame test lab that results in the observation of light. Both examples provide students with a unique and memorable visual experience to remember foundational principles of chemistry so that they may better apply those principles to more complex questions. Students could make an entire series of these throughout the year.
Now for that on/off switch for our games. I started with a sticky note and sketched my own path only to realize that there was not enough room to connect the battery +/- to the circuit and have space to move the switch back an forth, but then I remembered the basic switch in the sketchbook and modified it to work with my switch. It went something like this…
So before this switch is actually used, I should probably find some heavier duty magnets and dazzle it up a bit more…maybe even make it 3-D…hmmmm….
**Note: The images used are intended to allow the reader to understand the processes involved in this activity and also to repeat them as desired, while the video is intended to provide a basic idea of how the circuit sticker sketchbook works and how it can be applied in a classroom.**
Mishra, P., & The Deep-Play Research Group (2012). Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century: Crayons are the Future. TechTrends, 56(5), 13-16.