Archive for September, 2016

CC Creativity Club Day #8

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

A smaller cohort attended today as it is the last week before the term break. Most of the students participating have been attending for several weeks now and enter the space with clearer intentions and aims. We had one new students, several parents, a high school teacher and the principal attend. One parent commented “It is the highlight of his week”.

We discussed the possibility of running a simple maker space at the Spring Fair as a means to publicise the activities and to explain the intent of the space to students, parents, teachers and the wider community. A parent, a teacher and a volunteer have agreed to help out so we will go ahead with it if it is not too late to enter.

The space has the potential to be a very useful resource beyond providing an avenue for students to explore creativity through technology. I envisage that the space we are creating at CC will be a space for:

  • children of all ages, primary through to secondary, from CC and the region
  • teachers pre & in service, to observe, engage and trial ideas, from CC and the region
  • a place to run PD for teachers from CC and the region
  • specialised classes, teachers may use the space and its resources in the same way students move to another facility for other classes e.g. art.
  • parents & extended families may also wish to make use of the space to support their kids or to learn themselves,
  • artists, local, invited, self-initiated, residency, exhibition, can often bring fresh ideas and stimulate others
  • makers, designers, hobbyists
  • short courses
  • fabrication
  • experimentation …  

Technology is to be regarded in the broadest sense; from paper and fabrics to coding and micro-controllers. What binds all of these technologies is their creative potential. Creative uses of technologies has been an interest and part of my creative practice for many years, and has been shown in recent NSF Funded Research that “the results confirm what so many education experts believed: STEAM or in this case, Art Based Learning of STEM works and works beyond expectation.” 


These teen brothers in Haiti build electronic toy trucks out of trash.

This Bolivian teen built a real-life Wall-E out of trash. 



CC Creativity Club Day #7

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Attended by ex aeronautical engineer, phd physics volunteer, parents and many students.

I have been busy this week running professional development (PD) for pre and in-service teachers and have not had a chance to complete this blog entry, but I will report on this PD which is of relevance. 

I initiated the two-day PD session through Victoria University and the Google Fund.  A group of pre and in-service teachers attended. I began the first day with a talk on the various tools and ideas that I have explored in my own teaching practice and from the research I have recently undertaken. The teachers took these ideas and/or tools with them and trialled them in their classrooms as an experiment over a period of a few weeks.

View presentation document here.

On the second day the teachers reported on their outcomes and the results were very inspiring. All teachers excitedly reported greatly increased levels of engagement utilising tools such as Scratch and the Makey Makey, and in one instance the dismantling of an electronic device. What was most fascinating for me was to hear the results of the dismantling of an electronic device exercise conducted by a year 9 class. Students that had been considered the most difficult to work with and the most academically challenged excelled and the teacher conveyed his astonishment at the level of interest and engagement. What was of concern was that when the same exercise was presented to the ‘year 9 high achievers’ many were incapable of completing the exercise. 

engaged.jpg bunny.jpgconcentration.jpgtools.jpg