Last year, I wrote about using AR.Drone in my PE class. After a few trials, getting blown by a gale, and a ladder being involved in the rescue process, here is my review:
Have you ever tried using a drone or other filming techniques in your PE class? Would love to hear about it!!
I know it's been a long time between drinks but I have been busy working away at my latest project: the first EdCamp in Australia! EdCamp Melbourne will be held in late Feb 2014 and will be utilising the great facilities at the newly built Infinity Centre at Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School.
The website is now up and running, so please feel free to register at:
What is an EdCamp? From the website edcamp.org:
EdCamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs.
What makes EdCamp an unconference? Unlike traditional conferences which have schedules set months in advance by the people running the conference, EdCamp has an agenda that’s created by the participants at the start of the event. Instead of one person standing in front of the room talking for an hour, people are encouraged to have discussions and hands-on sessions. Sponsors don’t have their own special sessions or tables, all of the space and time are reserved for the things the people there want to talk about. People could pay hundreds of dollars to attend another conference, or they could go to EdCamp for free.
Built on principles of connected and participatory learning, EdCamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them: their interests, passions, and questions. Teachers who attend EdCamp can choose to lead sessions on those things that matter, with an expectation that the people in the room will work together to build understanding by sharing their own knowledge and questions.
In principle it's mission is to support free EdCamp unconferences for educators to exchange ideas and learn together. EdCamps are:
We are currently looking for more helpers to organise the nuts and bolts of the event and for some sponsors to jump on board to support our teachers in this event. If you know anyone that might fit this description please contact us!!
My question to you: Is it time to ban watches from exams and tests?
For the last two months, I have been fortunate enough to have been playing with the Pebble 'smartwatch' as I was one of those nerdy geeks who gave money to 'kickstart' the program. For those of you who doesn't know what this watch does, basically it links with your smartphone (like iPhone or Android phones) and it can 'beam' messages or text to the watch for you to read! You can also control the music on your phone from your watch, or even change the clock face of you watch to over 900 different faces, or download programs/games to your watch like tetris, snakes, or a calculator. See the video below:
Now I know, you think this is COOL!!! Well at least I do.
But during the last two weeks while my students are undertaking their exams, I thought to myself: What if they use this technology to evil? What if someone from home was sending them pages and pages of notes during the exam??
I know that the watch is not currently available to public as yet, but I did get a confirmation email from the company saying that pre-order shipments are about to start. Meaning in very short time, our students might all be having one of these! Specially with the potential of being able to 'cheat', and for the cost of only $150. Some might even be like me and already have one of these!!!
Now you might be thinking, we'll just ban all 'digital' watches. But with the amount of different watch faces you can download, some look very realistic and mirror that of an analog watch. The other question I get asked a lot is the range of connectivity between the phone and the watch. Because it is run on the latest bluetooth technology, I have tried to have the phone in one room of my house, and control the music from my Pebble watch at the other end of the house, about 15 metres away, with walls in between. Meaning that even if students are not allowed mobile phones in the exam room (and we carefully check this) they can still have connection of their phone even if the phone is outside the room.
And with rumours that other major tech companies, including Apple, are planning on bring out these 'iWatches', it's only inevitable that all watches on the market will be 'smart watches'. Below is a quick demonstration of how it might work.
What do you think? Is it time to ban all watches in tests and exams? Even if we don't ban watches in exams, teachers and other educators should be aware of the potential of these smart devices. Feedback appreciated!
Please forward this article to as many educators as you can so we can bring awareness to the issue!!
After learning the basics of flying the AR.Drone 2.0, I decided to test it at two different locations within the school to see the type of footage I would get and to locate where to place the drone to get maximum result. Towards the end of both videos, I think I've found a good position to fly the drone and be able to film some footage to be able to use in class for game sense. The quality of the footage is surprisingly good and it would have been nice if the camera could be pointed a little bit more downwards. If you view the videos from YouTube you'll be able to see the HD versions.