A) What are the strengths? Things you found useful.
One of the strengths of the Divi Builder is that there is a video tutorial for almost any feature. If I got stuck, I was able to click on the question mark and watch a video to answer my question. After playing around with this plugin for a few hours, I found that the layout was pretty simple to use. It did take some time at the beginning to learn the simplest of features, however, once I mastered those, the program seemed to offer any design element I could think of. Each option (a countdown clock, a photo gallery or even a text box) was very customizable, making it incredibly easy to customize my posts and overall personalize my blog.
B) What are the weaknesses? Things you found could be improved.
Some of the weaknesses regarding the Divi Builder plugin are simply due to the fact that I do not have an account for the Elegant Themes feature. I would have liked to change my whole blog theme through the Divi Builder, however after multiple attempts and still no progress, I realized that this was one of the features we were not provided with. From my understanding, this feature also restricts us to using the map option. If we did have access to the map, I would have placed pins to represent the places in this world where I have been lucky enough to visit. If I had any items to critique, it would be that these features should be free so that we can further enhance our blogs.
C) How can this plugin be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?
I would most definitely recommend this plugin as it allows students to present their work in a creative fashion when posting projects that are more than just text. I believe that this plugin could be taught at the Digital Bootcamp (for those who are more technically advanced) or incorporated in the grade 9 technology course. This plugin will take patients when learning and exploring; however, once students figure it out (and have the confidence to play around with their blogs while making mistakes), I am sure their blogs will be much more visually appealing and expressive of who they are.
a) Describe your project. What did you do? How did you do it?
For my project, I was lucky enough to be a part of the wall of excellence team. This wall (although it may be a screen as apposed to a wall), will display the excellent accomplishments of current and alumni Rapids as well as staff and members of our community. Throughout the year, we designed a criteria and a basic outline of what this wall may look like. For the following months, our main focus was getting input from the staff and improving upon the ideas we had already created. Although many of these ideas are still just ideas, we hope to have a physical product sometime next year.
b) What problems did you run into? Were you able to solve these challenges? How did you solve these challenges? Is there anything you would do differently?
A problem that we continued to run into was that everyone wanted to know what the wall would look like. When discussing the criteria with teachers and asking them questions about their opinion, most times the teachers would answer our question with their own (again, mostly regarding the final product). We were able to solve this by making sure to start the discussion by saying “we do not know what it will look like at this point, however we have many ideas regarding the criteria to share with you today”. This way, the direction of the conversation was established and everyone was on the same page. If I were to go through this process again, I would have started every conversation like this but until I saw that a pattern had developed, I did not think it was necessary. Recently, we have been referring to the Hyde Creek display when asked about the final product and I believe that it helps as it finally gives people a visual.
c) What did you learn? Were you able to learn new skills or strengthen previous ones?
There were many things that I have learned and many things that I am certain I will learn as I continue this project next year. One idea that I was uneducated about was how much work a well thought out wall of excellence can take. Anyone can put pictures of the smartest people, the best athletes and the teacher who has taught the longest on the wall but it takes a team to create a project in which the people who are not always being recognized get the chance to share their excellence with the school. I am excited to learn how we will create a program to display this information and to receive hands on experience for a project that I helped build from the ground up.
d) What did you learn from being a part of this project?
From being a part of this project, I learned just how humble Riverside is. When looking at the many projects Riverside has created I was astonished and so proud to be a part of this community. I also learned that excellence can be found in every aspect of our lives and it is up to us to share this excellence with our peers, teachers and community.
Impact: How might your project positively impact the social and emotional well being of students/our school? What can be done to increase the impact of this idea on the school?
I believe that this project will greatly improve the confidence of Riverside. We are an amazing school (I am a bit bias; however, I have heard many people make these type of comments before) yet we do not show off the amazing projects or accomplishments we have achieved over the years. Therefore, I believe that this would be an amazing project to showcase the many different talents at our school and to emphasize Riverside’s pride. Although I think this is an amazing idea, others may not. There are people who will never say “look at me, look at me”, and whilst being recognized for their accomplishments, they are intimidated and humiliated. So, as long as we present this idea in a relaxed and inviting manner, I am sure that we will have many candidates.
Desirability: What could you change to make your project more desirable to students, teachers, administrators, parents or the community?
If I said that I would make the application process easy, that would mean that the criteria would be less strict which would mean that the selection process would be that much more difficult. With that said, I believe that if students believe their project or the project/idea of someone they know deserves recognition, they will take the time to fill out an application form. If we make this process very straight forward and easy to follow, I think this will help increase the desirability to fill out a form.
Integratability: What would you change to make this idea easier to integrate into a school setting?
We are a very technology based school; however, I know many schools in the lower mainland who are not. Therefore, I believe that if schools took into consideration our applications, our application process and the criteria to be selected, their current walls of excellence could improve. I find that many schools get so caught up in their athletic accomplishments that they forget about the other 80% of students who do not play school sports. So if they could add or reorganize their current (physical) wall of excellence, I think the accomplishments and recognitions would be that much more special and interesting.
Feasibility: Looking back what would you change? What would you keep?
Looking back at the project, I would definitely keep our mission statement and our criteria layout. However, one thing that I would change would be my expectation for this year. In my mind, I did not realize how much time and effort needed to go into this project to make it successful for years to come. If I created more attainable goals for myself and my team, I believe I would have been more focused on the process and not as focused on the final product.
What aspects of Tech Team are successful? Explain why.
The aspects of Tech Team that are successful are the aspects in which not everyone can see. On a day to day basis, Tech Team maintains many components of Riverside’s digital presence (on social media, some RAP videos) but they are not always the people that are in the photos/videos. I believe that an aspect that is successful for our team is that everyone is always ready to help. Whether that be other members of the team or students/teachers within the school, Tech Team is always ready to lend them a hand. I also believe that we are very fortunate to have some techy kids on the Tech Team. These individuals that understand the ins and outs of computers and technology in general, are very helpful when it comes to solving a more complicated task.
What aspects of Tech Team are challenging? Explain why.
As I explained above, we are very lucky to have a few techy kids on the Tech Team. However, it is a challenge if/when we ever need help during the digital bootcamp or during projects throughout the year to receive the one on one help we need. Sometimes these tech kids teach us how to get through stressful tech related situations but most of the time, they simply take over instead of trying to teach us.
What support does our school need from the Tech Team moving forward? Explain why.
I would love to spend a few occasions thought the year exploring technology with other students. Now that we (hopefully) have a makers space in the library, I believe it will be beneficial to have Tech Team students in that space to lead and to support students in this classroom. We can all learn together but it is never a bad thing to have someone who knows a little bit about the topic before diving right into a project (or in this case a machine).
What can we do to improve our support for our school?
If Tech Team is able to spend some time in the library by ourselves to explore the makers space, I think that we can immensely improve the projects and the products created in this space as we will then have some knowledge from our experience.
Step 2: Research
Take some time to research various Tech Teams around North America. There are several schools using different variations of students in tech leadership positions. Look into them, and see what they are doing, how are they set up, how do they communicate, how do they improve their school culture around technology.
What are some things other Tech Teams are doing that we may want to apply at Riverside?
One element that I found was that another Tech Team was mimicking an apple Genius Bar (I believe this is the why we have the long table in the library)
A school has a student run Genius Bar where students can easily find a teacher or student throughout the entire day
Tech Team’s divide and explore small projects throughout the year instead of taking on one large project as a team
One Tech Team is very open to anyone joining (not a hand selected group) at any time throughout the school year
Has you research created any ideas that the Tech Team can implement here?
An idea that truly sticks to me is to simply have a central location for Tech Team members to be found. Whether this is an online location (which could be a tech related project that someone could build), or a physical location, I believe that it is important for students who are trained to problem solve be in an easily, accessible location.
“Mom, I’m still hungry. Can I have more cereal please?” Once this child moves their bowl, they will start the machine.
The bowl will knock over the pop can that the child was drinking with breakfast. This pop can will then roll down a ramp.
At the bottom of the ramp, a selection of blocks will be lined up. Once this pop-can reaches the bottom, it will start a domino effect knocking the blocks down.
The last block will land on one side of a lever. Since this block is the load, the other side of the lever will rise rolling the ball down the lever and pushing the block off the end. This block will then fall into the pulley system bucket.
Once this block is in the bucket, the bucket will lower ultimately moving the container that is blocking the wind-up toy car.
The wind-up car will hit the red funnel that is keeping a marble in place.
This marble will roll down the ramp, fall into the red ramp and then fall again into the basket.
Once the ball is in the basket, the fan will power on.
The fan will blow cereal that has been placed on the inclined plane up and into the bowl that Kelsey will grab from the starting point.
Mechanical to Gravitational Energy Transformation: When the child moved their bowl asking for more cereal, they started the machine. What this child didn’t know was that when the initial contact with the pop can was made, mechanical energy transformed into gravitational energy as the pop can rolled down the ramp.
Gravitational to Electrical to Thermal Energy Transformation: The movement of the marble was the starting point in this transformation. From the gravitational energy of the marble, this energy was transformed into electrical energy, demonstrated when the fan turned on. From there, electrical energy transformed into thermal energy when the air flow from the fan could be felt.
Elastic to Mechanical Energy Transformation: The wind-up toy car has stored elastic energy due to the application of force from the container. Even though we previously winded up the car, the force from the container stopped the car from moving. When the container was removed the car’s stored up energy is transformed into mechanical energy as it moves from one place to another.
Types of Energy:
Electrical Energy:When the fan turned on, it used electrical energy because there was a flow of electrons though the outlet through the wire, to the fan.
Thermal Energy: Once the fan was on, the thermal energy could be felt through the flow of air. This air got cooler due to the vibration of atoms and molecules in the air.
Gravitational Energy: The pop can have gravitational energy because of its position of height on the kitchen counter.
Mechanical Energy: There are many objects in our machine that use mechanical energy. The reason for this type of energy is because of the movement of an object from one place to another.
Elastic Energy: The wind-up toy car has stored up elastic energy from when someone pulls it back. This energy is not released until the container is moved out of the path and the car can move forward.
Nous nous sommes senties correctes pendant notre discussion aujourd’hui. Nous avons trouvé qu’au début, la conversation n’était pas tout à fait fluide mais après que quelques idées étaient partagées, la conversation se déroulait plus facilement. Même si c’était difficile au début, nous croyons que pour nous, les filles bavardes, l’oral spontané est plus facile qu’un oral préparé parce que nous pouvons aider l’un et l’autre et nous pouvons partager nos idées sans l’inquiétude que nous ferons des erreurs grammaticaux. En général, les facteurs qui ont affecté nos compétences orales étaient certainement la grammaire (parce que nous sommes moins prudent des conjugaisons quand nous parlons) et aussi le fait que c’est une discussion alors les idées sont un peu partout (nous ne suivons pas une liste, nous parlons de ce que vient à l’esprit dans le moment).
For my astronomy wonder project, I decided to take an approach in which I could question climate change found on other planets. If climate change on other planets exists, does this mean that humans are not the only factor causing global warming? Are there ways for us to stop climate change before the problem is too large to handle? So many questions and not enough answers. Therefore, I specified my idea further to read as the following: I wonder if observing climate change on other planets can help us predict the effects of climate change on Earth…
Expanding on this idea, I found a video by Stephen Hawking. He explains that Venus lived a very similar life to that of planet Earth however, the effects of climate change are much more prominent there.
After continuing my research, I decided to display the main ideas in the form of a Piktochart (attached below).
As shown above in my Piktochart, I not only learned that climate change can be tracked from space but I also learned that we are not the only planet experiencing this problem.
Mars, a planet we are learning more and more about everyday, has also experienced changes that leads humans to believe that climate change is taking place. The patterns found in rocks indicates that the reason there are softer layers and harder layers found in craters is due to climate change.
Secondly, I was very surprised and taken aback when I dove into the very familier history of Venus. Again, as stated in my Piktochart, Venus was once a planet very similar to Earth until it wasn’t. The Venus greenhouse effect is a tool we should be using to save planet Earth. Venus is our magic crystal ball, showing us our future if we do not do something to change our ways. Therefore, reflecting on my wonder idea “I wonder if observing climate change on other planets can help us predict the effects of climate change on Earth…” I can now say with confidence that I believe learning about climate change on other planets can help us predict Earth’s climate change patterns.
Information Fluency Reflection:
1.What questions did you need to research in order to research your topic?
When I first started my project, my question was very hard to answer. I wondered whether our planet is harming the universe since we are harming our planet through climate change. As Earth is so small compared to the galaxy and even the universe, I was not able to find very much information to answer this thought. Therefore, I continued with the information that I had already discovered, but chose to reframe my idea and ultimately narrow in my search. I continued to research different planets and their climates as well as how this information could be relevant for Earth.
2. What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?
Throughout this process, I was able to apply many skills that I have learned this year. When researching, I chose to explore the Gale Learning website found on the Riverside Library page. This site was very easy to use as many, if not all sources were already cited. When I researched elsewhere, I made sure to site my sources using BibMe. Finally, I hoped to display my learning in a creative format. This was my first time using Piktochart and I would definitely use it again. It was fairly simple to design my poster as well as customize the pictures and locations of everything.
3.What was the process you used to investigate the topic?
The process in which I investigated the topic was simply through research. I would google a question and more times than not, this question would lead to another. I took time to step back and throughly think about the best way to phrase questions as well what information was necessary to record.
4.How did you verify and cite the information you found?
As I mentioned above, I used both Gale Learning and BibMe to cite and verify my sources. I chose websites such as NASA and National Geographic when researching instead of personal blogs as I have learned that blogs do not always present the facts, more so they present opinions.
5.How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?
I believe that this process went rather smoothly. I did come to the realization that I needed to change my wonder thought but once I was past that, I did not encounter many challenges. For next time, I believe that I can always do more research. When given an inquiry project, you can never have enough research so that would definitely be something I can do better. I could possibly inquire about other planets (aside from Mars and Venus) with climate change issues as well as other galaxies. For this project however, I am very proud of my final product and I am thankful to now have this knowledge to share with the world.
À quoi ça sert de pourvoir faire des textes argumentatifs et de défendre ses idées à l’orale?
Je dirai qu’il prend un cerveau très créatif de pourvoir faire des textes argumentatifs. Pendant que j’ai écrit mon texte argumentatif, j’ai dû penser des façons aux lesquels je pourrai convaincre les personnes à voter pour mon idée. J’ai accentué les arguments qui expliquent que mon projet ne sera pas cher, sera bon pour l’empreinte carbone de Riverside et que mon projet diminuera le prix des kangourous.
Il est nécessaire qu’on soit passionné au sujet de notre projet pour le défendre à l’orale. On devra bien organiser nos idées alors on pourra répondre facilement quand les autres nous poseront des questions. Je crois qu’on devra se souviens que les autres vont jugé nos idées mais qu’ils ne nous jugent pas comme une personne. Dernièrement, je pense qu’on aura besoin d’être prêt à penser aux scenarios sur-le-champ pour vraiment montrer que notre idée est capable de s’adapter.
Si j’étais une enseignante à Riverside, j’aimerais enseigner un cours de Français. Je décorerais ma salle de classe avec des couleurs vives et des meubles confortables. De plus, j’enseignerais seulement les dixièmes années parce qu’ils sont les meilleurs et les plus drôles.