2 Virtual Presentations for SVRTC Members

Bea Leiderman of Goochland Public Schools presents to members via Google Hangout.

On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, SVRTC members from 10 counties joined at Nottoway High School for two virtual presentations. The first presentation was presented by Bea Leiderman, of Goochland Public Schools. She joined the consortium via Google Hangouts to talk about Scrum. Scrum was initially developed as a project management tool for businesses; however, Scrum strategies are now being used in education to self-organize students in collaborative and diverse teams for classroom projects. Results from using Scrum include higher grades and motivated students. “Everyone knows what has been done and what needs to be done on these collaborative projects while using Scrum”, says Leiderman. Students and teachers are able to evaluate the processes to improve their work while students have assigned tasks to contribute to the process equally.

Corey Sowers from Danville Public Schools controls the robot, Double, while taking a moment to check out the Pacific Ocean.

The second presentation was done virtually from California. Justin Beatty of Double Robotics, joined us through software made to control the Double Robot. From an educational standpoint, Double Robot is a technology that allows users to “physically” have a presence in the virtual world. For instance, homebound students can join the classroom remotely and interact with classmates and participate in group discussions. How, you ask? Well, let’s explain a little bit about Double. Double consists of an IPad (to stream video and audio) mounted on a Segway which can be manipulated remotely. For the October SVRTC meeting, there were two physical robots in a classroom in California; however, the members were controlling the robots in Nottoway, Virginia. Members took turns controlling the robots from either an iPad
application or the computer desktop through a URL and login credentials. The robots could turn, move forward and backwards, while also having capabilities to shorten or lengthen the height of the robot’s view (to simulate standing and sitting). Double robot is being used in several school systems, including one in Virginia Beach schools.
Both presentations were well received by members. Members hope to see the physical robot shared at this year’s Virginia Society for Technology in Education conference in December.

Learning with LEGOS…The Legendary Experience Continues

Bruns-STEM_Oct16In Brunswick County, Mrs. Powers’ students continue their exploration of STEM through learning with LEGO building kits. This year fourth and fifth graders are creating LEGO: Crazy Action Contraptions including a Beaker Blender, an Annoy-O-Matic, a Squeezeclaw Grabber, and a No Donkey Donkey Cart. Students said the Beaker Blender would be helpful when mixing cake batter if the mixer breaks or when camping to make a smoothie without electricity!   First, second, and third graders are exploring with LEGO kits too. Third graders are using LEGO kits to create LEGO: Chain Reactions by designing and building amazing moving machines in order to make a sign stand up, knock over dominoes, and that’s just the beginning of the chain reactions we’re creating! First and second graders are learning how to work cooperatively by sharing LEGO blocks to create pinwheels, spinning tops, and seesaws.  They’d like to create their own playground or amusement park using the kits so check us out as we learning with LEGOS!

*This article was submitted by Krystle E. Pearson, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher of Brunswick County Public Schools