This year’s Constructing Modern Knowledge is big. There is so much energy and enthusiasm, and there are some growing pains as well. The use of space is transformative. I was not here last year, and as I understand it this was a move they made last year. Being able to use this huge area to spread out and work is great. It has the usual acoustic issues of a big space with lots of hard edges, but they should figure that out.
The list of project ideas was incredible. Two have a Back to the Future vibe (create a hoverboard and an automated pet care system [thank you, Dr. Brown]) No one suggested a Flux Capacitor, though we do have a Tardis under construction. Some of the other ideas were:
- Robot Space Suit
- A book with a mind of its own
- A feeling recognition system
- A way to sense the mood of a room
- Rubic’s cube solver
- Water-power generator
- Manatee Speed Trap
- Energy Generating Shoes
- Robots that do classroom chores
- Connected robots
- Regular Piano to a player piano
- Smart Watch
- Army of Art bots
- Interactive Art room
- Heckling Pencil (Gary’s favorite)
- Solar powered bag/charger
- Virtual Tour of famous places
- Robot space suit
- and an Origami Sponge Fractal made of business cards (this is underway).
My thoughts for personal projects were a YA book recommender, the Art Tour App of Francis Parker School, or Virtual Narratives. Based on Scratch, there is a programming language called Snap that allows us to build out own “modules.”
I think that as I have been thinking about this and gathering momentum for this for YEARS, that I will work on the app for the art at the school. This is an itch that I have been trying to scratch, and I have a ton of data and design to use. There is momentum for me on this. I have the students’ navigations from a year ago – and I have a ton of material available to me on my wiki.
I made the critical error of not downloading xcode at home. The school that I teach at has a 1 to 1 iPad program from grades 5-12 and all teachers have an iPad. To make this something we can push out to everyone, we need to work in Mac-land. So it took a long time to download the app, so while I was waiting I went back to Microwords EX to see if I remembered anything about writing code. Well, as it turns out, I do remember some things.
Especially the ‘clean’ command (wipe away my attempts, please). It’s not exactly like riding a bike, but it started to come back to me. You will see in the workspace that it is super polite and tells me when it does not understand what I want it to do. This all gives me hope that I can navigate the world of xcode, though I have no expectation that it will be polite.
I’m not worried about not finishing. After all – if I get started on this I can enlist the power of the middle schoolers who are geeky like me. Together we can launch this on the school.