What we found lately: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

by Chad Sansing

“Meow Face” by Schmarty

  • BoingBoing’s blurb on The Law of Superheros got me to the Law and the Multiverse blog. It’s legal analysis applied to superheroes and other pop-fantasy characters. This is a great example of how academic content (law) and personal interests (nerdery) can meet in a skills-based medium (writing). No reason we can’t help kids develop work like this in schools. Today’s post – “Clark Kent’s Taxes,” on the price of becoming a freelance blogger.
  • From the Wired Design blog, “Adafruit to Teach Electronics Through Puppets in New Kids’ Show.” I cannot wait to watch and learn.
  • Also found via Wired Design, Arduino’s Esplora “microcontroller.” I think it would be awesome to pair this with Scratch (or any other programming app or language kids bring to the table) and have kids use the light, sound, and touch sensors on the pad to control the games they program. That kind of sensory thinking outside the hand-eye box could then lead to reflection and story-telling in other media about the games and how it felt to design and play them.
  • It’s the SparkFun Inventor’s Guide! I have secured an Sparkfun inventor’s kit and I am totally going to figure out soft-circuitry this year. I have this dream of students embroidering interactive social justice murals into hoodies and sewing together stuffed animals that somehow reflect class content. Now you see why I need that Adafruit puppet show so badly.
  • I’m curious about using animated GIFs in class to teach tone, mood, voice, and story-telling through editing (the take-aways from which could then be used in any medium). The “DS106 GIFFEST” has inspired me – I especially love Andrew Forgrave’s New Year’s card, which typifies for me the mashup of collaborative effort, game- and project-based learning, digital making, remix, and post-production that I believe should be taught as a process of composition in schools.

    Andrew Forgrave's 2013 Greeting GIF

    Andrew Forgrave’s 2013 Greeting GIF

  • It’s become a beloved tradition of mine to read about Kevin Hodgson’s work with his kids and the STEM Video Game Design Challenge. Here are kids’ story frames for the games, kids’ feedback on video games in schools, Kevin’s reflections on his kids’ games, and the kids’ advice to Gamestar Mechanic, the web-app they used to make their games.
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