Could this not be a classroom as well?

Category: EdTech Inquiry

Google Classroom

Google classroom is a tool that is making it’s way into more and more classroom.  The app is part of googles Gsuite that comes with any gmail account.  Allowing for easy access by teachers and students.  Google classroom allows for teachers to create subjects, assignments, tests and more that would be instantly shared with the class.  It also allows for intuitive organization and assessment.  The classroom automatically links to other apps in gsuits which allows teachers to seamlessly create google quizzes and forms.  There is also a classroom drive where students may submit work for grading and in response to assignments being given.  This also allows for instantaneous grading and analysis of results by google.  Allowing teachers to be able to provide instant feedback as well.  I spent very short period of time on the sight and was able to create a classroom as well as some assignments with a large amount of ease.  I would strongly recommend just spending some time exploring what can be done with google classroom.  However if struggling there is a help forum known as Google Classroom Community.  This is where teachers can share notes and lessons as well as help for the app itself.


There are two warnings using google classroom however.  Google is only present on American servers and some Canadian school districts do not allow for digital information to be stored on foreign servers.  The other issue is that google does not clear it’s servers, there is no current mechanic for deleting information and while archiving something may make it disappear on the surface it that information is still accessible.


If you are interested in learning more about google classroom there is a playlist from google below that will assist with using google classroom.

ED Tech’s EdCamp

Today I got to experience my first UnConference.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term Unconferences are bottom up learning opportunities.  Without keynote speakers, or workshops these conferences work by having participants elect on subjects they would like to know more about.  Either topics they have some experiences in or want to have more experience with.  The participants usually a group of colleagues, peers or the public then get an opportunity to vote on the proposed topics.  These topics are spread out throughout the conference and have limited moderation for a group collaboration and discussion.

This format might seem a little bizarre until it is experienced.  The opportunity to share knowledge with peers and experts allows for a wide range of conversations to take place and group learning to occur.  In the short introduction I received in Ed-Tech we discussed ‘Favourite Teachers’ and the characteristics that made them as such.

We didn’t have a self proclaimed expert on the topic and while the group didn’t have a moderator we quickly fell into a format that I found worked for everyone who was present.  Starting as just a pair and share we went around the group and described our favourite teachers and the characteristics that made them as such.  About half way through the sharing we stumbled upon the topic of how there were teachers that we did not like and their characteristics.  This helped us reinforce our discussion and highlighted those traits we would all like to emulate as teachers.  Perfectly summed up by another participant in this Conference “Our common trait across all of them was that they treated us like humans”  At the end of the day it was the teachers that respected us as people, were approachable and didn’t write people off that made the best impression.  Typically our stories started with how funny our favourite teacher was but this lead to a strong asterisk.  Teachers that tried to hard to be any one kind of trait, funny, sympathetic, rules lawyer, usually ended up leaving an unfavourable impression with as we felt they were trying to hard.

This conversation ended with a few brief ideas as what we all aspired to be as future teachers and I think really created a bit of a reality for us as to what we wanted to do with profession and the impression we wanted to leave on future students.  Not only do I see the benefit to unconfernces i hope to bring this style of learning into my own classroom to hopefully allow students to take ownership of their subjects and interests.  Allowing them to choose the topics they want to learn about.


For more information about Edcamps and unconfernces click here.


Tiny house Development

Tiny house popularity has been such that a simple google search of “Tiny House + design”  several good results.

  • This website offers a clear and simple list that helps potential tiny house builders on everything they need to know about tiny living.
  • It starts by describing the needs someone may have for living tiny.
  • Then Continues to talk about the actual tools materials and processes that are needed to build a tiny house.
  • Some exploration of the site will offer alternatives for tinyhouses, such as shipping container homes or trailers and other information potential tiny people may find interesting.

  • A brief article that discusses the steps for designing a tiny house from the beginning to the end and what things to consider carefully.

  • Discusses steps from inception to creation.


For me personally the next steps in my design process will be to lay out a practice design either in tape or string to get an idea of the space that a tiny house occupies and how much space I might have on the interior.  This exploration led to lots of discussions of layouts.  I feel my partner and I have a better idea of space and potential layouts.  I have also begun to record a list of educational websites and handbooks that will assist with the production process.


Tiny house legality

“In Victoria movable tiny homes are not allowed but garden suites are, meaning any one with a single-family dwelling can build a suite in their backyard – excluding duplexes or homes with secondary suites.”

As of right now tiny houses are technically not illegal in Victoria however the way zoning works it is impossible to park a tiny house on a property without breaking the law unless you own that property and it is the only building on it.  Which makes living in a tiny house very difficult and requires actual ownership over the land.  Though this might be something that changes in the near future

“I think what we’ll see over the next three years, hopefully, is a really solid policy that makes it easier for people to build all forms of housing including tiny homes and movable tiny homes in backyards,” says Helps

This leaves me hopeful.  As a university student I never expected to be a landowner until well after my educational years.  Though If what is stated above proves to be true the possibility of building a tiny house and parking it may come before the ability to own the land privately.  Hopefully this promised “Solid policy” described by Lisa Helps materialises in that time frame, but until it does my efforts will have to remain focused on land ownership or alternate locations for a tiny house.

That being said the advantage with some tiny house designs is that they are movable, and I may very well be able to build one to move to an actual plot of land.  Granted the ability to move tiny houses is also one of the biggest warnings to tiny house owners but it is still a valid option.

There are also a large number of courses and information to be found online, tiny house construction is unique and therefore certain building codes can be an issue but the community is pushing forward.  Tiny house living has a large following that continues to grow and will hopefully allow people to start living tiny in the near future. To do this and to further my learning I will continue to research Tiny house construction, Design and hopefully legality of them.  A website recommended to me is attached and while the course currently described as already passed there is an opportunity for one to happen in the future.


First Prints

Blog 2:

I recently gained access to a 3d printer and a maker space.  This type of maker space is usually used by hobbyist and prototypes to create their projects.   Here I have the opportunity to use a wood carving CNC machine as well as laser cutter and 3d printer.  In the short time that I was there I figured out how to set up level and send prints to the 3d printer using a program called Matter Controller.  It was all fairly straight forward and I figured out most of the controls through the menu buttons.  The other machines took a little more work and I needed a short tutorial on using the CNC machine to make sure I didn’t harm anything in the process.  This was about an hour long and taught me how to turn on set up and run cuts on the CNC.  Finally, I spent some time this week trying to teach myself how to topographical carving on the CNC machine, this again was surprisingly easy to learn with a few brief google searches I was able to succeed in carving a mask on the first attempt.


I think what shocked me the most with these projects is just how easily obtainable it was one I had the space to work in.  Google and self taught allowed me work out most of the problems and a series of trial and error methods really finalized my knowledge.  Now all of the designs I used for printing and carving this week were premade and found on a website known as thingyverse.  My next step with this particular project will be to learn how to create my own design to print and or carve as well as learning about the budget that may be needed in order to set up a space similar to the one I am currently working in.

3 D printing

3D printers have been a been on the leading edge of technology and innovation in recent years.  They are used by professional designers, artists, and hobbyists.  The technology they run on has been developed over the past ten years and is still being pushed to the limit.  Some modern 3d printers allow projects to be printed in virtually any material.  Making prototyping and fabrication a seamless and integrated part of the design process.  3D printing has allowed designers to digitally create designs and test their designs by printing them on almost any scale.

gray 3D printer

This is a technology that hobbyist quickly jumped on.  Model makers and artists are now able to create new and unique creations at the push of a button as well as refining designs to amazing detail and create projects that may not be possible by hand.  Not to mention that those projects become easily repeatable.

Like most innovative technologies 3d printing comes with a high price margin and this is where the issue comes with most students and hobbyists.  How does one get into 3d printing?  I have had minimal experience with 3D printing, the most basic being finding a file online and asking a professor to print it out for me.  Ultimately, I would like to learn just how accessible the hobby is?  Come up with a design or complicated project and execute, teach myself 3D printing from the absolute basics.  Is this something a student would be able to do?  Is this something a student might want to do? And how would I be able to teach this to future generations.

I would like to note that while I’m starting with a grand total of zero prints of experience, I do have a vast amount of experience in the area of sculpture with a fascination with design.  I also have some experience with high tech programing which I imagine will make the learning curve slightly easier for me then it might for someone just starting out.  I hope to find a educational method that will help students from the ground up understand and be able to design their own projects in the future.


black printing machine printing on black and green pad

Kahoot! In Classrooms – Pros and Cons

A Quick Run-Down

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that can be used for formative assessment in classrooms. It is becoming popular in secondary schools and has potential to be useful for all teaching disciplines, and even out-of-class activities like coaching, field trips, and anywhere that students have their phones (which is, let’s be honest, all the time). So far, Kahoot! has gained a billion players in the six years it’s been around.

In Kahoot!, teachers create a quiz and students are able to access and answer the quiz questions on a mobile device or tablet. Each student’s score depends on both who answers first, and how long it took to answer (time elapsed).


A recent study showed that students given either a single Kahoot! game or several games in a few weeks had the SAME level of increased engagement and interest in the class (Wang 2015).



  • It doesn’t have to be a competition between individuals. Students can work in teams.


  • Adding some good-natured competition is a good way to keep students engaged and encourage them to have fun with classmates they might not talk to normally.


  • It lets the educator get a quick ‘pulse’ from your class in terms of comprehension, preconceived notions about a topic, or how students feel they are progressing.




  • You need to set it up and make sure all your students have access to a phone or tablet. If some students don’t have access to a mobile device, you will have to provide tablets.


  • You need wifi (or data) to use it, and if you’re in a place where wifi is spotty, it might not work. James even mentioned that sometimes a team can lose the game just because they’re sitting in the corner of the room with the worst reception, which isn’t fair.


  • Students can create their own usernames, which leaves it open to inappropriate language. That said, you can turn them away if they try to sign up with a name you don’t approve of.

Let’s Give It a Try!

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