For Art and Education

Could this not be a classroom as well?

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Technologies in Education

Technology Is Here To Stay

During this past year I was able to work at a private school as an educational assistant.  From day one something that struck me as odd was the fact that every student had an ipad or a computer.  What I quickly learned was that this piece of technology was leant to them by the school and all of their work and date was kept on these devices.  These devices remain with the students throughout their educational career.  Students use them for everything.  Course work was pushed out to students through google classroom.   Homework was shared with parents and messages could be written to student parent or teacher.  Students take pictures with them and waist time with them.  This school even taught classes on technologies giving students a chance to explore exactly what their ipad’s could do.  I found these classes particularly interesting as it allowed me to learn exactly what the student was capable of and how the ipad could be used to help in an educational setting.  person holding turned-on black iPad

One of the major benefits I saw from this was the interconnectivity between all the departments at the school.  Every teacher had access to the students work allowing them to grade and assess work communally.  This was a huge benefit to me as it allowed me to see the students I worked with in other classes.  I was able to find areas of strengths for my students and focus on those.  Using similar style assignments in order to help students with course work that they may be struggling with.   As part of their course requirements students were also asked to share work with their parents.  This was a perfect way to keep parents involved with their students learning.

Teaching students to use ipads is essential in todays society.  While the last great battle may be technology free zones there is no denying that it is here to stay.  It is how we use this technology and develop it that will be crucial in the future.  So rather then banning it from our classrooms we should introduce it in this manner.  Show students how Ipads and other technology can be used to benefit society and their own learning.  Students may find a passion for coding in elementary years and pursue that to make the next big technological breakthrough. man holding tablet computer

As we have all been talking about in our discussions apps and technology that help to further our education this is the gateway into that learning.  While there is no need for it to be apple brand ipads specifically a uniform use of technology across schools can help with connectivity and interconnection between faculty.  Having that technology carry with the student as he or she moves up the grades will help reinforce earlier lessons and give students an opportunity to look back on how far they have come.

Inquiry based learning

Today I spent the day at PSII secondary school in Victoria.  This school ran primarily on inquiry based learning.  Students set their own inquiries, their own interests and their own schedule.  This school is unique and alone in the frontier of alternative education.  I use the term alternative not in the negative sense but only in that little to no other schools are taking part in this style of education.  There have been lots of studies and research into the topic about inquiry based learning and while educational Canada is resistant to the idea of this style of learning there have been several private schools that have adapted at least part of the concept.  I have personally worked at an IB league school that started with Montessori style transitioning to traditional education and finishing off grade 5 with an inquiry based term.  These students spent the a large portion of their time collaborating on a project that would sum up their learning throughout their time at the school.

This style of school is something that is new and scares most people, however the results speak for themselves.  Students are usually less stressed and more prepared for life outside the halls of an institution. hopefully one day this style of schooling will become common practice.  I also hope that one day i would be able to work in a school of this style.   Encouraged I hope to be an advocate for this style of learning in which ever school I end up teaching in.

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.


Internet Security

This weeks topic of internet safety brought up a number of interesting points.  Firstly almost everything you do on the web is being monitored in some way or another.  This is a scary thought but there are a few small comforts in that.  One public networks are the most visible and activity on them can be tracked quite easily.  The comfort here is that unless something is done to attract major suspicion your usage is accredited to a bar code.  That being said if John Doe spends more then 50% of his time at work online shopping it will be pretty easy for a tech supervisor to discover that user: 39482b7-C is John Doe.  So while not all your activity will be known to someone watching the network it wouldn’t be hard to discover who was doing what.


Secondly and probably most importantly is that the internet doesn’t forget, having images of yourself doing potentially illegal or frowned upon stuff could come back to haunt you in the future.  Therefore having a professional public image, ie on social media, and making it difficult to find your actions, by changing your name and permission, is essential for anyone looking to do work in a vulnerable sector.  This doesn’t mean that one has to keep a professional attitude all their lives but it does mean that monitoring what you do online is important to keeping that professional image.

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

Introduction video


This is a brief video introducing me.  It was an assignment for multiliteracies but allowed me to review my understanding of certain programs an techniques.  Throughout making this video had to work with audio recording in audacity, as well as screen capture for mobile devices and finally a basic video editing in Imovie.  All of these programs have little to no barriers to learn and most problems can be solved with a simple google search that aids in self instruction.

The Tiny House Project

brown wooden house miniature on red carpet

For the past several years I have followed the tiny house movement that has blown up around the world.  I have been fascinated by the idea of living small.  Not only for the environmental benefits the perceived social benefits as well.  Tiny house owners claim to have a lowered stress level and more financial stability.  Since discovering the movement, I have wanted to get involved, the issue is it has never seemed accessible to me, financially or timing wise the bar was just to high to invest.  Energy efficient living can also come with a high price tag, the technology not being mainstream enough to drive prices down.  Another major issue is that Victoria’s zoning doesn’t currently allow for tiny housing in the Greater Victoria Area.  However, my excitement to get involved and my passion for the movement hasn’t been diminished and I am hoping this year to start making significant steps to eventually living tiny.  Finalizing research, coming up with a financial plan, designing and prototyping a tiny house are my main goals.

Research is honestly the first step of any project.  I hope to learn about the totally financial investment required.  This could include building a house, insurance, parking fees or land ownership and any other costs that may arise.  As well a better understanding of building processes and building code in British Columbia.  As well as the debate of either DIY or professionally built houses.  Looking for potential downsides and ways to deal with the problems that arise from living tiny.

During the financial planning phase I hope to design a reasonable and achievable plan for funding a tiny house project as well as any other major changes that may occur around the time as making the transition to tiny living.  Figuring out environmental plans and downsizing requirements.  The material cost and living costs that incur with living in a tiny house. I hope to have an easy to follow goal that I can put into effect shortly after this semester.

Finally, a design, probably the most exciting part of my goals for this semester is to have a relatively thought out design.  Solving some of the issues with space management and storage that may arise as well as having a lay out that I find interesting and accepting of my lifestyle.  This will be a battle between which areas of my house I find important and how to fit those aspects into a tiny space.  What parts of regular housing can I live without?  In an ideal world I will have something close to a technical design or with access to a 3D printer a 3D model I can manipulate and use as an example for the final project.

I do not expect to get to a final build in this time frame but I hope to take several steps in the right direction and will do my best to document my progress as I go!woman sitting on bed watching by the window during winter

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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