Choose Your Own Adventure

Rem167209015_d6830e6099_oember the choose your own adventure books? You can make choose your adventure stories using Google Apps tools like Docs or YouTube.  Click here to see a really cool choose your own adventure YouTube video.  Want to get the nuts and bolts of how to create these stories? The following Google Presentation has directions and examples of how to make and use choose your own adventures stories in your classroom. Here is an example created by a 3rd grade class.

Cardboard construction with makedo!

IMG_3864Just got a class set of makedo kits for Pike’s makerspace “Spark”. Makedo is designed for fast simple and sturdy cardboard construction. You can find examples of lesson plans here and a showcase of kid and adult made projects here.

It comes with three tools.

Safe-saw – tool for safely cutting cardboard.

Scru & scrudriver – Use the Scrudriver in conjunction with Scru to easily connect cardboard.

Strap – Reinforce joins or use the living hinge to create moving parts.

Explain Everything 3.0

Explain Everything Alternative LogoExplain Everything will be launching a new version very soon and it comes with 4 new features that I think will be useful here at Pike. See the new version in action with Explain Everything creator Reshan Richards.

1.  Updated User Interface – this is minor for the classroom but they have created an cleaner look.

2.  Improved Export Workflow – one export button. This should make it a bit easier to export your creations.

3. Equation Editor – They’ve added an equation editor for including formulas and graphing. Pretty Cool!

4.  Simple User Interface Option – This is going to be great for the younger grades at Pike.  Takes away many of the buttons and leaves only the most important ones.


Making a Makerspace

IMG_3849Over the last couple of days members of the Innovation Committee have been hard at work putting together Pike’s pilot makerspace called “Spark”. The makerspace now has tools like hammers, drills, and screw drivers as well as electronics like Mindstorms and KIBO robots and other tools like 3D printers, vinyl cutters and button makers. The committee also spent time planning the use of the space so that students and teachers in each division would have an opportunity to come to the makerspace. There is still work to be done before school starts but we are looking forward to all the making coming up this year.


Photo App Smash

We were so happy to see the awesome display of art from the iPad Photo App Smash Elective currently hanging outside the Upper School Music Room.

Here is a description of the elective from Upper School Art Teacher Chris Vivier:

Using their iPad cameras and a variety of apps in various combinations, the students in this elective course have created these amazing images!  The exercises performed in each class are designed to expose students to the excitement of creative exploration and discovery.  With no preconception of what their work “should look like”, each student visually experiments with and manipulates their own images, responding intuitively to each unpredictable twist and turn in its evolution as they continually edit and alter it from one app to the next.  Ultimately, they arrive at a unique and personally determined conclusion with a new creative work of art.

Enjoy a few examples below and if you have a chance make sure that you pause the next time you are walking by and enjoy the entire show in person.

(Click on an image to enlarge)

Inspire Creativity – Three App Smashing projects from Greg Kulowiec


(Graphic via

Looking for new ideas to help students tap into their creative side?  Check out this post by Greg Kulowiec.  App smashing discussed in a a previous post is when “students and teachers use multiple apps to create individual pieces of content that are then merged or smashed together into one culminating product”.  Three App Smashing projects by Greg Kulowiec gives details on how to create ….

  1. Animated paper videos
  2. RSA animate style videos
  3. Video lab reports
  4. Art reflection videos

As always the Pike Tech Department is available to help you get started with these projects.