Why Technology?

If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s Ted talk titled “Start with why” it is definitely worth a watch.  In it, he explains that most organizations know “what” they do and “how” they do it, but great organizations know “why” they do it.  Knowing “why” separates the great organizations from the ordinary organizations.  In the video below, I attempt to drill down to the core or essence of why we use technology in the classroom. It is my hope that this captures the rationale of what drives our program and brings a better understanding to our community about our technology philosophy at the Pike School.  If you have any “Why Technology?” thoughts please leave a comment or get in touch with the Tech Dept.

Seesaw @Pikeschool


For week 5 of our Learn | Try | Amplify initiative, we are sharing a couple of videos (4 minutes) about how 1st and 3rd grades are using Seesaw as a digital portfolio app to engage parents, teach digital citizenship, and encourage students to reflect on their learning. Seesaw is one of the best educational apps to come out in the last couple of years so, I encourage you to carve out some time to check it out. Are you using Seesaw? Share how you’re using it in the comment section.

1st Grade Seesaw Video

3rd Grade Seesaw Video

For more See Saw activity ideas in Grades K – 2 click here.

For more SeeSaw activity ideas in Grades 3 – 5 click here.

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.

Extend the walls of your classroom with Global Projects

eyeworldCollaborating with other classes around the world is a great learning experience for students.  The hardest part is finding projects. Look no further. Projectsbyjen.com is a great resource for finding and participating in PreK -6 global projects. There is a wide range of projects both in topic and length. Some projects are 1 day long others are longer term.

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.

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.


Innovation @ Pike


In Tony Wagner’s recent book titled Creating Innovators, he writes about the fundamental economic change that is occurring now and that will continue in the future. He emphasizes that we are no longer in a knowledge economy, where knowing more than someone is a competitive advantage. We now live in a society where any information can be “googled,” and what you accomplish with your expertise is more important than the knowledge itself. Wagner and many others indicate that our current innovation economy requires a new generation of innovators that will be essential to America’s future. Pike students will be entering a world where problem-solving, multidisciplinary solutions, creativity, and collaboration will be very important skills. Pike has always provided opportunities for students to develop these innovation skills and qualities, and next year we will be building and extending that effort by creating a makerspace in the library.

Click here to read the entire blog post as it recently appeared on Pike Perspectives.