Friday, January 17, 2014

A New Batch of Innovation

It's a new semester, which means a new round of middle school technology students... and new Innovation Projects.

We started simply with students spending Wednesday and Thursday thinking about project ideas.  We talked about how much of school, students are forced to learn about things they are not interested in.  While we hope students learn to care about such things... well... you know.  I promised them one hour a week when they get to learn about what they want to learn about.  I got excited as I talked about my passions of adoption, gardening, and writing, and wishing I had more time to devote to them. (Maybe I should write an iBook while they work.)

I had them read through this document and this one too to get their brains rolling. Then, we exchanged emails back and forth taking their ideas and crafting them into something they could feasibly accomplish and we could track measurable growth.

As I worked on contracts today, the students worked diligently.  I did not have to get on them one time about behavior.  Everyone was working on their project!

Once a student and I agreed on the project and the goals, I printed out two copies of a contract.  We each signed the copies and kept them for future reference.

Here are the projects we'll see in action this quarter:

  • A website dedicated to basketball (including pics and videos).
  • A website dedicated to cats (including an informational page).
  • A video montage of sports clips, including original Dubstep music as the soundtrack.
  • A website dedicated to Balisong flipping. (Don't try this at home, kids!)
  • A Revolutionary War blog
  • A YouTube video of a walk-through of Skyrim.
  • A MineCraft version of the Pentagon. 
  • A MineCraft amusement park with rides and games.
  • A video game made from scratch using C++ (We have a backup plan if/when he realizes this one is over his head.) 
  • A Lego stop animation video, editing videos together and adding sound
  • A MineCraft version of the Empire State Building
This is going to be fun! 


  1. Thanks for sharing the ideas - I have two making our school in MineCraft... I'll have to tell them about yours and the Empire State building!

  2. Awesome! Have they seen the amusement park from last semester? I wonder if we can get the kids to meet? What age level do you have?