Talking Ed.: FIRST Robotics

Talking Ed.: FIRST Robotics

Talking Ed. with Tod Traughber

Episode 004 (View entire series)

The mission of FIRST is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership” (Source). The organization seeks to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.

Tod Traughber is one of my doctoral students and he coordinates the judges for one of the regional FIRST Robotics Competitions. In brief conversations here and there, Tod had been trying to convey to me just how amazing the organization is and how exciting the competitions are. I was blown away once we were able to dedicate some time to discuss nothing but FIRST. Their mission and activities are something that I believe many students, teachers, and schools would love to be a part of. Thus, I invited Tod to participate in the following interview in hopes that we could get this great information out to everyone.

Blubbr: Play & Create Video Trivia

Blubbr is a free website that makes it possible for you to create and play trivia games with embedded videos. Blubbr calls the games trivs. You can play trivs in different categories, from celebs and music to sport and education. Click on the image below to play a sample triv now.

blubbr-600

I setup my Blubbr account (I’d be glad for you to connect with me) and gave it a test drive. It seems that at its core, Blubbr is about making interesting things into fun games. I see many potential educational connections and personal uses.

Educational Connections

Here are a few ideas that might be useful to teachers and students.

  1. You and your students can create trivs focused on the unit you’re currently studying.
  2. Students can develop a triv focused on personal interests and then extend that into research, writing, journaling, etc.
  3. It can be a useful strategy for pre-testing, review and as a study guide.
  4. Trivs can be an engaging alternative strategy for book reports, science presentations, social studies reports, and more.
  5. Allowing students to design quizzes puts them in the role of the teacher. This technique can encourage higher-order thinking.
  6. You and your students can create trivs to introduce yourselves at the beginning of the year.
  7. Developing trivs can be a fun way for students to reflect on a novel, science unit, historical event, poetry, or the highlights of their school year.

You can challenge your students and their families by sharing trivs on your website, via email, through social networks, or by sharing the links in your print-based newsletter.

Personal Uses

In addition to it’s many educational uses, Blubbr can also be used for fun with family and friends. Here are a few ideas that I considered.

  • Develop a triv about your parents and share it with your family to celebrate your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Prepare for the sights you’ll be visiting during vacation by sharing a triv with your travel companions.
  • Show your support for your favorite team or athlete with a triv about them.
  • Challenge your family to a scavenger hunt with a series of trivs that will lead them to a surprise.

You can challenge your family and friends to complete trivs by sharing them on your blog, through Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, or via email.

Your Turn

Blubbr is simple and fun. With well-designed activities it can make significant educational contributions. So what are you waiting for? Go triv something…and share your trivs in this post’s comments so that we can play, too.

The International Student Media Festival

The International Student Media Festival celebrates outstanding classroom media projects. Students and teachers from kindergarten through college are honored in a three-day event that includes workshops, screenings of winning entries, and an awards ceremony. It has now grown to be one of the oldest and largest events of its kind. ISMF has been sponsored since 1974 by the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT).

Projects are judged in categories including Live Action video, Sequential Stills slideshows, Interactive Stills, Photography, Web Design, Podcasts, and Animation.

The festival is usually three to four days long and is jam packed with hands-on, creative learning experiences for students, teachers, and parents. Various workshops for all ages are offered by our Corporate Partners throughout the festival. In the past we’ve offered workshop topics such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, iMovie, claymation, Garageband, and many more! (Workshops are subject to change each year).

There is also an awards ceremony during the festival where students are recognized for their achievements. Outstanding projects will receive an Excellence in Media Production award. From these, we cull out Judges’ Favorites and the highly-acclaimed Best of Festival designation. (Content and Image Source: ISMF.net)

Learn more about the ISMF and submit your entries.