2018 Winter

Photos by Norton Gusky CC BY 4.0

I continue to coordinate a series of Design Challenges  for the Energy Innovation Center (EIC). The program includes high school students from the Parkway West consortium of schools. This winter student consulting teams started to work on two new Design Challenges. One Design Challenge asked the student consultants to find new ways to increase the LEED status for the Energy Innovation Center. The other Design Challenge focused on “Rebranding Careers.”  In December the EIC installed a WindStax windmill at the EIC based on design ideas shared by student consultants last spring from Carlynton High School, West Allegheny High School, and Parkway West Career and Technology Center.

In December Edscoop interviewed me for their article on voice command technology, “Alexa, how you can improve teaching and learning?”  For the Consortium of Schools Networked (CoSN) I’ve helped to develop an outline for the Edtech Next report on “Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Learning.”  In March I presented the findings for the report at the annual CoSN Conference in Washington D.C.

In November I coordinated the programming for the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference (TRETC). This year we focused on “Digitizing Personalized Learning.” Over the winter we’ll begin to formulate our plans for TRETC 2018, hosted by the Baldwin-Whitehall School District on November 6, where we’ll look at Technology and the Future of Work.

I continue to work with the South Fayette School District on the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute. This year the professional development activities will occur from June 18-21 with most of the activities on the South Fayette campus, but with opportunities for Sustainabity/Project-based Learning at Chatham’s Eden Hall campus and Project-based Learning sessions at the Consortium for Public Education. This year there will be a new leadership track in addition to the classroom focused sessions that include: Making, Coding and Computational Thinking, STEAM, Makey-Makey, Robot Petting Zoo, BlocksCAD, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Visible Thinking, Happy Atoms, Raspberry Pi and Python, and Student Voice through Social VR and digital story-telling.

I’m working with Birdbrain Technologies to develop Catalyze Learning, an international user conference in Pittsburgh from July 23-25. Birdbrain has schools in over 40 countries currently using the Hummingbird and Finch to integrate robotics into the curriculum K-12. We hope to have presenters from around the globe share their ideas about using maker technology to catalyze learning. At the recent BETT Conference in January in London, Birdbrain garnered an award from the   for the best STEAM Product.