Friday, January 26, 2018

Computer Lab Displays 2018

Hello, internet denizens!

This is just a quick write-up of the new displays in the IT Lab for 2018. I wanted to get this posted before the start of the year has passed me by, as I've had a great reception from staff and students on how the lab looks.

On the door:

This new poster is on the lab door. It helps new parents and students figure out what my lab is: the glass on the door is darkened so it's not easy to peer in and figure it out. I've since added a timetable for the lab as the venue is nearly fully booked already.

Awesome Algorithms, Brilliant BeeBots:

This display features the great free BeeBot instruction cards from TES. I printed the BlueBot over 4 A3s, I've never printed anything at such a scale but it turned out great. The directions also have helped as a reference for students when we work with the BeeBots.

For the first time ever, we are running an experimental extra-mural technology option for Gr 2 and Gr 3. This term we are working exclusively with BeeBots in our new Tech Club time so this board has been referred to often. My students like to use it to show their parents what we have been up to.

STEAM Showcase:

This board looks a bit bare now but the idea is that I will fill the STEAM Showcase with examples of great work. As we work mostly digitally, I didn't have a place to display student work last year. I think this board will help motivate my students when they see examples from their peers being displayed. I used the super, free, STEAM Monster posters on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The Biggest Change to the Lab:

Just before school closed at the end of last year I had asked for wires to be installed in the lab. The idea for these wires originally was to display student work but, after racking my brains the whole holiday, I finally had a better idea.

Right before school opened this term, I had a very diligent student helper who helped me punch holes into about 80 old CDs and DVDs that I sourced from my colleague. We strung these CDs onto colourful yarn and then hung them up all across the lab.

The change has been quite striking and it's charming to see the CDs dancing in the breeze. The new decor has also spurred some conversations with students about why we use CDs for (data storage), why we are using CDs for decoration (becoming obselete) and what we use now instead of CDs (cloud, flash/usb sticks). The older visitors to the lab have been having fun reading the titles of the motley collection of CDs, there are a few old games CDs tucked away in the corners of the room.

The pictures don't quite do it justice, they are quite animated little decorations - especially when the air-conditioning is on!

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