Learn how to code: cheap, free

1. Codecademy:

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Learn APIs

2. Free Code Camp

  • HTML5 and CSS
  • Responsive Design with Bootstrap
  • jQuery
  • Basic JavaScript
  • Object Oriented and Functional Programming
  • Basic Algorithm Scripting

3. Crunchzilla

  • Code Monster, Code Maven, and Game Maven are interactive tutorials where kids and adults can play with code, experiment, build, and learn. Data Maven is an introductory statistics tutorial designed to spark a curiosity for statistics and data.

4. Dash

  • Dash teaches HTML, CSS, and Javascript through fun projects you can do in your browser.

5. CodeCombat

  • Learn to code by playing a game.

6. Khan Academy

  • Learn how to program drawings, animations, and games using JavaScript & ProcessingJS, or learn how to create webpages with HTML & CSS.

7. Code School

  • A free account gives you access to 10 introductory courses, whereas a paid subscription gives you unlimited access to all courses and screencasts.

8. Udemy

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Aerospace Engineering

Here is an idea that requires a bit of rocket science.

Bottle Rockets.


We need to do some inquiry into what bottle Rockets are all about. Plan, build, tinker, and launch.

“Two-Liter Pop Bottle Rockets may well be the GREATEST PHYSICAL SCIENCE TEACHING TOOL EVER CREATED!!” Middle grades students can manipulate and control variables, see their hypotheses verified or refuted, and graph their findings. High school students experience the nature of science at its best. They can document their abilities with the following concepts: inertia, gravity, air resistance, Newton’s laws of motion, acceleration, relationships between work and energy or impulse and momentum, projectile motion, freefall calculations, internal and external ballistics, and the practice of true engineering.”

This summer I built 2, umm, 1 4 rocket launchers, in the next few weeks I’ll have the materials to build a couple more.

I figure we can do some digital story telling about our adventures as we discover more about bottle rockets.


The Plan:

Teams of three students will build rockets.

Rocket “engines” must have only one standard mouthed 2 litre PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Basically any 2l bottle containing “pop” will do.

At least one rocket from each group must compete in one of three challenges

  1. distance, goal line towards goal line.
  2. precision, from goal line land closest to a target -> centre field dot.
  3. duration, how much time in air from launch till return?

Want to kick it up the challenge?

  1. Advanced Challenge: repeat the three challenges with a small water balloon as payload.
  2. Expert Challenge: repeat the three challenges with a raw egg as payload.

Teams will also be judged by their overall approach to artistry and problem solving.

Digital Story

Each student will write about his/her rocket experiences in his/her iblog – include original images, videos, charts, diagrams, etc.

Group Rocket Length(cm) Weight(g) Distance(m) Precision(-m) Duration(s) Artistry Problem Solving Digital Story Group Rank
A  Faith A
A  Montana Y
A  Anastasia M
B  Tristan S
B  Lazarus W
B  Carson R
C  Febin T
C  Maria P
C  Trygve D
D  Ally S
D  Glenn G
D  Connor B
E  Rainey W
E  Taya H
E  Seth M
F  Caelan M
F  Braxton H
F  Kaelam W
G  Evan E
G  Zhenghe S
G Drayson M



Rocket ssembly and storage stand

Rocket ssembly and storage stand

Basic assembly and construction.

Basic assembly and construction.

The "swing test"

The “swing test”

A paper or plastic tube or sleeve design may yield more decorative creativity.

A paper or plastic tube or sleeve design may yield more decorative creativity.

Screenshot 2015-09-17 09.32.30



Screenshot 2015-09-19 22.36.32 Screenshot 2015-09-19 23.07.36 Screenshot 2015-09-19 23.27.07 Screenshot 2015-09-19 23.35.19 Screenshot 2015-09-19 23.37.56 Screenshot 2015-09-19 23.39.31 Screenshot 2015-09-20 00.02.13

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Learning and Technology Framework 2013

Quotes from from Learning and Technology Policy Framework 2013

This 2013 Learning and Technology Policy Framework provides leadership and strategic direction for government and school authorities throughout Alberta. The framework guides government and local school authorities in developing policies to help achieve the vision of Inspiring Education through the innovative and effective use of technology in K–12 schools. It provides actions for bringing Inspiring Education to life through the innovative use of technology in learning, teaching, leadership and administration.

The first decade of the 21st century saw a convergence of affordable and innovative technologies, sophisticated web applications and sound research on how people best learn. The inspiration and rationale for this updated framework comes from that convergence

At the centre of the policy framework are five interdependent policy directions:
1. Student-Centred Learning
Technology is used to support student-centred, personalized, authentic learning for all students.
2. Research and Innovation
Teachers, administrators and other education professionals read, review, participate in, share and apply research and evidence-based practices to sustain and advance innovation in education.
3. Professional Learning
Teachers, administrators and other education professionals develop, maintain and apply the knowledge, skills and attributes that enable them to use technology effectively, efficiently and innovatively in support of learning and teaching.
4. Leadership
Education leaders establish policy and governance structures, cultivate innovation and build capacity within the system to leverage technology in support of student-centred learning and system efficiencies.
5. Access, Infrastructure and Digital Learning Environments
All students, teachers, administrators and other education professionals have access to appropriate devices, reliable infrastructure, high-speed networks and digital learning environments.

Policy Direction 1:
Student-Centred Learning
Technology is used to support student-centred, personalized, authentic learning for all students.

Authentic Learning is real-world learning where students investigate important questions, construct knowledge and apply their learning outside of the classroom.
Digital Resources are educational documents, content and processes that are in digital formats.
Digital Learning uses digital media and technology in a significant way to support learning.
Online Learning is education in which instruction and content are delivered primarily over the Internet.
Personalized Learning focuses on learners—their individual needs, passions, interests and learning abilities—and encompasses meaningful connections, engaging learning experiences and flexible learning environments that support choice, collaboration, student voice and shared ownership (co-investment) in learning.
Student-Centred Learning is learning where the child is the centre of all decisions related to learning and education.

Students today live in an increasingly knowledge-based and globally interconnected society, impacted by evolving economic, environmental and social conditions. To achieve success and fulfillment as citizens, students need to be self-directed learners, critical thinkers and
problem solvers. In today’s networked communities, communication and collaboration skills are essential skills. Due to the complexity and rapid rate of change in contemporary society, students will need to be flexible, creative and innovative as they adapt to the changes around them. Preparing students to become independent, lifelong learners with such a repertoire of competencies requires that education systems shift to student-centred learning.
In student-centred learning, the child is the centre of all decisions related to learning and education. Teachers are the chief architects of student learning. They plan, design and oversee learning activities as they consider the interests, passions, talents, abilities and natural curiosities of the learner. This calls for personalization of learning. Personalized learning encompasses meaningful connections, engaging learning experiences and flexible learning environments that support choice, collaboration, student voice and shared ownership in learning.
An important role of the teacher is to inspire, motivate and plant the seeds of life-long learning. When students are engaged in authentic real-world learning, where students investigate important questions, construct knowledge and apply their learning outside of the classroom, they are intrinsically motivated to make sense out of the world around them—to learn.

The strategic use of feedback can double the rate of student learning.
Researcher Dylan Wiliam has argued that effective feedback can double the rate of learning. For example, peer and teacher reviews can be embedded digitally in student work; students can monitor their own progress through online portfolios or simple spreadsheets; discussions can take the shape of blog interactions, wiki entries or online threaded conversations; and collaborative digital learning spaces can offer opportunities for important interactions and feedback.

Students who are self-directed do well in school and in life.
Self-direction is the capability and natural tendency to set goals related to learning, plan for the achievement of these goals, independently manage time and effort and independently assess the quality of learning and associated products. Studies indicate that self- directed learners understand concepts more deeply and achieve at higher levels than their peers. Technology can support student self-direction. For example, students can use calendars to do their advance planning, with alerts to keep them on schedule; rubrics can be available digitally so students can continually self monitor the quality of their work; and digital forms of their work enable multiple revision cycles based on feedback.

Providing students with choice acts as a motivator that increases and deepens student learning.
One of the most effective ways in which to engage students intrinsically is to provide them with choice within a safe learning environment that encourages measured risk-taking and innovation. This increases their motivation and perseverance, thus deepening learning. Technology opens the door to choice by providing students with multiple ways
to learn, communicate, collaborate, ask important questions, solve problems and demonstrate what they know and can do.

Building on the prior knowledge of students increases learning.
A key element of student-centred learning is building on students’ existing knowledge, adjusting for any preconceptions or misconceptions they may have prior to the study of a topic. Technology enables teachers to collect, analyze and interpret data on students’ prior knowledge, skills, beliefs and attitudes about subjects they will be teaching. Through online surveys, observational notes organized digitally and student reflections in online portfolios, teachers can gain insights into students’ preconceptions, and perhaps misconceptions, that must be addressed before deep learning can take place.

Working collaboratively on complex tasks increases and deepens student learning.
Students working collaboratively outperform students who are working competitively or individually when the tasks are moderately or highly complex. Technology enables collaboration in school and beyond. For example, technology enables document exchanges, joint work on documents in shared workspaces where multiple students can work simultaneously, wikis, blogs, texting, chat rooms and communities of interest.

Students use technology, online learning and digital learning to:
a. access, share and create knowledge
b. discover, develop and apply competencies across subject and discipline areas for learning, work and life, as described in the Ministerial Order (#001/2013) on Student Learning, to enable students to:
• know how to learn: to gain knowledge, understanding or skills through experience, study, and interaction with others
• think critically: conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to construct knowledge
• identify and solve complex problems
• manage information: access, interpret, evaluate and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically
• innovate: create, generate and apply new ideas or concepts
• create opportunities through play, imagination, reflection, negotiation, and competition, with an entrepreneurial spirit
• apply multiple literacies: reading, writing, mathematics, technology, languages, media, and personal finance
• demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others
• demonstrate global and cultural understanding, considering the economy and sustainable development
• identify and apply career and life skills through personal growth and well-being
c. develop and apply digital citizenship and technological skills
d. demonstrate what they know and are able to do through effectively using a range of resources and media
e. monitor their learning progress and inform decisions through the use of data and evidence-based reasoning

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Instagram Short Film

Instagram is an incredible resource for all kinds of images. I wanted to create structure out of this chaos. The result is a crowd source short-film that shows the endless possibilities of social media.

The video consists of 852 different pictures, from 852 different instagram users. If you are one of them, shout and I will add you to the credits.

music: The black Keys – Gold on the ceiling

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