I can’t believe that I’m taking the time to blog tonight but I am.
It was a very tiring day at Minds on Media. But, tiring in a really good way. Just about everything went exceedingly well with the Wednesday “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” program. The five people were there; the plan to rotate them through their blogs and to engage in conversation with Stephen Hurley and me worked nicely. We dug deeper than normal into the blog posts that were featured. That was always the intention and I think it worked well for those who were in the audience on Minds on Media floor. The audio was great; we had the three microphones and they were working well.
My view from the stage of Peter Skillen addressing the audience. You can see the various stations in the background of the room. Our panel would occupy those five chairs.
Unfortunately, it couldn’t be enjoyed by the internet audience. At the last minute, there was a software “update” to Stephen’s Windows 10 computer which broke one of his audio drivers. You can read his side of things here. All the planning seemed to work nicely. We’re already talking about doing it again somewhere.
The whole incident lead to the takeaway that you should never apply updates just before you really need your computer to do something!
There was another big takeaway for me.
I have my own micro:bit and enjoy playing with it. I can totally understand the enthusiasm that students have when they’re engage in coding. I’ve played around with it; looked into the menus and done little projects and snippets with it like any good timewaster would. That’s what we do, right?
But there was something that I’ve always wanted to do – use more than one micro:bit to have them talk to each other. It’s tough to do when you only have one. This was my chance. There were a few stations that had multiples of these little guys. I ended up at Jim Cash’s station. I even had a simulation that I wanted to see if I could create.
I wanted one of the micro:bits to be a controller and three (or more) wirelessly connected micro:bits to work as reels on a slot machine. i.e. press the controller and have the reels spin and dial up the results. Together, we learned a great deal about how the Radio feature works and how one unit can communicate with more than one other unit. The answer: surprisingly easy.
Needless to say, the energy is always high at professional learning events like this. You want to pack as much learning and meeting folks as you can … there was Beth, Eva, Ramona, Jim, Peter, Peter, Cam, Aviva, Seamus, Paul, Paul’s new boss, Erica, Matt, Sara, Andy, Alana, Kim, Mark, Harry, Lisa, Lisa, Carlo, and I could go on longer but my brain has had it for today.
Tomorrow’s going to be another great day of learning.