Wednesday, December 2, 2015

20PercentTime for Teachers

I have come to believe that it is important to surround yourself with the people you want to be around. For me, those people are others passionate about playing, tinkering, and continually learning based on their interests. Might sound a lot like my approach to teaching, but I suppose that makes good sense.

As you may know, my students have been involved in a project called #20PercentTuesday where they pursue passion based projects. Well, us teachers need some of that time to dedicate to learning about what excites us as well. This past weekend we did just that, in fact on two occasions. On Friday, Kevin Jarrett (@kjarrett) hosted a group of us in his awesome learning space at the Northfield Community School (@ncsnj). We had a blast working on our own projects and sharing what we were doing. Here are some highlights:

Sarah receiving some help to use the Oculus Rift

Rurik (@ruriknackeraud ) flying a plane (a little better than Sarah aka #croptopknitter @artdabbler13)
Leila (@leilaboo215) editing her vlog alongside an oculus rifter
My lovely wife, Cathy (@iwearthecrowns) trying to configure the @littlebits cloudbit to work with #minecraft BitCraft mod
Every school needs an awesome studio for their daily news show!

Kevin Jarrett (@kjarrett) trying his hand at the Oculus.  The play by play provided was priceless.

Please check out Meredith Martin's (@geekyteach) Black Friday maker Day post for a great run down of the day's festivities!

So that was Friday. Fast forward to Sundat, quite possible our most fun #coffeeEduNJ to date. More playing and exploring cool stuff. Jonathan Rochelle (@jrochelle) brought the google expedition kit and took our caffeinated group on a few great journeys including the great barrier reef and some amazing waterfalls.

To stay with the virtual reality theme I brought the oculus rift out for a spin. People played mushroom ball VR, a fun VR 3D platformer and our goto horror experience "don't let go". One great quote of the day came from the son of Chris Harris (@principal_H) who stated emphatically, "this is the most fun I've ever had at a coffee shop". 

Jonathan Rochelle (@jrochelle) guiding an excited group through #googleexpeditions.  I spy @mzgrz and @keith_guarino)

Wait... Is that Barry Saide (@barrykid1) and his lovely wife jessica (@jazica30) at a #coffeeEduNJ?

Principal Harris (@Principal_H) watching as his son explores virtual reality with the oculus rift.

Our coffeeEdu group has become a family affair and adults and kids in attendance were wowed by the virtual reality experiences. Definitely made for rich discussion and excitement about what's possible.