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Tech Club Archive

Page history last edited by Josh Burker 5 years, 7 months ago

I am using this wiki to transform a pile of paper notes I took during summer 2007 about Tech Club project ideas. Hopefully this helps me better organize the material and provides others with access to new ideas.


Tech Club was featured in an article on the Mercer Island School District's web site.


Current Tech Club Projects


  • Two fourth grade girls are working on a StoryTube
  1. These are two minute videos in which the student reviews her or his favorite book
  2. The girls have chosen the books they will review
  3. We have looked at other examples of StoryTubes to see what we like and do not like


  • Several third grade students are building a web site about the causes and effects of global warming
  1. They have identified causes and effects
  2. They are using Kidspiration 2 to create "spiders" out of their thoughts and to organize their writing
  3. They will build the site using Mozilla's Composer feature


  • Several fourth grade boys are working on a stop-motion Lego movie
  1. They have decided on an "Indiana Jones" type movie
  2. They completed the story treatment
  3. They have completed the storyboard
  4. They completed two drafts of their script
  5. They are designing the backdrops


  • Several fourth grade girls are storyboarding a stop-motion and live motion movie
  1. They are going to experiment with different funny effects you can create through stop-motion and clever editing
  2. We filmed a short film of me scooting across the library on my back
  3. We started filming activities on the playground
  4. We filmed the girls eating lunch then reversed the direction, so it looks like sandwiches are being reconstructed with each bite, for example
  5. The girls are editing the footage


  • A student on the Autism Spectrum is making a stop-motion Lego movie
  1. He is currently storyboarding his movie, developing a narrative with multiple characters. He draws a scene and writes what is happening under the drawing.
  2. My intention is for him to develop a narrative that others can follow
  3. I hope the storyboard also allows a small group of two peers to collaborate with this student to make the film, from filming to editing to soundtrack to production and presentation
  4. He has finished storyboarding
  5. He has identified two peers he would like to work with on the film
  6. We are listing the people, places, and sets that we need to build from Lego
  7. The student, a peer, and I have started filming the movie


  • I built a new puppet stage out of cardboard boxes.
  1. I noticed three fourth grade girls who consistently used the puppets and the old beat up puppet theatre (also made of a cardboard box). I suggested that we could build a new theatre and write a puppet show, which we could tape and edit.
  2. The theatre is built and the girls have rehearsed their puppet show.
  3. The girls rehearsed and performed two episodes
  4. There is the possibility that they are working on a third episode
  5. Other students are using the puppet theatre outside of Tech Club projects



Pocasting Class


Michael Hagen and I taught a Podcasting Workshop. The three day class is also available as 3-part podcast.



Completed Projects


Tech Club worked with digital still photography. Students were assigned a date to use the digital still cameras. When the students signed up to use a camera they were given a slip of paper with their name, the date that they are signed up to use the camera, and the location to meet; they could tape this sheet to their desks to remind them. When it is their turn students are provided a camera, a stop-watch (to help them keep time so they know when to return to the library), and assigned a laptop on which their photos are downloaded.


I tracked in a spreadsheet which camera the student used, on which laptop the student's photos are stored, and how many photos each student takes, and whether the student has built her or his web page.


  • A student on the Autism Spectrum is working with SketchUp to build 3D models
  1. he was interested in designing a three story house
    1. I downloaded examples from Google's "3D Warehouse" for him to examine
  2. his original models were all built around rectangles and reflected his efforts to figure out the software
    1. I provided him access to tutorials but he was not interested in taking the time to look at the tutorial lessons
  3. he figured out he could build curved models, too
  4. he figured out how to fill planes of his models with different colors
  5. he is not yet interested in saving any of his work


  • Preparation for photography exhibition
  1. invitations were distributed to Tech Club members to give to their friends and families
  2. we will present a slide show as well as the web pages that the students built
  3. I am wondering if the exhibition can be interactive
    1. last year the students were very attentive during the slideshow, so perhaps this should remain part of the activities


  • We are using VoiceThread to comment on some of our photos




  • Still photography with digital cameras
  1. students are given free choice as to what they photograph
  2. each student is given an equal amount of time with the camera, requiring management and signups
  3. students take concrete and abstract photographs
  4. students download photographs to a laptop computer running iPhoto
  5. students crop their photographs
  6. students title their photographs
  7. students export their photographs in an appropriate file size
  8. students use OS X's "Build Web Page" to construct html photo albums of their photographs (/System/Library/Image Capture/Automatic Tasks/Build Web Page)
  9. the same photographs chosen by the students are loaded onto the Digital Picture Frame
  10. a small collection of photos from more than 1600 taken by Tech Club members is posted online.


  1. students love to goof with their faces using this application
  2. students learn about file system navigation and backing up their files to a server
  3. students are using this application to build a photo library for a comic book they want to create
    1. these students have moved on and are not going to make a comic
  4. a student is interested in building a web page with some of these photos


  • A new student to the school is working on creating a video about the challenges of going to a new school
  1. this first grade student has worked on video projects at home
  2. we are building upon the new student comic book Tech Club created last year and involving Elroy the Lion in the video
  3. we generated a list with another first grader of some challenges facing students new to the school
    1. the other first grader started kindergarten here last year, so she knew some challenges as well as solutions
  4. we brainstormed solutions to the challenges
    1. the student was sent home with a printout of the challenges so the parents could help brainstorm as well
  5. casting the video will provide the student opportunities to meet new people
  6. making the video will showcase the student's talents and abilities
  7. other students facing similar issues might get involved in this project
    1. a second grade girl new to the school has joined us, and a few students who are not new to the school are helping, too
  8. we filmed the opening scene of the movie this week
  9. we continue to work on this film several times a week
    1. we have incorporated other young students in various roles in the film


  • Three students created a Tech Club Cheer
  1. they wrote out the cheer and performed it for in the library
  2. I suggested that they record the cheer in GarageBand
  3. the finished cheer is posted on the Tech Club site


  • A student is working on updating maps of the school
  1. this student has a particular fascination for maps
  2. he updated the map of the school
  3. he created a digital version of the map used by patrol to determine their positions
  4. he created a map of a shopping mall
    1. first he drew it on a white board
    2. we photographed the white board using a tripod so we didn't have the flash reflect off the board
    3. the photograph was placed as a background in an AppleWorks Draw document
    4. the student used the line tool and the Text tool to trace over his drawing and to label the stores
  5. the student continues to refine maps used by the Technology Specialist to track wireless access points, network drops, and printer usage


  • A student completed Tech Club's first video podcast
  1. you can see the video by subscribing to the RSS feed, also available in PBWiki's Sidebar to the right
  2. this project grew out of the Halloween Comic Book that a student decided not to produce
  3. seven Tech Club students were provided with digital cameras for the Halloween parade and classroom parties
  4. I asked the students if they knew any Halloween poems we could use to provide a narrative
    1. a student suggested "This is Halloween" by Dorothy Brown Thompson
  5. students selected photos appropriate to the characters in the poem and laid them out according to the narrative of the poem
  6. the student and I decided that a video podcast would better capture the poem, the reason why she was excited about the project in the first place
    1. additionally the photos could be used to illustrate the poem
  7. the student used iMovie to place the photos in the proper place on the timeline
  8. she wanted to distort her voice, so we ran it through a filter in GarageBand
  9. the student wrote a short narrative about the process for inclusion on Tech Club's web page



  • We made a commercial to try to get students interested in making digital videos.



Projects That Students Decided Not to Complete


  • Students are creating a Halloween Comic Book using ComicLife
  1. seven Tech Club students were provided with digital cameras for the Halloween parade and classroom parties
  2. I showed the project leader how she could filter the images in ComicLife to process the photos and make them look "spooky"
  3. I asked the students if they knew any Halloween poems we could use to provide a narrative
    1. a student suggested "This is Halloween" by Dorothy Brown Thompson
  4. students selected photos appropriate to the characters in the poem and laid them out according to the narrative of the poem


  • A student is designing a comic book
  1. he is working on the plot and a storyboard: mutant squirrels are draining the life energy out of humans through their spread of a spore
  2. we are examining the form of comic books
  3. he has looked at ComicLife and considered how he can create photo effects using the software
  4. I am going to encourage him to create "digital collages" to make up some of the shots



Building a Firewall


I am working with a group of middle school students to "refurbish" a Sun SparcStation. They ended up abandoning this project without ever asking for help....



Tech Club has Started

• We had a series of promotional meetings to discuss the three units: digital photography, podcasting and album production, and video

• The meetings generated further ideas for projects.



The ideas generated over the summer have been moved to their own page.


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