RovingFiddlehead KidLit

Kids Tech Club Winter Session

March 15, 2012

The second session of Kids Tech Club finished last week. Based on what I saw as well as feedback from both the kids and their parents, the kids had fun and learned a lot. Yay! Here’s what this session looked like including links to the tools we used.

Week 1: Online Safety, Image Editing (using Compfight to find Creative Commons photos, iPiccy & Picfull to edit): the online safety talk was given with the help of Prezi which prompted some enthusiasm (and a later demo of one of the boys’ Prezis)

Week 2: Sounds (Wolfram Tones, Paint with Music, Zefrank SequencerKisstunes, Virtual Piano and the no-longer functioning Hands Symphony): This was fun, but most didn’t spend very much time at any one site so many moved back to iPiccy and sharing sites for the last part of the class.

Week 3: Website Design (WordPress, Google Sites) This is something the kids have asked for in both sessions. I was caught off-guard by it in the fall, but I still didn’t feel like it went all that well given the time allotted. Technical difficulties were also a big hassle. On the plus side, this is a chance for kids to show sites they have created.

Week 4 & 5: Stop Motion Animation: Using JellyCam and Stop Frame Animator. Both programs were a huge hit! The group was split with half using JellyCam one week while the other half used Stop Frame Animator. Initially the kids scoffed when they saw my pile of Legos, but that didn’t last! A few kids enjoyed it so much they purchased webcams for home between weeks 4 & 5. Likewise the library purchased more webcams since I know we will use JellyCam again this summer. With more time in the summer session, they will be able to mix sound and images.

Here’s one of their JellyCam projects. More can be found at the Library’s YouTube channel.

Examples of their Stop Frame projects:
Dancing Stick People 2
Dance Don’t Prance

Week 6: Tech Petting Zoo & QR Code Scavenger Hunt: Time to play with tablet computers, ereaders, and flip cameras then they set off through the library chasing QR codes. After finding all the codes, they made their own using Kaywa QR Code and QRVoice. For more details about creating & reading QR codes see my October post.

The focus is online tools that do not require registration so that children who don’t have computers at home can use the tools on the library’s public computers. However, two of the favourites, JellyCam, and the QR Code Scavenger hunt, go against that goal. JellyCam is free, but it needs to be loaded onto a computer and requires a webcam. I also encourage the kids to share projects they’ve worked on outside of Tech Club and sometimes that introduces sites that require registration or software that needs to be purchased and/or downloaded.

The next session will be Kids Tech Camp, mornings June 18-22. Trying a weekly program didn’t seem realistic given summer travels, camps, etc. so we’ll see how it works.

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