Thursday, 24 October 2013

More Data, Graphing and 3D Models.

After running the data collection with my Year 8s last week, I sent the map to Shane so he could check it out. Of course he doesn't like my 'functionally ugly' style so he adjusted it and sent it back to me. So I used it with my Year 10s on Monday to collect another sample of data. The year 10s collected more data, and I trialled using Google Docs with them to collate the data. Shane was online and listening in on the audio of the class, and let me tell you that is an amazing experience and help. While I wandered the room checking what students were collecting, he was listening and adding those items to our list in the Google Spreadsheet.

So at the end of the 20 minute collection period the students put all their data into the spreadsheet very easily and the data was in a very useful format. While the students we adding their data Shane was sitting in the doc watching and giving advice and encouragement, which was pretty amazing for the students also. Once we had collated out data we began the next 20 minute collection and again put all that data onto the spreadsheet. So now I have a great amount of data to use with both my year 8s and year 10s.

Since after thinking about it most of the weekend I had figured out the way to set out the data we collected, and I had trialled it with my year 10s, I gave my year 8s the opportunity to transfer their data from one form to another, it went supremely smoothly. I am impressed with how Google Docs allows so many students to collaborate on the one document, and also how well my students manage themselves in there. There were only minimal issues and for the most part they sorted themselves out without a great deal of input from me.

So today we will begin looking at graphing in Minecraft. I am hoping to get some of the students that like pie charts to try to create them in Minecraft, and I am really looking forward to seeing how they go with it. The year 8 graphing class happens in a few hours, so I might take some screenshots and write a reflection afterwards if time permits.

Now as to the 3D models, I have been designing a new model in Braille, while not as 'cool' as the Periodic Table, and it is not designed in MinecraftEdu, it is still a model I am proud of and also think it is useful. It is a non-standard die, you can get 6 sided dice, not in Braille, but with the raised dots that the vision impaired can count, but you cannot get any non-standard ones. So I have designed and prototyped an 8 sided dice in Braille. It is designed and printed in such a way that it is non-biased. Unfortunately this means it needs to be printed in 8 parts and glued together, but after 1000 rolls it is looking pretty good for both fairness and overall wear and tear.

So now that I have that base model, I am now adding inset numbers on them so that sighted people can work out what number has been rolled. I also have a prototype design that I need to print for a 12 sided dice and am in the process of working out exactly how to design the 4 and 10 sided varieties also. The 4 sided one is causing me some issues because with a regular 4 sided dice it is the number that is face down that you have rolled, I want to re-design it so that it is the number that is up that you have rolled. I have ideas on how to do this, I just need to get my head around the design process to get these ideas into the 3D model. And seriously just now as I was writing this post I think I have a great idea on how to do it so that it rolls nicely and is not too large or awkward.

On that note I am done writing for now, I need to go get this idea down and sorted in my head. Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below if you like.

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