Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Tinkerbox is a creative tool that teaches basic engineering concepts and allows students to complete a series of tasks requiring problem solving. Students can invent their own problems to be solved as well.
Being the last week of school I tried it out with my year 9 English students who had finished their English tasks. I worked with 5 students who as a group went through the problem solving tasks on the whiteboard (connected Ipad2 with VGA cable), helping the person driving the Ipad2 to solve the problem. We did this for one lesson and the students were really engaged.
Their task now that they know how the app works is to invent their own engineering masterpiece. They were all give paper copies of all the tools available to them via screen shots I had taken on the Ipad2. In the help menu it shows all the tools and explains them. So armed with this they will be creating and drawing their invention on paper and then trying to replicate it in the Tinkerbox app in front of the class up on the whiteboard. The class will work with the student offering suggestions until the invention works.
We haven't finished this process yet but it has engaged the kids in a creative and collaborative process at a time in the year when most students find it hard to focus on anything.