Top Five Webinars of 2019!

December 19, 2019

As we wrap up 2019, we started thinking about all the great people we've been able to chat with during our monthly webinars. We've showcased Hour of Code, chatted with experts about accessibility, and even hosted a webinar for students! So if ya missed them, now is your chance to catch up on your PD with our top 5 webinars of 2019!

Inviting Students to Chat with Author Shanda McCloskey

This November we decided to try out having a webinar for students! It was amazing! We had 45 classrooms sign on to listen to Shanda McCloskey read her book Doll - E 1.0 live and ask questions about being an author and ask Tom and Colleen questions about Makey Makey. We hope to offer more of these in the future! It was so cool to be able to connect students with an author in this way!

A lot of the classrooms used our Doll- E guide to have students tinker with making and literacy before or after our Zoom webinar. 



Students Making Assistive Technology for Peers

Last March we chatted with Trisha Roffey, an Emerging Technologies Consultant working in Edmonton, Alberta CANADA. Trish shared, "My Grade 8 students and I decided to take on building an educational program based on the learning needs of specific students. We went to one of our local schools that needed some support and each student met their “client”. The outcome was one of the most powerful teaching experiences of my career!" Watch the full webinar below and get more resources on assistive technology on this blog post.

Making Books Accessible for All

We've seen a lot of amazing resources on using Makey Makey as assistive technology, but the Build a Better Book project takes assistive technology to a new light in making books more accessible for all students. The Build a Better Book partners works with school and library Makerspaces to engage youth in the design and fabrication of inclusive media, including picture books, games and graphics. Using both low- and high-tech Makerspace tools, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, Makey Makeys, conductive boards and craft materials, youth design, fabricate, test and refine multi-modal books, games and STEM graphics that incorporate tactile and audio features. These products are designed by and for learners with visual impairments as well as other physical and learning disabilities. Through the project, middle and high school youth develop technology skills and learn about STEM careers as they design and create multi-modal picture books, graphics and games that can be seen, touched and heard! In this webinar, the Build a Better Book team members and partner educators shared ideas for using Makey Makey to creatively make books, games and other products come to life with sound and interactivity!

Kids as Inventors: Project Invent

Project Invent is a school invention program that helps students design and engineer inventions for a better world. Check out this casual chat with Connie Liu the founder and executive director of Project Invent, and the super awesome Jason Hubbard, a Makey Makey and Project Invent Ambassador. 

Connie shared resources that guide making and coding for social good and how you can use tools like Makey Makey, Micro:bit, and Arduino to build impactful ideas that will engage more students and empower young people with the 21st-century skills they need to succeed.

Jason explains how you can use these powerful concepts in your own classroom and how he implemented Project Invent into his design thinking class to guide his students through the design process with real people! Watch this webinar to learn how his students created actual inventions to help cafeteria workers, principals, and others on campus. (More resources from this webinar on are on this blog post.) 

Invent to Learn with Sylvia Martinez

For Engineering Week, we spent an hour with Sylvia Martinez, author of Invent to Learn (along with Gary Stager) and she shared great tips and tricks for getting started with Makerspaces and maker education. This webinar is chocked full of maker goodness!

Bonus Webinar: You Can be a Sound Artist!

We know we said "top five," but in case you missed it, we really wanted to highlight this innovative talk with Mike Mitchell about helping students create "Sound Art." This webinar really blew us away in how Mike was helping kids tinker with creativity and sound! (More resources from this webinar on on this post.)

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