Village School

Technology and 3D Models — Making the Learning Real

Spring 2018

Not the mission project you remember: Our 4th grade students were assigned a portion of the mission grounds to research. They built a 3 dimensional model and programed a Dash Robot to negotiate their model. Some groups were assigned the orchards, some the actual mission structure, some the gardens and so on. The Dash Robot then moved about the map on a student-programed route stopping at programed spots. The robot then delivered a student-created script describing the unique features of the location on the map. The individual maps were then combined to create an entire 3D mission grounds with multiple Dash Robots moving about the programed routes and giving tours. During this complex, multi-day learning exercise every student found an access point to engage in the learning. Some students found their level of expertise in building the map layout, some in building the 3D structures, some in programing the robots, some in conducting the necessary research – every aspect required students to work collaboratively and problem solve in a real life context on a project they were all connected to. Every student found a way to be heard and valued.

Teachers are pioneering a vital shift in education, being re-energized by the level of student engagement and their role in igniting the fire and passion in students that results in real, honest, purposeful, meaningful and contextual learning. Teachers are communicating this passion and their colleagues are listening and adopting. The purposeful use of technology allows students to work in a reality that is contextually appropriate to their lives and virtually limitless.