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Welcome to BLVR. Here teachers can participate in virtual Professioanl Learning or host student classrooms. http://blvr.ca/ Q: info@brilliantlabs.ca

about these big world problems,” he shared. Mr. Hennigar also led a session on encouraging student choice in assessment. Research shows that fostering discussion with students and asking them to engage in meaningful projects leads to positive learning outcomes. When we let kids make, we’re giving them permission to try, fail, and learn from their mistakes. They’re engaged in their work and learning resilience. “We’re fostering their ability to turn their ideas into tangible products and helping them discover that their passions have a place in school. Regardless of age or grade, making and creating are not separate from learning. They are a part of it,” added Mr. Hennigar. Brilliant Labs also provided sessions for teachers to learn specific skills and techniques they could easily translate into the classroom. Creativity Catalyst, Alicia Collins, walked teachers through how to use 68

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the new virtual reality platform created at BLVR.ca. Teachers can create free virtual classrooms and worlds to enhance lessons, or let students create their own creations to demonstrate learning and increase engagement.

ideas of how they could use it as part of existing lesson plans. Suggestions included creating a weather station to gather data on how differing conditions affect the growth of plants, or building a robotics vehicle from scratch.

Program Specialists, Rachael MacKeigan and Nellie Keeting, showed teachers hands-on low-tech making activities that would spark student creativity and provide great ties to curriculum at any level.

Ms. Mackeigan and Ms. Keeting also led a session on how to record quality video content using a free program called OBS. The session included tips on how to improve sound, focus cameras, and include the teachers face while also screen recording.

They also provided a quick introduction to Brilliant Labs’ b.Board. The b.Board is an open source electronics hardware prototyping platform that allows students access to a library of over 600 different Click Boards™ of their choice. Measure heart rate, control 16 servo motors at once or make your own Internet of Things (IoT) device: it’s now all possible. Teachers can visit the Brilliant Labs Project Portal for ideas. Teachers were excited to see the ease with which students would be able to prototype projects and had great

“It is so important that students can see your face and your excitement during a lesson,” said Ms. Keeting, who is also the host of Brilliant Labs’ new MakerFun TV series. “Students take their cues from us, so it is always best to include yourself”. Program Specialist, Gary Gaudet, finished the week by presenting on the educational power of Minecraft. Brilliant Labs began hosting a Minecraft server soon after remote learning began in March and has made this space available every

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