sexta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2020


Pois, agora também sou Microsoft Certified Educator.

Coisas que acontecem, graças aos desafios da ANPRI. E para além do teste, exigente, o momento de partilha com mais trinta formadores da ANPRI, pessoas que admiro pelas suas capacidades e vontade de partilhar. Um momento entre gigantes das TIC educativas em Portugal, e uma oportunidade para visitar o Build Brighter Futures, evento promovido pela Microsoft.

E hey, até uso ferramentas Microsoft nas minhas experiências e práticas pedagógicas. O Makecode para Microbit é um exemplo, e um dos grandes segredos das minhas aventuras de impressão 3D é o 3D Builder.

quarta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2020

Story of Implementation: Monstrous creatures (EN-CUR-204)

Browsing the list of Europeana Learning Scenarios, I've decided to use Monstrous Creatures (EN-CUR-204) by Natalia Targa, since I felt could be adapted to an information literacy activity for portuguese 5th year students, in ICT class. Due to the differences in age of the students and themes of the class, this scenario was adapted to our specific context rather than straightforwar applied.

Catch Your Monster: An Information Literacy Activity

Our goal: with young students from Agrupamento de Escolas Venda do Pinheiro, use Europeana to foster learning about internet search techniques, use digital communication tools, and develop keyboard skills.

The challenge: let's use Europeana to catch some monsters?

The original scenario was developed as a search and discussion activiy for 19 year old students in lnaguage classes. Our students are 10 year olds, in ICT class. Therefore, the discussion part of the scenario wasn't used, and the links referred were used as a topic starter with our pupils. Furthermore, due to severe time restraints, this implementation had to be done with nine 5th year groups of 26 students, with a 50 minute class for each group.

From an information literacy point of view, using Europeana in an activity enables teachers to deeply explore ICT concepts. Since student's can't rely on search engines autocomplete and autocorrect tools, they have to pay attention to what they write in the search box. It's also a way to show students that online search does not begin and end with Google or other search engines, and that indepedent digital archives can be a powerful way to find targeted results, instead of just using blind trust in a search engine algorithm.

The main theme - monsters, was used to spark student's interest, and also explored, using brainstorming, small concept map. This was done in order for find further keywords, either in portuguese or english, that enabled broader search results.

Europeana use was demonstrated, prior to the search activity. Specifically, pupils learned how to search using single or combined keywords, and filter the results by media type, or cathegory. Information literacy wise, this was a great opportunity to teach kids about tagging information, and what using tags to describe content enable, from search  to machine learning. Also, learning about filtering search results to refine information.

Then, onwards to the task. Groups of pupils (due to materiel constraints, pairs or trios) had to search Europeana using keywords associated with the theme Monsters. From the results, they had to choose three images, and send them to the teacher, correctly referenced. However, they could not download any of the images. They had to use the class email to compose a message, correctly stating the subject of the email, and use the body to paste the direct URL for each of their chosen images. Due to time constraints, we decided not to ask them to identify each chosen image, but they had to correctly state their origin.

Using this scenario, Europeana was a tool for children to develop online search strategies, formal digital communication skills using email, and proficiency in the use of computer interfaces and keyboard writing. This might seem a rather prosaic use of Europena, but keep in mind that pupils who participated in this activiy are very young, and often struggle with the most basic computer use (either because prior to ICT class they rarely used computers, or due to being used to touch-screen mobile device interfaces, that have different interaction principles).

But, beyond and in my view far more important, using Europeana gives the students a perception of the importance of our european common heritage, by viewing and interacting with artifacts representative of different european traditions and histories.

That's essentially it, but the activity has some continuity beyond this time frame. The results chosen by the groups will be used as content for small informatiom tools literacy projects, using text processing, presentations or visual programming with children-friendly computer languages (essentially, Scratch). But that's still in the future.

Tl; DR: version:

- Adaptation of the LS Monstrous creatures (EN-CUR-204) by Natalia Targa to an information literacy activity for portuguese 5th year pupils in ICT class;
- Specific goals, information literacy: develop search techniques, understand keywords, learn to refine search, learn to use search engines, discover digital archives; identify and reference information.
- Specific goals, computer literacey: compose messages using digital communications tools; proficiency in computer interface and peripherals (keyboard, mouse).
- Outcomes: an email message per group, sharing chosen URLs, correctly referenced.

segunda-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2020


Descobrir a biblioteca Europeana, aproveitando um learning scenario para explorar pesquisa e processamento de informação.

Ano novo, experiências novas, agora com realidade virtual.

Ano novo, experiências novas, animar modelos 3D com o mixamo.

Ano novo, experiências novas: desafiar os alunos do clube de robótica a serem monitores de experiências de realidade virtual.

Do tablet, modelado com, para o mixamo, animando o perosnagem.

Preparar robótica para os alunos de sexto ano.

ACD 16: Narrativas Digitais

Como usar Scratch para experimentar formas diferentes de contar histórias, ou estruturar apresentações? Foi esse o desafio desta sessão, promovida com o CFAERC.

ACD 17: Programar Jogos

Uma manhã de sábado, passada na biblioteca da escola a desafiar professores a descobrir como programar jogos simples em Scratch. Ação de formação de curta duração promovida com o CFAERC.

A Head's Journey Into My Desk

About 60 km beyond Lisbon, Óbidos is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are enchanted by this well preserved medieval village, with quaint white-walled houses enclosed inside a castle. Most of them don't stray beyond the main street (actually, the portuguese name means straight street) with its cafes, beverages, souvenir and bric a brac stores and bookstores. Óbidos plans to be the portuguese version of Hay on Wye, a bookish village, and has a lot of bookstores and an ambitious literary festival. But the best delights of this village can be found only by straying from the main path. Exploring the medieval alleyways reveals fascinating and very photographable architectural details.

One that continuously attracts my eyes is this strange creature. It sits, like a guarding dog, at the entrance steps of an old house. I don't know how old it is. Looks very weathered, ancient and not the fake old sometimes found on these sort of places. I also don't know what creature it is. My mythology fails me. Doesn't look like a dog, dragon, lion, chimaera or any other medievalesque inspiration. The most salient feature is its large head, with a human like face. I'm fascinated by this sculpture, and during one of my visits to the bookshops in Óbidos, I thought, why can't I have this in my desk, looking at me while I work? And with 3d scanning and printing, this is easy to do.

Scan: open app, and press the plus button.

First thing is scanning the statue. Scanning from photographs is a tricky but powerful technique, that requires computers far more powerful than my old laptop. But today, there are some mobile apps that bring photogrammetry into mobile devices. is one of the most recent, and actually quite powerful. Runs on middle to top range Android phones, and it's very easy to use for 3D scanning. From my experience, results are better with human-scale subjects: statutes, environments, architectural details, people and objects, or building facades. Small objects don't give good results.

Press begin, and walk around the object. As soon as the slider reaches the first mark, the algorithm has enough information to return a valid scan.
So, onwards. With my mid-range mobile, and a data connection, I start to scan this object. The trick is to capture multiple points of view that give the algorithm an idea of the shape of the objects. There are several ways to do it, my favorite is to walk around the object several times, in a spiral path, from bottom to top, circling several times. uses video for photogrammetry, but the capture is triggered by motion, not time. Point the camera and letting it run won't capture anything. You have to move around. The algorithm doesn't actually use video. It extracts images, and concatenates them with sensor data from the mobile phone (GPS, and location sensors, I assume, since the specific ways this app works are proprietary). The app has a progress bar, that shows us when the minimal amount of data has been captured for the algorithm. In most scans, this is enough for a reliable capture. has some in-app editing tools.

After capture, title and location have to be added, and the data uploaded to Ubiquity6’s servers. I generally wait for wifi access for this. After processing, captures can be further edited before publishing. has some limited editing capabilities in the mobile devices. Cropping is essential, since captures seldom return only what was scanned, and we need to discard extra geometry and center into the scan. This crop ensures that scans can be attractive in the app. But it's not destructive, all the captured mesh remains after cropping.

The next step is downloading the capture and process it for 3D printing. For now, this can't be done on Android phones. The trick is, on app, share the capture with yourself using email. on the web. Login is done via mobile phone number.
This generates a link. Access it in a browser, login to your account, and download your capture as an obj file.

Captured mesh
Next, we have to clean the mesh of unnecessary geometry. does an amazing work on scanning, but results can sometimes be rather baffling. Essentially, it returns us far more than just the scanned object. For this, I import the obj into Meshlab, and use its selection tools (adjacent and rectangular) to delete unnecessary shapes and triangles. Sometimes one by one, in small details. After finishing, just export the obj file. Meshlab will remap the textures. This is useful if you are processing captures to use in Unity or other 3D programs, but for 3D printing isn't necessary.

Planar cuts in netfabb.
Before sending it to the printer, we have to make the model watertight. Meshlab leaves it with holes. There are several easy ways to do this. If the model has an area that can be used as a base, just import it into netfabb and use the planar cut tools to cut the model. Netfabb automatically seals the cuts in the mesh. To ensure that the model is error free (I strongly counsel this step for any 3D printing project, unless you like risk wasting time and filament), just run netfabb correction tools. When finished, export it as an STL file.

Conbining shapes in 3D Builder.
If the model needs a base, just open it using 3D Builder, a discrete yet surprisingly powerful windows tool (comes with 8 and 10 OS). Ignore the error detection warning, rotate, scale and position the mesh at will, and combine it with a deformed cube. Then export it as an STL file.

Load the STL into your slicer, load filament into your printer, and after a few hours, the slice of reality captured using becomes tangible again. During this process, you have also gained some insight into how this service generates 3D models. What looks eerily detailed on screen is, in most models, an amazing stitching job to generate the texture map. If you look at the mesh without textures, you'll see that the capture has far less detail than what you saw on the screen.

And, there is is. The strange creature in the doorstep is now sitting at my desk, staring at me while I work. It's actually a bit creepy, come to think of it.

quinta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2020

Tutoriais 3Digital:

Exportar um modelo 3D capturado no, limpar a malha poligonal no Meshlab, e incorporar em serviços de visualização ou aplicações de modelação 3D.

Da captura do real para a impressão 3D: exportar uma captura do, limpar malha poligonal e corrigir erros para impressão 3D.

sexta-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2020

ACDs Programação (CFAERC)

Dois desafios, para iniciar 2020. Dia 11, descobrir como contar histórias com Scratch, usando programação para contar histórias.

Na semana seguinte, e que tal aprender a criar pequenos jogos de computador?

Estas ações exploram o potencial criativo da programação, focando alguns aspetos do pensamento computacional.

Duas ações de formação de curta duração, promovidas com o Centro de Formação Associação de Escolas Rómulo de Carvalho. Inscrições na página do CFAERC.