Looking forward to John Flanagan’s latest book

Our boys at school love the Ranger’s Apprentice series. It has been a great adventure series. We recently purchased The lost stories (#11 in the Ranger’s Apprentice) which fills in a lot of background to the characters in the series. The stories were in part inspired by the questions the author received from his readers. This book flew off the shelf but the students are also very keen to get their hands on the longer story that is advertised on the back cover.

They are all seem to be eagerly awaiting the publication of The outcasts, book 1 in a new series Brotherband. This is a story that picks up on the lives of the Skandians, people from one of the nations mentioned in The Ranger’s Apprentice books. Set on the high seas it looks to be another winner. To avoid answering the same question over and over I hope it comes out soon!

Watch the brief interview with John Flanagan:

And then the official trailer:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Tools at schools: a classroom for kids designed by kids

The holidays give me more of a chance to catch up with reading about the research and projects that are happening around the world. So I was interested in reading about  the Tools for schools project. It was a fantastic project involving year 8 students. The project was an initiative to teach younger secondary students the process of design as a problem-solving tool. The students (44) were immersed in the design process at The School at Columbia University. Here they focused on research, the process of formulating ideas, 3D modeling and finally they had the launch. The students experienced success not only in their concepts but also in the awareness they gained in the process.

The project is going to be an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York shortly and along the way it has won numerous awards.

“Design studio aruliden, together with Bernhardt Design, conceived Tools at Schools as an initiative to teach eighth graders the value of design as a problem-solving tool at The School at Columbia University. What started as a simple effort to get involved in the community grew into a much larger realization that design has a role in the classroom. Their success was not only in their concepts, but in the awareness each student gained in the process. The result was a collaborative vision of today’s classroom – designed for kids by kids.”

The students documented their progress of their project in video format and they had a very impressive final result.

The final day: The final products and the Tools at Schools project are revealed to the public for the first time at the 2011 ICFF. Family, faculty and friends alike were on-hand to see the prototypes, hear the students’ stories and experience the entire process. Not to mention witness the student’s win the 2011 Editor’s Choice for Best Design Schools

it is definitely worth having a look at this showcase of student achievement.