[Bf-education] Blender and the Australian Curriculum

J Le Rossignol jlerossignol at gmail.com
Fri Nov 15 02:18:24 CET 2013

Hi All,

Sorry I haven't replied sooner, but I've been recovering from surgery over
the last 3 weeks. It's been a hard year personally, and I've only tested
half my curriculum before handing it over to a teacher of science, with
little IT background.   So, I haven't had the chance to refine it at all.
Anyhow, on with the useful stuff.

What I've written is aimed at the Victorian Curriculum (VELS) for the High
School student, and I was told around March that there wound not be many
changes in the shift to the Australian curriculum, otherwise known as
AusVELS. However, I double checked
http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum.htmland the Technology Learning
Area, which includes IT, is not due to be
published until late this year. (See
http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum_1/learning_areas/technologies.html). So,
I'm guessing that what I've done will need to be reworded to fit with what
ever is released.

I tried at the end of last year to map out the conceptual knowledge needed
for blender, which is similar to the Khan Academy's Maths Knowledge map,
but more primitive. It covers;
Basic skills (File management, the current UI, Import/Export/Appending,
Asset Management),
Modelling (Basics, Vehicles & Other hard surfaces, Precision Modelling, For
3D Printing, Organic Modelling),
Materials& Textures (Material, Textures, UV/Bump/Normal/Displacement
Animation (Simple stuff, Dope Sheets, Machines, Bones & Posing),
Environments (World Settings, Lighting, Cameras, Backdrops, Particle
Systems, Architecture),
Renders (Basic Images, The Sequences, Compositing, Scenes, Camera Tracking).
Short Film/Animation Project (Planning, Production)

For each of the above subject I wanted a directly applicable task to
complete, and I wanted all the tasks to mesh together to walk the students
through the whole Short Film/Animation Project. So that by the time they
had got to the final project, they already had the skills to succeed. To
enable this the core idea is to move through a simplified production cycle,
and add detail to each step. Tested so far are the following tasks: A shape
stacker, a brick wall, Pong, A Star Wars style credit roll, A Cartoon Car,
The Solar System, An Aircraft Fly over, a Walking Man, and two
mini-projects. However, this is aimed at year 10 students, but it can be
easily adapted to a younger year level, but dumping half the tasks and
focusing on the fun.

So this map I've created was wired into a basic curriculum plan for 5 x 45
minute lessons each week and running for 16 weeks. I'm accounting for
regular disruptions, and the need for instant gratification.. But I'd take
a different tack for the primary school, by linking to other curriculum
areas. Which I'll some ideas as to how to use Blender for each curriculum

Blender naturally sits in the areas of Mathematics, Numeracy and
Information & Communication Technology (ICT) capability. So things like
geometry of the shapes that can be used(look at the Add Mesh: Extra Objects
for some cool gems stones), Cartesian plane (in 3D), basic number skill (by
using the moving 3 units along the x direction... etc), basic file
management, what different file types are used for.
For the area of Science, just look at the physics of the particle system.
To include Critical and creative thinking use brainstorming and sketching,
for Personal and social capability use team work for the projects and that
will fix you laptop problem, for Ethical understanding have discussions
about copyrights & creative commons. Other areas like English, History,
Geography, etc are harder to do, but you could enhance regular projects
with a bit of cool animations.

I hope this helps & cheers,
Jamie Le Rossignol
W: impossibleemporium.com
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