Tag Archives: edtech

Love this Lenape toy project at @BrearleyNYC launched by @LuigiTeaching and the Class II Teaching Team. #MakerEd #elemaker #elemedchat #STEAM #PBLchat

Last week, Class II completed their Lenape “buzzer” toy project. Luigi Cicala (@LuigiTeaching) is an amazing artist, teacher, and Director of the CoLab, The Brearley School’s soon to be launched makerspace. In anticipation of having an actual physical space dedicated to making, fabricating, and project based learning, Luigi has been developing creative, integrated, and thoughtful STEAM-rich projects with faculty across multiple grades and disciplines. With this in mind, Luigi ideated a variety of projects to correlate with Class II’s study of The Lenape. This year’s chosen project was to create a “buzzer” toy — I totally remember making these as a kid with yarn threaded through plastic buttons (or drilling holes in a wooden disk). Now that we’re well into the 21st Century, these students used an iPad to design the button shape that were 3D-printed for them.

Students talked about shapes and symmetry while creating paper designs with Luigi and their classroom teachers, Rebecca Chynsky (@rchynsky) and Betsy Warren. Additionally, girls could use paper divided into quadrants to sketch a design to gain a sense of symmetry and test for it by folding along the lines (or axes). While the concept of symmetry might not be readily understandable, folding a shape and seeing if it overlaps fully (either up/down or side/side) is a fun exercise. See examples of Marina Jackson’s folded sketches in the photo below.img_0012.jpg

In computer class with Virginia Avetisian (@vavetisedu) and Marina Jackson, students used Doodle3D on the iPads to sketch a shape with their fingers, give it some height, and include two cylindrical holes (like a button). These were exported as STL files and printed using our Ultimaker Original+ printers which were built from kits a few years ago by upper school students. I helped with the actual printing and spent many hours over the next few weeks ensuring each student’s digital sketch was transformed into a plastic “buzzer” for their enjoyment.

Here’s a video of one of our “buzzer” toy prototypes in action!

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Pics from Day 1 of #Construct3D and @DukeU’s @InnovionCoLab Studio. #MakerEd #STEMed #STEAM

I’m at Duke University for the inaugural Construct3D conference sponsored by Duke, Ultimaker, Autodesk, and ShopBot! Many thanks to co-organizer, Liz Arum, for encouraging me to attend. Below is the description from their website:

Construct3D 2017 is a national conference on digital fabrication focused on “3D printing” for higher education,  K-12, and community education. Join us as we explore ways to foster student engagement, support research, and improve understanding using 21st century technology.

Construct3D 2017 aims to bring together educators from a broad range of educational contexts to exchange ideas and innovation — to accelerate adoption and exploration of 3D printingConstruct3D offers educational pioneers opportunities to shape the implementation of 3D printing in education in years to come.

After a walk and a biscuits and gravy lunch with Ian Klapper of City and Country School, we made our way to Duke’s Technology Engagement Center for workshops and a tour of the Innovation Co-Lab Studio by its director, Chip Bobbert. Photos of the Co-Lab‘s awesome space for digital fabrication are posted below. Check out the mesmerizing wall of Ultimaker printers as well as laser cutters, CNC mills, 3D jet printers, a vending machine of engineering tools, and other tools that make me happy including a vinyl cutter and sewing machine.



Pics from the opening reception with a keynote from Dale Dougherty of Make Magazine and early glimpses of the vendor tables are below:

Some videos from educator projects highlighted at Ultimaker’s table are below:​



Pics from my lunch and walk with Ian are below:

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Notes from @edTechSummitsA’s event at @WitsUniversity yesterday. #ETSA16 #AxisEd #globalEd

The rooms were cold, but the atmosphere was warm and genial at our second summit of the EdTech Summit Africa tour. Our hosts for the day were the Global Teachers Institute (GTI) as a part of AXIS Summit and the Wits School of Education of University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Attendees were a mix of pre-service teachers and experienced educators, and the university’s techies worked hard to ensure that all had access to boosted wifi and logins for the many desktop computers in the learning labs. Karen Page (K2) and Mona Ewees launched the Wits Summit with an explanation of our team’s purpose to offer workshops, elevate technology use, model progressive education strategies, grow professional networks, and collaborate with new contacts. The day began with a raffle for four gently used iPad2 tablets. The enthusiasm and joy from the winners was heartwarming and balanced out the fact that the Glass Lab felt like an icebox.

We twelve presenters offered a variety of workshops to introduce different tools, ideas, and learning opportunities. During each of the three sessions or streams, attendees had four workshops from which to choose. Below is a link to the list of presenters and their workshops. Clicking on any workshop takes you to a fuller description and any linked resources: http://edtechsummitafrica.com/2016/presenters

When not teaching, presenters floated around assisting each other. My workshop about was during Stream 2, so during Stream 1, I helped in Claudia Stanfield’s session about using multimedia and web resources in the classroom, and during Stream 2, I was with Dr. Aletha Harven as she showed teachers how to use Google Forms as an assessment tool and Facebook as an online space for her class to share resources and launch discussions. At future summits, I hope to have a chance to hear from and learn with other workshop leaders including Anusheh HashimKevin BaloyiKaren Kirsch PageBonisile NtlemezaThandekile NgemaMabore LekalakalaSara KixmoellerRyan Waingortin, and Mona Ewees.

Claudia (@ClaudiaStany) began her session with attendees tossing around a beach ball inscribed with different cryptic SMS phrases written with a permanent marker. When people caught the ball, they had to announce the SMS acronym they touched and define it. Many of these were new to the older teachers and to me too, since I text like a grammar teacher, complete with mostly perfect punctuation and spelling. Examples from the activity included BBIAS (“be back in a second”), STADLTBBB (“sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”), and ROTFL (“rolling on the floor laughing” which I insisted on demonstrating at the front of the room after some weird and unrepressed impulse to wake the sleeping thespian in me). Claudia talked about how games and multimedia tools increased student engagement. She then shared how Khan academy benefits learners with online access by allowing them to watch videos for enrichment and remedial purposes. Her school is in a deeply rural area and doesn’t have a supply of fresh running water – it is trucked in on a weekly basis – and wifi is available though slow. She uses KA Lite and an internal network to offer her students access to videos on desktops and Samsung tablets. KA Lite’s website describes its service as offering  an online learning experience in an offline environment. Here are Claudia’s resources: http://tiny.cc/claudiaedtech2016

During my session, I started by sharing some of my favorite things to remind students: Everything you put on the internet is public, personal, and traceable and we should strive to always make wise choices since posted information is either public or less public – there is no such thing as privacy online. I then demonstrated how I keep track of my professional learning, projects, presentations, and accomplishments in a digital portfolio. I suggested that with Google Sites, anyone could quickly and easily build a space to gather and curate their own artifacts to both represent themselves as teachers and learners and to keep track of their class’s work – especially in light of the fact that many teachers in South Africa have to answer to a Subject Advisor who assesses whether they’ve met a set criteria of curricular goals and checkpoints. I was really happy that Anusheh Hashim (@dearmshashim) and Ryan Waingortin (@ryanwaingo) came in to assist, as they immediately helped participants log in to the desktop machines in the computer lab. Wits University had many modern conveniences which I’m told may not be available at other sites on our tour — plenty of computers, wifi, ceiling mounted projectors, large screens at the front of the room, and a well-functioning heater. Here are my slides from the workshop:

During the last stream, Aletha (@DrAlethaHarven) began with a video from Edutopia about the “Net Generation” and offered examples of how she uses digital media to reach her students on tools they gravitate towards anyway. Aletha asked attendees to fill out a short Google Form of questions to assess their comprehension of the video. She then shared the results of the form with attendees and tasked them with creating their own form which could assess something they may cover in their class. She stressed that Google forms could be used to take the pulse of the class and allow teachers to gain an understanding of what needs to be further reviewed at future class sessions. Aletha also talked with attendees about how they can use social media platforms, specifically Facebook, to provide an online space to gather and extend their class discussions. Here are Aletha’s resources:  http://tiny.cc/alethaedtech2016

After the third session of the day, attendees had an opportunity to return back to any of the classrooms in order to ask questions or seek additional information from workshop presenters. They also had time to reflect, tweet, and write a lesson plan incorporating skills and strategies they gathered during the summit. When everyone regrouped in the frosty Glass Room, an iPads 6 iPads were given away bringing the total to 10. We joked that K2 was like the Oprah of EdTech, “YOU get an iPad! And YOU get an iPad!” One attendee was awarded an iPad for submitting a terrific lesson plan, an additional four iPads were raffled, and @CindylopaS earned an iPad for their social media contributions during the day (quality as well as quantity of posts was considered).

Looking forward to our third summit on July 15 at Babati Primary!

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