Tag Archives: Harry Banks

Just had our end-of-year wrap party for the @NewRoarTimes 3rd grade newspaper!

New Roar Times
The crew of the New Roar Times!

When a crew of 3rd graders approached me about helping them start a student-run newspaper, I jumped at the chance. Though I don’t usually work directly with kids in the younger grades, I’ll support anyone who asks for assistance. Especially if the Editor-in-Chief is a feisty future-President named Hope, and her crew is a group of adorable and ambitious classmates with an achievable goal. The third grade teachers (@dorakio, @kinderbanks, @zoepgrade3, @trcs, @franckystc) were all really supportive and enthusiastic about the endeavor too.

So, I carved out a 30-minute time slot during Thursday recess, and over 20 students gathered weekly to write and edit articles. I set up a Google Site where each reporter had their own announcement page and made a new post for every story. Hope wrote her own editorials and did some light editing on the reporters’ stories before I posted their work to our New Roar Times site. We used RebelMouse to power our digital newspaper, and since you need to be 13+ to use the site, I had a conversation with Hope’s mom about that. We share each article/post to our @NewRoarTimes Twitter feed as well.

These weekly work sessions with the New Roar Times crew were equally inspiring, productive, and fun. Children came up with original story ideas or volunteered to write about community events (The Day of Silence, the 8th grade musical, the Book Fair, etc.). At our wrap party today, we talked about continuing with our club next year when they are 4th graders. I also reminded them that Hope and I are available all summer via email if they have any article, book review, movie review that they’d like to publish.

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Sharing the wonders of @Vocaroo with @dorakio and @kinderbanks for a 3rd grade podcast project.

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Akio Iida (@dorakio) and Harry Banks (@kinderbanks) co-teach a 3rd grade class at The School at Columbia University. It will be a major loss to me and The School when these two move on to other adventures next year; Akio will be at Seoul International School and Harry will be at The Ideal School of Manhattan.

I love to pop in on their classes and see how both Akio and Harry integrate technology seamlessly to innovate teaching and learning. Their students use a variety of hardware and software without focusing on the tool so much as the process.

Today, I saw they were reviewing podcasting examples with their students in preparation for an upcoming project. They set up a Google Site for this and had attached audio files. I suggested they try uploading these files to Vocaroo and gathering the embed code so the audio would simply play within the same page without opening a separate window and without having to download the audio file to a local machine.

Vocaroo is pretty amazing. Because there is no need to sign up for the service or enter any personal information, using it with younger kids seems safe. While I’m no lawyer, I teach others to use technology academically, respectfully, and responsibly. Fingers crossed Vocaroo abides by COPPA laws and users make wise choices about the content of their audio posts.

With Vocaroo, you can either record directly on the website or upload an existing file. They you are offered you a URL, embed code, and multiple sharing options (email, Facebook, Twitter, QR code, etc…) Plus, you can even download your Vocaroo audio file as an MP3, Ogg, FLAC, or WAV. If you want to delete your message from their server, you have that option as well at the bottom of the page.Vocaroo

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Zen and the Art of 3D Printer Maintenance with @dorakio @kinderbanks. #edchat #edtech

7A81DC8B-111B-4B92-8995-605A2C26549AI just experienced one of the nerdiest weeks of my career. Our Bits From Bytes 3DTouch (@BitsFromBytes) wasn’t working well. It’s more gratifying to work with teachers and students on a design project when they know that the 3D structures and prototypes they create in Sketchup and Tinkercad will be printed in plastic. (Last year, Cristina Martinez and I supported a pretty awesome Greek Temple project that culminated in 5th graders literally outsourcing their designs to the East – in our case across the park to Jaymes Dec‘s 5th graders at the Marymount School on the Upper East Side!)

Since then, I tried to support some 3D printing projects, yet the 3D Touch was often frustratingly unable to print my designs fully. Right before we departed for winter break in December 2012, Don Buckley told me to learn out how to maintain the printer. While I consider myself handy, I would never fool myself into describing myself as an engineer, and I really didn’t need to be weighed down with the possibility of breaking a $4000 machine. However, I do what Don tells me, so I went forth unafraid. It took many hours over many days, but I think I know what I’m doing now.

I looked at pages and pages of information and FAQ from the BitsFromBytes resources link. First I learned how replace a delivery tube and load new filament. Then I experimented with raising/lowering the extruder nozzles and level the printer tray in order to print a successful raft. Once I had items printing regularly, I saw that we were running out of ABS filament and only had PLA left in our stash of replacement spools. So, I learned about the difference between ABS and PLA (ABS is more robust, PLA is cheaper), and learned how to change the target print temperature and RPM for each nozzle.

As it turned out, sometime in the 6th hour on the first day of my ministrations,  Akio Iida and Harry Banks noticed my omnipresence at the printer. They told me they had just finished a design project with their 3rd graders where students were tasked with redesigning a commonly used product (tissue box, pencil cup, x-box console, etc.) Watching me at the 3DTouch prompted Akio and Harry to come over and learn what I learned so that we could successfully start printing the children’s designs. The three of us spent much time together last week tweaking the machine, watching it work, and breathing in pastic-y fumes. The cow0rkers that breathe possibly cancerous toxins together, stay together. (Actually, the PLA material is plant-based and environmentally-friendly.)

Don Buckley has already placed the order for a Replicator 2X. Guess I better start reading the manual…
Image the tail end of our red ABS

Image  replacing the delivery tube

Image  inserting a new spool

Image  switching from red ABS to yellow PLA
Image  figuring out how to adjust the target temperature and rpm

Image curious kids watching the printer working

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