I have been having some wonderful adventures with 3D printing in my classroom. One of our favorite activities is to draw something and 3D print it. You can use this for any image. It is quite simple even though you need to convert the file a few times. Here are are the instructions for creating a 3D print from any image.
Download the PDF here: 3D Print From Any Image
Presenting at NJECC Conference 2015
“Crossroads Technology + Education”
I will be presenting 2 sessions on January 6th:
Google: More and Even More
Just when you thought you knew Google. There is so much information available to us now it can be overwhelming. Learn how to tame this information and explore many of the wonderful resources under More and Even More to help you get what you need or do what you need to efficiently. We will explore some amazing and not as well known parts of Google.
Undiscovered Treasure: Free Public Domain Books Online
This session will focus on the best sites for free books. The books we will specifically be looking for will be authentic pieces of literature that are in the public domain. These books can be powerful tools for encouraging and strengthening reading skills. You will be amazed at how easily you can access and share many classic books in your classroom on a variety of devices, including computers, tablets, and e-readers.
Plus, I will be doing an Ignite at the end of the day.
Looking forward to a great day!
Hour of Code starts this week.
Here are some resources I have curated on Pinterest to get you started:
President Obama kicks off the Hour of Code 2014
(I just read this tweet from Holly Clark (@HollyEdTechDiva) about a site called IFTTT and had to check it out.)
IFTTT stands for “If this then that” and is pronounced like “gift” but without the g. It’s a site that allows you to connect online services.
I decided to try to make the recipe like the one on in Holly’s tweet which connected FourSquare to Google Calendar. It was so simple! After you sign in, the site walks you through the steps to make a recipe with a trigger and an action. I was able to do another recipe with the iPhone/ipad app just as easily. This time I connected new Facebook status with the calendar.
What really makes this powerful is that Evernote, DropBox, and GoogleDrive are all a part of the services included. RSS feed and email also makes this pretty powerful. There is even a recipe gallery that you can explore.
Here are some interesting recipes I plan to check out:
- Save Gmail attachments to a folder in Google Drive named with the sender’s email address.
- Copy photos I’m tagged in on Facebook to Dropbox
- Twitter favorites to Evernote
I plan on playing with this site some more, but I can see it as a great introduction to coding for students. When teaching Scratch and basic coding, I would often go over “if then” statements. I can really see students having fun creating on this site and gaining a better understanding of “if this then that.”
I admit I have been staying away from my blog to focus on my grad work and work for my school. There are just not enough hours in the day. Even today, I have spent the entire weekend working on grad work and creating materials and signs for the opening of the “classroom of the future” I have been working on for the past two years. (Grand-opening this week.)
Needless to say I have taken on so much and I really think, if I let it, burn-out could rear its ugly head. This article describes pretty accurately some of the stresses in teaching: Why is teaching so stressful? Also, the current climate in NJ has not been very kind to teachers. I see colleagues at both ends of their careers leaving teaching and it saddens me. I try to find inspiration when I can. Today I got a good shot in the arm…
I just left RadioShack. I needed three wires to finish off connecting the SmartBoard and projector to a single computer. I was not quite sure what I needed. I spoke with the young man at the counter and we looked over the VGA wires and a converter. After explaining what I was doing, we settled on 4 items totaling over $120. I told him I needed to walk around the store to think about it, because I really did not want to spend my own money and I was not very sure about the possibility of being reimbursed.
I walked around for a few minutes and decided to get the wires. As I was paying for them the young man turns to me and says, “Well if no one else appreciates it, I do. Thank you.” I told him he made my day.
Thank you can be so powerful
So to all of my friends and colleagues who are teachers:
Teacher appreciation week is upon us this week. Don’t forget to acknowledge that what we do is not just for a paycheck. We do it because we make a difference. For many of us teaching is not just a career, but a life. Appreciate what you do, find inspiration where you can and thank you.
I remember when Wikipedia first came out and teachers were told to not use it and to not allow their students to use it. I recently overheard a social studies teacher talking to our librarian about her students researching in the library. She said, “Just make sure they stay away from Wikipedia.”
I think this is great disservice to our students. Wikipedia is of great value in education. Here are a few reasons I share with educators when I run workshops:
1. You don’t trust it. This is a good thing. You need to validate information on this site. Guess what? You should validate all information you find. We are on our toes with Wikipedia, but completely let our guard down on other sources.
2. Many people contribute. Articles tend to remain objective. Some interesting facts show up, again validate from other resources.
3. The outline. Have you ever noticed the outline on most articles? This helps my students tremendously to organize their research. We sometime take the outline and create a web.
4. Images. When you click on an image you get so much information. I use this for lessons on copyright. Also, if you search Wikimedia Commons, you can find some copyright friendly images that you can use in projects.
Wikipedia is a reflection of how we currently and authentically acquire and share information. It is radically democratic, social, and dynamic.