Today, I printed my first 3D object. The DNA model didn't go exactly as planned, but I'm very impressed.
Iowa State recently funded the purchase of a 3D printer as one of the technology experiences for my undergraduate course in instructional technology. The Solidoodle printer is ridiculously cheap, and I predict that every school will have one in 10 years. It did take a while to get it (they make them to order), and we did have to order an additional cleaning kit (it gunked up after the first test). The software is cumbersome and took the CTLT some time to set up on a PC laptop. Between rendering the image and printing, the entire process took about two hours. Otherwise, very cool stuff.
I don't have time in my life to make a 3D model of DNA, so I downloaded one from Thingverse. They have an excellent repository of 3D models under the creative commons license. Right now I'm focused on play, and then I'll think about application to the content areas. What's next? Printing myself a cheese doorstop!
My family and I have decided to start a new chapter in our lives together, beginning with a move to Iowa. I have accepted a new position as assistant professor at Iowa State University, and we are very busy with the move.
The To-Do list is pages long, but I've made sure to include visiting some of favorite sites in Pennsylvania. You can see the kids and me visiting Longwood Gardens on a perfect, sunny, day. We won't forget to get a cheesesteak in Philly, swim lessons at WCU, and a final dinner at the Orchard. You may not see any more posts on this website for the summer, but know that great things are ahead!
Please bear with me as I make important website updates. I've also changed the look and feel of my website to better organize the material. Any suggestions? Let me know...firstname.lastname@example.org.
My expertise in educational technology has always been with older students. My teaching experience is in middle school and my certification is 6-12. Having young children has opened my eyes to a whole new world of technological innovations, but it has also increased my concerns. What skills do I want them to have? How much TV/computer/LeapTag is "ok"? Will they be too dependent on technology? Will their teachers make the right choices? I want to protect them, but also prepare them at the same time. Below, I highlight some of the choices I have made with the best of my knowledge in EdTech.
The YouTube video above is of my youngest daughter. She is 2 1/2 and representative of a whole new generation of learners. She isn't able to use the computer yet, but the iPad is perfect for little fingers. I limit her use to about 10 minutes, a couple times a week. Her TV watching is also limited to a couple of shows a week (PBS or Sprout only).
My older daughter will be entering Kindergarden next year. She has become more interested in the computer in the past few months, and today, I just set up her own account on my Mac. The account settings are are strict: only allowing the calculator, TextEdit, dictionary, and the internet. The internet only allows the following websites: StarFall, Bembo's Zoo, Sesame Street, PBS Kids, Discovery Kids, BBC Kids, Crayola Digi-Color, Sheppard Software (paid version), and BoohBah. No software yet.
I hope this information helps other parents make smart choices, and I'd love to hear about your choices as well. What are your limitations for your young learners?
I just returned from a meeting of HP Catalyst Projects in Delhi, India. In addition to meeting other like-minded faculty from universities around the world, I was able to explore this fabulous city. We toured the HP Lab-in-a-Box, local schools, and had speakers non-profit organization to the government ministry. To learn more about the Catalyst STEM+ projects, check out http://istelearning.org/hp-catalyst/.
After a very busy fall semester at West Chester University, grades are submitted and students are eager to go home for the holidays. I was involved in several projects this year and I am planning several upcoming international trips. From my family to yours, have a safe and healthy new year!
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