I know what you did last week

Actually, I have no idea what you did last week.  Tell me about it.  What did you do?  What did you discover?  What inspired you?

Another school week is about to begin.  But before it does, I wanted to try my best to think back on the last week.  I taught 115 (give or take) 5th graders how to use Tinkercad and what they need to know to print out their designs on the Makerbot.

I didn’t realize that this (see below) would cause so much anxiety and confusion:

tinkercad sign-up

Register for an account

I was unprepared for the number of kids who (1) didn’t know what an email address was (2) didn’t understand how to create a username and (3) didn’t understand what they should enter for a password.  Helping them navigate the registration process was by far the most time consuming part of the whole lesson.  Once they were in Tinkercad, they rocked it.  The kids figured things out.  They helped each other.  They made some pretty basic designs.  They made some pretty awesome designs.  It was pretty cool to watch.  Not one kid sat idle or unengaged.  I don’t know if their interest in 3D modeling will stick.  We’ll find out tomorrow when sign-ups for Makerbot use begin.

Started really preparing for the DIY/Maker class I’m leading in the spring.  Should’ve been doing that this summer, but there was this thing called DS106 that occupied a lot of my time and thoughts.  I jumped into Chris Anderson’s Makers, which is proving to be useful in bringing up topics that I want to be sure to hit on in the spring.

cover of Chris Anderson's Makers

Anderson talks a lot about 3D printing.  He briefly touches on mash-ups and remixing in relation to .STL files.  My thoughts as I’m reading this:  “THIS IS WHY I DON’T WANT TO BAN THINGIVERSE!  THERE IS VALUE IN REMIXING SOMEONE ELSE’S FILE!”  Oh the fun one could have teaching kids about mash-ups/remixes.  There is not enough time in the day.

Seriously.  There’s not.

This week’s to-do list looks something like this:

It’s not all going to happen tomorrow, of course.  The fun stuff on tap:  more DIY/Maker prep and internet radio.

DS106 is pretty inspired.  DS106 Radio is pretty effing awesome.  I got to thinking this summer about the possibility of a school radio station and how it could be a great place for student work and student/staff/faculty music.  I admit that I’m easily distracted, so I can be pretty terrible at shipping a final product.  Knowing this, I talked to the new middle school tech teacher about a radio station.  He seemed pretty excited by the idea, and now I feel somewhat accountable.  And… er… since our initial conversation was a good 3-4 weeks ago, I really need to get back on this project.

And this is where I end abruptly as it’s getting late.  My apologies.


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