Saturday, December 19, 2015

3D Printing Thoughts..

This is what I started in May of 2014 when we started with our Makerbot:

This year we got a Makerbot, and it has been my task to help teachers and students utilize the Makerbot within the classes.  So far the projects have had 7th grade Science design cells, Latin classes design Roman Buildings, 9th English classed design Demons based upon "The Screw Tape Letters".   In addition to fun items such as key chains and Yoda.  I  have worked using 123d Design, Tinkercad, Google Sketchup and 123d Creature.

I never published the post, have no idea why.  In fact I have a few on 3D printing started and never finished so as I head onto Xmas break where I can catch up on writing here are a few thoughts:

We now have two that run pretty consistently, and one that is in the process of getting fixed.  The lessons I have learned from this have been incredibly interesting.  In addition to the project above we have also had:

  • Third Grade Butterflies
  • Skulls of Day of the Dead
  • A Nativity Scene by 5th grade
  • Robotics Pieces
  • Biome Animals
  • 8th grade Jewelry

Off the top of my head that's what I can think of.  It has been crazy here working through the projects in the Makerspace.  But a few lessons I have learned:

  • 123D Sculpt (123d creature) exports really small, it's best to use MeshMixer to transform, make a solid and add supports
  • Replicator G takes a long time to run the code, and hasn't given me better results than MakerBot Driver settings.  MakerBot has also better their settings to be able to give more information to the prints.
  • When making figures that have detail it is best to use a slower speed than 90.  I have found 50 works better and smaller objects I go slower than that around 25 to get the details.  
  • When having kids export over the information it is best to have them also give you the stl file as well in case you have to go back in and make edits. 
  • The printers don't behave well all the time, but most of the time.
  • If you leave the PLA in the printer and it doesn't run for a day are two run the Load script before you unload.  I can get the unload to not jam as much.
  • Jams happen, spend time getting rid of them.  I use a needle and paperclips to help get a nozzle clean. 
The students are finally starting to come around and print.  I have had a few play with Tinkercad and print some items for parents which is fantastic. It has been a three year process but they are finally coming into the space to try the printers and other items we have.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Awesome tables!

So today I just created my first Awesome Table!  Awesome Table is a way to make a spread sheet into a table and searchable on a page in google sites.  I saw it when I went to the only intermediate workshop I found at ISTE done by John Calvert.  He demoed it as book review.  Which I already talked to our Librarian an about, and will do that in September.   However, I have been looking for a way to keep track of apps and websites that teachers and students use so others can look for apps to use in their classrooms.

I am giddy with excitement that it is starting to work.  Now I just have to get others to help populate it.  That might be the trick to get teachers to actually spend a few moments to write down some items.  I am hoping they will.  If not I will at least have a place to record my information as I work with the teachers and students.

This was easy to create. The documentation is good.  I already had a google site created so it was simple to add.  It was a matter of creating the form first, getting a few responses to start, and then following the directions on the add-on.

One thing that was difficult to decide on was when to use what filter.  If you have checkboxes in the form you want CSV for there is a drop down menu for each one.  This might get long, so I am going to spend some time on figuring out how to do it like tags.  It has been easy to change filters and just save the responses spreadsheet so that is good.  The other thing is that the links in the cells aren't transferring as links.   I haven't done much research on it yet so I am going to spend time looking at that.  But here is a picture of what the table look likes:

The other difficulty thing is the ratings only show the ratings that have been given, same with the dropdown tables.  This somewhat bothers me.  If I want to know what I don't have as well as what I do have reviews for.  

But I am excited and this is a good way to have a wonderful start to the year!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Can't Sleep, Mind is Racing...

It's that time of Summer again that my mind is racing about the new year.  While I have been prepping all summer long for what's in store, the last few nights have been constant thoughts racing and not sleeping.  So I sit here in the dark, with the screen down at about 25% brightness to jot down my ideas and thoughts.  I hope that this will allow me to get some shut eye.

Thought 1:  Robotics.  This year I will be coaching our Robotics team.  I am very much looking forward to it, but it is going to be a lot of work.  I still need to read up on the new App Inventor System, start planning the trips we want to take, and the rubrics for the work.  The course is a graded trimester elective.  I know FTC has lots of resources out there and I have been looking at them leisurely but now it is time to get to business and formalize it. Also I need to get more adults involved.

Thought 2: DET.  In June, I wrote most of the curriculum during the PBL workshop.  The workshop was fantastic and I mapped out the entire trimester in a formalize manner.  I started the rubrics, formative and summative assessments but still have to finish the map.

Thought 3: Integration.  I want to do more. I always want to do more.  I want to make sure I have meetings with every teacher about their technology goals and how I can support them.  I also want to make sure I continue these meetings.  It sounds like lots of work but this is how I can continue to build the relationships to get others using technology, programming and making. will be used for this one. I learned about it at ISTE in Philly.  In fact, I plan on sharing this with the faculty about making their own goals and sending them back to themselves.  Sending the emails are great ways to remind us of the goal setting.

Thought 4: Tracking last years good stuff.  I am formulating a way keep track of the great projects I collaborated on.  We work so hard on the projects and they get shared within our community but I always forget to blog about them, or reflect on them.  I want my students to continually reflect so it time that I do.  I sometimes hate putting my words and work on display.  However modeling what I want to happen is crucial. It doesn't have to be perfect.  (I know this isn't since it is Midnight).  I talked about doing this all summer long but finally got the courage to write. I missed the great opportunity to blog about each day of our Maker Camp a colleague and I did a few weeks ago.  Stay tuned I may just catch up on that this week.  I guess I just need to make it a habit to write every day.  That's what the English teachers always express.