Thursday, July 30, 2015

3D CAD and 3D Printing with Chromebooks


Everyone who reads this blog knows I'm a huge fan of Chromebooks, especially for education. One area that I get asked about often is 3D CAD and 3D Printing. So here is some info. I am by no means an expert on 3D printing though.


Tinkercad is a completely web-based, 3D CAD system that works on Chromebooks. I've used it and found it easy to use and pretty powerful (and I've used systems like CATIA, Pro-Engineer and SolidWorks). You can easily download the STL file to use with the 3D printer. Tinkercad also has some great resources to help you learn how to use it.




I haven't found a 3D printer that would work directly from a Chromebook, but even Windows laptop schools connect a powerful desktop to their 3D printer to do the rendering and printing and allow the student to use their device for other things while the job runs. Some printers even have built in support for accessing files from media devices like flash drives so you can print direct.



So, students can do their designs on the Chromebooks, and then the files can be accessed on the desktop PC and printed on the 3D printer.

Two more things Chromebooks can do!



Related:

What can you do on a Chromebook? Pretty much everything.

CK-12 Integrates Its Awesome Educational Resources With Google Classroom


CK-12, a great resource for free e-textbook and curricular resources, has just announced that it is integrating with Google Classroom. Google recently updated Classroom to allow third parties to integrate and share with Classroom and CK-12 has just done that.

The Google Classroom share button is now in CK-12 so teachers and students can access all of the content in CK-12 from within Google Classroom. A teacher can easily share any textbook, video, activity or assignment they find in CK-12 right into Classroom for their students to access.


Check out this video that shows how it works:




Related:







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Monday, July 20, 2015

10 Free Tools for Back to School for Teachers



Astute Hoot, a site, run by educators, that has reading and math strategy animals and accompanying books, hands-on tools, lessons, and graphic organizers, has a free download that has 10 template and sample files for teachers to help them get the new school year started a little easier.



The FREE Top 10 Tools for Back to School includes the following sample files:

1. Beginning of the Year Checklist
2. Golden Keys to Success Responsibility Chart
3. Golden Keys to Success Parent Brochure
4. Routines, Procedures & Transitions: Walking in line
5. Icebreaker Activity: Top 10 About Me
6. Common Core Reading Strategies Poster
7. Behavior Reflection Think Sheet
8. First Day of School Lesson Plan
9. Social Story--Following Directions
10. Parent Welcome Letter sample


Take a look.


Related:

Welcome Back! Some great resources to get your school year started







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Mozilla Foundation announces some new, free educational resources


The Mozilla Foundation is a global nonprofit that promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet. Their mission is to improve universal web literacy, or the ability to read, write and participate on the Web.

This summer, Mozilla is rolling out new, free tools and curriculum to help learners of all ages achieve web literacy.



Webmaker Beta is a free, open source Android app that allows smartphone users of any skill level to create original content online. Here is a blog post on Webmaker and you can download it here


Maker Party is Mozilla's annual global campaign to teach web literacy through hands-on learning. This year, from July 15 - 31, educators and students can use their curriculum and teach others how to read, write and participate online. Activities touch on privacy, HTML, collaboration and more. You can read more about it here.

It's very much a networked initiative: individuals and organizations (schools, libraries, etc.) can host and customize local Maker Parties. Visit the 2015 website for more information.

These are some great resources for schools to use to help teach web/digital literacy.



More resources:

10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have

How to Evaluate Web Resources


Internet Safety Resources:




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The Teachers Guild - Teachers who create new solutions for students and schools



The Teachers Guild is a really interesting new initiative with the goal to "Bring together teachers, just like you, to collaborate and solve 30 education challenges in three years. Building on each others’ ideas, we will amaze our students, schools and the greater system with a flood of new and better solutions designed by and for teachers."

It is an ambitious, worthy goal that has some great potential. Finally, someone sees the fact that teachers are the experts in education and need to be part of any project or reform that has to do with education.

David Harrington, from Google, has a great explanation on LinkedIn (read more at the link):

This is about an enabler, and it’s brand new this week.

It’s called The Teachers Guild, created by an innovation group that includes the world-famous design firm IDEO and Google. Both Ideo and Google use Design Thinking, a process that was created pre-1970, expanded in the 80's and 90's, and has now moved beyond the narrower definitions of design. Design Thinking has its roots withStanford University and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
However, this story is not just about Design Thinking, but about how a few original minds created something that scales globally and put it up in mere months. The Teachers Guild is a site, accessed by teachers around the world, that tackles the really big problems in education, bigger than how to deal with a state testing requirement or a piece of literature that’s been called inappropriate. For instance, their first challenge is how to encourage innovation in your classrooms.
During the stages of the Design Thinking process:
  • Teachers will submit ideas
  • Refine those ideas
  • Decide which ideas are best
  • Vote on which ones they will be attempting to implement.
It’s a fairly simple process to understand; that’s a necessity when you’re asking people to crowdsource around an idea. But the really amazing part is that when you use this tool, you are actually using the process we are trying to instill into our students. It works for both the teachers and the students.



All teachers should take a look at this, since every teacher has something to contribute. You can read teacher stories about things that worked for the, look at the current challenges and add your suggestions, read articles and research on education, and even post your own challenge and solutions.

There is a lot of great information on the site. Check it out!







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