National Maker Day
I started this post on National Maker Day, so here’s some info on that. The White House just released this: FACT SHEET: President Obama to Host First-Ever White House Maker Faire: A Nation of Makers: Empowering America’s Students and Entrepreneurs to Invent the Future. It’sFull of leads on grants and resources for Making in higher ed, and K12 here. And the White house had the first Maker Faire Day today: http://www.whitehouse.gov/maker-faire
ITP Camp 2014
I’m in NYC for three of the four weeks of ITP Camp 2014 telecommuting for Marlboro during the day as I refresh the skills I learned while at ITP in 2006-2008. The camp is part of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts. Camp is for folks who want to come workshops after work, and on weekends, in making, physical computing, digital fabrication, e-textiles, programming, etc. It’s like a mini-graduate school! But without the credit, or the loans.
Here’s my project, the Grass Saver Garden, v1, aka “The Plant Killer”
Here are my photos from ITP Camp 2014 Photos on Facebook
ITP Camp 2014 Photo Album Cover
I’m focusing on skills around 3D printing, laser cutting and basic electronics with solar panels by making a project that uses all three called the Grass Saver Garden. The project is kind of silly, but it’s a learning project. Simply put, I want to have a solar powered raised bed garden that will allow people to grow a garden, without digging up any of their lawn.
Mike Beardsley presenting a basic math lesson in MindcraftEDU to about 70, standing room only, attendees.
Just back from the Vermont Fest conference up at the Killington Grand Lodge. Here’s a breif report.
- Our own graduate students Michael Beardsley, Sally Bisaccio, and core faculty Jane Wilde, had the most popular, standing room only, session with about 70 folks! They presented on the stunning effectiveness and potential of MindcraftEDU in the classroom. Here’s the Presentation materials.
- Attendance was down a little bit, no readily apparent reason why. As a VITA-Learn board member, I can report that we’re excited to revitalize the next VITA-LEarn conference, Dynamic Landscapes (DL), with a Maker room (Rasberry Pi, Arduino, etc), and more workshop type presentations vs. stand and deliver. There’s also a possibility of housing at DL this year, we’ll see. Make sure to come up to Burlington this May 15 and 16 for DL! Also, keep your eye on the upcoming 1:1 Conference. See VITA-Learn events.
- The VITA-Learn party was fun, great food, went late, and had a sauna. The heated outdoor pool is salt water now and a great break after a long day of sessions.
- Hapara.com, the software company started by teachers in New Zealand to organize Google Docs for Education was the most exciting vendor for me. Our own Elizabeth MacCarthy showed it off to me. It’s excellent, as I had heard. We’re to the point with Putney Central School’s Google Apps for Education that we need it. I think we’ll have it installed soon! I’m excited to set it up, and manage the change management that will come with it.
- The tools I ran into around the conference that keep getting better are: GoAnimate, Toontastic, Story Arc, Shelfari, Voice Thread, MindcraftEDU, and using Chromebooks for 1:1 programs that need to have prioritize low IT support time and offline editing.