Heading to Egypt on a World Learning, USAID, Ministry of Education project – NOT!

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screen shot of ecase project web page

UPDATE: This trip, but not the contract, got canceled at the last minute by the Government. I blaming spies…The contract is virtual now, and going great!

Wow! I’m heading out early this week that I’ll be doing instructional design and training in Cairo, Egypt May 12th-19th! I’m working for World Learning on a USAID program, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Education, (MOE).

The project is called The Education Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in Egypt or (ECASE).

This contract is to assist in a small part of the much larger porject. I’ll be collaborating with World Learning, the STEM school teachers, and the MOE to design and create three MOOC-type online courses in Schoology.com for 10th and 11th graders, and help train content developers.

I’ll blog as I go when I can!

Virtual Contract in Egypt through World Learning, USAID, Ministry of Education ECASE project

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screen shot of ecase project web page

UPDATE: This trip, but not the contract, got canceled at the last minute. The English for STEM course we’re developing is virtual now, and going great!  I’m working for World Learning on a USAID program, in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Education, (MOE).

The umbrella project is called The Education Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in Egypt or (ECASE).

This contract is to assist in a small part of the much larger project. I’ll be collaborating with World Learning, the STEM school teachers, and the MOE to design and create three MOOC-type online courses in Schoology.com for 10th and 11th graders, and help train content developers.

USAID, World Learning, project

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I’ve just finished an exciting consulting gig for World Learning on a USAID project with the Ministry of Education in Cairo, Egypt!

The project is called The Education Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in Egypt or (ECASE)

unit 1 reading the newsThis contract was a small part of the overall ECASE project. I helped find a suitable online platform to host three MOOC-type self-guided courses for 10th and 11th graders in the STEM high schools. These courses are to be completed with guidance from their teachers.

After conducting a needs assessment and choosing Schoology.com as the best, and really only, platform that could handle very unique requirements,  I collaborated with World Learning’s excellent Egypt team, the MOE, and teachers to build and test a demo course.

My Makerspace wishlist for K-12 Schools and College Makerspaces (aka fablabs, STEM labs, STEAM labs, hackerspaces, etc)

General, How-Tos

Folks have been asking me what I think it takes to make a Makerspace.

The short answer is people. The right person can make a space successful for very little money. Conversely, a lot of money can go to waste on equipment if the wrong person is running the show. I think the person needs to be have “EdTech” type humanizing technology skills and  the ability to use social media and media production to constantly market, document and publicize activities in the space. More support for the people aspect of Makerspaces is here: MIT FabLab Foundation, scroll down.

In terms of equipment, here’s my rough thoughts below, as of the publish date only. Check with me if it’s after that, things are moving fast in Makerland!

No Budget (It’s the people stupid!)

  • A champion who’s job it is to champion the space, as a volunteer, or as part of their existing job.
  • Check out the book Invent to Learn from the library.
  • From the recycling bins: Cardboard, cups, bottles, etc. (Wash them!)
  • Donated stuff: old toys, glue guns, duct tape, office supplies, old electronics, bike parts, scrap wood, kitchen supplies, (often from soliciting parents, community, and business donors – you’d be shocked at how much stuff arrives if folks know kids will be using it at school!)
  • Space: With windows that open. An empty closet, garage, tent, shed, or make it mobile with donated bins
  • Furniture: Folding tables and old chairs or stools. They will take a beating!

$5000 to $10,000

(Prices assume 10-20% education discounts on sites, just ask and use your teacher work email).

  • At least a paid part time champion (existing teacher, new hired, staffer, etc)
  • All the above plus more kits, tools and supplies.
  • A sustained yearly supplies budget of about $3000.00 to $5000.00
  • At least one dedicated fast Mac or PC  and projector ($2500 or in a classroom already)
  • Student access to modern Web browser tools.
  • 3D Printer and supplies. 1 Afinia H480 ($1500), or 2 PrintrBot Metal Simples ($1500)
  • Vinyl Cutter and supplies. US Cutter ($500)
  • 8th? grade and up. All with good curriculum and support. My favorite for STEAM skills. Adruino.cc starter kits ($100ea). For more STEM skills, Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit ($80). For more choices on configurations, Adafruit kits.
  • <6th? grade MakeMakey kits ($39ea) or Littlebits (expensive).
  • Sparkfun ProtoSnap E-Textiles Starter Kit ($24 each)
  • Sewing Machine (~$150)
  • Multimeter (~$30)
  • A few key tools (~$200)
  • Extra electronics (~$200)
  • New glue guns, tape, wire, string, tinfoil, office supplies, etc (~$300)
  • Existing or inexpensive folding tables and chairs, or stools and benches, a fan, lights. (~$600)

$10,000 to $50,000

  • Fulltime champion
  • All of the above, plus more kits, tools and supplies.
  • Out of my depth here, but I’m guessing a roughly 20% of initial budget for yearly supplies and IT (Spend $50K, need 10K year).
  • All of the above
  • Laser Cutter. Full Spectrum Laser cutter ($4000). Or Epilog Zing 30w Laser ($9000)
  • CNC rig? Or more electronics? Or more wearables?
  • Great furniture and lighting, natural hopefully, ($Lots)

$$$ Dreamy

MIT Fablab budget list

Basic Skills

  • Tinkering
  • Failing
  • Surfing the Web
  • Google searching
  • Shop safety
  • Documenting skills and habits. Finding files  and organizing them, and doing a little every day (videos, photos,  screenshots, writing summaries and notes with resources used and links. Exploring problems, surprises, solutions)

Some Software Thoughts (Thanks Jaymes Dec)

A computer that has, or can install and use: