Week 7 EQ How is 3D printing changing education

My experience with a 3D printer up until till doing my research is pretty minimal.  My kids schools have a few and apparently Dr. Grey knows how to use them pretty darn well to print tumor replicas. ( I know right! She’s amazing) Ha! Anyhow for me 3D printers are planted squarely in the “science” realm and also the world of bits and bobs.  I have not really looked into how these printers can impact education and for that matter the world.

If you are wondering what you get when you buy a 3D printer LeapFrog has a few options available for specially designed for schools. Prices on their website range from 3,000 dollars to about 9,000.  This is certainly not going to be a toy! Teachers with a product like this in their classrooms are going to need to know how to use it and how to make it beneficial for learning.

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This starter version runs for about 3,000 and comes with a set of lesson plans.  It features a large viewing window and prints at 3mm/s.  According to Federico-O’murcho (2014) on a much larger scale this printer might be used to print cars, build entire houses, create biological organs and even man-made food.  So are we doing diservice to our students if we don’t let them on this?  What could be the potential for students long-term in knowing how to use a printer like this one?

“As far as how this can be used in education, it’s a matter of bringing objects out of the computer screen and into the hands of students for inspection, analysis, and other processes that can benefit from physical manipulation.  In that way, 3D printers may eventually be able to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital–use a screen to find what you need, then print it into existence” (“10 Ways 3D Printing Can Be Used In Education [Infographic]”).  3d-printing-in-classroom.jpg

3D printing can offer many critical thinking opportunities for our students. But 3D printing in schools has the potential to be much more than schools buying expensive fancy printers and plugging them in. Students will have the opportunity to take something created in the digital world and place it firmly in the physical one. As emerging technology 3D printing can be used to give students the opportunity to think creatively and collaborate with their peers.  Students can improve on their creations and prototypes to and develop problem solving skills.

In doing some research I found this video to be inspirational in thinking about how 3d printing can help at risk students.  The speaker in the video offers this perspective.  “3D printing helps students to lean about thinking, to be creative and use our brains in different ways than we normally use them (Tom Meeks, 3D printing instructor at the YouthQuest Foundation).”  Through his projects typically underperforming students have found a new avenue to pursue education.  Where once school equalled failure they have found the desire to succeed.
10 Ways 3D Printing Can Be Used In Education [Infographic]. (2013, February 19). Retrieved June 30, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/10-ways-3d-printing-can-be-used-in-education/
Federico-O’Murchu, L. (2014, May 11). How 3-D printing will radically change the world. Retrieved June 30, 2016, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/101638702
Meeks, T. (2013). 3d Printing teaches at risk students how failure leads to success. Retrieved June 30, 2016 from: https://youtu.be/7qLiIukEaG8

Week 6 Reflection

After reading a few blogs and then looking through the questions on the twitterdeck I keep coming back to the idea that coding is a GREAT idea for many kids but I do NOT think it should be mandatory.  Not in the same way that math and science are.  Maybe it’s just personal opinion but I know for sure that not all kids even want to take a coding class.  But I do feel that ALL kids should at least have exposure to what coding is and how it can be used to communicate with computers.  I see it firmly cemented in a maker space as an optional activity.  Even better if the writing and math teacher were able to communicate with the technology teacher or even the librarian.  Forcing kids into a coding class is not something I see as a necessity.  Let’s keep it as a creative option for those who want to pursue it deeply.

Week 6 EQ What are the arguments for and against coding in schools?

I have a very basic understanding of coding.  I’m a bit more informed just this summer as we have been studying emerging technologies and many of the coding apps have popped up on my search feed.  I knew they were out there for younger kids but my first impression was that of the lines of html code I have seen and watching movies from the 80’s where the genius kid punches in a bunch of numbers on a black screen and prevents Russia from gaining access to our nukes….I kid. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create software, apps and websites. It’s a language of codes that is specific and has specific outcomes.  Unlike real language there are no slang words, expressions or body language.  Seems to me it’s pretty straightforward. That’s not to say it doesn’t require a lot of user knowledge to communicate.  Perhaps it is much less nuanced. Which makes it extremely logical.

There is a huge amount of information out there on the web about coding and it’s place in the classroom. But is it is true pedagogy? Are there real advantages to introducing children and young people to this language of the 21st Century.

For the most part I found more information on the benefits of coding in schools as opposed to the detriments. Here are some of the most interesting points made.


  1. Students are taught to become active participators with technology and not just consumers.

    “Teaching coding at schools represents transforming a generation of students from passive consumers of technology to active creators. It encourages their creativity and prepares them for a future in which programmers will be in even greater demand (Zamora 2014). “

2. Teaching coding is much like learning a literacy skill.

This point was also made by Scratch creator Mitch Resnick in his Ted Talk about coding and it’s impact on learning (Barseghian, 2013). Mitch’s TedTalk was actually really helpful for me to see how coding can be used to impact learning in all of the subject areas. He discusses how coding is much like learning a literacy skill. We teach children to read and write. Coding is like learning to write in computer language. He makes a point of saying that we teach all children to write, that doesn’t mean that every child will grow up to be a professional writer. But it certainly doesn’t mean we stop teaching writing.  Perhaps by introducing children and young people to the world of coding we find the next computer engineer but chances are we won’t.  I loved that he made this point about coding instruction. That when we teach coding we teach kids three important skills for expressing themselves and for ANY job. Coding teaches kids to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically (Barseghian, 2013).  All very important skills for the 21st Century.

3. Coding is the new literacy. I feel like this argument goes right along with Resnick’s point.

Coding”, it is said by some, is the “new literacy”. The ability to write and understand computer code, such folks argue, is increasingly fundamental to understanding how to navigate one’s way through, to say nothing of succeeding, in a modern society where more and more of our lives are enabled and/or constrained by the actions of devices and information systems that run on computer code. http://www.wise-qatar.org/coding-cognitive-abilities-michael-trucano

As a literacy of the emerging technology world do we do kids a disservice for at least not exposing them to this literacy.  Not sure on this one.

So yah, pretty much everywhere you look you find articles and websites singing praises to the world of code.  There are PLENTY of ways for kids to interact with code.  Here is my take on it a little bit. Is code teaching really necessary in the elementary school? Should it be reserved for the maker space, how can we expect new teachers to now be excellent at teaching code? When does playing with code just look like goofing around.


  1. Schools should carefully examine the reasonings and final outcome benefits to teaching coding.

In his article Should All Students Learn How To Code  Michael Trucano made some very interesting points worth thinking about before all teachers follow the Pied Piper into the world of coding.

On school initiatives “many efforts have little pedagogical value in and of themselves”.

Coding can be viewed as; “edutainment! Shouldn’t we ensure that we are teaching the foundational reading and writing skills needed for success before we add in coding to our curriculum.”

Trucano does a great job of presenting both sides.  I see so much balance in this point.

As an extracurricular or enrichment activity in education systems that are already doing a good job in promoting the development of basic literacy skills, the introduction of efforts to promote coding in schools seems rather reasonable, especially where such efforts help engage or energize otherwise disinterested learners



Gottfried Sehringer (2015) is a little more forceful in his outlook. His argument against coding stems from the belief that not ALL need to know it ALL. 

My advice? Don’t teach everyone how to code. Teach them how to identify and understand needs, as well as how to visually express logic. Teach them how technology works, so they can understand the realm of possibility and then envision game-changing innovations. And then create an environment where they don’t even have to think about writing code — where building great apps is as easy as using iTunes. Just drag and drop.

As it goes for younger students I see more of this type of plug and play coding (Scratch) as being the fun time, getting kids to think creatively and engage with technology as long as purpose is involved. But what about in a high school class where students can be taught in C++ or Basic.  For these students learning code can be directly transferred to a skill needed after graduation.  Edward Naillon wrote an extensive curriculum for high school teachers about how to go about teaching code effectively. He warns

Computer Programming can be a very tedious task. The slightest error in convention can render your program useless, or an error in logic can yield unexpected results. Some students have a hard time with this, and can be prone to feeling like a failure. A programmer will fail 10 times to succeed once. Most secondary students are impatient, and want to feel like they grasp the concept NOW. Waiting a week or two for it to click is almost unbearable for some. The student must be encouraged and realize that finding the solution sometimes depends on finding the methods that do not work. Approached correctly, the failures can help guide you to the correct solution (Naillon, 2011).

However, he goes on to discuss how a coding class can/should include some kind of history of computing, reflection on the “forefathers” of computing and the impact on the world and economy.  Coding also brings with it a whole bank of vocabulary acquisition.  To reason, write and reflect requires the coding student to have had years and years of reading and writing instruction as well! Thank goodness us “regular” teachers aren’t out of job yet!

For me, I don’t want to learn coding. I played around with scratch today and it was fun…ish.  But I don’t want to teach it.  So what if I had a tech teacher my students went to to learn the scratch while I teach the reading and writing, converting the writing they do with me into scratch!  This to me reflects the balance of a 21st century classroom.


Barseghian, T. (2013, October 22). Learn to code, code to learn. Retrieved June 25, 2016, from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/10/22/learn-to-code-code-to-learn/
Naillon, E. (2011). Teaching computer programming to high school students (Unpublished master’s thesis). Orville High School. http://oroville.wednet.edu/~Ed/resources/programming/Teaching_Computer_Programming_To_High_School_Students.pdf
Sehringer, G. (2015, Februrary). Should We Really Try to Teach Everyone to Code? Retrieved June 25, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/insights/2015/02/should-we-really-try-to-teach-everyone-to-code/
Trucano, M. (2014, August 12). Should All Students Learn How to Code? Pros and Cons. Retrieved June 24, 2016, from http://www.wise-qatar.org/coding-cognitive-abilities-michael-trucano
Zamora, W. (2014, April 1). Why coding should be taught in elementary school. Retrieved June 25, 2016, from https://techblog.evan-moor.com/2014/04/01/coding-taught-elementary-school/comment-page-1/


Week 5 Reflection

What an interesting week bustling about and discovering how crazy the IoT could really be.  However, just think of all the creativity going on in our world. I mean who thinks up some of this stuff? It reminded me of how Tricia was worried that she wasn’t creative enough to come up with an idea for her classroom.  Until she switched her thinking around and decided to approach as trying to solve a problem.  This problem/solution approach is exactly how creativity is born!  So someone out in the word began solving problems with interesting inventions and some even lifesaving ones.

Coming up with a device to help me solve a problem and stay connected to information for my classroom was fun.  But as teachers I feel like we are sometimes so bombarded with information I feel like we may get lost in the weeds or even not reference information simply because of a lack of time.  We are given so much information in our world, how do we synthesize all of it?

This video talks about the dangers of IoT’s and how important it will be for security to  keep up with the lightning fast information being transmitted by IoT sensors.  It also discusses the coming emergence of nanoIoT’s which are IoT’s that are inside our bodies.



Week 5 Essential Question

Design a product that could live in the “Internet of Things” for the classroom.

Before this week I did not know there was such a world as the “internet of things”.Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.05.18 AM

Don’t get me wrong I have quite a few of those little internet things.  One of my new favorites is my Amazon Echo or Alexa as we call her.  I got her for my birthday. She’s pretty fun….in a Siri kind of way. She gets more things right then Siri but also gets a LOT of things wrong.  Maybe where I live is part of the problem with her usefulness? I don’t need a lot of traffic advice, I can look out the window and see, smell and hear my weather.  BUT she is entertaining and plays great music.  Fancy, non-essential, totally ridiculous.

As an emerging technology the internet of things has quite a few advantages then just telling me the weather.  Daniel Burrus from Wired magazine tells us that the internet of things is not about the machines communicating with each other or M2M but about the sensors that are in the machines.  And the sensors communicating with the cloud is what makes the internet of things bigger.  Sensors he says aren’t machines. A sensors job is to communicate information (sometimes TOO much information).  But the information can be life saving.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn’t do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn’t worth very much if there isn’t an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real-time. Daniel Burrus

But when does the internet of things become a little too much Big Brother?

Did you know there is a IoT for a wine bottles? Diaper sensors? Even one to tell you when to floss your teeth?  I had some fun picking around the internet this week discovering all the cool things I could buy for my daily life. Sensors to tell me anything I needed to know and to keep me healthy too!! That flosser one is just too good so here it is.

The designers even told me that with MY help I can create a better world of dental hygiene   just by brushing my teeth!

And maybe this is where it so clearly belongs as an emerging technology? We haven’t quite figured out what to do with ALL the information available to us. What makes it useful? What am I really tracking?  Putting aside all the potential for bad, Let’s think about what it might look like in a classroom. As in a perfect world classroom where no one was judging my teaching by the data being collected by sensors.

I teach kindergarten which means my days are active. We often do not sit for any longer than 15 minutes a time either at our tables or on the rug.  Even this amount of time is often too much for many of the kids, who need to be up and moving.  So I am proposing a pie in the sky seating solution.

My invention would include a small pillow that would be equipped with a sensor.  This pillow could be carried by the child from their table seat to their rug seat and would be personalized.  The seat would be able to track the amount of time students were sitting and not fidgeting.  This information could be gathered and sent to my iPad.  I would be able to track the average amount of time the majority of my students are able to remain on task and tailor my lessons to this time.  I could also see the potential for an alarm to warn me when too many of my students are off task so that I could quickly move to a different activity.

Max Meyers in Can the Internet of Things Make Education More Student Focussed certainly sees the potential in how IoT’s can help teachers modify instruction to fit individual needs of their students.  As long as the information gathered is converted into real-time indicators (like a fidget sensing pillow) and not into any personal information.  For me this would be the real reason to not include an IoT in the classroom.  Protecting the privacy of students should come first, before any data is gathered.
Burres, D. (2014, November). The internet of things is bigger than anyone realizes. Retrieved June, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/11/the-internet-of-things-bigger/


Meyers, M. (2014). Can the Internet of Things make education more student-focused? – Government 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://government-2020.dupress.com/can-internet-things-make-education-student-focused/








Week 4 Reflection

“Creativity is not something that can be learned from a lecture. It’s something that is learned from engaging in experiences that promote creativity”. Andrew Goodman (from Daysha’s blog posting).

So I was thinking all this week, exactly how I could implement a maker space in my classroom.  Not just that but how can I make it part of my pedagogy, part of who I am as a teacher?

Logistics:  Is there a room in my school I could do this? Oh! We have a loft in our library this would be a perfect space. After school club?  Inside recess?  I like the idea of task cards to help kids with creativity, but very open ended. So many ideas. I think it’s easy to get bogged down into the “It has to incorporate fancy technology” but it’s okay to start small with low tech ideas and build from there. Okay! So I’m definitely going to pursue how I can do this in my school.

I also enjoyed the Lee Elementary video. I think this could be a great way to beging a Maker Space in my classroom and ideally in my school.  The zones in this maker space were. Deconstruction zone, Lego Zone, Strawbee’s (I’d have to research this) but I need some in my room right now! And Strawbee’s with drones. Something I could add in would be paper circuits (this is a whole new thing that my district is putting money into, there are people here who can help me with this who are a quick phone call away.

Daysha wrapped it up beautifully by saying “When students think, make, and improve design they learn how to be flexible, collaborate and learn from others, reflect and learn to critically think.”

This critical thinking and collaboration doesn’t happen if we aren’t giving our students a chance to experience it.  I’m thinking this might be something I could do for my Unit Lessons for this class…. a movie came to my wind as I watching the kids on some of the videos I watched about maker space.  It’s from the movie Meet the Robinsons. I clipped the video to start about where I was thinking. Lewis is just like all of kids, a tinkerer a creator, curious.  And don’t we want our students to Keep Moving Forward!

Week 4 Essential Question

What is the pedagogy behind a maker space?What are the benefits to students?

“We might look back on this time as the golden age of hobbies, as we can invent almost anything imaginable. When we support kids in building, designing and making we ask them to think differently. We give them the chance to change the world by putting something new in it.”  This is how  Sam Patterson March 6, 2016  reflected on what the potential for a  maker classroom has on a child’s learning.

Gary Stager in his article What Is The Maker Movement and Why Should I Care? makes a valid point about maker culture in the classroom.  He says that making represents the perfect storm of new technological materials and expanded opportunities.  He states “It (maker classrooms) offers the potential to make classrooms more child-centered: relevant and more sensitive to each child’s remarkable capacity for intensity.

But what is a maker space and how can I utilize it in my own classroom?  A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build (ELI, April 2013).  The collaborative learning environments are often found in libraries and college campuses.  Students can get together to work on projects and find solutions for problems.  But sometimes it is just an opportunity to be creative and to experiment.  The maker space in a emerging technology because we are still discovering the impact that this type of learning can have on education.

As a pedagogy for learning maker spaces are best utilized when the students are the ones directing their learning and are able to follow their own interests and passions. Teachers are there to provide the raw tools and support when students get stumped but the their is enormous potential for growth when students are able to problem solve their own difficulties.   These self-directed learning environments are the perfect learning space for children and adult learners who don’t fit into the traditional mold of academic learning.

Maker spaces also offer a huge benefit in the integration of academics, arts, technology and science. Projects can be integrated to fit across the domains of the school day and students begin to see knowledge as interconnected, what I do in one area of my school day can be learned, practiced and experimented with in other parts of my school day.  Students also need to conduct to research to complete projects.  Students are seen as the directors of their own learning while teachers are project guides.  “The role of the teacher is to create and facilitate these powerful, productive contexts for learning (Garry Stager, 2014).”

Angela Watson at The Cornerstone was a great resource for me as I began to explore what a maker space might look like in my classroom.  She along with her guest bloggers suggested several ways for all teachers to integrate maker spaces in their classrooms on a budget.  Many if not all of these ways did not include fancy 3-d printers, ardunios or lego kits.  In fact all of their suggestions included items that were available in the classroom, at home or through donations.  They gave practical advice on how to store items, organize and set up the space.  She even suggests task cards that can be provided for students who may have a hard time coming up with ideas.  The main take away for creating a space like this in my classroom is that children want to have the chance to tinker.  They enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together.  Having the opportunity to direct their own learning by delving into topics they want to learn about is what using maker spaces as pedagogy is all about.  n

ELI 7 Things You Should Know About … ™ April 2013

What’s the Maker Movement and Why Should I Care? by Gary Stager


Curious About Classroom Maker Spaces? Here’s how to get started.


Week 3 Reflection

I have so enjoyed reading everyones posts this week about emerging pedagogy and teachers preference.  Isn’t it interesting that we all have different opinions on what we feel would be most beneficial for our students.  After reading more about Genius Hour and gaining ideas from other teachers here in our class I think that this pedagogy would actually work better in my classroom then my first choice, flipped classrooms.

Even though I teach really young children I’m trying hard this semester to see myself as outside of the age range.  My Masters will eventually be a k-12 span of grades so it should be on my radar to not just think about my room which is a very small world.  So this summer is all about learning to see myself as an educator in a broader sense of the word. This mindset is already starting to show me so many more opportunities for my own education, it’s growing me!

I appreciated Genevieve’s post on the topic of GH.  She quoted Nichole Carter (August 4, 2014) who say’s:

“You don’t need to create the desire as a teacher. Instead, our job is to help students connect their existing desires to this project as a new purpose for learning.”

This is so, so true in that teachers should be seen as the ones who encourage and applaud student learning and HELP them find their passions.  As we begin helping our son to choose a college in two years we have read a lot of research about how colleges are really looking more intently at students who show passions in particular areas of interest and have the classwork, projects and experiences as opposed to kids with a lot of classes that don’t show much knowledge in any one particular field.  In other words they would like students with deeper understanding about topics they are passionate about.


Week 3 Essential Question

Which emerging pedagogy appeals most to you and might be most useful for your classroom and students? Why?

At this point in my teaching career and my research on the topics I feel like a Flipped Classroom seems like the most doable for me.  Flipped classrooms appeal to me right away because of the opportunity students have to watch a video at home and then coming to class prepared to do an activity.  For myself, I am a visual learner.  I would have loved the chance to watch my teacher or Kahn Academy teach a topic before coming to class.  This gives students a preview of what is coming, they are already experts when they come to class.

I did find an article on how “Flipped Classrooms” don’t work.  The Flipped Classroom is a Lie  by  Teched Up Teacher cautions teachers to be careful when implementing  something entirely new.  New doesn’t always equal success.  I’m in agreement but I don’t know if he was exactly right in thinking that teachers will just jump right in with complete immersion to flipped classrooms.  Homework is really still homework, even if it is watching a video or interacting online with some content.  And of course their will still be students who don’t watch the videos.  He suggests a blended classroom environment where key concepts are recorded and provided for students to view.  This way if students do not get the concept during the class lecture they can then watch the video for reinforcement.

I’m pretty sure that most teachers would have this similar cautious approach to using this technique.  So if I had the opportunity to teach older students I would most likely use a blended flip classroom.  I see so many advantages for students being able to re-watch difficult concepts.

One advantage to MOOCS is that it gives students who need or want to have a full high school transcript, with AP courses, languages and even technology courses the chance to have a more diverse transcript. I can see this being especially useful for students who want to have these courses completed before college.  One of the things that kept popping up in the online articles was the fact that MOOCs are so often not completed, more research is needed on this to see what can be done to offer incentives for students to complete the tasks.  I also think that we need to be careful to remember that even 10, 11th and 12th graders are still children and we need to ensure that they are still given the opportunity to learn at their developmental level.  I believe Mr. Singer (Bock and O’Dea) was also trying to make this point as well. Mr. Singer reminds us that the focus of technology in education should be on the quality of instruction and not on the quantity of students.

I don’t see myself complementing MOOCs into my classroom right now, there just isn’t enough research right now to support the topic, especially in K-12 learners.


The Teacher’s Guide To Flipped Classrooms. (n.d.). Retrieved June 02, 2016, from http://www.edudemic.com/guides/flipped-classrooms-guide/ 

Aviles, C. (2014, Feb. 21). The flipped classroom is a lie. Retrieved June 02, 2016, from http://www.techedupteacher.com/the-flipped-classroom-is-a-lie/

Bock, M. & O’Dea, V. (2013). Virtual educators critique the value of MOOCs for K-12. Education Week Spotlight, (32)20, 10. Retrieved Juen 02, 2016, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/06/20moocs.h32.html

Saltman, D. (2011). Flipping for beginners: Inside the new classroom craze. Harvard Education Letter, 27(6) Retrieved June 02, 2016, from http://hepg.org/hel-home/issues/27_6/helarticle/flipping-for-beginners_517

Thompson, G. (2013, September 5). Get Ready: MOOCs Are Coming to K-12 — THE Journal. Retrieved June 02, 2016, from https://thejournal.com/articles/2013/09/02/get-ready-moocs-are-coming-to-k-12.aspx