The Maker Movement and Studying History | FCIS 2016 Miami

As promised, here is a copy of my presentation this afternoon, The Maker Movement and Studying History. It is packed with other resources and links, so please grab a copy and do with it what you will! I would love to hear your feedback and comments on what worked for you.

Using 3D printing and other advanced technologies requires a bit of training and a learning curve. It is important to also note that if your school is thinking of adopting these types of resources, they also need to have an expert staff in place to help guide the students on their usage. Our iLabs at Pine Crest are well-staffed and managed and this has been an excellent resource for us as teachers and helping us innovate our practices.

Also, here are some of the resources that I mentioned in my presentation that could get you started:

  • Tinkercad – web-based CAD program to design your 3D images
  • Thingiverse – web-based CAD program and online repository for 3D projects; check out their education section
  • Ponoko – outsource for your printing needs
  • Shapeways – outsource for your printing needs; inspire with various projects
  • Inventables – a marketplace for all things encompassing the maker movement
  • Makerbot – 3D printing needs, hardware; also has digitizing hardware
  • Minecraft – you can also read about some of my early experimentations here

Presenting “The Maker Movement and Studying History” at FCIS Miami 2016

One of the fundamental questions educators have is what the future will look like for their students. Our current educational system is undergoing a reformation, faced with the uncertainty and the challenges that await the future.

The technology that is available is not only changing human behaviors, but how we interact with information. Gone are the days of rote memorization of information in order to establish fields of knowledge. Instead, the importance place on content knowledge has been replaced by what one can do with the information.

The FCIS annual conference slogan is “cultivating growth – a mindset for the future”. Picking up on that theme, and this new era of information interactivity that we have entered, I am presenting on how our students at Pine Crest are at the forefront of innovation. Having access to the latest technologies via an iLab – with 3D printers, laser cutters, and a whole host of tools – we had our students reconstruct artifacts from history. Adopting concepts from the Maker Movement, students actively engaged in their own learning and utilized constructivist approaches to help them experience their learning through trial and error.

My presentation will be taking place in Session III from 12:00-12:50 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.

Italy and Greece Tour a Success

The gang poses for a photo op in the Colosseum
The gang poses for a photo op in the Colosseum

I planned out a 10 day tour of Italy and Greece for my students over the course of the past school year. The tour started in Miami as we flew to Rome by way of Paris. We started our tour there on June 25th and we saw not only Rome, but also Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii and off to Bari.

Once in Bari, we boarded a ferry for an overnight trip to Greece where we landed in Patras. Once there, we journeyed to Delphi and toured the ancient Oracle of Delphi complex and then made our way down to Athens to conclude our trip. We then flew home to Miami again by way of Paris.

While on the trip, I was able to take many photographs (thanks go to Sheri Ridal for her invaluable assistance) as well as put together many film clips of our experiences. My hope is that this will greatly enhance not only my knowledge and experience as a teacher, but also will provide me with more tools to utilize in my classroom.

I have also implemented technology on our trip in order to make it an enjoyable and less anxious affair for parents who sent their children abroad with us. I used Twitter to update the events of the trip in real time from my cell phone. I also was able to upload photographs to the internet when access to the internet was available.

The 13 participants on the tour all had a positive experience and are actually excited at the prospect of going on another tour next year. Even though I am changing schools, I will definitely make the experience available to my former students, as well as my current students.