Bits to Atoms, A Fab lab

by | Thursday, March 05, 2009

I had heard of Neil Gershenfeld’s work on the Bits to Atoms Project at MIT but thought of these Fabrication Labs as being too expensive ($500,000+) or esoteric for everyday or classroom use.

But one fine day I got an email from Glen Bull from Virginia informing me of cheaper alternatives. These are computer-controlled die cutting machine that shapes paper, cardboard, and vinyl can be purchased for the same price as an ink-jet printer – that is, for less than $500. The advent of personal fabrication systems makes it possible for schools to begin exploring educational implications of the digital fabrication revolution today.

Leigh Wolf has set up a Ning group called fablabs and we just finished a meeting at SITE about these technoloies. Visit the group to see what one can do with these technologies.

The challenge of course is figuring how this technology can become an educational technology!

A few randomly selected blog posts…

We feel fine

We Feel Fine is a web-installation, "a self-organizing particle system," art project that is powerful and touching - building as it does on people's emotions, harvested from blog postings from around the world. As the designers say, "We hope it makes the world seem a...

Student engagement in school, the tale of 2 graphs

Gallup recently released a poll on student engagement - and the main finding is that "the longer students stay in school, the less engaged they become." As the post says: The Gallup Student Poll surveyed nearly 500,000 students in grades five through 12 from more than...

It’s all Greek to me: TPACK commercial

Last summer Matt and I created a couple of TPACK commercials for a video presentation we had been invited to make at ISTE in Denver. You can see the commercials here and here and the entire video here. Recently, Spyros Doukakis, a PhD candidate at the University of...

ISTE: SIGTE Webinar on TPACK

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conducts a series of webinars for its members. Matt Koehler and I just completed one today for ISTE's Special Interest Group for Teacher Education (SIGTE). The webinar was titled Technology Integration in...

Subversion, literacy & TPACK, new article

Kristen Kereluik, Matt Koehler and I just published an article in The California Reader: A publication of the California Reading Association. The complete citation and abstract is as follows: Kereluik, K., Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2010, Winter). On learning...

From being to becoming: Keynote by Shawn Loescher

From being to becoming: Keynote by Shawn Loescher

It is rarely that I hear a talk that blows me away. We have all seen the TED talks, and their mutant offspring. The over-hyped music and catchy taglines; the speaker in front of a rapt audience; the crafted delivery with its carefully punctuated pauses and reveals,...

Sketching on the iPad

Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with using my iPad as a drawing/painting tool. The sketches below were created by tracing on an existing image - usually a photograph. So this is not "freehand" drawing per se - but given my limited talents that may...

All you can cheat, the web & learning

Now here's an important story coming out of Denmark: Students in Denmark Allowed Full Access to the Internet During Exams I have always been a believer in allowing students to use any resources they can during examinations. If we care about authentic assessment, what...

ChatGPT3 writes a Mathematical Proof (in verse)

ChatGPT3 writes a Mathematical Proof (in verse)

Many years ago I got interested in writing poetry about mathematics (all archived on my Math-Poetry page). Just to be clear, I am not a good poet (far from it) and I am even less of a mathematician—but it was a fun exercise to engage in. That said, a couple of my...

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