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…

The Brahmin connection

A funny (and yet somewhat sad) story ... So I am in Nagpur airport waiting for my flight, which had been delayed, and I struck up a conversation with a young man there, as one is wont to do. We of course started by complaining about the airlines, then moved on to...

Analyzing political debate

Political debates are heavily analyzed - by pundits and laypeople alike. I had my own minor visual contribution to this discourse through this WordMap/Cloud of the third and final debate between McCain and Obama . Such wordmaps are fun to create and see but are not...

Harris, Mishra & Koehler, 2009

Harris, J.,  Mishra, P. & Koehler, M. J. (2009). Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration Reframed. Journal of Research on Technology in Education. In this paper we critically...

Using AI to digitally clone myself (AKA creating a Puny-Punya)

Using AI to digitally clone myself (AKA creating a Puny-Punya)

Note: The photo-manipulated image of me holding my own head was created almost 20 years ago by Paul Kurf, a student in my learning by design, class! Image design & layout, Punya Ethan Mollick is a professor at Wharton and he has been doing some of the most...

Religious & Magical Thinking, the Darwinian way

Two interesting articles about religions and magical thinking. The first from the Economist is about how scientists are attempting to explain religion in evolutionary terms. As the article says, "religion cries out for a biological explanation," though previous...

Kuala Lumpur & Penang

I love Malaysia. I love its greenery, its up and down hilly landscape, the colors and designs of the houses, and yes the food. Malaysians are food crazy. There are food stalls everywhere and the range and variety of food available is just amazing. My first night here...

Games & Learning, an analysis

TCRecord has an interesting essay on the role of games and learning, by Alexander, Eaton & Egan, titled: Cracking the code of electronic games: Some lessons for educators. As they say, "This is an analytic article that provides a description of an array of...

TPACK in a textbook!

Just found out from Kathryn Dirkin that a prominent textbook of Educational Technology now features the TPACK framework. The book is titled "Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching" [link to Amazon.com] and is authored by Margaret D. Roblyer and Aaron H...

TPACK in Science: New book & chapter

I was invited to write an epilogue for a new book on the development of science teachers TPACK (with a specific focus on East Asia), and I "volunteered" my colleague Danah Henriksen to help with it (thanks Danah). The book was recently published. Here is the citation...

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