Saturday, October 22, 2011

Digital Fabrication

This week a group of our JH teachers attended a workshop facilitated by Laura Deisley on Digital Fabrication. The concept of this is something I had tried to share with them briefly to give them a frame of reference. However, I don't think any of the teachers actually got it until the workshop.

Digital Fabrication involves translation of a digital design into a physical object. There is a great support site available for educators on this type of technology called FabLab Ideas for Teachers & Educators. A good overview of the technology is seen in the video below.

If you really want a look into the not-so-distant future, take a look at this video on 3D printing.

Our teachers really "got it" during the workshop and immediately started planning the use of this technology with their curriculum. I told a group of educators this week that one of the transformations that has occurred recently on our campus is that our teachers have become curriculum designers, not just "standards meeters." This is just one more piece of evidence of that statement.

Now, we have the wonderful problem of our teachers wanting to move faster than our technology department can keep up. We'll have to negotiate some things in order to make all of the teachers' plans a reality but I am only too happy to work on that challenge! It is a small hurdle to overcome and the end result is that our students will benefit from even more opportunities for design, inquiry and rigor. I can't wait to see what our students design!

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