Thursday, July 12, 2018

CD with 3D: Culinary Design with 3D Printing

CD with 3D
Culinary Design with 3D Printing

How can we infuse technology into classes that do not see technology as a benefit to their curriculum? Follow me on a journey of discovery as I use CAD and a 3D printer to amp up culinary design of a cake before I attempt to bake!

In today’s world we can now become novices to experts in anything with the help of Youtube, Pinterest and Social Media. With the help of these digital resources I have become a:

Street Sign Creator, Firepit Pergola Builder, Shed Designer, BBQ Transformer and Playroom Architect

Yet there is one thing I have always wanted to be which is easier said than done… a great Dad! Now I know there is no one way a father can become a great dad, but I wanted to create a tradition where my kids would be able to say “I loved it the way dad always…” One tradition I always keep going is to dress up as Santa on Christmas morning for daughter and nieces, just like my grandpa always did. But besides the perfect pillow, there isn't much effort put into this tradition. I wanted to do something more. I wanted to show how much I cared by learning a new skill and making a tradition out of that. I decided to become the baker of my daughters birthday cakes. So off to pinterest I went to find the perfect cake to bake.

As I always emphasize to my students, preparation is key to any new project, or as my grandpa used to say “measure twice, cut once.” With wood and stone preparing and measuring is pretty easy, but with cake a mistake can set you back hours. So I was stuck with deciding how perfectly design my cake before any batter was mixed. At first I started to sketch out my design on paper, but i could not get my vision from my brain to translate over to the blueprint. How could I create a rendering that would best execute my design and vision. The answer was CAD, TinkerCAD to be precise. I would use the 3D design software to design my cake.

The main reason I decided to use TinkerCAD as my medium is the pre-cut shapes already to use for my design. The shapes could be resized to “become” the exact size and shape of the plans I already had available to me in my kitchen. By resizing and stacking the shapes I was able to create an exact replica of what my brain was showing me.

Below is what I was able to create in TinkerCAD using only the size and shapes of pans I had in my Kitchen:

I was then able to print out my design using a Makerbot 3D printer to use as reference during the actual building of the cake. Now I know this seems like a lot of pre-work, but I am an extreme planner and do not mind spending extra time on preparation if it means the final product will be that much better. This is the same mindset we need to ensure is encouraged in our classrooms on a daily basis. It is not always about the final product, but the steps you took to get there. If the project does not turn out the way you wanted, you can always go back to your preparation and determine what you need to fix or do better next go around.

Oh and how did the actual cake turn out? Well it’s not going to win any competitions on Cake Wars, but for a two year olds party and a dad’s attempt made out of love, I think it turned out pretty well:

This activity would fit perfectly in a Home Economics class, or a Culinary class on your campus. To infuse technology into a class which normally would see no use for it is such a SWEET idea!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Kahoot! BootCoin

The Kahoot! BootCoin
Think BitCoin but more FUN!

I raved about Kahoot in an earlier post HERE, that Kahoot is the ultimate “Gateway Tech” for classroom teachers. Even the most wary of the bunch can see, when used correctly, the power of gamifying the classroom through competition. Because Kahoot is so easy to use and enticing for teachers I saw a problem begin to emerge… Kahoot resistance.  Now I use resistance here in a few different ways, but all lead to the same problem. You see, in my school I felt like the Scientist Sir Alexander Fleming and his discovery of Penicillin. Penicillin become the wonder cure of its day. The simple introduction of this wonder drug helped to save lives and cured diseases once thought incurable with almost instant results. It became the ultimate weapon against human ailments. My Discovery of Kahoot all those years ago, felt the same way. The simple introduction of Kahoot, helped me cure the diseases of normality in the classroom. It allowed Teachers the ease of implementation and helped teachers see near instant results of student understanding in the classroom. Kahoot started a revolution at our school… and then the resistance emerged.

Penicillin was seen as a cure all for all ailments. So much so that it started to become overused. The drug constant usage in hospitals and prescriptions lead rise to a resistance of the cure, it gave rise to superbugs. In school Kahoot started to run into the same problems. Because of its ease of use, it was being “prescribed” everyday, in every class. This constant use and the students constant exposure to it began to create a resistance in the students, it started to lose its desired effect in the classroom. Students began to say “Kahoot Again?” or “Let’s see how long we can make this game go.” Kahoot targeted programs also began to emerge, such as Kahoot Smasher, Kahoot Hack, and Kahoot Spam. With all these problems roaring their ugly head, I had to ask myself “Is Kahoot Dead?”. I refused to believe it. I would not let my discovery diminish. I couldn’t change the game, but maybe I could change the way the game was played.

From this Kahoot resistance, I envisioned a new kind of game play. One in which I could build upon the competitive nature of my students. One in which students could physically play a part in their success within the game. To bring Kahoot back to its glory, I introduced:
The Kahoot! BootCoin

What is the Kahoot Boot coin? How do you use it? How… Ok Let me explain. The Kahoot Boot game feature is like a wild card during the game. As the students play and compete they may just be a few seconds slower than other students or they may have accidentally clicked the wrong button and selected the wrong answer moving them down the leaderboard. To put them back on top they can play their “Kahoot BootCoin”. When this coin is played I, the teacher, must Boot out the student who is in first place. Now this at first may appear to be mean spirited, but the student getting the boot may choose to play one of their coins to nullify the one being played. This extra competition in the game helped me to re-gamify Kahoot for my students, and bring back the joy of Getting their Kahoot on!

How do the students earn a BootCoin? Well just like the early days of BitCoin, where I gained inspiration for the BootCoin, they have to “mine” or work for it. One way is to win a Classic or Challenge Kahoot game. If you end up on top you earn a BootCoin for use in a future game. To make sure all students have a chance to compete I have many challenge games going on at once, at varying levels of difficulty. Students can also earn a BootCoin by helping another student in class, portraying a random act of kindness on campus, or going above and beyond in a classroom project or presentation. I have not even scratched the surface of all the varying ways students could earn a BootCoin. The coin was designed in TinkerCad, so when I need more, all I do is 3D print more on my trusty MakerBot.

By turning to the BootCoin, the resistance faded and a new era of gameplay emerged in my class. Students began to strategize when, how and if they should play a coin. Students discussed when was the best time to create a coin. Students began to form alliances, which were consistently broken, in order to gain more BootCoin. At one point students talked about selling BootCoin, but i absolutely put a stop to that before it started. Because of this new addition to Kahoot, nore students were willing to help each other in class, stay after to get extra help for understanding, and be overly kind to others outside the classroom. Only time will tell if this new addition will stay immune to resistance, but in the meantime I am enjoying this new currency for learning.