123D Design: The simplest (FREE) way to get ideas into 3D

123D Design Free 3D design for 3D printing!

What it is: 123D Design is a free super powerful, but simple to use, 3D creation and editing tool. As if that wasn’t great enough, it also supports many new 3D printers! The 3D creation tool is available for PC, Mac, and iPad download ensuring that no matter what devices you have at your disposal, you can take advantage of this awesome tool. The 123D app is incredibly intuitive, within just a few minutes, you can be creating like a pro (really!). Not feeling like a pro? There is also a quick start guide and a library of video tutorials that will explain how the different tools within the app work. The app has lots of 3D designs to start with that can be altered, but it also gives students complete creative license to create all on their own. So cool!

123D Design Free 3D design for 3D printing!

How to integrate 123D Design into your classroom: 123D Design is a fantastic tool that brings the principles of geometry to life while giving students an outlet for creative design and invention. The app is easy enough to use that even young primary students can use it successfully to create.

123D Design Free 3D design for 3D printing!I introduced this app to some of our students who have been learning the basics about coordinate planes. They quickly were able to identify the coordinate planes and were able to understand x, y, and z! This is the type of creation tool that helps students understand the application possibilities of the math they are learning (math in context, what a novel idea!)

At Anastasis, we’ve been playing with the iPad version of 123D Design. In the app version, students begin by choosing a basic shape and then can edit it to be exactly what they want it to be. They can easily connect shapes to make really detailed creations. Example projects help them to play with the tools in the app until they understand and can start from scratch on their own. When students are finished, they save it to “My Projects” which is accessible in the 123D Design web and desktop app. If you are lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer, the kids can even print out their creations!

This is a great addition to any maker space/prototype lab/design thinking routine. Don’t have any of that fanciness at your school? No problem! Adding this app to your classroom gives students an outlet to do some design thinking and work through ideas and inventions right in your classroom. Instant prototype lab!

Our students often engage in design thinking as they engage inquiry. Right now one of our 4th grade students is inquiring into how much water is wasted in our daily activities. One area of waste is when we brush our teeth. This student is designing and creating a toothbrush with the water built-in so that the faucet doesn’t have to be turned on to wet the toothbrush. She’s been experimenting to find out how much waste there is in this activity in our prototype lab. Next, she’ll begin to bring her designs to life with 123D Design and we’re hopeful that she’ll be able to print out a prototype on our Printrbot (still experimenting with how to do that!).

Tips: Sign up to become a member of Autodesk 123D. This gives you access to 3D models, tutorials, 10 free premium models each month, ability to send the 3D model directly to your own 3D printer (or if you don’t have one, to a printing service), unlimited cloud storage of your student designs, and access to the Autodesk forums.

Meraki: Manage Mobile Devices from the Cloud…FREE

What it is: Meraki lets you centrally manage mobile devices, macs and PC’s from the cloud based dashboard.  The systems manager makes it simple to centrally manage applications on iOS, Android, Mac and PC devices.  It integrates with Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store and Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  In addition to being able to manage apps, Meraki makes it easy to enforce and deploy restrictions on mobile devices. Choose how your students access the app store, gaming and content, how they connect wirelessly, security settings and remote VPN access.  Meraki has a virtual backpack where content can be shared with devices.  Files and documents can be added and sent wirelessly.  Separate backpacks can be delivered to different classrooms so that the correct documents are shared with the students who need it.  The cloud platform makes 1 to 1 projects and BYOD (bring your own device) roll outs manageable.  The best part?  Meraki is 100% free.  You just can’t beat that!

How to integrate Meraki into the classroom: This is one of those tools that I WISH I had seen before I spent $3,000 on another solution.  Blerg.  Live and learn, right?  Next year, this is the solution I will be using to manage all of our BYOD iPads at Anastasis.  It has everything that we need.  The integration with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program is pretty fantastic.  This is a great way for the school to purchase and manage educational apps that we want to share with students.  The cloud management means that we can manage devices from anywhere and we don’t have to have a dedicated server to do it.  I can do a lot of things, but managing servers is not one of those things that I want to spend my time doing!

Meraki is a great solution for whole schools or single classrooms that need to manage devices.  I love that Meraki can be used for a school initiated roll-out or in a single classroom BYOD initiative.  Either way the tools are easy to use and will make the integration of technology in the classroom run smoother.

Tips: Check out the FAQ page to learn more about how Meraki gets installed on the student devices.  The installation changes based on device.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Meraki in your classroom.

Wiimote Whiteboard in action

So here it is…I finally got a few quiet min to get a video made. It isn’t the greatest but hopefully it will show you just how great the Wiimote Whiteboard is. My students are going nuts for it. As soon as they walk into my classroom I hear “Sweet a Wii, are we using a Wii today?” It immediately hooks them, not sure how long that benefit will be there but for this week I am loving it!

Kindle Lab

What it is: Carrying on with the interactive whiteboard awesomeness, here is free interactive whiteboard software for your Wiimote Whiteboard. If you have a Mimio, e-beam, Smartboard, Active Board, or Promethean, this software will also work with them! Kindle Lab will run on both PC and Mac. Now, I could give you a long explanation of everything that Kindle Lab can do but I am of the mindset that a picture (or in this case video) is worth a thousand words and can do a much better job of it than I can….

 

 

How to integrate Kindle Lab into your curriculum: Kindle Lab is meant to be used to enhance all of your existing curriculum. No matter what subject you are teaching Kindle Lab, along with your Interactive Whiteboard, can bring the lesson to life for your students. The range and scope of what Kindle Lab can do for your classroom is so broad and all encompassing that for me to give you some ideas here would really be silly. Download Kindle Lab, the PDF of the Kindle Lab tools and start exploring. I promise it will be pretty apparent to you how seamlessly this could be used for any subject at any level. So cool!

Tips: At the end of the video clip above, you may have noticed another tool which is called Eduism. This is a 3-D interactive environment that was created for the classroom. It is also a free to use open source project that is meant to be used with the Interactive Whiteboards. Be sure to check it out!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Kindle Lab in your classroom.

Wiimote Whiteboard

So, my personal Wiimote video is still a work in process but if you get as excited as I do about the thought of a $45 interactive whiteboard you need something to tide you over. This is Johnny Lee’s explanation of the Wiimote Whiteboard, he is the creator of the PC version. If you are interested in creating your own interactive whiteboard follow the links below:

PC Wiimote Whiteboard

Mac Wiimote Whiteboard