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3D Printing Will Revolutionize the Classroom

MP900384770Surprisingly enough, this post is TechCommGeekMom’s 300th post! As you know, I try to combine my original writing with curated content. I wanted to write something that was positive for my 300th post, and struggled to think of something I wanted to comment on that’s currently on my mind.

Now and then, I also get suggestions of sort to contribute. Someone who often sends me material is Muhammad Saleem at Many times, he sends good stuff, but it’s not always what I think is in line with TechCommGeekMom. This time, while it might not seem in line with what I usually write about–it is. This is a very cool infographic about 3D Printing. While there is no question that mobile is here and will be playing a bigger part in education as time goes on, this may be the next step as well. We talk about teaching students new skills for the future–why not learn how to use 3D printing? This might become a big part of the manufacturing world, in time, so I imagine the skills will be sorely needed in due time. One of the things I liked about this infographic was that my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Mary Washington, was listed as one of schools using 3D printers already! (And just so you know, Mary Washington is not known as a tech or engineering school, but it looks like it’s still gearing up for a more technologically advanced future. Did you know that MOOC supporter Jim Groom, who coined the term, “EduPunk,” works and teaches at UMW? True.)

So without further ado, compliments of and Muhammad, here’s something cool for my 300th post!

How 3D Printing Will Revolutionize the Classroom

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Want to be a cutting edge technophile? Here’s one way to do it…

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TeslacoilI’m not a normal mom. I’m a geek mom— a techcomm geek mom, to be more exact, but I was a geek mom long before I was into tech comm. While I liked my girly things as a girl, I always had the geeky side too. For example, there’s hardly ever been a Christmas where I didn’t get at least one item that was electronically powered. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t wanted traditional mom gifts of jewelry or a sweater, but I’d rather have something that I can use with my laptop or iPad. Yeah, I’m like that.

So when I discovered in the past year or so that I could not only possibly obtain the latest technology–be a first user for something–AND encourage entrepreneurship for someone trying to make a small business work, it sounded like a cool plan. Or, similarly, if I saw a worthy cause that supported technology issues, I was going to support it if I could.

TeslaMuseumprojectlogoIn the past twelve months, I’ve contributed to three such fundraisers. The first one was mentioned several months back. It was a fundraising campaign to help buy the original Wardencliffe building in New York that Nikola Tesla owned during his life, and turn it into a Tesla Museum. Having a child who is interested in electricity and loves to watch a Tesla coil, this seemed like a natural one to choose. I’ve only been a “member” of one other museum, and that was the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, so this was a natural fit as well. This one was funded through I thought it was a cool idea to support this endeavor, so I contributed to it what I thought I could afford.  It reached its goal and then some, so things are underway to continue to purchase the property and get the project underway. To learn more about this project, go to the Indigogo “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum” website.

everpurseThe next project I decided to invest in was a little more “girly”, but not that much. It’s actually something a lot of people could use. The project was to make a small clutch or purse to recharge your phone when you aren’t using it. It’s known as Everpurse: seamlessly charge your phone all day. Everpurse is another one that gained great support and found its full funding. The idea is that rather than put one’s phone in a pocket or purse where it would just lose power while waiting to be used, the phone–either an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S3–could be recharged inside this particular little clutch without any wires. Supposedly there’s enough charge in the recharger in the clutch to take your iPhone from 0% to 100% twice over! What person couldn’t love that? I don’t normally carry a purse, but a little clutch seemed just right, and one that would recharge my phone would be worth the money. So, I contribute to that fund as well. If you’d like to learn more about this little device, check out the Everpurse-Kickstarter website.

commbadgeThe last project that I decided to invest in, just before I wrote this post, was a CommBadge. Yes, you read that right–a CommBadge. Okay, it’s not quite the same as the one in the Star Trek franchise, but it’s pretty close! It’s a Bluetooth device that can be clipped on your shirt so that you can use your iPhone or Android phone hands-free without having to put on one of those Borg-like ear pieces. I don’t know about you, but I only had one of those earpiece thing because they annoyed me–they didn’t feel comfortable on either of my ears. This seems like a much better solution! It even works with Siri and the Google equivalent of that (whatever it’s called, which I don’t know since I don’t have any Android products personally). Looking at the funding prices on Indiegogo, they seem to be priced equivalently to several regular Bluetooth hands-free devices, so I figured, why not? They are still looking for funding for this project–they have 23 days to meet their goal, and it seems like a really good item to have. To contribute and get one of the first CommBadges ever produced, check out the CommBadge-Indiegogo website.

These are just three examples out of MANY that are found on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Some technology project sound good, and some sound…well, they need work. I encourage you to go to the sites and check out what’s there, and support those projects that you can when you can. I think it’s important to support creativity, imagination, and small business when possible, and there are plenty of projects that offer access to early technological innovations. Helping to fund these projects is similar to a PBS television fundraiser. “At the $X, we’ll send you these gifts to thank you for your contribution”-type of marketing is done on the campaign pages. It works, as there’s usually plenty of things at different price points.

As a geek mom, I feel good not only helping some people realize their dream, but I feel good knowing that I’m encouraging creativity, innovation and technology in some small way, and can be an early reaper of the benefits.

See what other gems in the rough you can find, and contribute when you can!