This is the 3D Printer You Want for Your Classroom

I can't believe it works so well, and is so affordable!

3D Printers are all the rage, and rightfully so. What student wouldn’t want to design something that never existed before and print it out? I’ve even thought of some great ideas for my ELA classroom. Seriously!  I wish every grade level had Screen Shot 2015 12 28 at 2 46 38 PMa 3D printer! The ultimate question though is which 3D Printer should you purchase?  No one wants to invest a lot of money into something only to find out that they got the wrong one.

Well, this post solves that mystery for you.

Our school purchased two of these 3-D printers and we’ve been using them regulary for a year now. This printer is amazing, easy to use, and affordable. (It’s under $400. Wowzers!) Why buy a more expensive printer, when you could get a couple of these for the same price and do even better work. I love this printer!

We did not randomly guess at which printer to purchase. We did our research and interviewed many teachers with 3D printers. I even interviewed the amazing Anthony Johnson to find out which one he recommends, and this iis it; this is 3D Printer to get for your classroom. Anthony is one of the guys who just tells it like it is, and as an educator I rely on his wisdom and recommendations. When Anthony makes a recommendation, I listen.  He has been using this 3D printer in his classroom all year and he loves it. I know many other amazing teachers using it too, like my school’s Aaron Bomer and others. They are doing great work. Better yet, the printer he uses is also the perfect price. All of these teachers have been using it for a variety of awesome projects.

So, don’t gamble on randomly selecting a quality 3D printer, go with a veteran teacher who has had a string of success with an affordable 3D Printer. (I still can’t believe it’s under $400. We were looking at printers in the thousands before I learned of this one.)

The 3D printer you want in your classroom is XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer. The only problem is you may have to wait until this printer is restocked. It would seem the printer is so popular and successful the company is having trouble keeping up with production. The XYZprinting Da Vincin 1.0 3D Printer sells for $399.95 on Amazon. This is a very affordable price. I have spoken with schools that have purchased 3D printer well over a thousand dollars only to be unhappy and unproductive with it. I have not interviewed any educator on my podcast using this printer that is not absolutely loving it. These aren’t random people on a website, these are educators I know and respect recommending a great device for my students.

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Not only is the XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer awesome and affordable, the filament cartridges that you need are affordable too and easy to install. For less than $25 you can purchase a replacement 3D printer filament cartridge. Anthony told me that one cartridge was more than enough to print a model of each one of his students.  (He plans to print these models out, paint them gold and give them to the students as trophies. Anthony is brilliant.  Make sure you listen to the interview.)

This printer weighs under 60 lbs and has a small footprint. It works well with other devices and is easy to use. This is the 3D printer you want.

Here are some more details on the printer.

  • 2014 CES Editors’ Choice Award Winner-Most Affordable 3D Printer
  • Largest 475 cubic inch build volume – 7.8″ x 7.8″ x 7.8″ (20 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm)
  • The da Vinci 1.0 prints in two materials ABS and PLA
  • Free filament as the starter kit and Free 3D Gallery to download

Television Interview for Wired Educator on 13 ABC News in Toledo

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Toledo’s 13 ABC News about my podcast, apps for families getting into the back-to-school routine, and all of my favorite technology in the classroom.

It was a lot of fun demonstrating some of my favorite apps and answering questions about how families and teachers can better utilize technology.  Some of my favorites that I was able to share included: iTunes U, iBooks Author, Swift Playgrounds, PhotoMath, Cozi, and so many, many more. I also talked about devices having a bedtime too and shared some great tips for parenting children with devices.

It sounds like 13 ABC may have me back a couple more times for some other segments like the upcoming iOS update, and maybe even a Christmas “gadget” review or something. The segments we taped today was for one local show in the Toledo, Ohio viewing area and two national segments.

It really was a lot of fun to see behind the scens and meet Rebecca Regnier and her other guests. Seeing a professional production was inspiring for my podcasting as well.

How to Learn to Code in Swift with a Chromebook

Screen Shot 2016 08 06 at 12 36 42 PM

I am incredibly excited about Apple’s new programming language called Swift, and Swift Playgrounds arriving on the iPad for free this Fall. I cannot think of a better way for students to learn to code. In addition to Swift Playground on the iPad, Apple has released amazing resources for free to help everyone learn to code. Check out Apple’s education page: Everyone Can Code.

As exciting as this is, however, I know there are schools that will be unable to use these awesome resources because their school went with Chromebooks. While affordable, Chromebooks just don’t allow the creativity and diversity of an iPad or MacBook. 

I don’t want learning the future of code, Swift Language, to be limited to students who do not have access to iPads and Chromebooks, so, I am pleased to share my thoughts on how this can be accomplished. 

Everyone can learn to code Swift!

A MacBook would allow you to download Xcode so you could program, and an iPad using Swift Playgrounds has a built in Swift emulator to let you try out code. But what could you do on a Chromebook or a computer other than an Apple product? While the experience will not be as rich and full, there are some options. 

First of all, I would start by downloading and going through Apple’s iBook, App Development with Swift and App Development with Swift: A Teacher’s Guide. I’m not sure if you can export these as a PDF to share on the Chromebooks or not but regardless, these are excellent guides to help you learn to code in Swift.

Second, there are several websites that are starting to allow you to learn to code in a playground environment in your browser:

IBM Swift Sandbox: This is a great resource and it’s free. You can find the IBM Swift emulator here: This is an interactive website that lets you write, execute, and share Swift code in a server environment. This is very well done and perhaps the best of the bunch. 

RunSwift: RunSwift allows you to try Apple’s Swift Programming Language from with the browser. While you cannot import arbitrary modules, a small subset of Foundation is included.

SwiftStub Allows you to type some Swift code. There are links to tutorials. Rather limited. 

Last, you need to check out all of my articles on Wired Educator related to learning to Swift Code. I think you will be impressed with the variety and depth of my research.  I have written many. I even have an article on learning to code Swift on your phone!

If you are serious about learning and teaching Swift, my best recommendation is getting an iPad as the perfect Swift learning tool, and a MacBook as the ultimate Swift Programming Tool. 

Llearn Swift.  I am convinced this is the future of code and by starting now, right now, can catch the wave while others are still paddling out. Apple is convinced that EVERYONE can learn to code and they want you to learn this and are making every effort so this language can be learned by ANYONE. You can do this. Get started today. Every excuse you can come up with has been eliminated. Go!

WEP 0043: iPadpalooza: An Interview with Carl Hooker

An Interview with Carl Hooker

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.02.31 PMIn this episode, Kelly interviews the founder of iPadpalooza and author of Mobile Learning Mindset, Carl Hooker.

Carl Hooker has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. As Director of Innovation & Digital Learning at Eanes ISD, he has helped spearhead the LEAP program, which put one-to-one iPads in the hands of all K-12 students in his 8000-student district. He is also the founder of “iPadpalooza”- a three-day “learning festival” held in Austin annually. He’s also the author of the six-book series titled Mobile Learning Mindset, a guide for teachers, administrators, parents and others to support and embrace mobile learning in our schools.

Mentioned in this podcast:

iPadpalooza website: A festival of learning founded by Carl.

Carl’s website: Hooked on Innovation:

Follow Carl on Twitter at: @mrhooker

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson

Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Sir Ken Robinson

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education by Sir Ken Robinson

Incipio ClamCase Pro Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad 2 the best case for an iPad.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink

Apps: Slack and Trello

(Enjoy the podcast & please subscribe & leave your review on iTunes. Thanks!)

Kelly Croy is an educator, author and speaker. 

You can subscribe and listen to his Wired Educator Podcast here.

Invite Kelly to speak at your event here.

Subscribe to The Wired Educator blog here.

Kelly’s book, Along Came a Leader is available for purchase here. 

Part 4 of 4: Cutting More Than the Television Cord

A Four Part Series on The Ultimate Home Television Solution by Chris Hamady

I asked Chris Hamady, my friend and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, to create the ultimate solution to home television streaming. While this is an educational blog, summer is here and many educators will be enjoying some television shows with their family.  Chris accepted the challenge and shares his incredibly handy tips, tricks, and hacks to help you create the ultimate home television streaming solution. Chris Hamady, quite frankly, is one of the most brilliant people I know. He can design and build anything. I knew this would be a fun challenge for him, and a benefit to my readers.  This is Chris’s second post to Wired Educator.  If you do not have Chris in your PLN, you are missing an incredible resource. There is always a solution. If you cannot figure it out, Chris can. Please connect with Chris on Twitter at @CHamady.


Part IV

You Own It!

2014-cross-device-video-analysisIn part 1 of this article, we investigated bringing in local television high definition broadcasts to your home using over-the-air antennas. In part 2, we looked at different subscription products to which you can stream cable TV and movie content over the internet. Part 3 looked at different hardware components enabling us to interact with that content: set-top-boxes, televisions, and audio gear. For this fourth and final segment, let’s see what we can do to distribute our personally owned audio and video media throughout our homes.

There are a number of solutions available to implement this type of functionality, but I have found that, by far, the easiest solution is using iTunes as your media hub. iTunes supports the sharing of both audio and video files, and can send them not only to computing devices, but also to certain types of speakers and speaker systems specifically designed for this purpose.


One of the things that has always attracted me to Apple products, is the additional value that they provide on top of the basic functionality for which they are purchased. Over the past 12 years, Apple has developed their wireless audio and video technology to the point where we can now share our AV content from a dedicated computer’s iTunes library to any Macintosh computer, Apple TV, iOS device such as an iPhones and iPad, as well as to Airplay speakers throughout our homes which are connected to the data network. For the sake of a name, we will call this dedicated computer and central iTunes library a media center.

Media Center

The concept is simple. You create a shared iTunes library on a computer in your home that you dedicate as your media center. This computer will need to always be connected to your home network, always be turned on and awake, and logged into the account hosting the shared iTunes library if you want to be able to access your iTunes content quickly and easily. To enable iTunes sharing, go under the iTunes menu and choose Preferences, and then Sharing. Click the box next to, “Share my library on my local network.”

Next, you’ll want to turn on Home Sharing. Go to the File menu-Home Sharing and turn on Home Sharing. Enter your iTunes Store credentials. That’s it. You are done setting up your media center. Now you will be able to stream any videos or audio content that you have stored in the media center’s iTunes library to any other Apple devices in your home that support Home Sharing and it is enabled on those devices as well. More info on enabling Home Sharing on different types of devices can be accessed here:


Note: In order to guarantee that your media is available to you 24/7 in your home, you might want to go into System Preferences and set the energy saver settings on this dedicated computer to “never sleep” or “ never power down” the computer. You also have the ability to customize the computer to sleep at say, 1:00 AM, and wake at 8:00 AM.


What types of content can you store in iTunes? In addition to music, movies, and TV shows that you purchase from Apple, you can also convert audio CDs and DVDs that you own to digital files that can then be streamed. For audio CD conversion see:

For DVDs see:

Please note that the law isn’t entirely clear on the legality of converting DVDs that you own to files that you can stream. Please consider this before you decide one way or the other.

Streaming Audio and Video

Audio and video have different parameters when streaming. Audio streaming in iTunes allows you to create a “Sonos-like” system where you can send music from the media center’s iTunes to any and all Airplay-compatible speaker devices on your home network, simultaneously and fully synchronized throughout your home. Do you want some audio out on your deck? Purchase one of these (or any Airplay compatible speaker) and simply connect it to your wireless network:

That Airplay speaker will then automatically show up in the media center’s iTunes app and you can now stream audio to that speaker, or any other Airplay speakers in your home independently or simultaneously. More info on that can be found here:

If you have an Airport Express in your home, you can connect any powered speaker to the audio output of that device and turn that speaker into an Airplay speaker as well.



With video, you are limited to one independent stream to one device at a time, but multiple devices simultaneously, although asynchronously. What this means is that although you can watch a video on more than one TV, unlike audio, the playback is not synchronized on each device. I’m not sure why you would want to do this, I’m just pointing it out. 🙂

To play a video from your media center, make sure that Home Sharing is turned on in whatever device you want to watch the video on (iPad, Mac, iPhone, Apple TV, etc.), make sure that device is connected to your network, and follow the instructions to access the media.


I suppose you can look at the differences between Airplay audio and video this way: you can PUSH audio to any speaker devices simultaneously that support Airplay, while any Apple device with a screen can individually PULL a video from the media center to it. It should also be noted that a Windows computer running iTunes can participate in Home Sharing playing music and videos hosted on the media center. Here is another Apple support article that does a good job explaining the different sharing configurations for Macs and Windows computers:


Lastly, part 3 of this article, published the day before Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, did not include much information about Apple TV. The reason being because at that time, Apple TV did not have a single product that gave you the ability to stream a substantial package of live television channels. Most of the Apple TV content at that point was consumed a la carte and required that you sign up and authenticate for individual access to each service. What a pain! Two important things happened yesterday that have changed my mind about Apple TV.

1. Single Sign-on. In the past, as I just mentioned, you had to authenticate to Netflix, then authenticate to Hulu, then authenticate to HBO, etc. With Single Sign-on, Apple hopes to have you authenticate to your Apple TV with your Apple ID, and any services to which you subscribe will automatically be associated to that Apple ID. You can then instantly interact with any of their content. It remains to be seen if this will work with services for which you have subscribed outside of Apple’s eco-system, but the concept looks promising.

2. Sling TV is now on Apple TV!!! This is the thing that puts Apple TV over the top for me. Our family is always switching between content that we have purchased from Apple, and Sling TV. This has meant going between the Apple TV and it’s remote, and a computer and it’s wireless keyboard and mouse. Being able to access most of our content with one remote will be a welcome change.


Finally, when I offered to do this article, I had no idea that it would turn out to be as long as it is. In the interest of keeping it as short as possible, I have certainly left some minor details out, details which should be covered in the many pages that I have linked to. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the content covered in this blog post. If you do decide to move forward with some of what was discussed here, you will most certainly do more than just cut the cord to cable TV. By getting rid of our home phone, removing cable TV, converting all of our family member’s cellphones over to T-Mobile, and purchasing some online content along with a Buckeye 1 Internet package, our family has cut our monthly costs for telecommunications and media consumption by over $160.00 a month! I am sure that you too, can cut more than the cord.

©2016 C. Hamady

About the Author: 


Chris Hamady is currently the Director of Technology for the Anthony Wayne School District in Ohio. Chris is an Apple Distinguished Educator  and the host of the annual CREATE Conference. Chris loves all manners of technology from cars, to computers, to streaming video solutions, and considers himself to be an educational technologist, musician, lifeflong learner, and runner.  Chris is currently working on his PhD in Curriculum Instruction at the University of Toledo. You can connect with Chris on Twitter @CHamady.