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.

WEP 0049: Reflections on the ADE 2016 Global Institute

Kelly's Reflections on the ADE 2016 Global Institute in Berlin Germany

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 12.51.24 PMKelly shares his thoughts, takeaways, experiences, and lessons learned at the 2016 Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute that was held in Berlin Germany. This was Kelly’s first opportunity to speak with an international audience, explore Europe, and work with a team of educators from all over the world. Much to learn and apply in this episode.

• We are Global Educators, Tearing Down Walls in Education, Create Learning Playgrounds, Travel, Collaborate with Educators, Collaborate over Distances, Podcasting, Travel Offers New Perspectives, Swift Coding Language, and more!

• I took a week off from podcasting after my travel through Europe. I know this is a BIG podcasting no-no, but I believe a scheduled break once or twice a year may just have provided me the opportunity to plan my editorial calendar, schedule interviews, and step outside of the “scheduled week and ritual” I have created around my podcast to gain a new perspective and plan. (It is summer!)  So… I hope you missed me, I’m glad to have taken a week off, and now… I’m back. I hope you enjoy episode 49, join my book club, and send me an email.

Mentioned in the Podcast:

• This episode is sponsored by “Software you’ll go nuts for!” I am excited about using AirParrot 2, Reflector 2, and Ditto in my classroom this upcoming school year and you will love it too. Check it out.

Wired Educator Spotlight: Please consider supporting first year educator, Jaclyn Pearson’s Donor’s Choose Goal: to help her get some technology in her classroom. She is a first grade teacher in Bellwood School District in Illinois. It will be her first year teaching in the district. She says, “I do not have any educational technology to provide students with. 97% of my students are from low-income homes and a majority of the school population are also English Language Leaners. I believe that these students are our next scientists, engineers, makers and doers. These students are our presidents, doctors, lawyers, and computer scientists. But, in any of the innumerable fields my students will one day enter, they will have to know how to work comfortably with technology. It is undeniable that technology is woven into the thread of the world my students live in today, and I cannot send them into the world confidently when I know that they have not learned how to be digital citizens.” She started a Donors Choose project entitled ‘There’s No Place Like Chrome.’ This is her initiative to provide educational technology for her under resourced students. She is hoping to gain 13 chromebooks for her students.

• Blending Leadership: Six Simple Beliefs for Leading Online and Off will be the first Wired Educator Book Club book. Here is the link to our Facebook Page where we will be discussing the book. Order the book and join us for a discussion.

• Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide an iBook about learning Swift programming language. Everyone can learn to code.

(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. 


How to Learn to Code in Swift with a Chromebook

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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!

The Top 25 Books for Educators: Wired Educator’s Summer 2016 Reading List

How many have you read? Which one is next?

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 2.54.49 PMI love to read. I think books change lives. I am providing the following list as a resource to help you pick a few great educational reads. While I have not read all of them, the ones I have not read yet, I at least had the privelege of interviewing the authors. I could have listed 50, but I had to draw the line somewhere. If your favorite isn’t on the list I hope you will leave a message in the comments. If you are an administrator I hope you’ll order these for your teacher’s lending library as pass-alongs, or some individual copies for some of your educators. Let’s support each other!

The 2016 Teacher’s Summer Reading List

1) Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess: I recommend this book to all teachers because it will get you fired up about teaching passionately in new ways. This is an inspiring read and a gateway book to other educational ideas and practices.

2) Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution that’s Transforming Education by Ken Robinson: I like everything by Ken Robinson, and this book is another winner. If you want to be part of the educational revolution, you will do well by adding this to your shopping cart. Great ideas.

3) Launch by John Spencer & A.J. Juliani: So, you’re fired up and have a lot of great ideas? Awesome! Now you need to know how to implement all of these great ideas in a way that will impact learners. Launch will show you the way. This is probably one of the hottest educational reads of the summer.

4) Courageous Edventures: Navigating Obstacles to Discover Classroom Innovation by Jennie Magiera: “Want to leverage digital tools to innovate and take risks in your teaching? Looking for ways to troubleshoot common classroom challenges? Jennie Magiera charts a course for you to discover your own version of innovation, using the limitless possibilities of educational technology. Packed with lesson plans, examples and practical solutions.”

5) Living Forward by Michael Hyatt: You plan your lessons, now plan your life. This book isn’t just for teachers, and isn’t necessarily an “educational” book, but it will help you accomplish more and make a lasting impact. I highly recommend it.

6) Along Came a Leader by Kelly Croy: I added this book because I don’t think most people understand that this is indeed a book for schools, educators, and all stake holders in education. The biggest threat to our youth is the misconception that someone else will teach them how to be leaders. Happy to report several schools have ordered mass quantities for staff, students, and courses. Leadership is the difference.

7) The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros: “In The Innovator’s Mindset, George Couros encourages teachers and administrators to empower their learners to wonder, to explore–and to become forward-thinking leaders. If we want innovative students, we need innovative educators. In other words, innovation begins with you. Ultimately, innovation is not about a skill set: it’s about a mindset.”

8) Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller: Yes, teachers should be designing their own texts and resources and Matt’s book will show you how. Love this book. Great job Matt!

10) Explore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera: This  book will have the biggest single influence on my classroom for the upcoming year. Thank you Michael. I cannot tell you how great this book is, so you’re going to have to grab your own copy: “Are you ready to transform your classroom into an experiential work that flourishes on collaboration and creativity? Then set sail with classroom game designer and educator Michael Matera as he reveals the possibilities and power of game-based learning.” In Explore Like a PIRATE, Matera serves as your experienced guide to help you apply the most motivational techniques of gameplay to your classroom using strategies that work with and enhance (rather than replace) your current curriculum.

11) Through Students Eyes by Kristien Zentkov Jim Harmon: This very well may be one of the most moving and meaningful projects I have ever seen implented in education. Big words I know, this book backs them up. “eachers are desperate for pedagogical philosophies, curricula, and practices that will support them with helping young people appreciate the value of school, engage or re-engage youth with this most foundational of our public institutions and aid adolescents in the development of the core literacy and writing skills they need to be successful in school and beyond. This volume will assist teachers in recognizing the increasing diversity of their students who often look very different from and have life and school experiences that are very different than those of the educators who serve them.”

12) 50 Things You Can do with Google Classroom by Alice Keeler: Using Google? Whether you said yes or no, this book is for you. It will help you get started or master using Google in the classroom. And now there is a companion book to take Google Classroom even further titled: 50 Things to Take Google Classroom Even Further. Should you grab both? Yes, of course!

13) The Classroom Chef by John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey: I loaned this book to a friend and he loves it.  I interviewed John, who is brilliant, and I love the ideas my friend has shared. “”I just don’t get math.” If you’re a math teacher, you probably can’t count the number of times you’ve heard students, parents, and even fellow teachers make a disparaging statement about your subject. As math teachers and instructional coaches, John Stevens and Matt Vaudrey know how discouraging it feels to look out into a classroom full of disinterested and confused students.”

14) Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom by Kristin Ziemke: “Using technology doesn’t mean that we throw out those strategies that we’ve found to be successful with students,” write Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke. “It’s not the tools-it’s what we do with them that counts. You’ll help students dig into texts, research their questions, and create powerful learning communities by using digital tools effectively, responsibly, and in combination with trusted artifacts and print resources.

15) The Teenage Brain by Frances E. Jensen: I really need to read this book. The reviews are fantastic and it is an important topic. Added to my list. “A neuroscientist looks at adolescent brain development and offers practical suggestions for anyone and everyone working with young people.”

16)  The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups by Erika Christakis: I wish I had this book when my girls were little. This would be a great gift for expecting parents too. Add this to your library.

17) Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality by Monica Burns: I had the pleasure of interviewing Monica recently. She is a treasure trove of knowledge and I am excited to put this book to use next year. “What if your students’ mobile devices became an instructional asset rather than a distraction? Discover how free, scannable technology can enrich learning, while captivating students. Best of all, these technologies are easy to quickly implement within your classroom. Grab your copy this summer and get started for the upcoming year.”

18) Falling in Love with Close Reading by Christopher Lehman and Kathleen Roberts: I wasn’t a fan of close reading. Now I understand it so much better and know why it’s important and how to help readers become better readers. I really recommend this book for ALL educators. Close reading is nececessary, and you are probably already teaching some of these skills, well now you can take it to a higher level. This is a must-read for all educators in all fields, at all levels.

19) 140 Twitter Tips for Educators by Billy Currie and Brad Krakower: I love Twitter, I use it every day, and I thought I knew just about all I needed to know. Well, this book taught me much. Twitter is the greatest professional development available. This book isn’t just about Twitter either. Grab it.

20) Play Like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins and P is for Pirate by Shelley Burgess: See what I did there? I cheated! I snuck two books in one spot.  Well they are two completely different books, but I would grab them both. Play Like a Pirate highlights the importance of play in all classrooms and more importantly offers real ways to accomplish play in meaningful ways. I love this book. We all want to have fun but are sometimes afraid to do it. Well, here is your permission slip. P is for Pirate is a fun reinformcement of the PIRATE method of teaching found in Teach Like a Pirate. It’s set up like a children’s illustrated book, but it is an awesome way to learn and reinforce the PIRATE method of teaching. Love it!

21) The Zen Teacher by Dan Tricarico: The benefits of mindfulness are becoming popular topics for our students, but what about educators. I interviewed the author and I am convinced teachers will benefit from this book. We need to make some time for oursleves and make it count.

22) Socratic Circles by Matt Copeland: This is my next read! “The benefits and importance of Socratic seminars are widely recognized, but little has been written on how to make them happen successfully in the classroom. By offering real-world examples and straightforward answers to frequent questions, Matt Copeland has created a coaching guide for both the teacher new to Socratic seminars and the experienced teacher seeking to optimize the benefits of this powerful strategy. Socratic Circles also shows teachers who are familiar with literature circles the many ways in which these two practices complement and extend each other. Effectively implemented, Socratic seminars enhance reading comprehension, listening and speaking skills, and build better classroom community and conflict resolution skills.”

23) Goodness Falls by Ty Roth: This is a novel. Educators need to read novels. I like this one for many reasons. It’s not only a great read, it addresses head injuries in sports in an incredible way.

24) The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax: I am really looking forward to reading this book. It’s on my list. “In The Collapse of Parenting, physician, psychologist, and internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax presents data documenting a dramatic decline in the achievement and psychological health of American children. Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people—as well as the explosion in prescribing psychiatric medications to kids—can all be traced to parents letting their kids call the shots.”

25) You Tell Me! What book would you recommend for educators to read this summer?  Let me know in the comments!

Still looking for some great reads? Really? Well, listen to The Wired Educator Podcast. I ask every guest what their most inflential read is, and subscribe to The Wired Educator blog, as I do many book reviews.

Kelly Croy is an educator, author and speaker. 

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

(Check out The Wired Educator Podcast & please subscribe & leave your review on iTunes. Thanks!)

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.