When we began to learn about the new wave of inquiry-based learning in school (and the tech tools that can help open the door to the inquiry process) I was struck by how lucky I’ve been to work at UVic’s Maker Lab in the Humanities for the last two years. During my time at the Maker Lab, I’ve been involved in two completed projects: The Early Wearables Kit and the Early Magnetic Recording Kit.
Each project was prompted by a problem that couldn’t completely be addressed just by reading through the available historical and academic material on the subject. Using a variety of tools available to us at our lab, we prototyped these early technologies to get a better idea of how they may have worked and what kind of historical absences may be preventing us from fully understanding them.
Throughout my involvement in these projects, I encountered a variety of prototyping tools and methods, including
- physical computing with Arduino or Lilypad microcontrollers
- photogrammetry with programs like Agisoft Photoscan and 123D Catch
- Digital fabrication with an Epilog laser cutter and accompanying programs, like 123D Make
- Digital modeling from an idea or concept, using a program like 123D Design, or from physical objects using structured light scanning
Last summer, I also had the privilege to co-teach a course on Physical Computing and Desktop Fabrication in the Humanities during the Digital Humanities Summer Institute hosted at UVic. My Co-instructors and I shared our lesson plans publicly on GitHub.
Previously, I planned to find an entirely new focus for my passion project in Ed Tech (#Edci336). However, after speaking to several members of my cohort, and gaining the approval of my supervisor at the Maker Lab, I’ve decided to host a workshop on a few of these prototyping tools instead. This workshop would allow me the opportunity to share a few of the things I’ve learned with members of my cohort. In addition, it could give me the opportunity to explore how some of these tools could be integrated into my practice as a teacher.
In my next post about my passion project, I plan to outline a specific lesson plan for the workshop. I will also track any tools I use to get information about my cohort’s interest/availability/feedback (i.e. Facebook poll, google doc, etc).