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Affordable 3D Printing is Inspiring Creativity in Teachers and Students Across the Globe

With the explosion of 3D printing in schools around the world, the variety and impressiveness of things that students and teachers are printing with this powerful technology grows every day.

Check out all these different objects that have been created with 3D printers. Some of these items are changing people’s lives! Hopefully some of these ideas can inspire you to start exploring 3D printing, or to try something new if you’re already using this wonderful technology.

An Amazing Baseball Bat Swinging Prosthetic Hand

An electric car,2817,2476415,00.asp

A ‘hexapod’ robot

3D food printer that prints cookies, mashed potato & chocolate

Metal Objects: Using A MIG Welder And An Off-The-Shelf 3D Printer

A “3D Printing Vending Machine”

A Tattoo Machine

A Saxaphone

A race car

Exoskeleton cycling shoe for Triathlons

A Pedal-Powered Wooden Monowheel

A Frisbee Throwing Robot

A Bicycle Frame

A 3D Printer Capable Of Building A House In A Day

A perfect replica of a 6th century sword

A redesigned wheelchair



Music Scores for the Blind

A Guitar


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Few People Seem to be Aware of  This Well Intentioned but Questionably Executed Tool

The idea of having a platform where consumers can easily compare colleges seems to be a good one, but there are far more subtleties to what differentiates one institution of higher education from another than are reflected in the President’s College Scorecard.

As has been repeatedly the case with so many regulations aimed at education, the idea seems generally good, but insufficient attention to detail produces a result that leaves a lot to be desired, as attested to by many:

  • ‘A Blunt Instrument’ (Inside Higher Ed): “the scorecard does not include information about learning outcomes, long-term student success or student satisfaction, factors that many in higher education say are equally valuable and are areas where institutions that value general education would likely perform well.”
  • Scorecard for Colleges Needs Work, Experts Say (New York Times): “… the information is presented as averages and medians that might have little relevance to individual families.”

  • How to Use Obama’s College Scorecard (US News & World Report): “The new tool is a good starting point to weigh college options, but lacks context …”

Observations like those above abound across the Web. One such commentary that I found particularly refreshing is this one, reflecting a vital part of what colleges like The College of Westchester excel at, from the Forbes article, “Rating President Obama’s College Ratings“:

“We also need to consider the populations who enroll in different kinds of colleges. Some colleges make it their mission to educate students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are less well prepared than their peers. Helping 50% of these students to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years may represent a greater achievement than a 90% rate at a selective college that enrolls mostly students with high test scores and transcripts full of A’s, honors and AP credits.”

Below is an example of the content available for all U.S. colleges and universities. The information is certainly useful, but little context is offered. For example, we see information about the rate of increase in net price but it is based on the period 2009 to 2011 – dating back over 4 years ago. A lot can change in four years. And what is the time frame for the Graduation Rate provided? Why is there nothing whatsoever here to give a better sense of the kind of student this school typically serves, as that is vital to the context of the information?


As many of those quoted in the articles offered above note, much of the information presented here is available elsewhere on the web. This tool isn’t really bringing new information to the discussion. Additionally, few people, even those working in higher education, are even aware of it, or if they’ve heard of it, they are not really familiar with it.

The Scorecard may be well intentioned, but much like many other efforts to ‘oversee’ and regulate education, a significant expenditure of taxpayer dollars produces an end result that is but a mere fraction of what was originally intended. Wouldn’t those dollars be better spent supporting education, or keeping student loan interest rates down?

So what do you think about the Scorecard?

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Gamification in K-12 Education: Brain Growth, Tenacity, & Rising to the Challenge

June 29, 2015

“I could not believe how tenacious students were. They would try and try again …” There’s still some debate about the effectiveness of game-based learning but there is now plenty of proof demonstrating the power of play. The global market for mobile games continues to grow – Newzoo predicts the mobile segment of the overall […]

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Education and Technology Tweet Wrap for Week Ending 06-27-15

June 28, 2015

Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets posted on Twitter over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers. This week …. several Huff Post pieces making the case for two of my favorite uses of technology in education – Competency Based Education and Digital Portfolios, connecting work and courses, […]

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Call for Papers for ICIET 2016 Conference

June 25, 2015

The International Conference on Information and Education Technology Makes its U.S. Debut. Come Join us and Present! This international educational technology conference has been bringing together perspectives from across the globe for what is now going its fourth year. In January of 2016, the ICIET conference will be held in the U.S. for the first […]

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We Interrupt our Regularly Scheduled Broadcast to Bring you … Surprising Futuristic Home Tech you can buy Now

June 24, 2015

This may not be Education Technology (yet), but it is Pretty Cool Emerging Technology for the Home This was just too interesting not to share! After an long period of limited availability, Amazon announced yesterday the general availability of this sweet new voice controlled device that does much more than just play your favorite music […]

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Build Your own Try-a-Tool-a-Week Challenge – We’ve Made it a Snap!

June 23, 2015

How Would you Like to Build Your own Custom Challenge in Minutes? During the months of March through May, we ran a fun “challenge” here on the site. Every week, signed up participants would receive an email with a link to a page where we shared a new free tool. The web page would have […]

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Student Motivation Thought Leader Interview – Larry Ferlazzo

June 22, 2015

I’ve done several “Education Technology Thought Leader” interviews over the last few years, but found myself hesitant to label Larry Ferlazzo as such, and I am confident he would agree. Larry is a brilliant writer who has written extensively about student motivation, using technology to teach ESL, and other education topics. While he is well […]

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Digital Learning and #EdTech Tweet Wrap for Week Ending 06-20-15

June 21, 2015

Inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets posted on Twitter over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers. This week … collaborative multimedia projects, a TED Talk on classroom game design, a web site focused on collaborative learning spaces, a simple approach to curating content, bringing a tactile twist […]

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6 Collaborative Social Tools for Student Writing & Collaboration Lessons, Assignments

June 18, 2015

Collaborative Software With Social Functionality can be a Powerful Asset in the Classroom Teachers who have taken the dive into education technology have infinite teaching and learning possibilities at their fingertips. One category of technology tools that is often purposefully avoided as an instructional asset is social media. What can hardly be avoided, however, is […]

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