As you may know, next week the Cane Tech Squad will be taking a field trip to a new makerspace in Xenia, Ohio. For my project, I will be designing a poster using the vinyl printer that they have available for use. I want the design to have some sort of relevance to the CTS help desk. An idea I have so far is taking a sign we already have up; taking that information, making it more simple and hopefully easier to see for students. You can track my progress on the design by clicking here.
What is a makerspace? A makerspace is essentially any type of pro-creative lab that encourages not only newcomers to creating and assembling new ideas but also experienced workers who are familiar with a particular field. In fact, we have one right here in the library! The CoLab has tools for soldering, 3D printers and raspberry pi computers are just a few of the things that our makerspace has to offer. All of these things has helped the CTS class in creating some of our project. I remember last year when working on my lamp project I had to use some of the materials in the makerspace to help me with the design of the glass lamps. The idea of a makerspace is that anyone can use the equipment needed to go along with their idea without the need for them to go out and buy all of the equipment on their own in an environment where they can work with others and potentially expand on their creativity.
That is what makes a makerspace so nice. Now on a larger scale, a makerspace can have far more limitations than what we have here. The community here in Wilmington is currently underway on a 20,000 square foot makerspace that will host a number of possible projects. A lot more equipment could have potential here other than just 3D printers and computers. Laser cutters and engravers, CNC routers, sewing equipment, and vinyl cutters and printers are all machines that could be used in a place like this. In the near future our CTS team will be visiting a makerspace where all of the things I just previously listed will be at our disposal to create something new, an invention. It is a great opportunity to design something that normally couldn’t be done in our makerspace but also to gain the hands on experience with some of these machines.
With the aspect of collaboration being widely used in classrooms in today’s day and age, cheating is a growing problem with the technology that we have. Draftback is a new productivity application that is available to download for free in the chrome web store. The app features a new way of documenting revisions that has been made on almost any sort of google document. It’s a handy tool for teachers because it lets you see edits made to the document including any efforts of copying and pasting. Plus It’s simple, free, and easy to use.
Once the chrome extension is installed, you will see it appear in the top right hand corner of your screen. Unlike many other apps, you don’t even need to control it from that menu rather the app itself adds a new option in the doc as you see here.
Once you open this tab you will have the option to play the restored revisions at virtually any speed, delete the revisions Draftback has stored for the doc and re – render the revisions. Choose the revision option and you will be brought to the rendering Draftback screen in order to view the revisions of that particular document. Click view, sit back, and let the app do its magic. Not satisfied enough? Click the link that says “document graphs and statistics” to see a variety of charts and graphs that show timeline of activity, where exactly there were changes in the document, and which user made the most revisions and how long they were made. The negatives of Draftback are only where the app has potential to improve. Some formatting changes specifically numerical and bulleted lists as well as charts do not seem to render. If you want more information of Draftback, feel free to read the reviews and check out other blogs!
This week the Cane Tech Squad had an opportunity to convene in a virtual field trip with the members of Promevo who are based in Burlington, Kentucky. The meeting was held in the library at the high school and most of our members were able to attend which was nice. The google hangout consisted of all of us, and on the other side, Brandon, Nate, and Ashton from the Promevo team. One of the soul purposes of this meeting was to talk with real experts in the technology world in order to gain an understanding about what a company like Promevo does on a daily basis, what type of careers are associated in the field, what they do, and how it works. I was surprised to learn a lot more than what I had intended to gain during this experience. For a little background information, Promevo is a G Suite and Chromebook reseller business that aims to make the lives of the consumers much easier by making the implementation of the google system in a company or school as seamless as possible. From standard chrome devices to digital signage, Promevo offers a wide variety of google services. Before the meeting, I knew little about what Promevo did for the users.
The main thing I took away from the meeting was that in the ever expanding technology era we are currently living in, the opportunities to pursue a career within it are pretty much limitless. From what they explained, to pursue a job in something like this, not everyone has to be an expert on coding or programming like most stereotypes seem to imply. At Promevo alone, there’s a huge aspect of customer service. This is especially necessary because not everyone is familiar with technology especially when companies want more of it inside their systems. As you well know, this is something even seen in the Cane Tech Squad! Another option would be the business portion. Computing what financial needs have to be taken care of is necessary to and typically is no simple task for a business like this. At Promevo, it is just one other thing that is heavily focused on not only to make things work easy with others, but economically as well. I never realized how many different areas of careers in technology there were until this meeting.
I plan to keep my mind open towards a future education and potentially a career in the technology world as their are so many different options to explore and dive into. To me, the Cane Tech Squad represents a smaller version of what Promevo does. I enjoy being involved in it so maybe later down the road I will be doing something much similar just on a larger scale. Finally, a huge thank you to the Promevo team and taking time out of their busy schedule to share some valuable information about the technology world and how their company interacts with it in a one on one experience.
Improvements on the lamp project have increased by far since we last left off. At this point, there is now a fully functional prototype which is currently on display in the cane tech squad display window located in the hallway outside of the library. (The one near front the bathrooms). Be sure to check it out if you have time! If it wasn’t for the instructables course on lamps, I would’ve had a difficult time completing this project. I learned so much just from the short 11 lessons in the class which I have already completed. They were super easy to work through and answered any of my various questions that came up along the way.
Tools of the trade taught me a lot about different lighting tools and how to use them properly in a safe fashion. Lamp Part & Wiring Intro was a vital part of the class as it shows you some of the simple ways to wire which will be used pretty heavily. Wiring Sockets was also a helpful one even though my prototype didn’t have any! Wiring Plugs
was very useful. Without it, there would be no way it could turn on. Testing Your Connections was probably the most important class when it comes to safety. Believe it or not, these six were the only ones out of the 9 total that I needed for my project. Pendant Lamps, Table Lamps, and Support Hardware & How to Choose Them were not needed for my specific project. The only materials I still need are a new bulb and wires for the new lamp I am currently designing which will be much bigger and brighter as well. I will upload a picture of the final project when it is completed!
A little update for the end of this week as things have stayed pretty interesting over the past few weeks. Progress on the lamp project has stayed steady but I don’t want to spoil too much until the final product is revealed. I have completed all of the instructables courses that pertain to my project so finalizing it will be easy! I am excited to make another post with pictures of the end result.
Also, the technology club at Holmes elementary have gone really well. The kids seem to really enjoy the hour of code course that we are currently walking them through. It is a fundamental course which helps people learn the basics of coding especially at younger ages. Looking forward to what’s to come with both the project and tech club and will make sure to update any of the progress!
In case you didn’t know, starting this week the CTS will be starting our 20% time projects. We will have one day each week to focus on our individual projects and eventually later on during the year we will put them on display for other people to see. I have contemplated between our different options to work on as we can choose between six different ones to do. I have decided that the lamps course fits me the best and seemed to be the most intriguing. I think that this will be a challenge for me to get creative and focus on expanding my building skills. It will be interesting to see what I come up with over the next few weeks. Maybe I can rummage through the attic to see what kinds of objects I can turn into a lamp. Or maybe I will just start completely from scratch which will probably be a little more expensive. I have little experience with electricity and lighting so I’m expecting to be learning many newthings with the course itself. I do know that when working with electricity, safety is valued as most important so I’ll have to keep that in mind when working with the wires and everything. I’m glad to be doing this one because I’m sure this will boost my handiness to work on things tremendously in the future one day when I own my own house. Many things can go wrong in your average household so being able to fix some of these things will be a big help to my wallet. Now when it comes to materials, this project will require many of tools like wire cutters, screwdrivers, a power drill, tape, safety materials like gloves and glasses, along with whatever I’ll be using to create the lamp; light bulb, wires, switches etc. The good news is that my dad has multiple tool boxes loaded with what is more than I will ever need for this project which is a huge benefit. We also have plenty of spare bulbs lying around and enough junk for me to use something for the base of the lamp so I won’t have to buy anything unless I come across something unusual during the building process. One cool idea I came up with for my lamp is adding some sort of Edison style light bulb. I like them because they look very original and they are built with the standard filament that was used when Edison first invented the device. They are a little more on the pricy side ($10-$20 per bulb) but with little expense for other materials I’ll be able to make it work. In conclusion, I am looking forward to making progress on my lamp and the challenges that I will encounter during the process. I will see you again with an update on the progress!