Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning. Educators:
1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
1b. Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
1a. During August of 2019 I was responsible for selecting and purchasing the main equipment to be used in the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub. Although the center had not completed construction, I was provided blueprints and floorplans so I knew what footprint I had for selecting equipment. The main equipment selected was:
Forest Scientific CNC Router
TorMach CNC Mill
Epilog Laser Engraver Cutter
Prusa 3D Printer
Ultimaker 3D Printer
FormLabs Resin 3D Printer
Roland BT-12 Teeshirt Printer
Roland GS24 Vinyl Cutter
Once the equipment was selected it was important to begin writing the training material for the students. The vision was to have students who visited the Tech & Design Hub become certified on equipment before they could use it for personal or class projects. The certification process consisted of an online training component, a physical training component, and a final quiz. Once all three components were completed the student was now certified and could use the equipment unsupervised.
The certification process is currently in its second iteration and is constantly reviewed and edited as safety protocols and the needs of the students are evaluated. One example of this is the process in which Hub supervisors are notified or made aware of what student is certified and on what equipment. A shared Google spreadsheet was not a viable solution due to reliability and access. After visiting CMU’s IDeATe Lab it was determined to add students to a centralized database maintained by the IT Department. A barcode scanner was added to each piece of equipment as well as a power cutoff to the more dangerous equipment. When a student wanted to use a piece of equipment they would scan their ID card which in turn would light a visible LED either green if they were certified or red if they were not. This way any supervisor could easily see if the student was certified for that particular piece of equipment. This addition was added in the Summer of 2020 along with a new process for certification utilizing the school’s new LMS, Canvas.
An example of the certification process for the ___________ can be found here. <insert public link to Canvas here>
1b. Global Learning Networks are an integral part of my position as the Director of the Glimcher Tech and Design Hub. Beyond the listservs I actively participate in since moving to Pittsburgh I have become an active member in Remake Learning whose mission states that it: is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change. We have currently hosted one session on Design Thinking that featured Michael Cohen, the Tech Rabbi, and author of Educated by Design and had planned an open campus Spring Community Faire promoting Making, Community and Innovation for April 26th before the pandemic hit. We had over 200 registrations and had partnered with local artisans, food trucks and organizations for a full day of activities open to the community.
 The equipment in the woodshop typically needed supervision. The posted rule was if it needed to be plugged in, you needed supervision. i.e. SawStop, CNC Router and Mill, Miter Saw, etc.