Scratch is a great coding platform, so I imagine ScratchJr is fantastic too. Love to get my greedy little hands on the Sphero SPRK+.
Our picks highlight leading tech trends, with an eye toward the future. READ: Top 10 Tech | 2016 | School Library Journal
They’ve long served as communal gathering spots, but these civic institutions are becoming gateways to technological tinkering. READ MORE: How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces | The Atlantic
Digital designs for robotic creatures are shown on the left and the physical prototypes produced via 3-D printing are on the right (credit: Disney Research, Carnegie Melon University)
Now you can design and build your own customized walking robot using a 3-D printer and off-the-shelf servo motors, with the help of a new DYI design tool developed by Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University.
You can specify the shape, size, and number of legs for your robotic creature, using intuitive editing tools to interactively explore design alternatives. The system takes over much of the non-intuitive and tedious task of planning the motion of the robot, and ensures that your design is capable of moving the way you want and not fall down. Or you can alter your creature’s gait as desired. READ MORE: Disney Research-CMU design tool helps novices design 3-D-printable robotic creatures | KurzweilAI
The Calgary Public Library Foundation has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a makerspace called IdeaLab. IdeaLab will reside in Calgary’s New Central Library scheduled to open in 2018. The public space will be dedicated to increasing the digital and creative skills of Calgary’s citizens and provide the opportunity to explore technology and engage in hands-on learning.
The Calgary Public Library Foundation needs your help Calgarians! Of the $100,000 pledged goal for the project, only ~$19,000 has been raised with just a few days left in the campaign. Please fund this project so our New Central Library includes a space where people of all ages have access to innovative technologies.
It only takes $1 to participate. Higher pledge reward tiers include tote bags, mini-figures, LEGO models, exclusive tour and dinner party with Craig Dykers of Snøhetta (the lead architect of the New Central Library) and a plaque recognizing your contribution to the IdeaLab in the New Central Library. READ MORE: The Calgary Public Library Foundation’s IdeaLab Kickstarter Needs Your Support | Calgary Economic Development
Makerarm is a robotic 3D printer, laser cutter, drawing and ink printer, fabricator and assembly machine all rolled into one that fits on a desktop and promises to make pretty much anything – including an entire laptop (It milled us the TechCrunch logo into a block of wood instead). READ MORE: Makerarm Is An All-In-One Robotic Laser Cutter, 3D Printer, Painter, Fabricator And Assembler | TechCrunch
RePhone Lets You Turn Anything Into A Phone | TechCrunch
Finally, game cartridges you can plug in to your smart phone: Pico Cassette sends data through the headphone jack using audio signals | ARS Technica
Enter Pico Cassette, a Japanese outfit that says it’s bringing back “the next retro” with tiny game cartridges that plug in to a smartphone’s headphone jack. The tiny “cassettes” (the general Japanese term for cartridges) are built on PlugAir technology, which uses a specially designed iPhone or Android app to draw power from the headphone jack and send data using specially modulated audio signals…
OER Commons is a digital library where educators can find resources to develop, support and amplify their maker space practices. The site is searchable by subject, grade level or standard. Users can also filter results to include topics, such as activities and labs, games, videos, lesson plans, and interactive tools.
MAKER SPACE-RELATED RESOURCES ON OER COMMONS:
- LEGO Robots
- Hair and Snail Challenges
- 3d Printing in the Classroom
- Discover Engineering
- High Tech Fashion
- Maze Challenge
- Construction and Destruction Using Castles and Catapults
- What is a Robot?
READ MORE: A Librarian’s Guide to OER in the Maker Space | School Library Journal
Makerspaces are great for bringing your gadget ideas to life, but they’re not usually much help to nurses who may want to invent (or improvise) tools needed to take care of their patients. That’s where the University of Texas’ new, permanent MakerHealth Space might just save the day. Nurses and other workers at the school’s John Sealy Hospital now have a dedicated area with 3D printers, laser cutters and other equipment that lets them create or modify devices (say, a pill bottle sensor) without leaving work. The facility sterilizes and reviews every product before it’s put into service, so you shouldn’t have to worry about a risky tool ruining your hospital stay. READ MORE: Hospital makerspace lets nurses build their own tools | Engadget
Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls (Lewiston, Me.), fishing rods (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Frisbees and Wiffle balls (Mesa, Ariz.) and mobile hot spot devices (New York and Chicago). Here in Sacramento, where people can check out sewing machines, ukuleles, GoPro cameras and board games, the new service is called the Library of Things. READ MORE: These Public Libraries Are for Snowshoes and Ukuleles | The New York Times
- MakerBot Offers 3-D Printing Resources, Ebook for Educators | School Library Journal
- New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play | WIRED
- A Kids’ Book Where Every Character Can Be 3-D Printed | WIRED
- 8 experiences you should try on Google Cardboard right now | CNET
- Documentary ‘Print the Legend’ Goes Inside the World of 3D Printing | Mashable
- BBC launches Technobabble tool for children to make their own games | The Guardian Site is aimed at 7-14 year-old digital makers: ‘The only requirements are access to the web, a willingness to experiment and an idea’
- Animation Made Easy: The best tools for student projects, from stop motion to GIFs | School Library Journal | The Digital Shift
- Free Photo Editing Software Lets You Manipulate Objects in 3D | Reframe | Gizmodo
- Pixar’s Powerful 3D Rendering Software RenderMan Is Now Free to Use | LifeHacker
- 3D sketching system ‘revolutionizes’ design interaction and collaboration | KurzweilAI
University of Montreal researchers present their Hyve-3D system at SIGGRAPH 2014 conference.
- Turn Your iPhone Into a Crappy 1985 Camcorder With This App | Gizmodo
- Researchers create a virtual screen with touchable objects | Engadget
- With the new 3Doodler pen, drawing in midair isn’t just make-believe | Mashable
- MIT unveils 3D printing with glass breakthrough | Mashable RELATED: MIT scientists make it easy to tweak designs for 3D printing | Engadget
Arduino & Robotics
- How to Make Your Own Homemade Clock That Isn’t a Bomb | WIRED
- This Arduino Basic Kit has everything a newbie maker could ask for | Engadget
It’s easy to think about tinkering around with Arduino, but take more than 30 seconds to look at the platform, and suddenly it becomes daunting: not only do you need an Arduino itself, but to get started you need resisters, wires, LEDs, screens and a host of other components that are almost always sold separately. Have no fear, newbies: there’s a new Arduino Basic Kit in town, and it has all the spare parts a beginner could want.
- Acer’s Arduino-based Cloud Professor wants to get kids into the IoT | arstechnica
Educational dev kit tries taking sting out of programming cloud-connected devices.
- Build Like Ahmed with These Awesome Electronics Projects | LifeHacker
- A Kit To Build Your Own Computer Controls | FastCompany
- This Tech Giant Taught 3,000 Kids to Build Robots in a Year | WIRED
- Skechers stitched the Simon memory game into its new kids’ sneakers | Engadget
Raspberry Pi & Microcomputers
- Raspberry, Shmazberry, There’s A $15 Single Board Computer Called The Orange Pi | TechCrunch
- Raspberry Pi gets an official touchscreen display | Engadget
- Seven Ready-Made Raspberry Pi Projects You Can Install in a Few Clicks | LifeHacker
- RetroPie 3 Lets You Play Old Games On Your New Pi | TechCrunch
- Now Kids Can Build Their Own HD Display With The Kano Screen Kit | TechCrunch
Kano‘s crazy cool educational PC is about to get a bit more visual. Kano CEO Alex Klein tweeted out that the company has launched a pre-order for an HD display kit. The Raspberry Pi based platform is a great, affordable way to show kids some of the bare basics of computers and is a great DIY project for hobbyists as well.
- The BBC Is Giving Away 1 Million Hacking Kits To Kids | FastCompany
This fall, every 11- and 12-year-old school kid in the U.K. will be given a BBC Micro:bit, a tiny pocket-sized computer with no screen, no keyboard, nothing that most people would recognize as a computer. Until you program it, it sits there as dead as a circuit board ripped from any other electronic device. But hook it up to the world with clips and cables and sprinkle on a little code and it can turn into a guitar, an automatic plant-waterer, a loudspeaker, a games console, or almost anything a kid can dream up.
- This Tiny Computer Stacks Into a Colorful Lego Brick | Gizmodo
- Build an Automated Birdwatching Camera with a Raspberry Pi | LifeHacker
If you have a birdhouse in your yard, you could spend days sitting around with binoculars waiting to see what cool little inhabitants come by. Or you can take Instructables user Sebelectronique’s lead and build a Raspberry Pi-powered camera inside a birdhouse. RELATED: Teach Kids Tech And Life With A Pi-Powered DIY Camera Trap | TechCrunch
- Back Up And Sync Your Files Inside A Mason Jar With Raspberry Preserve | TechCrunch
An innovative DIYer has figured out a way to skillfully merge a Raspberry Pi running BitTorrent Sync with a traditional glass Mason jar. The result is a homemade service that keeps files in sync between all of your devices.