Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ed Tech Then And Now...

Current technology:
Scratch is a programming language that is easy to see and simple to use. Instead of typing the word “ move”, Scratch has provided “blocks” that already has a command for “ move”.
The goal of Scratch to get kids exciting in programming. They make it user friendly, colorful, pleasing to view (great for visual learner), and easy to modify by “snapping” the blocks. It also gives some "personalization" using cute  pictures like cat, dog, people, etc. It gives some “instant result” (by snapping a move block to a control block, the object will move) which is a good motivation for kids. In addition to that, online community makes possible for kids to share ideas.
Pros: It makes programming kids friendly.
Cons: Not all apps can run Scratch.




Earlier technology:
Microfilm is a film strip that can contain a lot of very mini photographs of documents, books, catalogs, magazines and printed material. The purpose is to be able to keep a lot of records in a smaller space. Most libraries would have this technology as they can not keep all the actual books due to space limitation. You need a special projector to be able to view it in a more realistic size. It is usually a black and white film.
Pros: Instead of keeping 100 actual books, microfilm can save the record for 100 books in a much smaller size.
Cons: It is hard to search for a specific record. You need to look every page.
 
Comparison:


Microfilm purpose is to save records. There is no “search” function in the film. It is harder to use technology as you have to read through each page to find what you are searching. Nowadays, I could do search in Google docs and find the words I needed in a split seconds.


Scratch is geared towards kids. The instant result, the look and feel, the easy to use feature will encourage kids try basic programming. Once they are hooked, they are more motivated to learn more. 
==
Conny Karman for EdX homework.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Object from my childhood that interested and influenced me

I remember my dad gave me wooden blocks toys. It's somewhat similar to the picture attached where I can build and make something. I think I can still "feel" the shape and the texture in my hand. I enjoy the process of building something. It's probably not always come up as I was planning but it's still interesting.
Today, I got my bachelor degree in architectural engineering but never really practice it. As a mom, I enjoy going to art fairs, museums and travel to new places. Sometimes, I have a burst of ideas ( need to write it down quickly). I enjoy putting together creative programs and I still play with wooden blocks I bought for my daughter. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hand made Holiday decor

Yes you can be creative and make your own Holiday decor. How?

Find a piece of metal sheet, add some creativity and " Voila...."


I love going to hard ware store where I could find a piece of copper sheet and some tools. 

I have a Christmas tree stencil at home that I slightly modify. I added a rectangle on the bottom that would work as the base.
 Using carbon paper, I copy it to the metal piece and cut the outline and leaving the bottom part un cut. I use engraving tool to scar the bottom part of the three where I plan to do a  90 degree fold
 After filing and decorating the item with letter stamping, the item is ready to fold
As for the green patina, I add soak the piece for 30 in a solution of  3 tbs vinegar and 3 tsp salt. Then, I take it out and let it air dry. I add some salt to make the process faster. It takes couple hours to develop the green patina. You can use this to decorate your dining table for your Holiday dinner, or you can put it in your mantle or any place that needs decorating. A simple but impressive project. Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wire and beads, yes middle school (you) can make an interesting jewelry for $10 or less.


You only have wire and some of your favorite beads. Can you make a jewelry with it? If you ask me, the blog writer, the answer is YES. It is nice to have store bought toggle or lobster clasp. But if you are on a budget to make a gift for your loved ones, you are in luck because if you take one of IDEA It Lab jewelry program, they will teach you how


Here's how.
1. Buy some quality beads from local bead store like Ju Ju Beads for $6.
2. Black copper wire a spool for $2.
3. Borrow chain nose, flat nose, round nose and cutting pliers from your dad, uncle or anyone you know for free.
4. Your time to read make it.

If you don't know how to do a simple wire loop, you can check out this video. In this bracelet, I added something unique which is squiggly wire. Last but not least is to make a closure. The basic idea is to make an "S" shape or "skinny number 8" where both wire loop connects. You can slightly modify to make an interesting shape. One end needs to have a gap enough for the wire to slip. If you need a step by step instructions, please leave a comment on this blog.

Total cost for this bracelet, $10. The personal value of making it yourself, priceless.





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Harry Potter inspired lighted wand for Halloween

Joke:
How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Three. One to hold the ladder, one to hold the light bulb, and the third to interpret the Japanese text.

It is funny to think about that joke. I probably could do one myself. "How may engineers does it take to make a pretend Harry Potter inspired wand? Two and an artist. One is an electrical engineer who is figuring out the circuitry, one is an architectural engineer who is figuring out how to make a right sized "wand' for a 12 years old using dowel and plastic container and one emerging artist who decides on the color."

We follow the instructions as in this link.
I takes few hours to work on it. First, we went shopping to Radio Shack. Then, we cut the dowel to the size, drill a hole for the LED light, connect the light, run the cable around the dowel and connect the circuitry. It didn't work. Dad came to the rescue with circuitry and I helped with other part.


Finally, it all come together a couple hours before Halloween party starts. Can you guess what is the character in Harry Potter is she?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How to make a prism bottle shape? ( not quite but I use this as learning opportunity)

Yes, we do have one.... an almost perfect prism bottle shape... ! How did we do it?
We'll it's a secret.

We went to Mt. Evans last week with a guest. The view was spectacular. Despite  having hard time with altitude sickness, I decided to the short hike to the top of the mountain and so did our daughters. As usual, we would bring extra drinks including a bottled water for every one.

After we got home and cleaned up the car, my younger
daughter found this odd shape bottled water. She was very curios and wondering how did it happen. I have a light bulb moment to use this opportunity to teach her about air density.

As we go to a higher altitude ( Mt Evens is about 14265 ft while Denver is 5280 ft), the air is less dense because the gravity pull the air downward towards the earth. When we opened the bottle at 14265 ft, the air density inside the bottle is the same with the air density at 14265 ft. When we go to a lower altitude where the air density is more, the higher density air pushes the lower density air. But why prism shape? This one I wasn't so sure as we only have one type of bottle water,  but I am guessing because triangle is the very stable shape of other shapes.
And of course, I have to do a little drawings when I talked to my daughter so she could understand easier ( I hope :) I seemed that my answer satisfy her curiosity. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Braille inspired 'Best Friend" necklace


What a great gift for a best friend....!
DG ordered this gorgeous braille inspired necklace for her best friend AH.
What a lucky friend. Thank you DG for your order.
To learn more about this necklace, please visit bigib.etsy.com