Learning in the Lull

The school year has begun almost everywhere. Even if the kids aren’t actually in class, the grown ups are already dug in to work days. Meanwhile, after spending most of my summer working, I’m in a lull. Finishing up loose ends, planning ahead for future events, getting ready to teach a college course next week: but no travel or training.

Now is my time for learning. I have set up a work area in the den where I can easily use the Raspberry Pi and Kano as well as trying out the various 3D printing devices I’ve managed to acquire. There’s a PiBot robot to put together and an Arduino to play with. My first project beyond any tutorials is a simple monome. I tried doing one with the Makey Makey earlier this summer but could only get it to half work.

For now, I’ve been spending my time getting the Pi up and running. I bought the Cana Kit and am working through Make’s book.

campfireAs I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been doing Camp Kano, which allows you to Make Art online, but today I noticed a rewards button for Kano kit owners, so I’m headed to the hardware next. My personal Kano challenge is to create a star with polygons. I haven’t completely mastered them yet, but yesterday’s “compass” art project gave me some clues. I’m also working through the pre-set challenges to get a more thorough knowledge of the programming language.

CullingI’ve also been culling the book collection. There are books on my shelves that have been with me since college. Moving into a house with a library meant being able to get all the books out from their various hidey holes at the old house. Even with a library, they overflowed when added to the books we inherited with the house. After living with all of them for four years, I was ready to start thinning the herd.

I’m passing along my education leadership, curriculum, and research books to a university for give aways. I’ve kept most of the texts about technology end education as I have a nice collection that helps with the historical perspective. Just put Neil Postman’s Technopoly on the TBR pile. I read it a long time ago but wanted to revisit it during the lull. Maybe dive back into Marshall McLuan and my old rhetoric professor Richard Lanham.

Despite filling ten plus boxes with books, the shelves are still pretty full. But, it’s a start.

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