Should your school start using 3D Printers?

Initially, my answer was yes. Why not? It’s new technology. People are excited about it. There are seemingly endless possibilities with them. You design it, and it prints. But as more schools adopt 3D printing into their curriculum, I notice that they all run into similar challenges: usefulness and engagement. So now my answer has changed to a “Yes…but…”

The problem? If you are not teaching computer design, then the printer is essentially a knick-knack machine. Students need the software and skill set to produce quality designs that wont keep failing. Without some direction, students will waste filament with defective prints.

When we got our demo in the office we were so excited. We plugged it in, and immediately went to Thingiverse to print a bunch of stuff from their catalog. That was fun, but the novelty quickly wore out. We were spending 12+ hours on printing sub-par iPhone cases and pencil holders. Now if I were a parent and saw that the school had a 3D printer, I would be very excited. However, if the school was not providing the classes needed for the students to actually thrive in 3D printing, I would feel as if the school wasted their funding.

3D printing is without a doubt a huge step forward. I encourage schools to adopt 3D printing. But I can assure you that the students will begin to feel discouraged if they are unable to produce anything of real quality on their own. With that being said, CAD classes, 3D printing clubs, and open access to web-based CAD sites are crucial to unlocking the student potential with 3D printing.

***I should note that I thought about writing this several months ago when I visited Austin’s Thinkery (Children’s Museum, great place). They had a MakerBot 3D printer and we were invited to take a look to see if we could assist with the new product placement. Well–it turns out that the Museum really wasn’t using it. They didn’t have it set up in a dedicated room with computers loaded with CAD software. They literally didn’t know what to do with it. That’s my take home point. Get a game plan with the school. Talk about boosting STEM performance and legitimate engagement and interest from the students. It will happen…so long as their are mechanisms in place to help them understand the basics of 3D printing. 

Getting Fit for Summer…with Fitbit Bands!

Ok, summer is approaching. And that means eating right, exercising, and getting ready for the pool! But getting yourself pool or beach ready is sometimes easier said than done. If you are the kind of person that requires a little help, but you dont want to use a personal trainer—then the Fitbit may be your best bet! There are two main contenders worth noting, the Fitbit Flex, and the Fitbit Charge. Click on either to check out their page on our website!

  • Steps taken
  • Distance traveled
  • Calories burned
  • Active minutes
  • Hours slept
  • Quality of sleep
  • Steps
  • Distance
  • Floors Climbed
  • Calories Burned
  • Active Minutes
  • Time
  • Times awakened
  • Sleep Quality
  • Silent Vibrating Alarm

Get motivated with instant personal stats right on your wrist!

Discover your sleep patterns!

See real-time progress by syncing wirelessly with smartphones, tablets and computers!

Free online tools provide a network of support!

Challenge your friends for extra motivation!

Rechargeable battery!

The Value in a VAR

From time to time I get asked the question “Is it better for us to buy from you instead of [insert manufacturer] ?”.

Simply put, yes. I’ll break down the reasoning for you…

When large companies like Adobe or Microsoft have products for sale, they list the price on their website. That’s good. But what they don;t do is aim to provide discounts. Why? Because they have channel partners. Lets take Adobe as an example. Adobe is a huge company…I’m talking globally traded huge. With a company of that size, it only makes sense for them to break up their products into several categories, and allow certain business to handle those market segments. Here at Genesis Technologies, we fall into the Education and Non-Profit channel distribution arena.

Is it better for schools to buy Adobe through us rather than Adobe directly? Heck yes! We are authorized by Adobe to provide additional discounts (the caveat is that we can not list our lowest possible price…so it is always better to call in to discuss pricing). We accept POs, and you get a dedicated representative. If you place a large order with Adobe, you will be bounced around with many different agents, the time to complete your order will be much longer, and the levels of competency fluctuate on a daily basis.

Working with a VAR who is partnered with larger companies (like us here at Genesis Technologies) ensures that your school gets the name brand software faster, and with more reliable service.

Adobe Creative Cloud for Students and Teachers (and Schools)

Adobe Creative Cloud lets you download and install any or all of the following applications – always updated with the latest features. What’s more, your Creative Cloud membership includes a free library of training videos, so it’s easy to get up and running fast. All the below listed programs come included in the Student/Teacher version of the Cloud. Schools and Universities are able to purchase individual apps. Click the program names to get re-directed to the Education edition of the apps below!

 

  • Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. Join Adobe Creative Cloud and get new CSS support for easier web design, Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify, new timesavers to accelerate your workflow, faster 3D creation, and more. With a Creative Cloud membership, you can access and start using these new features now.
  • Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud. Design with speed and precision in the 64-bit vector-drawing environment for creating graphics that scale beautifully across media.
  • Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud. Create elegant and engaging pages. Whether youre preparing documents for print or digital publishing, you maintain pixel-perfect control over design and typography.
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Let your work shine. Use PDF portfolios to combine PDFs, video, audio, and interactive content. Streamline document reviews and approvals with shared reviews, easy to use commenting tools, and electronic signatures.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver Creative Cloud. Create compelling websites and apps for smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Build responsive designs quickly with fluid grid layout, and use jQuery Mobile and Adobe PhoneGap support to streamline mobile app development.
  • Adobe Flash Professional Creative Cloud. Design immersive interactive experiences and games – including animation, high-quality video, and multimedia content that present consistently across desktops, smartphones, tablets, and televisions.
  • Adobe Flash Builder Premium Edition. Rapidly build and deliver amazing mobile, web and desktop games and applications in ActionScript and the open source Flex framework with this Eclipse based development tool. Use professional testing tools to maximize performance. Integrated with Adobe Scout, the next-generation profiling tool for Flash based content.
  • Adobe Fireworks Creative Cloud. Create beautiful designs for websites and mobile apps in a snap, without coding. Deliver vector and bitmap images, mockups, 3D graphics, and interactive content for popular tablets and smartphones.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Edit your way with the ultimate video editing software, featuring a slick new user interface and powerful trimming tools. Save time with real-time performance, native format support, and tight Adobe integration as you deliver for virtually any screen.
  • Adobe After Effects Creative Cloud. Deliver cinematic visual effects and motion graphics with industry-standard software. Work fast with Global Performance Cache, and extend your creativity with the 3D Camera Tracker, extruded text and shapes, and more.
  • Adobe Audition Creative Cloud. Create professional audio fast with the high-performance, cross-platform software that streamlines editing, mixing, and sound design for video, radio, games, and more.
  • Adobe Encore Creative Cloud. Enables you to create DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and web DVDs, all from a single interface.
  • Adobe SpeedGrade Creative Cloud. Bring the Lumetri Deep Color Engine into your color grading workflow. Open up the full dynamic range of your footage through a sleek new interface and push your stories further.
  • Adobe Prelude Creative Cloud. Streamline your production process, get organized, and work faster using more connected tools and an interface designed specifically for video ingest and logging workflows.
  • Adobe Muse Creative Cloud. Create professional HTML websites for desktop and mobile devices, without writing code. Design web-standard sites like you design print layouts. Use familiar features, hundreds of web fonts, and built-in tools to add interactivity. Then, publish with the Adobe Business Catalyst service or any hosting provider.
  • Adobe Bridge Creative Cloud. Cut through the chaos of asset management. Easily find, sort, filter, and organize your photos, graphics, videos, and other digital assets.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Create amazing images that inspire, inform, and delight. From first look to final image, Lightroom software provides powerfully simple one-click tools and cutting-edge advanced controls for every step. Easily organize, perfect, and share all your photographs.
  • Adobe Edge Tools Services. Create beautiful, mobile-ready content and apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Combine Edge Tools Services with your other favorite tools in an end-to-end workflow to design, animate, code, package, and deliver engaging content.
  • Adobe Media Encoder Creative Cloud. Create optimized video for any screen size and resolution
  • Adobe InCopy Creative Cloud. Get everyone on the same page. With InCopy CC, writers, editors, and designers can work simultaneously on a single document without overwriting each other’s contributions.

 

Store, charge, secure and transport your iPads/Chromebooks with LockNCharge

The new Carrier 30 Cart can store, charge, secure and transport more types of devices than ever before. It’s a Chromebook Cart, Tablet Cart, iPad Cart… in fact, it’s an ‘everything cart’ in one neat package. Includes charge tray.
LockNCharge Carrier30 Benefits:
  • Safe, efficient and a future proofed power management system for charging 30 devices at once. How? ECO Safe Charge can handle the power requirements of almost any device by staging the availability of power to each bank of devices.
  • New 5 slot Carry Baskets give users the flexibility to deploy Chromebook, Tablet or iPad devices with ease (May not fit all devices). The new and improved baskets are lighter, easier to grip, and are designed to accommodate almost any device, with or without cases.
  • Improved cable management. The Carrier 30 Cart features a new center channel system which holds all the cables in place. It is now neater and easier to set up.
  • New soft closing, sliding lid. Secures up to 30 Chromebook, Tablet or iPad devices and the baskets that they are stored in.
  • The large storage area means that Chromebook, Tablet or iPad devices can be accessed easier and by more users at once.
  • Are your devices too big for the Baskets? The Carrier 30 Cart features a three level adjusting storage shelf. This allows users to insert the optional device storage racks into Cart’s storage cavity (which replaces the Baskets by LocknCharge). The storage racks are designed to accommodate larger devices. Contact us for more details.
  • Highly Secure. Two-point locking system to keep your valuable devices safe.
  • Lock it down! After a day of use, lock the sliding top lids and attach the heavy duty anchor kit for securing the Cart whilst it’s not in use.
  • LocknCharge products are built to last.
  • Modular syncing (Optional). Think you may need syncing functionality in the future? Don’t buy a new Cart…
  • Purchase the hand held iQ Sync Charge Box which allows you to carry the unit where syncing is required (sold separately).
Just like the Carrier 40 Cart, the Carrier 30 Cart by LocknCharge is a truly universal Cart that can store, charge, secure and transport up to 30 Chromebook, Tablet, iPad devices or just about any device.
Carrier 30 Cart Specifications:
 
External Product Dimensions:
  • Height: 34.38 inches
  • Width: 28.93 inches
  • Length: 34.63
  • Weight: 150 lbs

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Get Creative with Toon Boom Animate 3

Toon Boom Animate 3 is the ideal software for paperless, frame-by-frame animation. Learn to Animate in no time. Benefit from the robust, Emmy Award-winning code base, and achieve professional quality output. Whether you’re creating animation for the web, commercials, shorts, or games, own your creativity with a solution made just for you.
Toon Boom Animate 3 New and Improved Features:
Tools:
  • NEW: Brush lines with texture for doing rough drawings
  • NEW: Pencil lines with variable thickness and texture support for nice, clean lines
  • NEW: Save presets of tools you reuse often to streamline your workflow
Frame-By-Frame Animation:
  • NEW: Shift and Trace allows you to temporarily overlap drawings for easy in-betweening
  • IMPROVED: Xsheet with Annotation columns to keep notes and organize animation
  • IMPROVED: Live sync of Xsheet and Timeline
Colour Tune:
  • IMPROVED: Paint multiple frames quickly and easily using advanced paint options
  • NEW: Ink tool for inking coloured pencil lines
New Tools in Toon Boom Animate 3:

True Pencil:

  • Draw directly in the software with a pencil line that supports pressure sensitivity.
  • Modify the position, length, or thickness information on a line after you draw it.
  • Copy and paste the style from one line to another, or apply the style across hundreds of drawings.
  • Incorporate texture on your lines for cool effects like charcoal, chalk, and many more.
  • Import your own textures from Photoshop and apply them to the line style.
Texture Brushes
  • Draw directly in the software with texture brushes.
  • Simulate that pencil-on-paper feel for rough drawings.
64-Bit
  • Take advantage of the new 64-bit core technology.
  • Use as much memory as your machine allows.
  • Import images without memory limitations.
  • Export hi-res images and movies for professional results.
Tool Presets Toolbar
  • Save tool properties that you frequently use.
  • Quickly jump to brushes, pencils, paint buckets, and other tools.
  • Save the colour along with the properties of the tool.
  • Use your own custom icon on the toolbar if desired.
Interface Enhancements
  • Autosave, specifying the time interval.
  • New user interface for Brush and Pencil tool properties.
  • Ability to drag and drop keyframes, drawings, or both on the Timeline.
  • Improvements to the Annotation columns in the Xsheet to sketch notes.
  • Ability to export different resolutions directly from Export Movie.
  • Performance enhancements.
  • …and more!

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Yale Study Proves Dragon Helps Boost Engagement from Students

A Great tool for Students

With continuing hardware and software improvements, speech recognition is becoming an increasingly cost-effective accessibility tool for a wider range of students. Speech recognition tools can generate a new excitement for writing and learning for students who were previously unable to write or produce written work due to problems with learning disabilities, physical disabilities or other challenges.

Students with language-based learning problems, such as dyslexia, can benefit from using voice recognition software to transfer their ideas into print. Since dyslexic students have trouble expressing their thoughts on paper, they often convey less sophisticated thoughts in their written work, use a simplified vocabulary, or avoid writing tasks altogether.

Learning disabilities researchers have consistently found that use of speech recognition software can make a significant difference for dyslexic students because it enables the students to communicate more efficiently and effectively.

In fact, research suggests that the use of speech recognition by dyslexic students has actually generated significant improvement in reading, decoding, spelling and comprehension. It gives students the opportunity to practice their reading skills and can positively influence sound-character awareness.

A Great Tool for Teachers

Teachers can receive hundreds of essays, reports, exams or homework assignments from students every week. Each paper requires timely review and detailed feedback. With Dragon NaturallySpeaking, teachers can read and respond to students’ essays quickly and easily. They can add more comments and detailed notes because they’re not constrained by time-consuming hand-written feedback – not to mention poor penmanship!

For example, one secondary school history teacher who uses Dragon to comment on student projects decreased the amount of time that he spends grading papers by 40 percent over the alternative method of hand-writing comments. In addition to saving time and improving the quality of feedback, Dragon provided this teacher with a permanent electronic copy of all of his comments, a critical resource when it comes to writing both end-of-semester evaluations and college recommendations.

With a wireless headset, teachers reviewing assignments and providing dictated feedback are no longer tied so closely to the desk and computer. They can move around as they dictate notes to students or sit back and relax as they add comments to papers.

 

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