Employees at Owasso Public Schools are using 3D printers to create a gadget that helps teachers with distance learning. The students are getting to help personalize and then deliver their creations.
There is a hum coming from Mrs. Farley's 7th grade STEM Classroom these days.
"It is really kind of a nice way to mix things up a little bit," said Mrs. Farley.
That noise, which sounds a lot like R2-D2 from Star Wars, is actually from a 3D printer.
"This one piece, the pocket document camera, someone created and started generously sharing the plans," said Naomi Jaynes with Owasso Public Schools.
The machine is making these little gadgets that have become game changers for teachers during distance learning.
"Teachers from Pre-K up through the high school are able to continue that teaching process where handwriting is needed without any gaps in their instruction," said Naomi.
The idea is simple: the printer creates a small shelf that clips onto the teacher's laptop, a mirror glued to the inside reflects whatever the teacher is demonstrating- into the laptop's camera.
"It is hard to feel like you can't do your normal teaching activities, even just writing on the board....when you take away those ways that we express ourselves as teachers, and put our own spin on teaching even if it is just them seeing something as personal as our own handwriting, it doesn't all need to be digital," said Mrs. Farley.
Students have been able to help with this project. Not only have they found ways to personalize each pocket document camera with a teacher's name, but they are also helping deliver the gadgets to classrooms. This is just another way that teachers in Oklahoma are getting creative to reach their students, despite restrictions from the pandemic.
"The idea is technology in the hands of our students can help them learn and grow," said Naomi.
"These kids are brilliant- they do that with everything we do. They can make just about anything their own," said Mrs. Farley.
Owasso Public Schools tells me they hope is to have a pocket document camera for every teacher who wants to use one.