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  • July 29, 2019 8:00 AM | Jenna (Administrator)

    A 3D printer is an indispensable technology for the modern classroom. The ability to bring any idea to life in the form of a physical object creates enormous educational possibilities.

    Using a 3D printer for instruction isn’t just about printing out objects to use as manipulatives—learning opportunities arise at every step of the printing process. When designing objects in fun, lightweight software such as TinkerCAD, students think about three dimensional spaces in an entirely new way.

    3D printers create a seemingly limitless variety of printable objects that bring vibrancy and clarity to lessons on any subject. From printing out a model of the solar system to recreating historical artifacts, these objects produce engagement and fidelity through visual learning.

    An educational gift that keeps on giving, a 3D printer is also a lesson in and of itself. Teaching students how a 3D printer is able to construct an entire object seemingly out of thin air is a fantastic way to spark a student’s interest in STEM.

    As emerging technologies become more commonplace in everyday life, the need to introduce them to students becomes ever greater. A 3D printer is an invaluable classroom tool, its learning opportunities are limited only by imagination.

    Learn more about how 3D printers deepen students' understanding of STEM and the world around them. Join IDEA Professional Learning Partner NextWaveSTEM’s Program Coordinator Desmond Martin for a webinar on July 31 @ 4pm CDT where you will learn how to supercharge your STEM programs using emerging 3D printing technology. Desmond will guide you through the importance of exposing students to the Engineering Design Process, while utilizing 3D printers in the classroom. Augment student engagement while exploring math, science, and technology in a hands-on way.

    NextWaveSTEM’s mission is to help students build 21st Century Skills by providing hands-on learning using emerging technologies, opening up new career and life possibilities.

    RSVP for the webinar at https://ideaillinois.org/event-3484820.

    Illinois educators will earn one (1) PDH at the conclusion of the webinar.

  • June 20, 2019 12:00 PM | Jenna (Administrator)

    Starting July 1, 2019, Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) will officially change the organization’s name to Illinois Digital Educators Alliance.

    Executive Director, Amber Heffner, explains “Over the last several years, we have seen our membership grow and diversify and our role as educational technology influencers increase too. As an organization, we felt that it was time that our brand represent those changes as well.”

    Illinois Computing Educators was formed in 1986 by a group of 30 educators as a statewide 503(c) non-profit organization dedicated to leadership in education through technology. Since then, the organization has grown to over 12,000+ members and reaches far beyond the role of the computer teacher. Through our professional learning opportunities and thirteen local chapters, we provide services to classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, administrators, educational IT professionals, technology coaches, and more.

    We believe that this new name will create a better understanding of our identity while furthering our mission to inspire, connect and provide the educational community with opportunities that transform teaching and learning through technology. Illinois Digital Educators Alliance will also more accurately reflect our vision that connected and empowered educators inspire today’s learners to become tomorrow’s leaders.

    The organization’s Governing Board has been working on the rebrand for the last 18 months and encouraged input from their membership throughout the process. The name, in fact, was suggested by one of the organization’s members and then chosen by a vote that was open to all members in late February during their annual edtech conference, #ICE19.

    Incoming Executive Board President, Mike McGowan, acknowledged the importance of involving the organization’s membership in the decision-making process. “Our members are passionate about their profession and many dedicate their free time to continue learning in the ever-changing field of education and educational technology. We know that they also have a passion for our organization and what we offer. We wanted to be sure that our members were part of the process and felt an ownership to the direction that the organization is headed.”

    Interested parties can learn more about Illinois Digital Educators Alliance on the company’s new website: www.ideaillinois.org. You can also follow them on social media channels including Facebook (@ideaillinois), Twitter (@ideaillinois), Instagram (@ideaillinois).


    Amber Heffner, Executive Director 

    Jenna Hnilo, Director of Marketing & Outreach 

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Joliet, Illinois 60436

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