3Doodler: A Simple Tool with Powerful Results

Ed Camps are cropping up all over the country. It’s an opportunity for teachers to informally share ideas and technologies that improve instruction and learning for all students. Einstein once said that, “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” and so it is with the 3Doodler START.

I had to push my way through a crowd of teachers at one Ed Camp to find a 3Doodler at its core. It’s an imaginative tool with a funny name. The bright blue barrel and colorful plastic strands immediately attract stares and questions. The teacher holding the 3Doodler was demonstrating how to make a stencil of a house. After spending months training with the latest educational technology, I was a bit trepidatious. “What’s the learning curve like?” I challenged her. The teacher smiled back and asked, “Do you know how to hold a pencil?” She passed the 3Doodler over to me and I have not put it down ever since. Being a tactile learner, the 3Doodler appealed to me from my very first doodle.

The intimidation factor of trying any new technology can become an obstacle. Such was not the case with the 3Doodler START. There are many different ways to jump in and swim. I’ve always been the “let’s-just-do-it-and-see-what-happens,” type of learner.

"Fortunately, the 3Doodler is extremely forgiving of learners like me. All I needed to know was how to turn it on, turn it off and charge it. This is all as simple as a click. The rest I learned through experience, mistakes and practice. "

But, if you are more of the “I-need-to-read-the-instructions-first” type of learner, 3Doodler has got you covered, too. There are so many user-friendly links with bright, colorful graphics on the 3Doodler site. The “Getting Started” page will hold your hand, taking you step-by-step through the process. Still got questions? No problem. There’s an “FAQ Section” that’s got all the answers. There’s even a link for “Bootcamp, “ which shares tips and tricks. *No boots necessary! There are no lengthy brochures to wade through. You’ll be 3Doodling within 15 minutes or less. A teaching friend of mine was 10 minutes late picking up her students from a music-special because she was so engrossed in her doodle!

The 3Doodler is a great way to facilitate classroom instruction. When designing new lessons, I always begin with a specific objective, asking myself, “What is it that I want my students to learn?” When used effectively, identifying your instructional goal(s) first will facilitate how the technology should follow. Ever hear the expression, “the tail wagging the dog”? The best technologies are adaptive to the largest pool of objectives.

Whether you are teaching vocabulary, sight words or spelling, the 3Doodler has got you covered. The experience of writing and touching words reinforces learning. Greater depth is added to STEM projects when students can culminate the activity with a 3Doodler model that reflects the depth of their imagination. In mathematics, concepts like fractions, lines, geometry, angles, patterns, symmetry and more peel right off the page, allowing your students to critically analyze and synthesize new learning. Language Arts is enlivened with 3Doodler bendable stop-motion characters to summarize text and 3Doodler models of figurative language. A 3Doodler is a powerful tool for collaboration and personal expression.

The 3Doodler draws out the limitless imagination of teachers and students alike. But more than that, the 3Doodler is a tool that promotes the development of each student’s unique identity. It promotes open-ended responses which reflect the remarkable diversity of learners in our classroom. Doodles are like fingerprints, they leave their mark on learning and they allow students to express their individuality in all its glorious shapes, swirls, spirals and colors.

So, what are you waiting for? Do you know how to hold a pencil?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Transforming Leftover Plastic Into Beautiful Jewelry And Decor Items

If you’ve been Doodling for a while and wonder how you could repurpose leftover plastic scraps, here’s a project for you!

Watch the video above to see how Grace Du Prez makes a colorful ring, coaster and bowl by repurposing leftover plastic pieces.

This project idea came from one of our brilliant 3Doodlers, Grace Du Prez . Grace Du Prez runs workshops teaching people how to use the 3Doodler to make jewellery, wearables, hats, and other unique creations. After each class, she’d collect the leftover ABS plastic filament and put them into a jar. As the jar filled up, Grace was keen to find a way to repurpose the filaments and transform them into something she could use. The process she shared in her video tutorial is one of her favourite techniques. Grace hopes that by sharing this with the 3Doodler community, it would inspire more people to give it a go!

We love Grace’s process because it’s easy to do, it uses materials you can find at home (or easily find online), and it allows you to create all sorts of display-worthy and giftable end products.

As seen in these photos, you can create and repeat simple shapes to make anything from a decorative bowl to a stylish cocktail coaster. You can even go a step further and separate your Doodled scraps to play with different color combinations for your own truly unique recycled creations!

Helpful Tips & Tricks

The tin moulds used in Grace’s process are called Petit Four Tins, which are used to make small tarts or cakes. You can find them easily from cookery shops or online. They are thinner than cookie cutters, so the plastic can melt faster. They are also non-stick, so you can remove the plastic easily from them.

If you are using a grill with temperature control settings, we recommend the following temperatures for the different plastic types*:

Temperature Settings:
  • ABS plastic: 220°C

  • PLA plastic: 180 – 200°C

  • 3Doodler Start plastic: 80°C

  • *Not recommended for FLEXY plastic

Safety First:
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

  • Wear a dust mask at all times.

  • The equipment gets very hot so please wear oven gloves or something similar.

  • This process is not suitable for children to try on their own.

  • Once you have used the tools and equipment for recycling, do not use them again for food preparation.

Give this project a go and make your own jewelry, coasters, bowls, plant pots, photo frames, tiles, book-ends, keychains, and the list goes on! We’d love to see your creations, share your photos with us on Instagram or Facebook by tagging us @3Doodler.

Share this project with your friends and family!

Think Like A Doodler

The other day, my fifth-grade students were brainstorming problem-solving technologies for future homes. Hands immediately flew up in the air. “Robots that wash dishes!” “Robots that walk your dog.” “Robots that do your homework.” I finally had to stem the tide of robotic responses with a reminder that these things already exist.

I challenged students to think beyond what they’ve read and seen to come up with their own ideas. “Think like a Doodler!” I told them! My students immediately understood the meaning of this directive, because doodling has been at the heart of so many of our classroom activities. Through their doodling experiences, my students have learned the following:

Doodling is Inquiry-Based

We always begin doodling by posing a question or problem. This is followed by a design process that paves the way to new learning. Within this format, the teacher serves as the guide, while students take the lead, doodling their ideas, testing them, improving them and retesting them in a fun, motivating fashion. Problems spawn solutions.

Doodling to Connect The Dots

Doodling is a physical experience that taps into prior learning while building neural pathways. I call this “connective learning,” because doodling bridges the old with the new, conflating the two into sparkling innovations. Doodlers know that great ideas come from thinking across experiences. Leonardo Da Vinci would have made a great doodler in the way he stemmed the tides of disciplines, like anatomy, geology, and mathematics in his inventions.

One Doodle in a Million

Doodles come in all different shapes and sizes. There has never been (and never will be) a one-size-fits-all approach to doodling in our room. Students are amazed at the range of solutions generated by their peers when given a doodle-design challenge. Doodling is an open-ended way of thinking that encourages a vast array of opinions and perspectives nurturing a growing bank of possibilities.

Empathic-Doodlers

Doodling enhances thought through feelings. Doodlers are receptive to the needs of others, connecting in ways that go beyond words. When you doodle, you open your heart to different perspectives, cultures, and ways of being. Characteristics like kindness and compassion not only generate ideas, they enhance our world.

For students to think like Doodlers, teachers must allow them the freedom to expand their frame of mind, nurturing a new language of invention that embraces doodles of all shapes, sizes, and color. Doodlers know that great ideas result from a diversity of lines and textures, awakening our creative spirit.

So, when was the last time you encouraged your students to think like a Doodler?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk