MakersFactory introduces CloudSTEAM
By David Britton
Special to Santa Cruz Tech Beat
April 7, 2016 — Aptos, CA
“CloudSTEAM: Learning that emphasizes the Interdisciplinary nature of the ‘Arts’ in STEM topics, leading to deeper learning with innovation and creativity.”
I am pleased to introduce our new MakersFactory (MFY) CloudSTEAM product. CloudSTEAM is the result of the MakersFactory accumulated expertise in developing innovative Ed Tech products as well as our long history of running technology K-12 enrichment camps. It seems that everyone today is using VC Pitch language to introduce their company to the Venture Capital community.
Here is one of my Pitches: Our new interdisciplinary CloudSTEAM system exploits the synergy between Minecraft and 3D printing by adding real 3D object value to Game-Based Learning systems. Students will design virtual models in Minecraft and print them out on a 3D printer for their portfolios and images that become library portfolio data, managed by our STEAM LMS.
Let me begin by defining CloudSTEAM: Learning that emphasizes the Interdisciplinary nature of the “Arts” in STEM topics, leading to deeper learning with innovation and creativity. Our CloudSTEAM Learning Management System (LMS) services allow integrating project lessons from Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math subjects together within contextual learning projects. However, we have a concern that without access to adequate educational experiences in STEM fields, large parts of the workforce will not be prepared to participate in the STEM/STEAM-based world. The Cloud part of CloudSTEAM anticipates our use of our local LAN cloud LMS that can communicate and host an Afterschool computer lab, with Minecraft or other learning education projects. We can share the LAN Cloud with other CloudSTEAM systems, gaining enriched content.
I have seen the converging of industries and now the education community is responding by understanding the rising need for interdisciplinary learning, similar to Project-Based Learning (PBL), driving a need for a 3D STEAM education. MFY 3Dimensional technology and virtual 3D game based learning (GBL) technology converge to provide learning in the virtual computer world and in the real world of classroom 3D STEAM projects. MakersFactory is unique in the CloudSTEAM Computer Lab, where our STEAM hardware system and its admin content is managed and updated by our LMS. MFY provides creative learning with our CloudSTEAM hands-on Lab and “virtual Lego” like GBL educational games. MFY provides GBL & CloudSTEAM K-12 learning products, which provide interdisciplinary and deep learning development for 35 highly engaged students.
Our original game learning, in the classroom system, provides student engagement to understand project content, in context, as part of a PBL system. In contrast to memorization, drilling, and quizzing, which is often criticized because it focuses on just the facts. We have a new Minecraft culture advantage with our plug & play GBL and 3D Printing Lab products, which are a crucible for STEAM deep learning, enhancing students visual and spatial Intelligence.
MFY is leveraging the power of the MinecraftEdu “sandbox,” Game Based Learning platform, which exploits the intersection of physical and computer science. Students learn how to turn data into objects and objects into data. Our GBL CloudSTEAM with LMS is part of our local area network for serving 35 classroom students in Project-Based Learning.
MFY provides products for hands-on learning in a 3Dimensional Technology lab. The LMS-based hardware Server integrates MinecraftEdu “sandbox” GBL system into the K-12 CloudSTEAM Lab.
Our research shows that what happens outside of school can be equally as important as to what happens in school to set a child’s direction & activate her interest in STEAM learning. We found that the School’s underutilized Computer Lab was available afterschool and was less used in schools because of Chromebooks in the classroom that lessened the demand for Rotational Computer Lab learning. The CloudSTEAM Lab during school or after school can play an important role in a revived project Lab focused on interdisciplinary learning skills. My final word is this: back to the future with school computer labs becoming CloudSTEAM project Makerspaces.