3D Printing “Passion Projects”
Tackling real world problems with edtech innovation in the classroom
by Dr. Rod Berger
Evelyn McCulloch didn’t think much about technology in the classroom until she taught third grade in Beijing, China in 2011. She was inspired by her students to reach out to the international education community, and the dialogue and collaboration she found encouraged her to delve deeper into the edtech world that was emerging at the time. When she returned to teach in the United States, she brought her knowledge for edtech back with her and discovered 3D printing as an excellent tool to teach her students about utilizing innovation and technology. As a result, her students have been working with three local Orlando hospitals for the past five years to tackle authentic problems, using their 3D printing skills to create 3D-printed inner ear bones, surgical tools, practice devices, and models to prototype ideas for doctors and patients.
Evelyn is passionate about spreading her ideas and techniques to help empower teachers to take bold risks for authentic student learning experiences. She feels a sense of responsibility to contribute to the community, at both the hospitals in the Orlando area where she is based and the larger global education community trying to incorporate edtech, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) into classrooms around the world. She will be presenting two sessions about using edtech tools and skills during the 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from January 27th through the 30th.
With over 16,000 edtech startups around the world, Evelyn says it is critical for educators to be discerning in what tools they choose. “Choose the tool to fit the task and support learning,” she advises. “Use a variety if you wish, focusing on tools that increase efficiency and collaboration between students and other classrooms.” She seeks out and values the relationships with vendors that have a strong foundation in pedagogy and innovation. She says it’s important to use larger vendors like Google’s G Suite and Apple to employ common platforms that easily collaborate, communicate and share with other classrooms around the country and world. It gives students a real sense of belonging by participating in problem-solving communities while learning and using tools and strategies they will utilize far into the future.
As Evelyn says, when vendors and educators are all on the same page working toward the future, kids win.
About Evelyn McCulloch
Evelyn McCulloch is a Director of Teaching and Learning and Design Thinking Educator in a Maker Space at Park Maitland School. She is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer. She brings ten years experience as an educator and teacher leader in local and global classrooms. In addition, Evelyn serves on the Board of Directors for Konekte Haiti, a non-profit organization that empowers teachers and students in Haiti for a globally connected future. She is passionate about utilizing innovation and technology in teaching and learning to help students show their thinking and build empathy by sharing their work with the world.
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Evelyn moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for college and graduate school. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-6 from Lancaster Bible College, an Instructional I Certificate from Pennsylvania, ACSI Standard Certificate for K-8 from the Association of Christian Schools International and further worked toward a M.Ed in Language and Literacy at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. In addition to having a teaching certificate in Pennsylvania, Evelyn also holds a Professional Florida Teacher Certification.
Evelyn relocated to Florida in 2014 after working at the International School of Beijing, China in which she taught Grade 3, and was a Curriculum Area Leader for Language Arts, as well as facilitated a design team for experiential learning around local and global engagements. Prior to teaching in Beijing, Evelyn taught Grade 5 in central Pennsylvania.
She loves collaborating with schools in order to build a positive digital culture, increase efficiency for teaching and learning and provide responsive, professional development. She is committed to coaching educators toward opportunities for development wherever they are along the growth mindset continuum with implementing digital tools for learning.
Evelyn is married to her college sweetheart with a legendary laugh, David, and together they have two teenage daughters through adoption and one foster son. Follow Evelyn on Twitter.
Evelyn McCulloch will be presenting two sessions at the 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) from January 27th-30th in Orlando, Florida. The conference will bring together thousands of educators and technology leaders for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices, and pressing issues. Registration is now open.
Evelyn will be presenting at the following sessions:
- 3Ders.org – Study shows 3D printing could enhance design thinking and creativity in primary schools
- Education Dive – 3 ways technology and innovation can drastically transform learning
- EdTech Magazine – Top K–12 Tech Tools for Teaching STEM