Tactile Technologies is a curriculum product that introduces learners to 3D printing technologies and accessibility principles. Modules and interactive, in-person workshops help learners gain the skills needed to transform visual media into a 3D learning experience.
Participants choose their media (usually a children's book), adapt the story into 3D, design/edit 3D models, and create a tactile product. Tactile Technologies updated an aging curriculum and offered a new, project-based learning experience for practicing accessibility in educational environments.
Emerging Technology Workshops
Emerging Technology Workshops introduce learners to augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D printing, podcasting, e-crafts, and Arduino microprocessors. The annual workshop series is a hybrid experience of online and in-person tutorials. Partnering with the Marston Science Library at the University of Florida, I have designed and taught over 25 workshops and pop-up events, working with tech start-ups, engineers, students, veterans, and librarians.
Role: Designer, Developer, Instructor
Responsibilities: LX Design, Prototyping, User Testing, Evaluation
Audience: General Public, University Students
Tools Used: Adobe Photoshop, HP Reveal, Tinkercad, Sketchup, Thingiverse, Audacity, Lilypads, Arduinos
Learners come to workshops with varying degrees of expertise. Thus, activities are project-based and sequenced to introduce users to a technology, build basic skills, and complete a simple task. The workshops are designed so learners can work at their own pace, review materials, or skip ahead if needed. Each tech tutorial is broken down into sections that introduce the tech and hardware, build coding and interface skills, connect learners to resources, and then create a project. Several workshops have been transformed into library guides and learning modules that can be completed independently. Designs integrated the library style guides and existing interface tools, but enlarged images and created new sections to create a more user-friendly experience.
3D Printing workshops introduce learners to basic 3D modeling programs and skills. Participants have the opportunity to prototype new designs or remix existing prints. During workshops learners have created architectural models, accessibility tools, prosthetics, nameplates, and geographic landscapes.
Participants work with Arduinos to learn physical computing and experiment with IOT. The Arduino series teaches learners basic C+ code to program sensors, motors, lights, and other physical hardware. Projects have created morse code tools, pseudotheramins, photocell receptors, and digital music boxes.
Augmented Reality activities teach learners about locative mapping, augmented content, and triggers and overlays. Participants learn how to design content, build accessible interfaces, practice creating overlays, and create their own augmented reality projects.
Pop-ups are mini workshops that learners can complete in 15 minutes or less. Pop-ups have covered electronic crafts, 3D design/printing, and podcasting.
Electronic crafts include projects with simple circuits such as LED cards with copper tape.