By Alina Cuen and Jacquelyn Gutierrez (Beginning Journalism)
As the world grows it advances and gets technical. We’ve gone from brick phones to smart phones in a short period of time. Even education has evolved to using smart technology as well, such as 3-D printers. Robots are beginning to take jobs. This is the 21st Century.
Not too long ago, Pueblo’s women’s sports teams convened at the football field for a picture when they had realized a drone flying over their head was actually taking the picture. Mr. Ernesto Somoza, the graphic and web design teacher as well as the freshman communication media technology (CMT) teacher here at Pueblo, was responsible for this modern way to take pictures—and he is always teaching students in his classroom the latest in technology.
“Technology can fundamentally improve anything,” said Somoza. “I know that a lot of our students use their cell phones during class, so I started using this thing called “Poll me” for their bell work question. They just text their response, and it gives them credit.”
One of Somoza’s latest technological tools is the 3-D printer. It creates three-dimensional objects in which layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object.
“I want to stay current to what my students like, that’s why I got into 3-D printing,” Somoza said.
His first attempt to using the 3-D printer wasn’t so easy.
“First, it was very challenging, then easy then difficult again,” said Somoza. “However, it all takes some practice—as I teach my students. They definitely contribute to the learning of this new technology.”
The first creation, in November, was a cookie-cutter, then a skull, which took three days to complete. Then, there were the plant holders, phone case, and even a map of Europe. The U.S. Capitol building was fun, Somoza said, because it could be taken apart and then reassembled.
“I believe every classroom should have one of these [3-D printers] because of how engaged this device keeps students,” Somoza said. “We [teachers] need to stay ahead of times.”
There are numerous applications for a 3-D printer, Somoza added. For example, student would be able to dissect a “fake” frog instead of the “real” thing.
Somoza also has virtual reality goggles, and just by wearing them, students are “transported” to different cities and different continents—not to mention different planets!
“I took a student to Pluto the other day!” Somoza said. “It’s amazing how I could change every student’s perspective on the world, if only I had 30 of these!”
Next year, Somoza hopes to stay ahead of technology and teach his students and himself new ways of improving education.
“We’ll see what next school year brings,” Somoza said.
Get the latest news from Mr. Somoza’s CMT class by following him on Instagram.