Thursday, May 18, 2023

Make Something Meaningful with


As an edtech leader in K12, I try lots of edtech tools.  And once in a while, you come across a tool that sweeps you off your feet. This year, that tool was

When I first was introduced to,  I immediately felt hopeful that it could end my long-time search for a great tool that students and teachers in the K12 community could use to design and create with digital cutting machines and laser cutters.  The more I used,  the more  I became convinced that belongs in every school's digital toolbox.

If you want to give it a try, stop by my session at the Dynamic Landscape conference. 

Slides from my Session

In this session we will:

  • Discuss Why Cuttle?
  • Create an SVG file using for an Identity Artifact that can be fabricated using a laser cutter, digital cutting machine, or even 3D printed.
  • Explore Cuttle’s Template Collection
  • Brainstorm way to use Cuttle for Meaningful Making Projects
  • Cut out your Artifact using Cricut Cutter (as time permits)

We will start with a little inspiration from the students at Hyde Park Elementary School.

Then we will dive into a hands on skill building activity where you can start to create confidence designing your own Identity Artifact using

And finally we will challenge you to plan your own  meaningful making project or integrate meaningful making in your instructional design.

Here is a few  meaningful making project I've worked on recently.
You can find  my guide to making the SnowFlake Project here.

I've approached this project using several different tools, from Google Draw to Gravit. 
So why am I so excited about 

1. provides students with tools for creativity and innovation by allowing students and teachers to design Vector (SVG) files needed to create and make using digital cutters and laser cutters.   Learning to work with SVG files is key to creativity and innovation.  If we want to create the next generations of problem solvers, we need to give them the right tool for the job and help them build fluency using these tools.

2. works on Chromebooks!  It's easy to say we have reached a point where every students has a device. But when looking at education through an equity lens, its easy to spot there are still huge equity gaps when it comes to access to digital tools.  One way the 1 laptop per child goal has been reached is by providing students with Chromebooks. But Chromebooks do not allow students to use industry tools for creating SVG or vector files like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, or Inkscape (open-source).  The fact that works on Chromebook can help bridge this equity gap. 

3. has responded to educators' need to protect student data privacy. When faced with the request for a Signed Student Data Privacy Agreement, CEO & Co-founder, Toby Schachman, worked with members of the Student Data Privacy Alliance to get signed agreements on file with schools in Illinois and Vermont.

4. is working to make accessible to students in K12 schools by providng affordable pricing.  The free plan allows for 5 design projects, while the school pricing set by provides two options 1) access for 30  active accounts  per week or  2) unlimited accounts per domain. 

5) can be used to teach students computational thinking.  It took me a while to discover that provides students the opportunity to CREATE with  CODE.   The LEARN section of website provides more detail about this often overlooked feature.

 "Cuttle’s scripting features allow you to write JavaScript code that can modify your shapes or generate new shapes.

All of Cuttle’s built-in modifiers, like Rotational Repeat, Outline Stroke, etc. were created this way. That is, we built Cuttle using the same scripting features you have access to. You can see the code of any modifier by clicking the pencil icon on the right side of it in the inspector.I'm a big fan of tools that allow us to create with code.  

I hope to see for. yourself during my session at  Dynamic Landscape.

 Making with for Cricut and Laser Cutters


Session Description

Are you looking for a tool that your students can use to create projects with your school’s laser cutter, Cricut, or other maker tools? Does it need to work on Chromebooks? Cuttle.xyzdoes just that and they have a signed Student Data Privacy agreement in Vermont! Come and play and leave empowered with your own fun IDENTITY artifact and lesson ideas you can use tomorrow.

If you can't make it, feel free to check out  the Slides from the session. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Hands On - Identity Project at Hyde Park Elementary School


This year I had the honor of collaborating with Hyde Park Middle School Students and Staff  and the Vermont Arts Council for a week long Maker Residency focused on IDENTITY.  This experience helped me reflect on how a residency model can provide value for both teachers and students.   

 Join us at Dynamic Landscapes 2023  Google Slides  where we'll share what we learned. 

Be Inspired:

 Hyde Park School Maker Residency 

Create Confidence:

 SkillBuilder- Create Identity Artifact

  SVG file

Make Something Meaningful:

  Brainstorm Challenge PromptReflection: 

Session Description

Come Create, Make, and Learn with Lucie and leave empowered with your own fun IDENTITY artifact and a project based learning example of how to integrate making with language arts and social studies. This session is based on a recent fun maker residency with middle school students at Hyde Park School.

We will kick off the session with some highlights from the recent maker residency with students and teachers from Hyde Park School sponsored by the Vermont Arts Council.

We will then move into a hands-on Skill building Sprints designed to Create Confidence with new maker tools and processes used to create a personalized Identity Artifact.

The following slide deck includes the Skill building Sprint designed to create confidence with new maker tools and processes.  Through these skill building activities students and teaachers gained the basic skills  for using Google Slides, The Noun Project, and to design an SVG file that can be used with laser cutters, digital cutters (i.e. Cricut), or even 3D printers to fabricate a personalized Identity Artifact.


Equipped with confidence using new tools and processes students and teachers were ready MAKE SOMETHING MEANINGFUL.    Students voice and choice were expanded with the confidence to use new tools and processes. Teachers  felt confident to  design instruction that include meaningful making. 

During our maker residency each student created a personal journal to  reflect on identity artifacts  they would create and collect throughout the year. 

If you would like to bring a Maker Residency to your school, 

contact Lucie at

Students are engaged in new learning experiences.  The experience inspires them to learn new skills. As they create confidence with new tools and processes, students are ready to take on meaningful making challenge.  

Teachers receive embedded professional development as they co-teach an experience that they helped to design.  The experience is a low risk way to create confidence with new tools and processes that model Project Based Learning pedagogy.   Teachers become inspired watching the engagement of their students during the residency. With newfound confidence in using new tools and processed, teachers are ready to design instruction that includes meaningful making projects. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Registration open for Create Make Learn 2023

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for

Create Make Learn Summer Institute 2023.

Come celebrate our 10th year anniversary.


Join us for the 2023 Create Make Learn Summer Institute.
July 10 - 14, 2023 in Bellows Falls, Vermont

Join the Strand that's right for you 
     from Newbie to more Advanced Learner

  • Getting Started with Creating and Making (for beginners)

  • Create Confidence with Creating, Making & Coding
 for those with some previous experience)

Example session may include

  • Creative and Practical Problem Solving with 
Cardboard, Paper, and Loose Parts
  • Designing STEAM infused Literacy Projects
  • Make Media: Podcast & Green Screen Video Projects
  • Create Confidence with Circuits & Code
  • Design Thinking & Identity Projects in 2D & 3D
    (using 3D printers, Laser Cutters, Vinyl Cutters, etc)
  • Explore role of AI in Creating and Making

Complete and share a Meaningful Making Project applying your learning through design, creating, and making

Plan a curricular unit or school project where creating and making are central to learning goals and provide opportunities for students to develop growth or proficiency of Vermont Transferable Skills

Connect with peers that best meets your needs
PreK / Elementary /Middle School / High School

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Growing Confidence with Cuttle, Circuit, & Cricut on Valentine Day

This Valentine's Day provided another opportunity for me to grow confidence with a new maker tool ( and to create a project prototype that could  help teaches and students grow their confidence with circuits.

A few months ago I discovered as a design tool that is accessible and affordable for students to create vector graphics that can be cut on laser cutters or electronic cutters (such as the Cricut or Silhouette Cutters).  Not only does it work on Chrome books, but the company has also signed Student Data Privacy agreements with schools in Vermont and other states.  This is a huge step towards and a commitment to increased equity in providing all students access to learning through creating and making. I've been searching for a vector tool that met those requirements for a long time.

The Cuttle Name SnowFlake Generator inspired me to make snowflake themed ornaments for people I love this Christmas.  This month their beautiful heart shaped box template inspired me to keep playing.  Since I did not have access to my laser cutter this month, I used my Cricut Maker to experiment further with and used Valentines Day as an opportunity for create something for people I love and perhaps even fall in love with this new maker tool due to their commitment to education. 

 In this post, I'll share a simple project in hopes that it could help teachers and students grow confidence with

  • circuits and switches
  • designing and cutting out vector graphic software

I'll explain why I think  is a must have tool for schools and why creating simple but beautiful projects with circuits and switches meets our UDL (Universal Design for Learning) goals as educators.

Here are the supplies you'll need to get started to create a light up Valentines Day Card.

coin cell battery
LED lights
copper tape
Brass Brad
Scotch Tape
Cutting tool (scissor or exacto knife)

This card can certainly be made by manually cutting out a colored heart out of card stock.

Since my goal was to gain confidence with  as a vector design tool, I spent some time playing with different heart designs.  Check out this video or the steps next below to see  some features of features I explored during this project.

I started designing my Valentine by  by dragging out one of Cuttle's Built in Vector shapes.  

I used's  Text Along Path Modifier to create different designs.
 I wanted to add the names of my grandchild (Julian)  and his two parents (Matt and Molly).

To use this feature, simply Select a Shape on your Canvas then Click on Modify and choose the Text Along Path modifier.

The shape will disappear and be replaced by the Words Text Along Path of your Shape
The shape will reappear when you hover over the image/shape
A box of parameters will appear along the right side of your screen for you to play with experiment with.

Explore the options in the right panel of the Text Along Path modifier.
Start by replacing the TEXT to the words you want and Changing the Font and Size of the font.
I loved that there are so many STENCIL fonts - which are mostly safe for cutting out text.  And has some very fun one - Like this CODYSTAR option - which I settled on for my first design. 

You'll want to experiment with all the different parameters.

Experiment with the ALIGN feature and the Vertical ALIGN features, along with the FLIP checkbox.

The ALIGN tool will move. your TEXT around your Shape,  while the Vertical Align will move your text  to the outside, inside, or middle of the outline of your shape.   
The Flip checkmark will change the way the letters of your text are facing. 

 I would also suggest playing with The Vertical Offset and Letter Spacing. You  can also try adding spaces before or after your text to get a desired affect.

Since I wanted to add 3 different names to my heart, I simply right clicked on MY Heart in the right panel and chose duplicate 3 times.

I removed the Text Along Path Modifier from one of the Hearts to make it the part of the design that actually cuts out.

I played around with the different parameters of each of my HEARTS until I ended up with this design that included the names of my grandson and his parents.  

I also duplicated the outside heart and changed the size of it to end up with a cutout of a smaller heart inside my design.  This would make a great place for a light to shine though. 

After I had the design just the way I wanted it, I exported it as an SVG. has two different export features.  I did not experiment with the Export SVG for Cricut at this time. 

I soon found myself playing with new fonts and new designs for other family members.
There is just something about making for people you love that makes learning new skills so much fun.  

I imported the SVG files into my Cricut Design Space.  (If I had access to my laser cutter, I could have used that tool to play)

I, then cut out some fun Valentines designs for my grandchildren and their parents.

These cutouts were perfect for creating a paper circuit Valentine. 

I start by cutting a contrasting piece of card stock in half and folding each piece in half. 

Then I layout the design and with a sharp object like the a Japanese Screw punch I poked a hole where the LED light should go and where the BRAD that will serve as a Switch will poke through. 
(You can use a thumb tack, needle, or other sharp object.
 If working with younger students, you could use a golf tee) 

 Take the the small inner heart cutout and poke a metal brad through it. 
This will become our on/off switch. 

Insert a fun colored LED into the card where you'd like the light.
I happened to have some flickering multicolor LED's handy.
Insert the Brass Brad through the card where you'd like the switch.

Turn the card over.
Spread the legs of the LED open.
I pointed the  Longer LED leg towards the inside of the card so I could easily keep track of which leg was positive and which was negative.

Spread the legs of the Brass Brad open.
Place a coin cell battery face down under the leg of the LED towards the center of the card.

Trace around the battery.
Mark the circle with a + sign to remind yourself that the battery will be placed + side down.

Cut two pieces of copper tape long enough to slide under the LED leg and reach under the BRAD Legs.  Leave a little extra copper tape towards the top of the card.
You will use that to double wrap the copper tape around the LED leg.

Remove the backing of the copper tape and lay down the copper tape on the cardstock.
Make sure the copper tape shiny side makes as much contact with the LED legs as possible by
running it under the legs and coming back down over the leg and then back up.
This is not absolutely necessary, but it's my way to  add extra points of contact.
Paper Circuits sometimes lose their contact.

Secure the LED legs to the cardstock and copper tape with Scotch Tape.
Secure the battery with Scotch Tape, but only cover half the battery with tape.
The other half must remained exposed so the Brad legs can make contact with the battery directly. 

Voila. Your Paper Circuit is ready.

To turn off the the LED, simply turn the Little Heart with the Brass Brad slightly so that the end of the Brads lay over the TAPED part of the battery.
The Tape  acts as insulation and interrupts the circuit. . 
If the Brad falls off the battery simply manually put it back on.

What I love about this Simple Project is that it can engage students to create beautiful work and create for people they love.  Students are motivated to learn and demonstrate their understanding of circuit beyond traditional methods. Universal design for learning strategies are important in education.  Using this project we are offering multiple modes of representation, expression, and engagement for students learning about the flow of electricity.  

Students also leave with increased confidence in creating vector graphics which can be used in so many future endeavors.  Agency by Design offers this description of the type of  Maker Empowerment I've seen in students after completing projects like this. 

If you get inspired by this post to create and make something fun, please share them with me.
Twitter @techsavvygirl

Monday, January 30, 2023

Media Making Workshop Series

I'm super excited for my most recent collaboration with Vermont Rural Education Collaborative where we'll be offering a series of three 5-week session giving teachers the opportunity to create confidence with media-making tools as a vehicle for putting UDL and PBL into practice.

Putting UDL and PBL into Practice with Media Making

Design learning experiences that invite students to create their own special effects with videos, produce their own podcast episodes, and author their own interactive e-books. Experience the tools, process, and workflows that provide practical ways to implement elements of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Project Based Learning (PBL) in your instructional design.

Each session of this course will be offered online over 5 weeks with flexible asynchronous and some synchronous lab sessions via Zoom video conferencing offered on Wednesdays starting at 3:30 p.m. The first week starts with a 2-hour synchronous class session, followed by a one hour on-line module. 

  • Session 1: Producing Podcast Episodes with students 
    Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1, 8     (Workshop only) $300
  • Session 2 Creating Video Projects with students
    Mar 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12  (Workshop only) $300
  • Session 3 Authoring Interactive e-Books with students
    April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17  (Workshop only) $300
  • Session 1, 2 & 3: Putting UDL and PBL Into Practice With Media Making
    February 8 – May 17
    $825 recertification only  ($75 savings)
    $1245 includes 3 graduate credits from St. Michaels College

More details in the syllabus.

You can also download a PDF flyer to share with friends and colleagues.