The Loveland Public Library has begun in-person technology and digital literacy classes for the summer, helping both children and adults navigate technology like smartphones and Excel spreadsheets, as part of its summer learning program.
The library is in the process of hiring its own instructors. Previously, the library worked with an organization called Digital Workshop, but the desire to do in-person classes meant that the library needed to seek its own staff.
“You can’t learn how to use an iPhone over Zoom,” said Acting Technology Manager Erik Rock, who was teaching a class on 3D modeling software on Tuesday. The class utilizes Tinkercad, a piece of software that Rock described as a simpler version of what professionals use for 3D modeling. Students, both young children and adults, rotated 3D models of Pokeballs, mountains, keychains and even Christmas gifts, all of which will be 3D printed and given to their creators.
May Forshee, who was present in the class with her two daughters, said that the 3D Modeling class, and the library’s summer learning program as a whole, made for a good family project, adding that she first became interested in 3D modeling after seeing a video of a dam building project being built entirely via 3D printing in China.
“Isn’t that amazing?” she asked after pulling up the video on her phone. On Tuesday, Forshee was working on a 3D printed holiday message that she planned to put in a Christmas card. Her 11-year-old daughter Kiana sat one row behind her, working on a logo for her YouTube channel.
“I just like stuff like robotics, coding,” the younger Forshee said. Her YouTube channel has nearly 100 subscribers, and shares her artwork and coloring projects.
Tuesday’s class was specific to 3D modeling, but other classes teach on topics like Google Hangouts, search engine optimization and social media usage for business owners, and WordPress tutorials for creating websites will also be available throughout the summer, all offered for free.
“The whole point of this room,” Rock said from the library’s Makerspace on Tuesday, “is to take the fear out of tech.”
A schedule of events and registration opportunities can be found at the library’s website, or by visiting in person.