Essential question: How can 3D printing change the way we think about education?
As I read about 3D printing this week, I found myself thinking of the similarities to other emerging technologies we’ve discussed recently, especially in the attitude it promotes and the use as another way for students to display their creativity. 3D printing has the possibility of instilling a problem solving mindset and the idea that failure is ok. They have the possibility of teaching students to solve problems and learn how to improve upon failed prototypes. It can teach them to persist despite adversity. 3D printing gives students yet another way to express their creativity and prepares them for the future. Because it’s interactive, it also captures the students’ interests (LeapFrog; .
As I read 24 useful things you can make with a 3D printer, I thought about how 3D printing could be another avenue for students to exercise their problem solving capabilities. You could pose a question to the group and they could create a 3D printable prototype to solve the problem. As is mentioned on the LeapFrog 3D printers site, their prototype might not work the first them, and they will learn to problem solve again, until they have the solution they are looking for. 3D printing can also allow students to handle fragile artifacts that they might not get to explore otherwise (Nicholls, 2013).
I feel like the biggest possibility to change the way we think about education isn’t specific to just 3D printing, and lies in the implementation and environment in which it is introduced. Christine Mytco is cited in the Schaffhauser (2013) article and has learned to replace control with setting boundaries. Now she tells her students, “Let’s talk about something purposeful in your life that you’d like to design.” Giving students some control and choice in their education leads to an increase in motivation. Not only that, but students see a real life application for their learning. With measurement for example, they aren’t learning it because the teacher deems it important, they are choosing to learn because their project requires it and they want to (Schaffhauser, 2013). Overall 3D printing has the possibility to take teachers out of the center of the classroom and put student interests and needs there instead. Students may have more schema on 3D printing or the skills needed to create a prototype than the teacher does, so it also holds the possibility to have teachers step back and allow students to ask and answer questions of each other. A teacher must be ok with saying, “I’m not sure. Does anyone else know the answer?” or “Let’s ask Google!”
24 Useful things to make with a 3D printer. http://www.businessinsider.com/useful-3d-printer-projects-2015-2
LeapFrog 3D Printers. http://www.lpfrg.com/en/professionals/education/
Nicholls, Dale. (2013, Oct 23). Why have 3D printers in the classroom? Retrieved from: http://3dprintingsystems.com/why-have-3d-printers-in-the-classroom/
3D Printers in the Classroom: 7 Reasons Why Every School Should Have a 3D Printer (2013, Feb 27). http://airwolf3d.com/2013/02/27/school-3d-printers-in-the-classroom/
Federico-O’Murchu (2014, May 11). How 3_D printing with change the world. Retreived from: http://www.cnbc.com/2014/05/09/will-3-d-technology-radically-change-the-world.html