Wow, what a powerful week for learning about another emerging technology for use in the classroom! As I reflect on my learning this week, I think one of the most important ideas I am taking away, is that 3D printing is a great option for another tool to offer students as Tricia said so well it’s another aide to offer students “in their pursuit of knowledge.” Sara also mentioned in her blog that 3D printing fits in well with the maker movement and philosophy. And, to me, that is exactly where it fits. I can see it as a tool for students to use in a Maker Space or during Genius Hour (in the upper grades at least). Like so many pointed out in their blog posts, including Genevieve, Gerald, and Sara, 3D printing has the potential to really push a growth mindset. The teacher would have to be careful to praise and reinforce the idea that improvement is important, not necessarily getting the right answer.
Josie mentioned using a 3D printer to make missing pieces. This in addition to making artifacts that the students might not usually have access to is where I see it working in a 2nd grade classroom for now. However, Daysha mentioned in our Twitter chat using a 3D printer to make adaptive gear for Special Education students, which is such a great idea!
Another idea that came up in our Twitter chat that I wouldn’t have usually thought about is getting others on board that might be opposed or pessimistic about the idea of 3D printers in the classroom. Instead of trying to explain to them-just invite them into the classroom. SHOW them and they’ll believe. I love this idea! Someone also mentioned the idea of hosting a family night maker space to showcase the 3D printer. All super ideas!
Overall, I think it’s the environment that the teacher creates that is most important element in the classroom. 3D printing is just another tool that we can offer students to help in their construction of knowledge. When the teacher sets up a classroom in which mistakes are okay, and improving is what’s important, not necessarily getting the 1 “right” answer, we will see our students grow, learn, and become invested in their education.