Sometimes I feel I am lost on this Earth. If anyone was as lost as I was this week, refer to this video found at 3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing featuring Armand Valdes for an visual description of what 3D printing. This site also posts a massive amount of in depth conversation about 3D printing and what it might look like in the near future.
How will 3D printing change the way we think about education? Krassenstein (2014) states that “[3D printing] will provide a means for inventors, innovators, and visionaries to easily fabricate prototypes for designs…”. Many new discussions are coming to light to reintroduce hands-on activities, like STEM and Lego Robotics, into the classroom, are now needing to make space for 3D printing.
Students’ visions would be able to quickly and (mostly) inexpensively become a quick reality through the use of a 3D printer. These 3D projects can be made with materials such wax, plastic, and even chocolate, but it is not about allowing the students to print their favorite toy or another amazing gadget (check out Hongkiat for real made creations) , it is hopefully, about integration of many fields (math, art, history, engineering, science) in order to assist the student in becoming a well rounded, successful individual.
Providing another outlet for students to use their imagination and see their thoughts become a reality would promote high engagement and collaboration between like minded students.But what will teachers think about 3D printers? Again, I believe we will find mixed emotions about 3D printers. There are many people who jump at the chance to have any tech in their classroom and have the time to seek out all the information to teach themselves how to use it. I applaud you if this is you. Please refer to Leap Frog’s website for lesson plans as you are well on your way to having a 3D printer in your class if you don’t have one already.
Leap Frog has a few good resources for PD with 3D printers and also mentions benefits including :
1.Capturing the interests of the students. Having something in the hands of the students from an ancient civilization, will make a history lesson more realistic.
2.Interactive learning experiences. The example Leap Frog gives is of building a skeleton in Biology.
3.Create tangible aids. Teaching aids produced in a small amount of time for specific needs would be an excellent use of a 3D printer. There would be no need to over order when all you need for your small class is package of 6 items.
4.Hands on learning through 3D models. Hands on learning is allowing for more than just visual learning to happen. How many students only learn with their eyes? Any form of added enrichment to a lesson, would make it more meaningful to the student.
I agree full heartedly that Leap Forg’s list of benefits hold true to the use of 3D printing as well as many other emerging technologies but what does the future hold for 3D printing (or additive manufacturing).
All of these amazing uses of a 3D printer, such as prosthetics, vehicles, tools, homes, and clothing, in and outside of school sound great but where do technologists think 3D printing is headed?
According to the Smithsonian Magazine writer Elizabeth Royte (2013),”[the] traditional methods of production in low-wage countries are still far faster and cheaper than additive manufacturing when large numbers of parts are needed.”(p.5) She also goes on to mention the term “customizable” gear and asks how much customized items does one person need?
In my opinion, the “custom made” part of 3D printing is makes it a neat tool to have in a school setting. Students would be able to design and create intricate, useful items specific to their needs or the needs of another system. I am sure most students would be excited to design something specific just to their likes and desires and watch it come to life.
Kamerlingh, H. (nd) 3D Printing for Education. Retreived from http://www.lpfrg.com/en/professionals/education/ on June 29, 2016.
Krassenstein, E. (2014) Why 3D Printing Needs to Take Off in Schools Around the World. Retreived from https://3dprint.com/27743/3d-printing-benefits-schools/ on June 28, 2016.
Royte, E. (2013) What Lies Ahead for 3D Printing. Retreived from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-lies-ahead-for-3-d-printing-37498558/#qWZmV7vJPR8Lc0Qf.99 on June 27, 2016.
Valdes, A. (nd) What is 3D Printing and How Does It Work? Retreived from http://3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/ (YouTube) on June 30, 2016.