A few years ago, 3D printing technology literally revolutionized the world. It was really unbelievable that a printing machine could transform so many industries. Engineers, manufacturers, jewelry specialists, and other industry experts foresee that the full scope of 3D printers’ functionality is yet to be discovered.
Now is the time for Education, as the industry, to make use of 3D printers. Such state-of-art technologies can indeed help students try themselves as innovators and creators of a better future. Moreover, 3D printing technologies have tremendous potential to facilitate learning for children with special needs and promote creativity in the classroom.
What’s New about 3D Printers in Classrooms?
The answer is everything. Equipping classrooms with 3D printers will contribute to classroom modernization and, hence, have a powerful impact on students’ enthusiasm about education and studying. Just imagine that you got a chance to make your craziest idea tangible while you were in school. Would not you be interested in studying?
However, 3D printers are also about promoting new technologies in the classroom. The hands-on experience that students get with 3D printing positively affects their engagement and learning outcomes. They have quickly become one of the fundamental tools, leaving smartboards, projectors, and other equipment on the background.
3D printing means further evolution of educational approaches and techniques. Through such learning, students do not have to wait to see how new technologies and scientific advancements can change the real world. Since there are actually no limits on what can be printed, students whose classrooms are equipped with 3D printers can really change the future.
Such high-tech advancements will also evoke changes in education-related industries. Specialists from this useful resource for many students are looking forward to new upgraded modeling and design assignments for 3D printing. Every such task requires creativity and an unconventional approach to learning.
How to Get Started with 3D Printing in the Classroom?
However, incorporating 3D printers into the classroom means much more than just unboxing it. Students need to have a curriculum that covers using a 3D printer for education. Teachers need to be skilled enough to be able to show how it works to students and help them create.
Therefore, there are several suggestions for how schools have to get started:
1 Design a Proper Curriculum
3D printing classroom should be made available to students of different ages. The curriculum should grant that all of them can make use of these modern technologies during different classes. It should not be only Informatics or Biology when a student can print something. They should be able to create while studying different things and working on diverse projects.
2 Develop Learning Plans
Every school that tends to introduce 3D printing in their classroom should make sure that its teachers include such practice into their lesson plans. Sometimes, such major advancements meet some resistance from the representatives of the old school. Therefore, it is better to start such interventions at such lessons as Science, Math, Engineering, Architecture, etc.
3 Create Learning Materials
Before actually printing, students need to learn how to use the machine and how to prepare printable models. Therefore, the introduction of 3D printing requires a more comprehensive approach to the learning materials development process. Teachers should be the first to take the initiative and learn the basic aspects of 3D printing to pass on this knowledge to students.
4 Manage Students’ Prints
If a teacher wants to engage students in 3D printing, they should be the manager but not the leader of the project. Let students decide what they want to print by themselves, and, maybe make several mistakes. They would learn much better if they feel empowered. However, a skilled professional is undoubtedly needed to help a new generation of innovators learn.
5 Set Rules
3D printers are still equipment, so working with them can induce injuries or cause trauma. Therefore, to maximize positive outcomes of such learning sessions, students should know the rules and follow all safety guidelines. Most importantly, they should keep their hands away while the printer is in the process.
6 Admit If You Do Not Know
Technologies develop, and teachers may not know everything about 3D printing. And they should not pretend as if they do. Continuous learning is one of the advantages of having 3D printers in the classroom. Thus, it is okay for a teacher to admit that they do not know something and encourage self-education among students.
3D printing has the potential to revolutionize schools and colleges. It opens new opportunities for those with a reputation of innovation and creativity. Also, it helps students discover their strengths in practice, combining received knowledge with hands-on technologies.
However, every school needs to be prepared for such major shifts. Teachers may need additional education to be able to include 3D printing in the learning process and actually teach students how to prepare models and use the machines.
Sandra Larson is a freelance writer who works for an online research center. She has been studying various aspects related to changes in Education and adjacent industries. In this article, she discusses how 3D printing can change the classroom and how schools should get started with implementing this technology