Thursday, March 13, 2014

3D Printing: The Classroom Evolving

One of the most innovative technologies in the world today is 3D printing. 3D Printing is being applied in areas such as architecture, construction, automotive, aerospace, medical industries, fashion and food, just to name a few. This technology will also open new dimensions and revolutionize Education. It will change the way we teach, the way we learn. 3D Printing will put learning literally into the hands of our young minds and create an exciting and interactive environment.

According to an article in Educators Technology Magazine, “3D printing is a technology that allows users to turn any digital file into a three dimensional physical product...schools are still in the early stage of adoption of this innovative technology, but the exciting thing is what is to come...3D printing provides several features that can revolutionize education.”

Classroom Changes
With limited budgets and constrained resources always being a huge obstacle, 3D printing can economically provide teachers with an unlimited supply of relevant three dimensional visual aids on demand. These aids can then be used to help students understand difficult concepts. Students will be able to explore, problem solve, and retain information at a much higher level. It stimulates their curiosity and will convert students from passive participants to active creators in the classroom.

Science, History, Endless Applications
Most studies have found that visual learning styles as opposed to traditional learning styles greatly improve the totality of a student’s learning experience. Imagine a biology class that is able to provide students with the ability to touch and feel microscopic lifeforms invisible to the human eye, but with 3D models can be printed to help students visualize the intricate cell structure. Math lessons could include geometrical shapes to explore and measure. Historical events and Earth Sciences can be taught with replicated models of artifacts and fossils from the appropriate time periods. Rather than memorizing facts from a book, students are able to comprehend and effectively apply their new found knowledge. The environment in which these kids will learn, will forever be changed.

Inventors & Creative Thinkers
Blurring the lines between playing and learning inspires kids to invent new things or even re-imagine what already exists. Kids today were raised with modern technology, it is second nature to them. This engrained acceptance of technology gives them a unique perspective on how technology can make our lives better.  Students become inventors and creative thinkers. There is no limit to possibilities that 3D printing will bring to the classroom, further fueling the anticipation of the wide-spread adoption of a 3D printer in every class.


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