This week’s selection is “3DU: A Guide to 3D Printing in Every Classroom: Simple and Affordable Ways to Start 3D Printing in ANY Classroom, No Matter What Grade or Content Area!” by Keven Rinaman.
3D printing is an outstanding technology to use in most classrooms. It demonstrates a modern making technology few have been exposed to, and shows a new way of making, digital manufacturing, that will inevitably become widespread in coming years.
It’s easy: just buy a 3D printer and plant it in the classroom, and you’re ready to go.
No. That is most definitely not the way to go forward, as there are multiple concerns to deal with.
First, there’s the issue of 3D printing itself. Successful 3D printing requires some experience using the equipment and making one’s way through the usual troubleshooting process.
Then, there’s the issue of content. What content is best for students? Where do you find it? Do you have to create content yourself? How does a specific 3D model become integrated into a lesson? What, exactly is being taught?
Those are tough questions, and they are some that author Rinaman had to learn on his own. He explains:
“While I looked back at the process we took, I think we could have approached it from a better angle. We could have invested into professional development. We could have spent the summer searching for lesson and project ideas. We could have reached out to other schools to see how they were using 3D printers. The thing is, there were not many resources out there, and to this day, there is still a lack of access to professional development for 3-D printing. That is the purpose of this book serves.”
Rinaman takes the reader on the complete journey an educator must traverse to succeed in classroom 3D printing. Not only does he cover the technical aspects of selecting and setting up a 3D printer, he also covers the educational aspects that are a must for any classroom.
An important message from Rinaman is that the students should be “let loose” to discover their own abilities using 3D printers. They can create their own designs and see them manufactured in the classroom, which is an experience many of us oldsters never saw.
I believe it’s critically important to ensure young students understand digital manufacturing, as it could be a big part of their future lives.
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