Thursday 24th October, 2013
10:00am to 10:45am
"The MakerBot will change the world!" So says the October 2012 front cover of Wired Magazine. This is a bold pronouncement, and indeed there are signs that the concept of 3D printing does have the potential to be yet another disruptive technology, just like we've seen within the music and film industries, except this time the disruption is occurring in the manufacturing and design sector. But how might it disrupt the classroom? Donview Middle Health & Wellness Academy in the TDSB has a MakerBot, and has started to explore answers to this question! You can see a detailed outline of their project goals and expectations online at http://bit.ly/DVMBot
For those who are completely new to this technology, it is like a laser printer or photocopier for 3D objects. And just like you can send text documents from your computer to your printer, you can create a digital 3D design on a computer, convert those 3D design files into machine code and send them to a 3D printer to print out as objects, one layer at a time.
We will consider the areas of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Collaboration, and Creativity, to discover how this tool might provide avenues for student learning. The tool may be used for a variety of levels. Elementary teachers may run the mechanics of printing as students develop their skills in moving between concrete and abstract math concepts through simple shapes. Middle level students may find themselves analyzing the mistakes in their designs and correcting them as they engage in rapid prototyping using the 3D printer. High school students may work on a collaborative assignment to create geography maps, organic chemistry molecules, or working physics models. Not to mention work in any of the TDJ type technology classes. App generated content at all levels, such as a 3D monster avatar creation app on the iPad may bring digital objects to life in 3D for a game or as part of a stop-motion-animation project within subjects from language to civics to social studies and more.
So come check out this fascinating new piece of technology, and join in the discussion: Should it be just another technological tool in a teachers' arsenal? Is it a fad with little relevance beyond making toys and plastic gadgets? Can it increase student engagement and sustain that engagement? What can we do to promote and facilitate good digital citizenship when it comes to issues of copyrights and patents? What other aspects of the DIY Maker movement can be used in the classroom?
Teacher & Life-Long Learner, Thinker, Philosopher, Tinkerer, Builder, Maker, Explorer... Believer, Parent and Husband! :) Tweets (and opinions) are my own! bio from Twitter
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