Education landscape is rapidly evolving. Over the past decade or so many schools and colleges have embraced and introduced technology into their curriculum; to make learning sessions exciting and interactive. Subjects such as science and mathematics are difficult and sedating. It becomes all the more boring when explained through traditional ways. However, a 3D printer changes the scenario completely, offering a new dimension to the entire educational system. Mentioned below are some of the important reasons why 3D printers have become a necessity in classrooms these days.
For students it simply means they can now build prototypes of concepts which are difficult to understand or explain. This hands-on learning technique drives home the point quickly and permanently. The logical skills of students are inspired, groomed and turned into an eternal virtue which they can apply later as they migrate to real life situations.
It also introduces them the concept of manufacturing and engineering design. By building 3D objects which they can actually feel and exploit, they experience a sense of achievement. In short, 3D printers offer them a chance to convert their thoughts into physical objects. It excites their creative buds and instigates them continuously to develop out-of-the-box ideas.
One of the most challenging tasks of teachers is to explain complex matter to students without confusing them or making them feel scared of that particular subject. Imagine a technical session being conducted in a school or a college campus where instructor is trying hard to explain the working of internal combustion engine. Technically, there are two ways to go about it. Use hand movements along with speech or simply draw some pictures on the blackboard. Both these methods do not generate excitement or inspiration. However, with a 3D printer the teacher can actually build a miniature engine and explain the concept with live components. This form of illustration generates interest and drives home the concept without difficulty.
Three dimensional objects have this capability of grabbing attention and inspiring human mind.
Human mind is extremely complex and is always seeking answers to difficult questions. This attribute is very much visible in scientists, mathematicians and philosophers. Their thought process and imagination knows no bounds. A 3D printer acts as a steroid for such people, typically students who feel buoyed by its presence, converting thoughts into explanations which they can actually feel and see. This leads to a cascade of ideas and imaginations because they now have a tool which will transform them into live objects.
Teachers can only explain certain concepts, logics and behaviours. They cannot raise the imagination quotient of students. This virtue is typically restricted. However, with the aid of 3D printer, teachers can boycott blackboard and use actual models and props to explain key functions and properties. This instantly generates excitement which in turn triggers “imagination” in students.
Imagination also leads to more questions and unlocks the creative potential of students who over a period of time nurture this virtue to become future prodigies, serving mankind with their revolutionary products and scientific breakthrough’s.
For students it means better understanding of concepts, building camaraderie through project involvement and working as a cohesive team; one of the important attribute in today's competitive workplace environment.
Involve the entire classroom by conducting regular design challenges or projects based on certain explanations and formulas. Educators and people from various engineering and medical fields can be invited and asked to develop such projects for students. Based on the results, students can then be awarded appreciation in terms of grade or even cash prize. By holding regular tech competitions teachers and administrators make sure the entire class gets involved in the project. Small groups can be formed to pool in resources and intelligence.
Teachers can exploit subjects such as science, literature, maths and even social sciences to drive home a point through projects and competitions.
Students can create their own objects and sell them at school gatherings, functions to pay their yearly fees. It typically inculcates the habit of self reliance, an essential attribute.
On the other hand schools and colleges can create a store or a website to sell some of the stuff for financial gains, typically to support 3D education program or simply display unique creations in the institution premises itself. Yet another way of motivating students is to showcase their talent at various technology fairs.
With a 3D printer, administrators and educators can imbibe entrepreneurial skills from a very young age. Products and other lineaments developed through projects can be auctioned, sold or offered to other educational institutes who are less fortunate, and do not posses or own a 3D printer. School authorities can also patent products and ideas giving due credit to the student. This kind of appreciation will boost the morale of students.
The presence of 3D printer in any educational institute means students can build dummy models of various day to day objects and elements instead of imagining or looking at flat images. Human heart, brain, functions of plants and trees etc. can be explained better if these young minds are offered a replica of actual, existing elements. Whether it is nature, science, engineering or archaeology, 3D printer allows educators to develop interactive syllabus.
It’s not just about prototyping or converting thoughts into physical objects. 3D printing is much more than that. Teachers can simply exploit this technology to create some amazing classroom study material.
Enhance and improve problem solving skills through dummy models or prototypes. A prototype typically improves analytical and mathematical skills as students tend to analyse problem more passionately if the stumble block or issue is presented in a 3D form. Theoretically many ideas seem possible. However, only a 3D version can offer a better insight into the commercial and functional aspect. Over several such interactive sessions students begin to develop a sense of awareness and logical sense.