Now that 3D printers are becoming more affordable, there’s a demand for stuff to print on them. You can design them in CAD software on your computer. There are warehouses of pre-made items people share or sell each other. You can also scan them from real world objects or models you make out of clay. I was pleased to see this Indiegogo project for an affordable 3D scanner this morning. (Indiegogo is similar to Kickstarter and offers small startups the chance to get funded by anyone willing to take a risk and pay for it. Rewards can vary from a thank you to an early prototype of the product.)
Could you imagine the real-world learning possibilities from students creating prototypes either on the computer or through clay models and then printing those prototypes out to test? You don’t have to imagine too hard. Some students are already printing projects in class. This August, we’ve asked Damon Feuerborn to help us learn more about 3D printers and instructional possibilities.
A good series by Audrey Watters on “Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012″:
The topics she is covering include:
- The Business of Ed-Tech
- The Maker Movement
- Learning to Code
- The Flipped Classroom
- Data & Learning Analytics
- Robots in the Classroom
- Education Platforms
A little less radical than flipping the classroom, here’s an article on Peer Instruction that explains an easy way to incorporate this technique into your classroom.
What is peer instruction? From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_instruction):
“Peer instruction is an evidence-based, interactive teaching method developed by Harvard Professor Eric Mazur in the early 1990s. Originally used to improve learning in introductory undergraduate physics classes at Harvard University, peer instruction is used in various disciplines and institutions across the globe. It is a student-centered approach that involves flipping the traditional classroom by moving information transfer out and moving information assimilation into the classroom. Research demonstrates the effectiveness of peer instruction over more traditional teaching methods, such as pure lecture.”