Today I had an interesting conversation with a colleague of mine which somewhat made me think about the big hype which has been going on in educational technology around us i.e. 3D printers. This innovation is heralded by the maker movement. This movement sees a lot of potential where no matter the subject, through making and tinkering, learners may be engaged in their own learning which includes 21st century skills. This is truly inspiring, where 3D making with programs such as TinkerCAD or Google Sketchup may be coupled with 3D printing. Thus inspiring maker-based learning.
Locally this ‘new’ technology has been included in the new learning outcomes framework for Information Technology and most probably these devices will be available in schools sooner than later. On paper this is somewhat of a great initiative, bringing in our schools the technology of the moment, something which will surely feature in the media and make its promoters happy for managing to do so. I surely agree with all this.
I’m hoping that this is done in a context which includes training and continuous support for educators, envisaging that schools budgets include maintenance costs and updating. Many times we have seen around us initiatives which solely included the central purchasing of digital resources which are ‘dumped’ onto schools, without any necessary consultation and long term planning.