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Three dimensional printing as a way to create an engaging and meaningful context for learning
conference contributionposted on 18.10.2016, 00:00 authored by Wendy JoblingWendy Jobling, George ArandaGeorge Aranda
Three-dimensional (3D) printers are now commonplace in both primary and secondary schools within Australia. As with most new technologies they present a range of challenges to users in terms of technical problems and support, and how to integrate their use into the curriculum in a meaningful way. This research reports on data from a small number of Victorian primary schools from urban and regional areas. A case study methodology has been used to examine how each setting has approached the use of these printers and includes a review of the literature concerning the uptake of new technologies by non-experts. Data include interview transcripts from teachers, principals and technicians and photographic artefacts of 3D printed objects. Teachers reflected on their reasoning behind lesson plans and their aspirations for future use of 3D printers in the classroom. Some of the issues identified were teacher confidence, time to ‘play’ with and become familiar with 3D printers; and technical challenges that arose such as the time taken to print an object and clogging of printer extruders (heads). Recommendations are made concerning possible ways forward.