I know that we have been interested in 3-D Printing at EGJ for a while now, but it finally seems that this newer area of technology is finally catching on and becoming a new buzz word. At least, the New York Times thinks it is.
Reading about 3-D printing reminds me of other technology breakthroughs and where I first used them – things like Laser Jet printers, flat-bed scanners, copy machines, etc. Usually, these technologies were too large and expensive to be practical for home use (just like 3-D printers are now). It was usually up to my high school or college to get one and then put it in a central location in a library or computer lab. So you have to wonder – how long before we see these popping up in campus around the world?
Better yet – how long until we see papers and PowerPoint projects replaced with 3-D print assignments on a regular basis? Think that this kind of assignment will only be for art or computer science majors? At one time, printing out a paper was only seen as something you did in computer classes – typewriters were seen as “proper” for all other fields.
The more I think about things like this, the more I realize that so many parts of education have changed radically over the past few decades. There is still much more that needs to change, but those that think education has been stale and unchanging for decades obviously haven’t been paying attention.
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.