Poem in 3 Dimensions

a dot-matrix version of what the future holds
soon to be nostalgic novelty
a guided turtle
filmstrip tones
interactive boards hidden by chart paper

costs / benefit
and the temptation of shiny things
rendered in filament

the edtech wallet opens

@acampbell99 and I have been discussion 3D printers on the Twitters. It’s a fascinating technology only apt to get better. We will look back on the models of today as primitive, in the same ways in which we look back at that lone computer in our schools we once used to learn logo. The promise they represent for a future in which every home has one, and can manufacture items from plans downloaded and purchased from online catalogues, seems pulled from episodes of Star Trek (Tea. Earl Grey. Hot).

Providing students with a window into this future, along with the opportunities these devices have to help teach spatial reasoning and problem solving cannot be denied. As Moore’s Law seems to indicate, the rate at which these machines iterate is exponential, and will soon surpass our current understanding of the possibilities.

So the question becomes: when do schools decide to dive in?

Tech emerges, and as it lives, the costs decrease, and the devices become within reach of the average household. I remember renting a VCR as a child; which was too costly to own, but was available to rent along with video tapes.

Is the 3D printer ready for its moment in our classrooms? Can we use it enough to justify its cost, or should we depend on other institutions (like the public library) to provide a window into the future, and focus our efforts on what may soon be considered the more basic elements of a 21st Century classroom: devices that connect to the internet, allow for multimedia creation, and network with the wider world.

Published by jarbenne

Jared Bennett is the Student Information System Consultant at Hamilton Wentworth District School Board.

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