Paradigm Shift

3D Printing in Schools: Thought Leadership Needed

3D Printing in Schools

MakerBot VP of Solutions Jordan Brehove shares insights on innovation in education, and the growing importance of 3D printing in schools.

brehoveThe vice president of solutions at MakerBot, Jordan Brehove, took to the stage at the Campus Technology conference in Boston last month to discuss the way 3D printing innovates in the educational sector.

He spoke about Xavier University and Florida Polytechnic University, two brand new universities itching to attract new students. How did they set themselves apart? The answer is their MakerBot Innovation Centers, stuffed with technology and opportunity.

The result was an avalanche of applications. Though Xavier University doesn’t even have an engineering program, students were drawn to these centers, and the chance to share and create. Bringing departments together allows students to not only learn about other fields, but the creation of new methods.

While 3D printing is often still associated only with business or engineering fields, it is becoming necessary to teach younger generations the tools of the trade. Students don’t need to just be inspired, they need the skill set to fully employ this new wave of printing. Just like typing class, or Computer 101, 3D printing may soon be another practical and necessary study.

Once individuals have mastered (or are comfortable with) printing from instructions, they may be struck with what Jordan describes to EdTech as a “paradigm shift.”

“We need leaders in the industry to really do thought leadership to change the way people are thinking. There is an inflection point that people get when they start to print because people go out onto Thingiverse, a repository of 3D files, and they print and they print and they print, but there is a certain moment when they realize, ‘I don’t need something that exists, I want something that doesn’t yet exist.”

The result of Innovation Labs is not just a new skill set, but the readiness to create. With a versatile field like 3D printing, a generation of creative minds is just what the world needs. (Via: EdTech Magazine)