- 3-D printing holds much promise for extending learning, but schools should move away from traditional focuses on making things and instead simplify the process, according to one editorial.
- Kyle Bowen, a director of teaching and learning at Pennsylvania State, suggests providing students with fewer options in the way of 3-D printers themselves and more guidance to develop creative challenges that engage new users instead of intimidating them. Bowen also contends that the point of a 3-D maker lab is not necessarily to create, but to teach students to collaborate, think critically, and, most importantly, to solve problems.
- Their use can be expanded to disciplines not typically considered, such as art and design and earth science, where students can use 3-D tools to conceptualize changes in the planet.
The overall growth of makerspaces on college campuses has its roots in designing open spaces where students can feel free to collaborate and create with each other. Makerspaces often bring together technology that previously existed for specific departments or majors to the entire student body, allowing a cross-section of students from various disciplines the chance to come together and collaboratively solve problems and share knowledge in meaningful ways. At North Carolina State University, technologies like Arduino coding and bookbinding are on offer at their space, which has been used by various departments, including Humanities, for formal projects.
The University of Southern California's school of art and design even opened up a special academy that focuses on maker education, the Iovine and Young Academy, that works at the intersection of art, business, and engineering to teach the full range of skills associated with the maker movement — from the hard engineering, prototyping and design skills to working through the creative process in a team environment.