3D Printing in Education: An Annotated Bibliography

My Annotated Bibliography via Google Docs

I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment and I ended up discovering extra articles that I printed and saved for later. Being given the opportunity to research a subject that interests me allowed me to connect my research with a technology I have been interested in for some time. Through this assignment I learned how to search for and cite peer-reviewed articles. This allows me to do in-depth research on technologies like 3D printing so I can be more informed about how to apply them in the classroom. It also allows me to keep track of the articles I have read through Zotero, an application I was not previously familiar with. I was also able to learn how to access and search through articles in the Albertson’s Library. This is a great resource I plan to use going forward. I am very excited to be able to share my bibliography with my peers who are interested in applying 3D printing technology into their classrooms but hesitate from a lack of understanding of the nature of the tech.

I choose 3D printing as my subject to research because although my peers at work are interested in this kind of technology, exactly how to apply it in the classroom eludes them. Many are concerned with the cost compared with what kind of impact it could make in student’s lives. Some of the articles I read addressed these concerns and offered various solutions. Something that struck me, was that the majority of the articles felt it was necessary to explain in depth what 3D printing is and what is involved in the software and hardware. This tells me that although, in certain circles, the technology is quite commonplace that many people are still not familiar enough with it that it is a give-in what a 3D printer is. Perhaps a first step in integrating 3D printing technology into classrooms is professional development on the nature of the technology itself.

Something else that struck me was the idea that holding a 3D printed object and being able to experience it in real physical terms is not necessarily the same as viewing the same model on a computer screen. From personal experience I have had the question put to me ‘Why not just save the cost of printing an object and view it on a computer?’ and I felt like I really did not have a good answer. One of the papers discussed the concept of spatial awareness in construction communication and that really hit home for me. Another discussed how engineering students need to print their designs to see how they react to real-world physics. I now feel more prepared to tackle those kinds of questions.

Ultimately, I learned a lot in this and last week’s lessons and I feel more confident that I can research technologies in a more creditable way than I have in the past. Also that I am able to use Zotero to keep track of an organize my references as i go.

 

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