We have a listener named Jay Kim who wrote in, asking a question about where he can find a community for teachers using 3D printing in school.
Last week, we had an interview with Cindi Schulz who created that curriculum down in San Diego. She had mentioned in that interview that Robo3D has the vision and the intention in the future to have an online community for teachers, but it doesn’t exist yet. They are still working on it. They are doing many new things, and they are doing a great job. We are impressed with them as a company and what they’re doing. We have faith that something will come of it, but it’s not there today. So how are we going to help Jay Kim right now?
Listen to the podcast here:
Is There an Online Community of Teachers for 3D Printing?
We had to do some digging. We know there are lots of teachers out there who are putting 3D printing into their curriculum. Cindi is doing a great job of that in the San Diego area, but we have talked to other people in the Midwest who reached out to us because they are having trouble finding a community.
First things first, I want to mention that there are maker spaces and maker organizations that are focused on STEAM and other kids’ programs. Vocademy is one of them, and STEAM Maker Workshop, which is the one that Cindi got involved with down in San Diego, is another one. Those are great resources, and you should use them. Gene at Vocademy has done a fantastic job. Schools come to him, and he is like, “What do you need? I’ll build it for you. Do you need a club? We’ll get one going.” There are lots of those around.
But I also do know that Vocademy is so willing to help with their format in any way they can. They want to help schools across the country. That’s a great general resource for everyone. Gene Sherman at Vocademy. Gene is a great guy, and what he is doing is excellent. If you are in the U.S. and in a very populated urban area like California, there are lots of potential resources. There are maker spaces throughout the U.S.
There is a twist to this question though because Jay Kim is from Korea. That’s difficult. They are doing some great things in Korea with an organization called Maker Bus, which is a 3D printing and modeling workshop. It sounds a bit like a makerspace. They have been working with over 50 schools to bring 3D printing to a lot of students in Korea over the last year. But he is looking for an online community, which makes sense because he wants to reach out to educators worldwide.
So we did some digging. We have been learning more and more about Thingiverse and getting to know them better. We have had some Skype conversations with them, and we are getting more involved and learning more about what they’re doing and where they’re going. We can’t talk about all of it, but we discovered that there are Thingiverse groups, which are forums and discussion groups. We went looking through them, and there are a lot of people involved.
They have a classroom 3D Thingiverse group that has 785 members actively within it that are talking about many different subjects. I am going to read a few of them to you, but you can go to thingiverse.com/groups or scroll to the bottom of their homepage, and you can see a blue rectangular box that says Thingiverse Groups: Join the Conversation. Click on that, and you can see the groups that exist. There are many themes for these groups, but this classroom one sounds right up his alley. I think there is a lot of threads in here that would help him.
We should mention that there are some manufacturers like Ultimaker who also have these types of forums. There very may well be threads within those forums. We are not particularly aware of them because we don’t own an Ultimaker. You should check with your printer’s forum; a lot of them have them. Or even other printers’ forums. Some of these are not closed groups.
I want to read some of these topics. If you are a teacher out there, you may be interested in communicating with these people. There is a thread called, “What’s Happening in Your 3D Classroom?” Another one is, “Teach a Child to Tell the Time.” This is about a project that you can do with them. “Every Student is Different” is another one. “3D Printing and Preschool.” “3D Printer Builds in Schools.” It really goes on and on. “Weekly Teacher and Student Tips” is another great one.
It didn’t take us very long to go through here. There are other more specific subjects about TinkerCAD and the role of tchotchke in teaching 3D design. I would stay away from tchotchke personally, but I’m not a teacher.
Thingiverse groups is a good recommendation. You can then converse with other teachers, people who are trying to do the same thing as you through this forum. It doesn’t matter what time zone you’re in or where you are in the world. They will get back to you when they can.
Another thing I want to mention quickly: Because I am a huge podcast listener as well as a podcaster, I have found a couple of podcasts that are specifically for teachers and tech. There is one called “Teachers Talking Tech,” which is not specifically talking about 3D printing, but does have a lot of good things about how to handle tech in your classroom. That is a really interesting one if you are a teacher and are looking for some ways to handle new technology and how to keep up with it. They have some great topics. They also have an ask feature where you can pose them this problem. That might be a great forum because it’s a group of teachers who are running that podcast. Another podcast is a great suggestion.
I would like to ask our listeners who are teachers or are in the education field or even manufacturers who are selling into schools if you know of other specific forums or online groups that teachers are communicating through. Please reach out to us and let us know so we can pass that along and include it in our notes.
- Cindi Schulze – 3D print K-12 teacher
- STEAM Maker Workshop
- Thingiverse Groups
- Ultimaker forums
- Teachers Talking Tech Podcast
Listen | Download | View
Hear the episode of the WTFFF?! Podcast by using the player above OR click to download any episode.
Help Us Help You!
Have some feedback? Leave a comment below. We will read and respond
Please also review us on iTunes and share via the social media of your choice.
- 3D Startpoint Facebook
- 3D Startpoint LinkedIn
- Hazz Design Twitter
- 3D Startpoint YouTube