Open Source Classroom from Open Source Classroom on Vimeo.
3D printers could prove to be one of the most versatile tools that educators have to engage their students in unique and innovative projects. The rapid growth of 3D printers is a result of the open source movement, an online community of people actively sharing ideas about DIY projects in a variety of disciplines. Having a 3D printer enables someone to take their idea from concept to manufacturing with incredible precision right at their desktop.
Professor Dave Kennel first introduced me to 3D printers about three years ago. Since then, we both have utilized open source machines to create dozens of projects. Last January, Dr. Merrill, the STEM education graduate coordinator, asked Dave and I to help administer 3D printing workshops for a diverse group of teachers. The workshops were such a success that Dave and I decided to form Open Source Classroom.
Open Source Classroom is a company that specializes in training teachers about open source technologies. We accomplish this through a variety of professional development workshops including 3D printers, Arduino programming, and 3D modeling. This is a valuable service for educators because we are providing them with the tools to create new and exciting educational activities that engage their students in complex technical subjects.
In addition to our ongoing workshops, Open Source Classroom has built and published a company webpage to showcase our services in addition to our active social media presence. We have engaged in a number of online technology and educational groups to connect with our target market. After meeting with local school teachers and administrators we have already scheduled several professional development workshops.
During the planning stages of our business, Professor Kennell and I developed the 3D literacy concept to structure the components teachers need to bring these technologies into their classrooms. I have also attended several technology education conferences speaking on behalf of the business with very high interest from schools all over the state. We have tested our workshops with both students and teachers and found that even a 5th grader can build 3D printers.
As technology continues to advance, schools around the world are going to need professional development workshops to stay current. Open Source Classroom has the potential to grow beyond the educational system and open locations to provide similar services to the public. As the open source community continues to advance technology, educational institutions are struggling to find new methods to engage their students. Open Source Classroom is committed to providing teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to incorporate open source technologies into their classrooms.
When you combine the elements of 3D Literacy with creativity, the result is innovation.