Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
We spoke to Siert Wijnia, CTO and co-founder of Ultimaker 3D printing, about how the technology is changing the workforce and how this impacts on education. Siert outlines how having the technology embedded as a learning method at an early age brings a host of benefits relevant to business – including innovation, creativity and collaboration – as these young minds enter the workforce.
“To quote Jonathan Swift: ‘Invention is the talent of youth, as judgment is of age.’ As business today undergoes digital transformation, so must the way in which we encourage learning and the skills that we impart to tomorrow’s workforce.
“While leaders in education are starting to embrace 3D technology, the extent to which 3D printing comes naturally to students as they turn an idea into something tangible is becoming increasingly evident.
“Indeed, applications of 3D printing in education and learning are only limited by our own imagination – as we can see from the applications through such initiatives as the Create Education Project. Providing a whole new dimension to learning and applying technology to all subjects, 3D printing encourages creative and innovative thinking, helping foster problem-solving skills and invention.
“Mastering the skill of 3D printing can have a tremendous impact on the formation of the future workforce. 3D printing requires a way of learning that goes beyond theory which is largely listening and seeing. Students that have used 3D printing to learn will look to apply knowledge differently, interacting with their ideas and evolving their thinking faster; entrepreneurial skills which are hugely valuable to all organisations.
“Moreover, whilst many businesses are undergoing digital transformation and implementing new processes to support new strategies, 3D printing should be considered a vital tool to encourage innovation and critical thinking.
“Businesses and educational bodies need to work better together to improve the understanding of how 3D printing tools in the classroom can be used to aid teaching across a number of subjects. Some businesses are already linking with local schools for other reasons, but organisations who see a future in the technology would be wise to consider investing in their up-and-coming local workforce by providing students with tools and education around the opportunities that the technology brings.
“3D printing is beginning to make its mark in education – but there is huge potential for more educational bodies to get involved.”
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