Ted Talks are inspirational. These talks paint the future to be a magical place full of new ideas and unlimited possibilities. 3D printing is going to be a revolution. One that we are able to predict and get a ringside seat for. Like dot-matrix printers of the past, these machines will soon enter the home and change how we think about technology forever.
I did some quick editing of a couple key points of some very amazing Ted Talks. I think they play an important role for educators to understand the future facing students. In the first clip, Lisa Harouni makes a point that every educator should here. The reason these printers are not already in every home is due to the fact that we simply don't know how to use them. I believe that if we can get this technology into the hands of educators we can work to bring up a generation that is able to build and create with unlimited possibilities. In the following clip, Anthony Altala demonstrates just how impactful this technology is going to be. Right before your eyes he prints a human kidney. This in my mind establishes that there will be an amazing array of uses for the 3D printer. Next we have a couple clips from Bastian Shaefer and Lee Cronin that expand on the potential innovations that this technology could provide. From the concept of a 3D printed airplane, to the eventual possibility of a personal matter fabricator, it is easy to see that the future will not look like the past.
In the classroom we can use these ideas as inspiration. Inspired students are engaged students, and engaged students can become creative critical thinkers. Learning how to work in 3D is an essential skill in the coming world marketplace. Students that spend time on skills of this nature will be better equipped to work in a world with unlimited potential. I challenge educators to mix in 3D efforts to traditional classwork. Use technology to build 3D models, spend time working with clay and inventing in art class. Take the time to utilize the Minecraft game to build 3D worlds and then see those world come to life by printing them off on your Makerbot. Allow students the ability to be creative and know that your efforts are making a better future possible for all of us.