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No. Your 3D Printer Does Not Make You Innovative.

No. Your 3D Printer Does Not Make You Innovative by Tom Murray

SHARED POST: This article posted on Tom Murray’s Blog.

Few will disagree that over the past few years the notion of 3D printing in schools has gained incredible steam. It’s certainly one of the latest bandwagons. Scan social media on any given day and you’ll find end users pridefully holding the latest “cool” print in the palm of their hand, hashtagging some synonyms of “innovation.” Many times, the social sharer touts their own innovative ideas, how the tool is a “game changer,” or how their printer is “revolutionizing” learning. Continue to observe, and one can easily see the notion or the “understanding” that because they’re 3D printing, innovation is thriving in their classroom, school, or district. Simply put, using a 3D printer (even daily) does not make one “innovative.”

Let me be clear. 3D printers can absolutely be a conduit to providing students with high level, personal and authentic learning experiences. They can also be a colossal waste of money. 

Which type of printer is in your school or district?


Tom Murray (@thomascmurray): Tom serves at the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education. He is also a 2018 MACUL Conference Featured Speaker. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and works alongside that body, the White House, the US Department of Education, and state departments of education, corporations, and school districts throughout the country to implement student-centered, personalized learning while helping to lead Future Ready Schools and Digital Learning Day.