download (16)While many 3D printing companies have been doing great things in terms of educational outreach and getting 3D printers into classrooms, one of the most active lately has been Dremel. Over the last few months, the company has introduced one initiative after another aimed at implementing 3D printing curricula and supplies in schools. Their Idea Builder 3D printer, already a popular one in the classroom, was recently updated specifically for educational purposes, complete with a helpful connected app. A few months before that, they introduced a comprehensive set of 3D printing curricula, and they’ve made extra effort to make sure that teachers remain engaged and involved with the technology.

Today, Dremel announced that they’re taking another step towards ensuring that teachers have the capability and expertise to teach 3D printing in their classrooms. The company has partnered with the PD Learning Network (PDLN), a brand new organization offering online professional development for teachers, to create a badge certified 3D printing course for K-12 teachers.

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“One of our most important responsibilities as an education technology provider is supporting teachers as they learn how to implement new tools in their classrooms,” said George Velez, manager, Dremel 3D education. “Partnering with a reputable professional development organization is emblematic of our mission to ensure 3D printing is applied in a purposeful way that enhances students’ understanding of STEAM principles.”

download (17)Access to the course is provided with the purchase of every Dremel Idea Builder 3D40-EDU kit. The course material includes videos, lesson plans, articles, case studies from other schools, and hands-on learning opportunities all geared towards helping teachers to understand 3D printing and effectively transfer that knowledge to their students. According to PDLN, what sets them apart from other professional development education providers is their emphasis on classroom application rather than lecture-based courses, hence their motto “partnering with you to make professional development a verb.” Studies have shown that students engage more with their studies in active, hands-on environments, and PDLN takes that same approach towards educating teachers themselves.

After completing the course, which includes several assessments to demonstrate understanding of 3D printing and how to use the Idea Builder and integrate it into the classroom, teachers receive an open badge that they can present to administration or potential employers as evidence of their certification.

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PD Learning Network officially launched only this past February, but they’ve already successfully partnered with several organizations including CALSA, Badge Alliance, and the University of the Pacific. Their partnership with Dremel is another example of the remarkable way in which Dremel went from a straightforward manufacturer of rotary tools to a prominent name in both 3D printing and education in a very short period of time.

“PDLN is proud to partner with Dremel because their commitment to quality, reliability and simplicity in education technology,” said PD Learning Network CEO Jennifer Gibson. “Pairing that with PDLN’s standards of rigor in micro-credential badges ensures teacher mastery and effective instructional use of 3D printing technology.”

What do you think of this idea for teachers to get certified? Discuss in the 3D Printing Certification forum over at 3DPB.com.

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