Printrbot Learn Living Document Picks Up Steam: First Draft of Curriculum Released

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It looks like Printrbot’s educational initiative, Printrbot Learn, is generating a serious buzz among the educators and students it’s aimed at for its newly introduced curriculum initiative. We wrote about the curriculum-in-progress earlier this week, and the first update is already up. As Fischer notes, it’s been “a whirlwind effort of 72 hours or so.”

clarence fischer

Clarence Fischer

Part of the initiative involves building a “living document” on the best way to create a 3D printing curriculum. The majordomo of the Printrbot Learn blog, Clarence Fischer, an educator out in the hinterlands of Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada, was thrilled to find out he’s not alone in his efforts to form a curriculum document to guide the effort.

“I posted to this blog a few days ago asking for help, and by the next morning I logged on to Google to find around 20 people on the document,” Fischer wrote in an update. “Together, this draft is far better now than it would have been if I had worked on this project alone. This is another great reminder of the fact that open source projects thrive because we are smarter when we put our heads together.”

You can find the document in question here, and it’s still open for editing now. It arose from Fischer’s belief there’s a conflict of interests involved in the way many companies reach out to schools. He wants the frontline teachers doing the work in schools to collaborate and produce a cohesive 3D printing curriculum, one that takes into account the age of the students being taught.

Fischer taught at the tiny school in Snow Lake for 20 years, and he’s been interviewed by the New York Times and CNET about the accomplishments of his students. Now he’s focused on keeping his kids near the center of 3D printing technology.

printrbot curriculum main

He says the endgame for the Printrbot Learn program is meant to provide a tool to eradicate the “lack of quality, organized curriculum to do with 3D printing and manufacturing.”

Ultimately, Fischer says what’s rapidly becoming a popular group effort through the open documents should be licensed and released via Creative Commons, and the educator says there are just a few “guiding principles” behind the effort; the Creative Commons dictum and that the curriculum be “printer agnostic.”

“I want this curriculum to be useful for everyone no matter if they are working with a reprap machine, a Printrbot, or something logo-PBLearn-50pxelse,” Fischer says.

The draft of the 3D printing curriculum from Printrbot Learn is available now to check out. Each step includes Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced objectives for the curriculum. From “Getting to Know Your Printer” through “Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship,” the curriculum focuses on the whole process of 3D printing in easy-to-understand lesson plan suggestions.

Those who have ideas on how to help the development of the curriculum along have several options to assist Fischer on the project. He invites interested parties to either comment on his posts at Printrbot Learn’s blog, email him (clarence.fisher@printrbot.com), tweet at the Printrbot Learn Twitter account, or edit the Google doc.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts, too! Join the discussion on the Printrbot Learn Curriculum forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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