PRINT3D, Promoting inclusion through educational 3D-printing

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This project works mainly on three aspects: the pedagogical use of 3D printing in class, the promotion of service-learning methodology for inclusion and the design of teacher training courses to ensure the best learning practices for students. These three aspects underpin the design of learning activities that promote the inclusion of the visually impaired community.

The visually impaired constitute a community at risk of social exclusion. Beyond the strict definition of visual impairment, or the percentage of vision loss of each individual, adequate training is crucial for the full social integration of this community. In addition, educational interventions are required in order to raise general awareness among the rest of the population about the special needs of disadvantaged groups and visually impaired people.

On the other hand, the emergence of new technologies, such as 3D printing, has opened a range of educational possibilities and services that can alleviate the aforementioned inequalities and collaborate in inclusive actions.

The expected impact of the PRINT3D project is clear, both in awareness-raising about visual impairment, among the participating students, and in improving the life conditions of the final users of the 3D objects. All the necessary means for diffusion are used to guarantee the project’s visibility. Likewise, the sustainability of the project is ensured, both by the long “useful life” of the objects generated by it, permanently in relation to their designs, and by the didactic methodology that is used by it. The method is easily replicable in the years to come.

Two teacher training courses are designed and offered to teachers as part of the project. One is related to technical issues about the use of the 3D printer. The second one explains the basis of the service-learning methodology.

The third intellectual output is a mini-textbook for students and a guide for teachers who want to implement these inclusive 3D printing learning activities in their classes.

The second year of the project is mainly focused on the implementation of the learning scenarios, arising from the intellectual outputs of the project.

Three different schools in Greece and other two schools in Spain are partners of the project and develop and share their experiences on the project’s website.

Basic information

Country: Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Spain

Coordinator: Conselleria d'Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport, http://www.ceice.gva.es/inicio

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, other

Topic: Technology, Education, Other

Start year: 2017

End year: 2019

Url: http://www.erasmusprint3d.eu/

Contact person: Oscar R. Lozano-Lucia, Email lozano_osc (at) gva.es

Reports of the project are mainly focused on aspects dealing with:

  • The use of the 3D printing technology for educational purposes.
  • The impact on the students of the Service Learning Methodology (SLM) employed.
    • This SLM is intended to increase motivation among the students, since they feel how important the work they are doing is for society in general and particularly for the visually impaired community.
    • The applicability of the students’ work provides significant learning since a real context is provided.
    • Visually impaired students have an active role to play in the learning activities dealing with design and 3D printing of objects that are useful for the visually impaired community. This is a way to foster real inclusion of this group of students.
  • The inclusion of the visually impaired students is carried out through different approaches. First, their direct implication in the learning activities in class. Second, by raising awareness of the special needs that this community has to deal with in many aspects of their everyday lives.
  • It is assessed how the teacher training courses developed in the framework of this project enhance the use of ICT in class by teachers, as well as the use of service learning methodology in their classes, as means to study any curricular content.

The project delivers intellectual outputs that are useful for the teachers’ community:

  • Two teacher training courses, with both face-to-face and online versions. These are concerned with: a) technical and didactic aspects of 3D design and printing;b) knowledge about the service-learning methodology centred on visual impairment.
  • Didactic resources related to 3D printing, linked to the service learning, including a teacher's guide and an associated mini-textbook for students.
  • Resources are generated in relation to the implementation of the project’s experiences in the classroom, including the learning of 3D printing, with the aim of generating useful objects for the visually impaired. Those are, in particular, school plans, as well as plans of outpatient clinics, hospitals, metro stations, urban routes, maps, etc.
  • A repository of 3D objects for the community of people with visual impairment. Depending on the number and quality of “manufactured” objects, they are donated to the “mapped” places, including hospitals, museums, and others.

 

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