Jared is the Director of Educational Technology meaning he is in charge of all infrastructure and instructional technology integration across the Interim Unit of Central Pennsylvania. This includes 25 schools and 2 career centers serving 100,000 students and 10,000 teachers. Jared leads workshops for teachers on how to use New Matter MOD-ts, helping them understand the product so they can teach their students.
How long have you been 3D printing?
What initially interested you about 3D printing?
For me, I was a former science teacher. I taught chemistry for 10 years. 3D printing is about students creating, designing, and making objects with real-world applications. 3D printing is the ability of students to design in a 3-dimensional space with no limitations. There was a time when students were limited to building with materials familiar to them, and with 3D printing that is no longer the case.
Have you used a 3D printer before the MOD-t?
The MOD-t was the first hardware and the first one we purchased and owned but it is not the first one we have used.
If so, how does your user experience of the MOD-t differ from other 3D printers?
The ease of use and simplicity of design makes it so it isn’t intimidating to students. The online interface makes it so that installation and configuration is easy. It is an appealing product for first-time users.
How did you hear about the MOD-t?
Our STEM coordinator and I attended the ISTE conference 2 years ago and it was then that I intended to find some type of printer that met characteristics explained above like ease of use and simple design. At the conference, we met the New Matter crew and fell in love with the product.
How has the MOD-t changed the atmosphere of your classroom?
I believe that, as with any technology, there is a natural excitement of 3D printing in the classroom…that is the first layer. After the novelty and excitement wear off and it becomes more commonplace there comes a change of classroom design that opens up a whole other realm of possibilities.
How have you incorporated the MOD-t into your classroom curriculum?
Since I am the director of technology I do not implement the printers into specific classrooms. However, in my job, I have run 3 workshops for teachers in grades K-12. 100 teachers come to the workshop and after it, they walk out with their own MOD-t.
At the workshop, the teachers learn how to use and design with the MOD-t and then they get to take it with them. The workshop is designed so that the teachers and their students come back 3 months later and have a design challenge against each other. This allows us to see how well they have integrated the printer into their curriculum and how well the students have learned to use the printer.
In your opinion, what is the future of 3D printing?
I believe it is going to have some duration before it reaches full maturity, like with any technology. The price point will go down to a point where it will be affordable to have one in every single classroom. What I think will happen is the cost of materials will also lower. The software to build and construct STL files is already becoming simpler making it so there are no limitations. One doesn’t need to be high school architect or dedicated CAD student to be able to 3D print. In the past, it has mostly been tech ed students, but in the future, it will permeate across disciplines.
Anything else to add?
For the past year and a half I have worked with Steve, the CEO, and Catharine, the education liaison, and the experience has been so positive. I appreciate the focus on the education market and ensuring the students work well with the MOD-t. I appreciate how New Matter is designing their printers for educational use.