MakerBot, the industry leader in 3D printing for education, has just earned the ISTE Seal of Alignment for the recently launched MakerBot Certification™ program for educators. The first of its kind, the program addresses two important hurdles to implementing 3D printers in STEM classrooms. First the program coaches educators to become 3D printing experts, then it trains them to create their own custom 3D printing curriculum.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the leading accreditation body that defines standards for how to use technology in classrooms. Their standards and Seal of Alignment are important tools for teachers and administrators nationwide to evaluate the quality of resources like professional development or curriculum. After an independent review, the MakerBot Certification program received ISTE’s Seal of Alignment, meeting their standards for educators and making it easier for individuals and entire districts to add and support 3D printing in their STEM classrooms.
MakerBot will exhibit its solutions for educators, including the MakerBot Certification program and lesson plans from Thingiverse Education™, at this year’s ISTE conference beginning June 24th in Chicago. Renowned educational technologist Kathy Schrock, one of the program’s key collaborators and first graduates, elaborates, “[o]nce I finished the MakerBot Curriculum certification, I was confident how best to use 3D printing in the classroom to support instruction, as well as how to manage the design and print process for student success.”
With its 3D printers in over 7,000 schools, MakerBot offers the most robust collection of resources for educators and was recently named the Best 3D Printer for Schools by All3DP.com. MakerBot CEO Nadav Goshen adds, “This ecosystem, this complete solution for educators, hasn’t always existed. We built it over the course of years, placing printers in schools and learning from educators what they still need and what makes the biggest impact on student learning outcomes.”
Through this focus on listening to and supporting educators, MakerBot has made substantial progress in how well 3D printers meet teachers’ instructional goals. A survey of over 2,000 MakerBot Educators, conducted over the past three years, asked teachers to rate their success using MakerBot 3D printers for general K-12 and CAD instruction. In both categories, the percentage of teachers who reported the printers met their classroom needs doubled over two years.
“This data shows that MakerBot isn’t just growing its user base in schools,” Goshen continued. “We’re measurably improving teachers’ experiences using 3D printing. Much of this impressive teacher satisfaction is thanks to the effort we’ve put into solving real classroom problems—like the availability of 3D printing curriculum with Thingiverse Education, clear best practices with the MakerBot Educators Guidebook, and now training with the new MakerBot Certification program.”
The same survey asked teachers to gauge their interest in cloud-based 3D printing, and 58% reported an immediate interest in using a cloud-based workflow. This clear preference towards a simple, flexible workflow is what drove the development of the industry’s first seamless cloud-based platform, My MakerBot™. It combines 3D print preparation with printer management and connects directly to Tinkercad® software for easy 3D design and printing—compatible with Chromebook® computers or any browser-based device. By working directly with the world’s largest community of 3D printing educators, MakerBot is able to predict and identify key educator values and challenges, then address them with deeply impactful solutions.
Collectively, these and other insights confirm that the market for 3D printing in education has matured significantly in the past several years; educators are finding their footing with the technology, and MakerBot is the leading provider for 3D printing education solutions that go beyond just hardware and software.