Shannon McClintock Miller is a teacher, librarian & technology integration specialist, working at the Van Meter Library, in Van Meter, Iowa. She is also a blogger and a member of more associations, networks and children educational programs than can be listed here. She is a webinar host, a member of many local councils and boards but most of all she acts to help children learn and understand how to use new technologies.
Given her background it was just a matter of time before her expertise could be used to help children get involved with 3D printing so, when the Van Meter Library acquired a MakerBot Replicator 2, she immediately channelled the children’s enthusiasm towards a 3D Printing Fun! Symbaloo Webmix.
For those who are not already familiar with it, Symbaloo is a social network that helps people gather resources in the form of links to App Stores, Web Apps, articles, YouTube videos and all other content on a single, easy to access, online grid.
The webmix page helps the children keep track of the explosion of creativity that ensued upon the arrival of the 3D printer at the library: links to Makerware, Blokify and SketchUp Software, to the Cubify and Tinkercad Apps, or to the Shapify.me website can be shared and easily accessed from anywhere, at anytime.
The entire school community has been getting involved and many projects have been planned that will incorporate 3D printing into the school curriculum, library and classrooms. The Symbaloo page is meant to be an online place for children to go after school and connect with all the things they will need in their creative adventures.
Additive is the future of manufacturing: this means that many repetitive, physical labour jobs that today are done by humans, tomorrow will be done by machines. Todays’ children need to learn how to use, build and create with 3D printers, not to risk being left behind, and programs such as this are going to be fundamental in assuring that they do. But the best part of all is just seeing how much fun the kids are having with their new Makerbot Replicator.