With thanks to the IIATE, I have used 3D printers and laser cutters in my classroom

 I LOVE manufacturing technologies, I DREAM about students producing projects using 3D printers, however, I do NOT work at a school that has a 3D printer. We don’t have a CNC machine either? Or a laser cutter? But my students STILL use them as part of their course work.

I am a teacher of technology. I specialise in Design Technology & Industrial Tech – Timber in senior years and in BOTH syllabus documents students need to understand how manufacturing technologies work. In an ideal world they would design and produce projects that would use them, just as they do in industry. Unfortunately, the school I work at doesn’t have ANY appropriate equipment to do that, I only achieve this with an extended network of teachers and the IIATE.

The IIATE is the INSTITUTE of INDUSTRIAL ARTS TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION, they are my professional association, much like English teachers have the ETA. They organise professional development, a yearly conference (this year we are joining forces with other states to create a NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE!) AND also the loan program for 3D printers. The concept is SOOOO rad that the Technology in Education Magazine recently did a cover story article on it! – – – > http://issuu.com/tempomedia/docs/tie-1-2014

The IIATE council do a fabulous job of providing members/teachers with opportunities to provide for their students, without the 3D printer program my students would not have had access to this experience. Without the networking opportunities the IIATE create my students would not be able to use other schools manufacturing equipment.

The IIATE is a non-profit organisation run by teachers, if you are a TAS teacher NSW you should be a part of the association too! In VIC there is DATTA, and in QLD a similar association called INTAD. Whatever your area of teaching, I urge you to join your supporting professional association.