27 September 2023

3D printing to shape student learning

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After two and half years of research and development, NSW schools can now access a growing library of files to print 3D models to support blind or low-vision students.

Welcoming the Department of Education’s 3D library, Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell said the learning resources, which include tactile globes and components of the brain, were world-leading examples of inclusive education.

Ms Mitchell said more than 70 files for printing 3D resources that were aligned to the curriculum had been developed.

“This is incredible and innovative work by our inclusion specialists,” she said.

“3D prints of human anatomy are making learning biology easier for students with a vision impairment who would traditionally have used simpler raised line diagrams to help build understanding in the course.

“3D prints of different components of the brain show the complexity of how the pieces fit together and also inside the skull.”

Ms Mitchell said public schools could print the new 3D education materials on their own 3D printer, or borrow one from the Department’s central store.

The Minister said to complement this new learning innovation, the Department had also commissioned a variety of research into best practice for inclusive education and learning outcomes for students with disability.

She said the Department had released a series of externally researched reports to continue strengthening its approach to inclusive education.

The research reports include a review of evidence-based practices that support students with disability; hearing the voices of students, parents and staff in schools; trialling more accessible ways to hear from students with high needs; an assessment for complex learners trial on how to effectively assess outcomes for students with intellectual disability and other related disabilities; and research into mental health and autism.

The research series can be accessed at this PS News link.

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