A Study of Children's Relationship with Making and Use of CAD in Collaborative, Informal Environments and the Implications for Institutional Learning Environments

Denise Milne (Lead / Corresponding author), Sam Vettese, Paul Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, the researchers investigate different ways in which school age, 'generation net' children learn, through non-linear, mediated, collaborative ‘making’ environments, enabled by informal club settings and online ‘builder’ gaming and groups. In addition to this, the study will investigate these learning methods in relation to children’s future attitudes to formal education and their engagement with the ethos of open access digital fabrication facilities.

The research will draw upon primary sources including the observation and analysis of children who attend 3D printing clubs created by one of the authors. These clubs are aimed at children who are just starting their formal school education, from the age of six. The clubs are informal and relaxed to allow a great deal of creative freedom. The children have access to 3D printers, CAD software and 3D printing pens to allow them to explore the technology and design process in different ways. They can choose to work together or alone, and can participate in the group discussion in an unforced way. This research will conclude by analysing the educational benefits of informal shared design practices and digital fabrication making processes and how they could be used in the learning spaces of the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-25
Number of pages16
JournalDesign and Technology Education
Volume23
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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