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With the importance of technology growing in the education sector, 3D printing is fuelling limit-less creativity among students.

To enrich the teaching process across STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Design subjects, there are innovative ways of using 3D printers to help make the teaching-learning process much more engaging and interactive. Some education institutions are still in the early stage of adopting this innovative technology, but 3D printing has the ability to revolutionise education in a holistic manner.

Also known as Additive Manufacturing, the technology provides teachers with three dimensional visual aids to use in the classroom while illustrating methods and also makes it easy for them to seize the interest of the students compared to just showing the pictorial representations of objects.

3D printers can be used at home, school, office and manufacturing labs. The technology helps in evaluating ideas that can be printed quickly by a student using easy to use open-source CAD soft-ware via a browser or download 3D print files available on the internet in open source communi-ties.

3D printing technology is turning out to be an effective way to enrich the learning experience in classrooms, where students are undertaking real world learning experiences to be better pre-pared for tomorrow’s challenges. It nurtures creativity, satisfies intellectual curiousity and inspires students to invent, design and engineer. It encourages new ideas, helps them bring things to life, and create real objects that model the innovations with high accuracy, fine detail and moving parts. Tomorrow’s engineers, designers and problem solvers deserve every tool available to build a brilliant future.

A recent pilot project conducted in the UK demonstrated how new and emerging technologies such as the 3Doodler (3D Pen) can enhance, shape and influence an educational setting in a varie-ty of ways; as well as encourage students to take on new challenges. The programme specifically highlighted how the 3Doodler 3D Pen can be used to:

• Incentivise performance amongst students;
• Diversify teaching methods within the classroom;
• Stimulate kinaesthetic and visual learners;
• Enhance the performance of divergent thinkers;
• Improve concentration amongst students, including those with ADHD; and
• Level the playing field between male and female students, especially in the sciences.

At The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, art therapy has been a part of the treat-ment regimen for psychiatric patients for some time, and has recently been expanded to include medical patients. This new art therapy programme is funded entirely by donors.
Jennifer Bassin is an art therapist at SickKids. Her background includes a Master’s degree in counselling and a background in psychology. She does not consider herself an artist; rather, she considers art and the making of art as a tool that allows children to address difficult challenges in a controlled way.

Indian companies such as 3D Boulevard based in Delhi provide 3D Printing School kits and it is a first of its kind in India. 3D Printing is a great way for schools to really engage their students in the learning process and offer advanced possibilities for a variety of disciplines. Every school should integrate 3D printing to prepare the next generation for their future careers.

3D Printing is transforming school education in many different areas. The most obvious applica-tions are in the prototyping capabilities useful for Engineering, Medical, Fashion, Architecture and Art students. More disciplines where 3D Printing adds value are:

● Historical artefacts can be printed to be investigated without worrying about damaging the orig-inal piece or a landmark which is located remotely.
● An extra dimension can be added to the artwork of Graphic Designers.
● 3D prints of skulls and all other bones can be used by Biology students.
● Chemistry students can 3D print molecular structures to support their learning process.
● Engineering and Computer Science students can design prototype to test their creation.

3D printing has been evolving very rapidly in the last couple of years. The printers are getting more advanced, cheaper and make use of several materials such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Poly Lactic Acid), LayWood - Wood Composite Filament, Metal Composite, Conduc-tive Filament, Carbon Fibre Composite, Nylon, HIPS - High Impact Polystyrene, Soft PLA,Flexible Filament, Neon & Glow in the Dark Filament, Limestone, LayBrick and many more.

3D printing is a disruptive technology and will see a huge impact on manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare. Niche applications such as arts and crafts, interior decoration, fashion accessories, footwear designs, jewellery designs, animation & gaming, customised footwear designs, furniture and modelling have potential as well. Those interested in enrolling in a 3D printing workshop can contact 3D Boulevard at info@3dboulevard.in.

The author is Tanuj Rai Taneja, founder, 3D Boulevard. He can be reached at +91 9810231515 or info@3dboulevard.in.

3D Boulevard - www.3dboulevard.in
Reseller of 3D Printers, 3D Scanners, Filaments/Materials, 3D Pens and Educational Curriculum for Schools in India.
Contact : 9810231515 Email: info@3dboulevard.in
 
Employment assessment programmes at colleges are typically designed to help students attain their goals at the completion of the course. It helps students to recognise their strengths and areas of improvement, identify industries and functions that may suit their skills and interests, measure gaps and provide feedback. These are necessary for students to prepare themselves to get selected and perform at workplace.

The time when candidates were chosen based on their graduation/academic scores are long gone. Today, organisations are keen to assess candidates across multiple dimensions in order to arrive at a holistic profile to enable them ascertain fitment to the organisation and the team.

Colleges are under pressure to enhance employability of their students. This has forced many of them to build ‘structures’ that will enable them enhance industry interactions and build employability programmes designed to bridge the gaps that may be present in the students. Employability enhancement programmes led by assessments have a role to play in this respect.

This article highlights five reasons why colleges should have such employability assessment programs.

Identify Strengths and Areas of Improvement: Corporates are comfortable with the domain knowledge that students acquire from colleges. What student need is to focus on their skills, ability and personality which are not a part of a typical curriculum in colleges. Scientific employability assessments reveal the strengths and weaknesses of students, particularly in these areas. This feedback is the first important step towards making them employable in a career of choice.

Plan Career: A good employability assessment would assess interests and other behavioural traits of students along with their abilities and skills. This understanding will help students prepare themselves for probable careers where they fit. Early assessment interventions will give students enough time to prepare better for their career.

Focused Training:
Assessments form the basis for training need identification. Once the training needs are identified, it is important to devise training programmes that will address the areas where gaps are to be filled.

Showcasing Talent Pool: Out of the 4000+ engineering colleges in India, corporates visit only around 500 colleges for campus recruitment. Corporates’ lack of confidence on the employability of students is one of reasons why students of a majority of engineering colleges miss out. Employability assessments can help colleges showcase the available talent pool and attract corporates for campus and off-campus recruitment.

College Branding:
The academic landscape in India is fast evolving. In this context, colleges that have undertaken systematic employability enhancement initiatives have attracted greater interest among the student community. This commitment and adoption of reputed tools would also help colleges in enhancing their ratings in the industry.

Practice and Experience: Many times, the corporate recruitment test is the first time a student gets a change to appear for an employability test and face an interview. More practice in the form of mock tests and mock interviews through the employability assessment programme will help students perform better in their recruitment test.

Today, a sound employability enhancement programme has become a ‘hygiene’ requirement in a regular graduation course. It is important for colleges to understand that the need of the hour is not just to assess employability but to devise sound employability enhancement programmes that will ensure that students become job ready by the time they qualify.

Today, 'Employability' is a ‘lifeskill‘.

The author is Nagendran Sundararajan, executive vice president, MeritTrac Services.
 
The children of today are gearing up to become adult citizens of tomorrow. The growth is parallel to the future of our country, reflected through quality of the present education system. A school must stimulate curiosity in the young, impressionable minds and equip them with tools to be better human beings.

It widely accepted that the learning process is instrumental in shaping one’s personality and the way he/she deals with situations of life. The shift of thoughts from bookish knowledge to knowledge of life, in schools, has brought forth a sea of change. People have warmed up to the idea of education being the key to a well-rounded development instead of just a mean to acquire degrees and monetary success in life. Education must facilitate the cultivation of a healthy thought process and groom our cognitive abilities. In the present competitive world, education is a basic necessity for human beings after food, clothes and shelter.

School education must focus on the following aspects, which contribute immensely to the development of the young minds as they step into adulthood.

Mental aspect

School is the foremost fountain of knowledge children are exposed to. It gives a chance for them to acquire knowledge on various fields of education such as people, literature, history, mathematics, politics, and other numerous subjects. This contributes to cultivation in the thought process. When one is exposed to the influences coming from various cultural sources, his/her on world and existence becomes vast. 

Social aspect

School is the first avenue of socialising for a child. Up till then, parents and immediate family members are the only people the child has human interactions with. And familiarity is a breeding ground of stagnancy. With schools, children are exposed not only to new ideas but also to same aged compatriots. This instils sociable practices such as empathy, friendship, participation, assistance which turn out to be important in their adulthood.


Physical aspect

A child, after conception, goes through various physical development. While home provides a restricted outlet, in school, a child can channelise his energy into more sociable avenues. Studies have pointed out that while in familiar environment, the child is is equipped to deal with sudden bursts of energy, the learns to be at his/her best behaviour only when exposed to same-aged individuals. Plus, familiarity leads to taking advantage of situations, while in school, the playing field is levelled. Also, the presence of activities such as sports, craft help children direct their boundless energy into something productive.

Overall aspect

Earlier, schools were considered as places to learn events in history chapter, solve tough mathematical problems or recite poems and sonnets. In current educational scenario, a child learns to go beyond the traditional way of rote learning. They are taught to develop a mind of their own and through the flexible curriculum, curiosity is promoted. The child is freed of the shackles of mental blocks and lets his/her imagination run its course. Importance of imagination is stressed upon extensively. Play enactions and an encompassing curriculum leads to a well-developed cognitive system.

Conclusion

Life is also about learning, apart from living. While we can learn to a certain extent from our parents, they tend to be unilateral. At school, children are exposed to various sources from whom they can imbibe immense knowledge, instrumental for their development. Hence school is necessary for children to inculcate “the workings of life”

Education forms the foundation of any society. It is responsible for the economic, social, and political growth and development of society in general. The thread of the growth of society depends upon the quality of education that is being imparted. So schools play an important role in moulding a nation's future by facilitating all round development of its future citizens.

The author is Deepika Sharma, Principal SRS International School.
 
A robust education system reflects any country’s growth and prosperity. Education acts as the foundation for a brighter future of an individual. Over the last few decades, great strides in India’s education system were made though the focus on developing the right set of skills and providing training to create global citizens is still missing. There is a dire need to empower individuals who have the power to make the difference in the world by eradicating the most of the complex issues.

By incorporating design, which by and large shapes our ideas better is inherent in our every act. We design, we create experiences to make the life of individuals more comfortable, information readily available, work more efficient, spaces more convivial, and in turn making people's life more meaningful. The strategic importance of design for national and industrial competitiveness is a world known phenomena. For India, the value addition through innovation in design has and will play a pivotal role to enhance competitiveness for both manufacturing and service industries. The Government of India has initiated a consultee approach with industry and designers to develop the broad contours for a combined vision towards a design enabled Indian industry. It is with the objective of creating positive impulse in the national economy and high quality of life for everyone.

With such a positive outlook and government push, lets’ take a step back to reassess the Design education scenario in India. Back in the 1950s, the Indian government noticed the negligence of design and quality for consumer items. With a strong emphasis, a focused educational programme was created to develop the industrial design and visual communication skills for Indians. The famous American industrial designer duo Charles Eames and his wife Ray were invited to India to formalise Design education in India. Under their report guidelines, National Institute of Design was set up in 1961.

Since then, Design education in India has witnessed multifold changes and upgradation. The acceptance and practice of design in India have grown tremendously. There are a variety of design schools across the country who claim to improvise the design education standards by imparting the much-required training to students. Though with a faster-changing world even the standards in Design education are very high. And the question remains is how can we remove the loopholes and sustain a high-quality education from a conventional structure?

The awareness of Design education and the growing demand for design professionals is a positive indicator. It educates people to differentiate between a good or a bad product and it certainly helps shape a better future of our world. There is a growing need to eradicate the redundancies in the traditional course curriculum. A strategic streamlining of the education structure which offers practice exposure encourages focused learning is much required. Along with basics of design, this societal problem will be addressed by applying design concepts in the knowledge structure. It will help build interest and develop their skills.

Admission Process: A sharpened focus while admitting students to Design curriculum with emphasis on aptitude, quality and acumen. Even Design scholarships will help the right students to develop their capabilities who otherwise could not afford to take up these programmes.

Practical Learning Approach: The world is changing every day and so do our Design processes. A lean and efficient learning experience must be provided to help the future designers create a better tomorrow as opposed to the conventional process. The best way to go about with practice will be to adopt a project-based, and internship oriented curriculum much in the real world to learn and experiment. Collaboration is the key to success for future. To provide aspirants with significant exposure to work across streams live projects creation opportunities are required. It will in-turn help them build their professional skills, including communication, brainstorming ideas and practical thinking which are equally important.

Quest for Right Faculty: To impart quality in Design education, we need educators who can bring together and put that value across to the Design aspirants. To avoid the shortage of qualified faculty for Design education, we need to act now. With newer additions every day, we require teachers to narrow the learning gap for students.

Learning Environment:
Even though Design education has been in existence in India for a couple of decades, the country still lags behind its counterparts from global Design education fraternity. There is not enough traction in our current learning system. A creative fusion of hardcore Design with technical aspects through an independent, creative and self-reliant approach will certainly change this scenario. The institutions should offer more opportunities for students to grow, think efficiently and independently.

Specialisation focus:
A continuous evaluation of course curriculum by mapping the latest industry demands will help while developing Design courses. More than focusing on one particular area in the Design vertical, the institutions should ideally equip the learners with a know-how of the related areas. For example, a specialisation in Systems Design must focus on why the need for System Design (feasibility), for whom it is getting developed (empathy), and how it will work/help (functionality) aspects.

At the governance level, the liberalisation of institutions will help better designing of course curriculum to create empowered professionals of tomorrow.

Innovation is essential for creating that edge in Indian Design education to help students work better in unpredictable market conditions and intense global competition. Incremental improvements by themselves will not do. The points listed above will help improve the quality of Design training in India.

The author is Dr. Sanjay Dhande, chief mentor, Avantika University.