3Ducation Project

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Vasilis Kostakis et al.:

"This research project attempts to examine to what extent the technological capabilities of open source 3D printing could serve as a means of learning and communication. The learning theory of constructionism is used as a theoretical framework in creating an experimental educational scenario focused on 3D design and printing. In this paper, we document our experience and discuss our findings from a three-month project run in two high schools in Ioannina, Greece. 33 students were tasked to collaboratively design and produce, with the aid of an open source 3D printer and a 3D design platform, creative artifacts. Most of these artifacts carry messages in the Braille language. Our next goal, which defined this project’s context, is to send the products to blind children inaugurating a novel way of communication and collaboration amongst blind and non-blind students. Our experience, so far, is positive arguing that 3D printing and design can electrify various literacies and creative capacities of children in accordance with the spirit of the interconnected, information-based world."



Vasilis Kostakis et al. :

"To explore how to facilitate a shift from virtual deschooling through deschooling virtuality to deschooling society (Jandrić 2014), we developed two educational scenarios. The first one is called the ‘3Ducation project’. It includes a series of experiential learning workshops that build on a blend of open-source technologies, cosmolocal practices, and the Kolb learning cycle (Kostakis et al. 2015; Pantazis and Priavolou 2017). Students are engaged in co-designing and manufacturing 3D-printed models of natural and cultural heritage elements as well as other artifacts (e.g., Rubik’s cube). The artifacts, which carry messages in Braille, are then provided to people with visual impairments, with a twofold aim: to enable communication among persons with and without visual impairments, and to empower students to participate in learning scenarios that integrate open-source technologies and cosmolocalism elements. So far, we have realized that the 3Ducation project electrifies various literacies and creative capacities of the students in accordance with the spirit of cosmolocalism (though the concept has never been explicitly stated in the workshops yet) (Kostakis et al. 2015; Pantazis and Priavolou 2017).

During the 3Ducation workshops, students use commons-based technologies (open-source software and hardware) and even commons-based licenses to share their creations. The latter create positive feedback loops because students, from different places, can asynchronously collaborate by improving the same design/artifact. However, the educational scenario has been designed in a top-down fashion. We alone, the teachers and facilitators, have designed the learning process. Students have not been involved. Therefore, our current goal is to integrate more commoning in the next iterations of the workshops in line with the idea of the ‘educational commons’.

According to Pechtelidis and Kioupkiolis,

- The commons in education could animate attempts to transform the substance of our relationship to teaching, learning, research, and institutions of education in accord with the spirit of the commons. Education would be transfigured, then, into a collective good, which is created, governed, and enjoyed in common by all parties of the educational community. (2020: 4)

Education could therefore be organized ‘as an institution of the commons’ such that the management of knowledge and education would be a collective process and educational communities would organize and coordinate among themselves on a basis of the ‘democratic participation process’ (Pechtelidis and Kioupkiolis 2020: 4)."

Source: Kostakis, V., Vragoteris, V., Lal Acharja, I. (2021). Can peer production democratize technology and society? A critical review of the critiques. Futures, 131

More Information

  • Article: “Open source 3d printing as a means of learning: An educational experiment in two high schools in Greece“, co-authored by Vasilis Kostakis, Vasilis Niaros & Christos Giotitsas.