Global tech freed up for remote teaching

By Belinda Willis

As teachers across the world grapple with converting to home learning classes, a South Australian Edtech company is stepping in to offer a free Learning at Home course.

Makers Empire chief executive Jon Soong said the company wanted to support teachers, students and families as huge numbers shifted to remote learning.

Recognising how stressful and disruptive the effects of COVID-19 was to schools, Makers Empire has provided the package using 3D design and printing across 90 daily 30-minute design lessons.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the teachers and families trying to help students continue learning effectively throughout the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Soong said.

“We know many teachers need quality, easy to use tools for their students to use at home so we’ve created Learning at Home for them.”

Makers Empire is an award-winning company based in Adelaide, South Australia that uses 3D design and printing to engage students in design thinking and STEM learning, with backing from Macquarie University research.

The company currently works with more than a thousand schools, more than 18,000 educators and one million students in forty countries around the world.

To date, students have created more than 10 million designs using Makers Empire 3D.

The learning at home package means teachers can set classes using a dashboard so they appear directly in students’ devices as a message from teachers in the Makers Empire app.

Professor Jana Matthews, a growth expert at the University of South Australia and an advisory board member at Makers Empire, has said 3D design and print is comparable to how computing was important to schools in the 1980s.

Soong said many working at Makers Empire have young families and, as parents, were aware of how stressful and disruptive school closures have become.

“At Makers Empire, we’ve been shocked and concerned as we’ve witnessed the distressing effects of the COVID-19 Coronavirus,” he said.

“Makers Empire is used by more than one million users in more than 40 countries who create 90,000 new 3D designs every day. Many of these countries are already experiencing or planning for school closures.”

Makers Empire was also recently certified by the Education Alliance Finland for pedagogical quality so teachers could more confidently use the program in that country.

The company that develop education software has also teamed up with Polar3D a few years ago.

It drew Makers Empire into the GE Additive Education Program giving access to 3D printing to nearly 200,000 students at schools in the United States, Canada, China, Germany, India, Spain and the United Kingdom.

This article originally appeared at The Lead SA.

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