For 3DBear, libraries are considered as an important medium in promoting 3D learning. In the spring of 2017, we officially launched cooperation with libraries, hoping this link could bring our goal of unleashing the power of 3D learning one step closer.
Located in Iso Omena Service Centre, Espoo, Iso Omena Public Library is one of our first library customers. It is also a pioneer in building in a custom-made Maker Space among the many public libraries in Finland. Except ordinary day-to-day service, the library is providing technical support to local makers as well as cooperating with schools that wish to include technology-enhanced learning projects.
Having supervised multiple school projects, Antti Luoto, the educational information specialist at Iso Omena Public Library, has some informative insights to share. “I have witnessed what children can achieve nowadays with the assistance of technologies. No matter it’s about using iPad to create music or carrying out oil-water separation experiment”, “we libraries should definitely function as a place to introduce advanced technologies, such as 3D modeling and AR, to our general public especially our youngsters so as to prepare them for the future”, Antti continued. He also brought up an intriguing fact about the library in Aalto University, “Do you know that they no longer call it a library, it is now known as Learning Center? I believe they are trying to send out a message that the future library will no longer just be a place where you go to ‘loan’ knowledge and information, but a space where you go to create new meanings and learning experience. It will take on a role of information and technology centrum”.
It is indeed true that many libraries in Finland has started to purchase advanced gadgets in order to keep up with the trend. However, based on our observation, the frequency of utilizing them in learning new technologies is still low. When being pointed out, Antti attributed this gap to the lack of efficient learning materials. “When a group of eight-year-old decide to go to a library to learn 3D modeling, they won’t be attracted by a dreary lecture regarding how this technology works. On the contrary, they will surely fell for the content that allows them to 3D design and print their own toys, and that is the very reason we chose to work with you!” He also stressed that our applications have cut down the level of difficulty in comprehending and operating 3D design tool, and a librarian’s workload could be substantially deducted if he or she uses our game applications to lead 3D-related learning activities for children.
“Make your library a maker space” is what places Antti and us on the same page. As an advocate of technology-enhanced learning, 3DBear will always strive to optimize learning experience by making high technologies easily accessible, and we would love to see our libraries transforming from a knowledge warehouse to a knowledge headstream, right now and right start from 3D design and printing.
Written by Junyi Sun, Educational Trainee at 3DBear