Empowering Teachers as Innovators: Integrating Augmented/Virtual Reality and 3D Printing into Teacher Education

The rapid development of 3D-related technologies started to offer versatile platforms for 3D modelling in both electronic and physical formats. As 3D modelling is becoming increasingly important in the industry including, for instance, medicine, construction, and technology design, its potentials within education are starting to be more extensively explored. In our talk, we will outline several studies carried out by the STEAM education research group at the Linz School of Education, Johannes Kepler University, Austria. We will outline studies to introduce Augmented/Virtual Reality and 3D printing applications to teacher education in several countries; explore teachers’ perceptions and perspectives of these technologies; understand the necessary educational ecosystem for 3D-based technologies; cultivate and evaluation of diverse pedagogical approaches for incorporating 3D modelling into classrooms; motivate students through integrating arts and culture into such educational environments; create 3D resources for students with disabilities as well as from disadvantaged communities and countries; and engage girls in STEM studies through 3D modelling. One of the central aims of our studies is to empower teachers and students to become innovators and creators utilising such powerful and novel technologies. We also aim to address that such studies require new theoretical and methodological approaches. Thus, we will highlight extending our work from mathematics to STEAM through arts and culture, introducing a STEAM+X approach as well as supplementing Design Based Research (DBR) approaches with User Experience (UX) research methodologies to better address rapid changes in technology development. Subsequently, we spotlight exemplars of exemplary practices drawn from secondary and primary education in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.