I attempted my second ever 3D print job today as we were testing out a new 3D printer in our district. My design was for a remote holder for our Swivl robot so that it would work better in a few situations we have encountered. I created my design using Google Sketchup and loaded it into the Makerbot software so we could start printing. An hour later, after one filament jam, we had our finished product. The problem was that the final product did not look exactly like my initial design.
Some may view this as a failure and give up, I view this as a learning experience and a chance to do it again. I will take away some new things I learned and try out some new ideas in order to see if I am more successful in future attempts. I should not have expected to be successful on my first try and should be ready to give it another shot. This is part of the modeling we should be doing for our students, how we learn and more importantly, how we learn from mistakes.
This is an important concept to learn as it can help influence how we create learning environments for our students. We can create one that punishes students who are not successful on their first try or who may need more time than others to be successful, or we can create a learning environment that is conducive to students actually learning. I have an issue with punitive systems that do not focus on learning but are set up to impart an aspect of deadlines and set schedules which usually rely on only one attempt at learning. When I hear stories of students who are late with something, because they needed more time or more assistance, get punished by a large point deduction, that makes me feel like learning is the last thing on our minds.
There are many who claim that we need to be teaching students about deadlines and responsibility, but this does not match up with what we see in the real world. We see people all the time that are not successful the first time or do not get everything done by an arbitrary deadline. I know many teachers who are very bad at getting their paperwork, attendance, or grades in on time and yet they still have a job. They are not punished by the removal of half their pay because of this, yet students often see half of the points taken away by being a day late.
Rick Wormeli has explained this point in a much more eloquent way (https://www.asdk12.org/MiddleLink/Inter/mosaic/LateWork_RickWormeli.pdf) but he is not the only one. You can find many great educators who will focus on what we really want to do, help students learn, instead of forming some punitive system that makes learning a secondary act to compliance. I believe we all need to evaluate what we do and determine if we are putting learning at the forefront or does it get set behind other things instead.
No matter what, I am going to redesign my model and try again. I will learn from my mistake and it should not matter that this will take more time. My learning is what is most important, not a deadline.