Introducing the new 3Doodler EDU Learning Packs

Anyone who is familiar with the 3Doodler brand will recognize that our Purpose is to inspire and enable everyone to create. As a tactile tool, there’s a natural fit of our product in learning Art & Design, STEM, and other academic disciplines, corroborated by the growing demand from classrooms over the last few years. To continue to meet students’ learning needs, it’s important for us to constantly improve our EDU products and ensure the best possible classroom experience for our users.

A first glance of our Learning Packs

Designed with teachers, for their classrooms

We have spent countless hours working on the redesigned Learning Packs, with the outcome of an easier, better experience for teachers and their student users. Finally, with the launch of these products today, we’d like to share the thinking behind the new design!

All our 3D pens are made to be as simple and easy to learn as possible, avoiding obstacles between a user and their ability to create. This quality had to be carried through every aspect of the new EDU Learning Pack product experience, from the moment the teacher and students open their boxes, to when they make their first doodle. And what better way to truly understand the needs of teachers and students in the classroom, than to ask teachers?

3 Design Thinking Pillars

After numerous consultations with teachers who use the 3Doodler, it became clear to us that there were 3 consistent themes in what they were looking for:

Simple to understand

“If they don’t use it, lose it.” The first step to making our Learning Packs more valuable, was by removing components that don’t add value for teachers. We took out what they thought was least useful in the EDU Bundle, making room for more items, such as education-specific learning materials and robust containers.

With the contents that remained, we redesigned the creatives, the wording, and the overall layout, to make the information more clear, concise, and easily digestible. We also learned that teachers and students find it easier to process images rather than words alone, so we added more visual examples, and less text, in our guides.

Efficient use of time

Teachers are busy people. Finding the time to plan a new lesson is a challenge, let alone to introduce a whole new way of enabling student learning. To overcome this, we had to find a solution that helped teachers save time – before, during, and after the class. An important component in saving time for teachers was to make the Learning Packs extremely accessible to students, so that they could take charge of their own learning journey with 3Doodler.

"Students can help themselves to their own pens and accessories, and grab plastics from the huge assortment available in the Plastics Kit."

The new Learning Pack contains a Teachers’ Kit, Students’ Kits, and a Plastic Kit. Before class, the teacher can familiarize him/herself with the Teachers’ Kit, which comes with a checklist of items to go through, a cheatsheet, and lesson plans and activity guides. During the lesson, the class can refer to a specially designed poster (included in the Learning Pack) on doodling basics. A troubleshooting guide and set of tools is also available for quick fixes. By creating multiple easy-to-grab Student Kits, students can help themselves to their own pens and accessories, and grab plastics from the huge assortment available in the Plastics Kit.

Separating out the kits this way makes the material management easier for the teacher. They no longer need to spend time on distributing the tools and figuring out all the components, eliminating confusion and chances of errors. Student teams will also appreciate a sense of ownership over their own kits! After the lesson, students simply have to return all materials into their compartments, ready for the next class.

Friendly and intuitive to all

The Activity Guide and free lesson plans, tutorials, and stencils on our website have all been designed with teachers, and with the aim to inspire everyone to create, no matter their age or artistic ability. Building a dinosaur fossil may appear overly ambitious, but not if you have a stencil you could print and use. A roller coaster model seems impossible to make? Not if you can follow a step-by-step guide.

There are ideas for everyone, and limitless things to create, play with, and learn from. All it takes is to start.

Check out our new Learning Packs here

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The Benefits of Peer-Teaching 3Doodling

There’s an oversized, gold and garishly ornate throne inside my classroom. While those who sit upon its red, velvet pillow feel quite special, they know that this seat comes with awesome responsibility.

All eyes turn towards the seated as he or she communicates ideas, feedback, and skills. And, it has become increasingly clear to me that the throne is a symbol of the need we all have to teach one another. It’s an important analogy regarding how we should avoid setting up our classroom as a monarchy; and should rather aim for teaching as a democracy in which everyone has something important to teach others.

With this in mind, I trained a core group of third through fifth grade students as Doodler-Teachers (DTs) whose mission has been to spread their passion for doodling, while instructing younger peers in the art of doodling. Here are some of the manifold benefits we’ve reaped through peer-teaching doodling.

1. Individualized Doodling Instruction:

Whether teaching new doodlers at a maker faire or inside a first-grade classroom, one small group of intrepid DTs can conquer the masses, in ways that a sole monarch, (aka teacher), cannot. Teaching a new hands-on skill to primary students can sometimes feel like a game of whack-a-mole, with one teacher frantically running from student to student, as another 5 call for help. Each DT can focus on a smaller group, allowing the teacher to enhance his or her role as a facilitator and guide, while assessing and meeting the needs of the group.

2. Active Doodling:

Ben Franklin was a pretty wise man, who I’m sure, if he had had the opportunity, would have loved doodling. It’s almost as if he had doodling in mind when he said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Modeling how to doodle is just the beginning. The next step is guiding and catching your young doodlers when they fall. The only way to do this is to place a 3Doodler in their hands and actively guide them as they doodle. Real-time feedback is much more powerful than after the fact.

3. Two-Way Doodling:

It’s a double win. While new doodlers are learning, the DTs are also reaping rewards. Great epiphanies are reached when students become the teachers. They empathize toward the instruction and betterment of others. Connections are made, as students realize how much doodling relates to all sorts of learning. Confidence is enhanced beyond the doodling session. “I didn’t think I could do it,” said one third-grader who initially doubted her doodler-teaching abilities,. “Teaching is hard,” she admitted, “but it’s fun, too!”

4. Doodle-Talk:

And, while teachers are the virtual chameleons of the classroom, engaging with all types of learners, I have found my third-grade DTs, who were themselves, first graders, only a year or two earlier, are the best at connecting with their younger pals in ways that even the coolest teacher cannot. And, while your students respect and admire you (I’m sure), there’s something much cooler about hanging out with a fourth grader, when you’re a first grader! It was during one doodling session that I observed a first- grader look up into the eyes of third- grade DT and say, “You’re so good at doodling! Much better than me!” The response was honest and made me smile. “You can do it, too. I’m not good at math, but that’s because I don’t practice it as much. I’m a good doodler, because I practice it a LOT!” The first grader’s expression said it all. She happily returned to doodling with a huge smile, too.

Peer teaching empowers those students who sit in the throne, as well as the peers they teach. Helping one another solves a multitude of problems. It opens up possibilities for students to learn responsibility and practice being leaders, while enabling their teachers to enhance the learning experience for everyone in the kingdom!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk