Makers Empire – 3D Printing in South Australian Schools

Makers Empire are an Adelaide company that produce software and programs for schools in the area of 3D printing. During Feb – June of 2017 Makers Empire partnered with DECD to roll out 3D printing programs in 50 primary schools. The program, titled Makers Empire learning by design involved a 20 hour professional learning program which culminated in schools presenting their completed projects at Grange Primary School. To read more about this click here. To see a list of schools involved in the project click here.

Makers Empire does not supply or sell 3D printers but supplies the training, software, programs and lessons for teachers to use 3D printing in the classroom.

See how the Makers Empire software works


Here are some examples of how schools have used the Makers Empire software.

To see more videos from schools and how they used Makers Empire click here.

Connecting students to the community

Graham Cox (Secondary AC officer) passed on the following resource. A site that allows you to connect your students to the community. Take your students outside the school, go on an excursion, broaden your students understanding of topics by using this site to plan a trip to Adelaide.

Outreach Education – Connecting with the community

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Outreach Education is a team of Department for Education and Child Development specialist teachers based in a number of public organisations.

We create quality learning experiences for early to senior years educators and students by bringing together curriculum requirements, effective teaching and learning techniques and the unique resources available at these sites:

  • Adelaide Botanic Garden
  • Adelaide Festival Centre
  • Adelaide Zoo
  • Art Gallery of South Australia
  • CSIRO Education
  • Law Courts
  • Migration Museum
  • Monarto Zoo
  • Parliament House
  • SA Water
  • South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Museum
  • Windmill Theatre”

All programs provided by this initiative are run by DECD specialist teachers who can assist classroom teachers on how their program fits with the Australian Curriculum and TfEL.

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Closing the Class Divide

On April the 18th Ed posted a link to the Insight program on class struggle in relation to education. The program discussed the divide that exists between schools creating an uneven playing field when it comes to everyone being able to access a high level education. This was a really interesting program and if you haven’t watched it but would like to click here to go to Ed’s post.

Just today in the Advertiser Keith Bartley (DECD chief executive) has come out and said that after 1 year in the job how surprised he is with the inequalities that exists within Australia’s education system.

“My surprise was that in a land of opportunities that actually some of the differences were more deeply entrenched than I’d expected them to be and that Australia hadn’t really been able to come to grips with those differences.” Keith Bartley.

The following (in bold) are how Keith Bartley thinks South Australia can close the gap between the most advantaged and the least advantaged children in our school system.

1. More schools will act as community hubs with family and health services associated with them.

2. Expanding children’s centres to increase numbers and reach. Intervention at the earliest possible age to support parents and parents to be.

3. Changing teaching practices to be more learner centred as opposed to being content driven. This sounds similar to the Finish model but counter to having a content driven curriculum like the Australian Curriculum.

4. Based on the Gonski review look at how much program based funding can be put into mainstream funding that follows student based need. Where program funding remains, take away the restraints and allow schools to develop their own methods to improve outcomes. “What Gonski is Saying is that resources need to be mainstreamed, they need to be there all the time rather than being dropped in.”  Keith Bartley. Again this sounds similar to the Finish model in that teachers and schools are trusted to provide the best outcomes for their students not the state.

5. Schools will use local initiatives to work with each other to fill educational and service gaps that may exists. Again the concept of collaboration and not competition is a strong component of the Finish educational system.

Hope I haven’t bored you too much but thought it important to know some of the thoughts of our chief executive on education in South Australia.


The information in this post has been taken from ‘Close our Class Divide’ by Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser 22.5.12.




Learning Design Part 1

My intention is to present a series of posts on the topic/process of Learning Design. Hopefully these posts will give you an understanding of the process. The resource for these posts will be the Australian Curriculum Leaders Resource ‘Getting Started’ DVD (developed by DECD Learning Services). This resource provides information including Power Points and short video on 4 areas – 1. Australian Curriculum 2. TfEL 3. Learning Design and 4. Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). The Australian Curriculum Leaders Resource can be accessed online by clicking here or see Nick for the DVD if you are interested in looking at these topics in more depth.

Rather than try and spend large chunks of time in meetings going through Learning Design I thought it might be useful to do small snippets from the DVD over a period of time to introduce Learning Design to teaching staff.

Learning Design is the term used for combining the ‘What’(Australian Curriculum) and the ‘How’ (TfEL) in a way that will assist teachers with their programing and assessing of student learning. Learning Design encompasses the following (click on the diagram below to enlarge it and view it clearly).