With the average Cricut machine costing more than 200 bucks, the question, “is a Cricut worth it for teachers?” is a pretty legitimate one.
A Cricut is a printer of sorts. You can use it to print just about any design you want on any material you want.
To answer the question of whether it is worth it for educators, let’s begin by looking at the latest Cricut machine and what it can do. This will ensure that we are all on the same page and give us the clues we need.
UNDERSTANDING CRICUT MACHINES
The latest machine from the Utah-based Cricut Inc. is the Cricut Maker. It is the company’s flagship product.
Compared to similar printing/decorating machines, the Cricut Maker is way ahead of its competition. It is an industrial-grade tool with several unique features and capabilities you will not find in similar tools. It can cut different materials into any perfect shape or design you want. It also has the ability to draw any design on any kind of material you have.
The machine is also capable of writing anything you want. It can even do calligraphy better than any calligrapher you know. Additionally, the Cricut Maker comes with a convenient-to-use desktop program, and complimentary iOS and Android Apps. You can use the program and/ or the Apps to control it easily.
I must note right here that the Cricut Maker is twice as expensive as the other available Cricut machines. Nevertheless, I used it as an example for this post because its features are pretty representative of what you can expect from the other Cricut machines.
Now that you have an understanding of what Cricut machines are and what they can do, it is time to answer the question: Is a Cricut worth it for teachers?
I really cannot give you a yes or no. The best thing is to present to you both sides of the coin and let you decide.
So below are the reasons why teachers should get Cricut machines and the reasons why they should not.
WHY TEACHERS SHOULD GET A CRICUT MACHINE
There are several reasons why many teachers will find Cricut machines to be worth it. They include:
To create exciting teaching aids
Teaching aids such as charts, models, and so on are very important for learning. They help to improve the comprehension of new topics and concepts. They can also be used to illustrate new concepts or skills. Teaching aids can also eliminate boredom by enabling teachers to present new information in new and more exciting ways.
With a Cricut machine, you can easily create exciting charts or very accurate models/ diagrams. You can use these as teaching aids to enable your students to understand stuff better.
You can obviously make teaching aids such as charts and models with your own hands, but you will probably not be able to make them with the same kind of precision as a Cricut machine. They also probably won’t be as exciting as those from a Cricut.
So “is a Cricut worth it for teachers?” I think this reason alone is tempting enough to make many educators say yes.
To teach students modern ways of making art
The old school way of doing things by hand no longer cuts it in the modern world. There are more modern ways of making art that makes the final projects more precise, more attractive, and more standard.
One of the modern ways is the use of Cricut tools. You can use a Cricut tool to teach your students how to use similar modern machines to enhance their art projects.
Some of the modern ways of creating art that you can teach your students using a Cricut include: to cut precise letters and shapes; to make exciting cards; to create buntings and other decorations; to create stencils; to make vinyl stickers; to create ornaments; to decorate mugs and glass; to make wooden signs; to cut quilt squares and appliques; and to make labels.
And these are just but a few of the many things that Cricut machines can do and that you can teach your students using them.
To save time
Sometimes it takes a lot of time to create some special shapes, models, or designs using scissors and other hand tools. And when making such things, you usually cannot do anything else. You require maximum focus and concentration.
However, with a Cricut machine, you can cut intricate shapes, models, and designs very precisely while doing something totally different.
So if you want to create teaching aids for the next class and mark your students’ assignments at the same time, a Cricut machine can enable you to do just that. And with many reports showing that more and more teachers are getting tired and burned out, a Cricut may just be what you need to ease your workload to stay sane.
To enhance safety in the classroom
To make some art, models, or objects, students sometimes have to use hand tools such as scissors and crafts knives.
Unfortunately, scissors and crafts knives and other tools used in art classes are also safety hazards. Students can injure themselves using or playing with them if you don’t keep a close eye on them. Competent educators will obviously regularly remind their students of the safety rules but no one has the ability to keep an eye on everyone for entire lessons.
This is one of the reasons why teachers should get Cricut machines because they reduce or eliminate the need to use scissors and crafts knives for most art projects. This enhances safety in art classes and reduces the likelihood of learners injuring themselves.
Cricut machines also limit exposure to some art supplies such as ink and vinyl that are problematic. This lowers the likelihood of students interacting with them and getting problems in the future.
In summary, Cricut machines can really enhance safety.
To make the class more exciting/ to enhance creativity
As mentioned earlier, Cricut machines can be used to make classes more exciting. Imagine creating models with a Cricut machine in class? Many students will be pretty excited and curious about everything, wouldn’t they?
The kind of excitement you can generate using the machine can help you to get your students’ attention and to teach them newer concepts that they will fondly remember.
In summary, a Cricut is worth it for teachers because it makes learning more fun, easier, safer, and less stressing.
Now that you have seen the reasons why teachers should get Cricut machines, it is time to see the counterargument.
THE REASONS WHY TEACHERS SHOULD NOT GET A CRICUT MACHINE
There are two main reasons why some people may argue that Cricut machines are not worth it for teachers. They include:
The cost of the machines
There are people who believe that at $200, Cricut machines are too expensive. And that such money could be better used elsewhere in purchasing “more useful” stuff like projectors or smart boards instead of “wasting” it on a Cricut machine.
Obviously, in cases that there are insufficient funds, money should be dedicated to buying essentials. However, if there is enough cash to buy a tool like the Cricut Maker, there is really no harm in buying it.
The effects of the machines on creativity
Some people are of the opinion that the introduction of specialized machines such as Cricut machines in classes and art lessons will hinder creativity. The reasoning is that the machines will take up work previously done by hand and, therefore, reduce the need for learners to think creatively and make their own special designs.
This argument is flawed. It assumes that Cricuts do almost everything which is not right. Machines like Cricut cutters do only part of the creative work. In fact, by percentage, the amount of work done by Cricuts is very little even during art lessons.
This is because the machines primarily only make decorations; the students still have to come up with their own designs and to put everything together in the end. So a Cricut has no negative effect on creativity.
In my opinion, a Cricut is worth it for teachers as it makes learning fun, more creative, safer, and less time-consuming.
It is the kind of machine educators love as it also helps with real learning in class. So if you have been having a dilemma as to whether to purchase a Cricut or not as an educator or administrator, it is my hope that this article has made everything crystal clear for you.
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