Waag Society via Compfight
The Maker Movement is about moving students from using tools and knowledge as consumers to be being active creators.
It gives individual students the opportunity to explore and create in a social and sharing context. Finding solutions in the process of designing, making and sharing. The Makerspace environment is where valuable informal learning takes place and not the result of programmed instruction.
“The Maker Movement encourages a growth mindset, which tolerates risk and failure and maybe even encourages it.”(Fleming, 2015 p9)
Individuals are able to collaborate and seek out challenges that may be beyond their comfort zone.
The idea of making is playful and “research shows that play builds social-emotional competence in many domains: language skills, empathy, imagination,self control, persistence and higher order thinking. (Fleming, 2015 p11)
Planning a Makerspace
Makerspaces should be guided by current interests in the school, relevant and meaningful – extending STEM /STEAM related concepts beyond the classroom and making them accessible to all.
Consideration needs to be taken as to how the available technologies, resources and materials can be used to best engage and encourage student learning.
The setting up of a maker space does not need to be overly complicated – but needs to be inspiring, inviting student input and set in a space that can meets practical needs.
It may consist of fixed as well as flexible stations. To help with financing – look at grants/ donations or buying used goods.
Developing a maker culture is critical with the motivation being fun and self fulfillment through shared, informal peer – led learning where everyone of all levels are welcome to join in.
Taking part in Makerspaces can provide opportunities to develop 21st Century skills required for the future such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
“Maker culture resonates with the current interest in lifelong learning and in cross generational learning.”(Fleming, 2015 p36)
Using “expert” community makers to demonstrate skills, foster exploration, to inspire, guide, support creativity and demonstrate real-life applications can be hugely valuable.
Libraries of the 21st Century need to provide not only free access to information but also free access to create from information.
The Library of today is a place where knowledge is created and not merely consumed. (Fleming, 2015 p43)
Based on the four “C’s” of 21st Century Learning – a Maker Space is a space for
- Critical Thinking
Fleming, L. (2015) Worlds of making – Best practices for establishing a makerspace for your school.