What are Makerspaces?

The turn of the 21st century has signaled a shift in what types of skillsets have real, applicable value in a rapidly advancing world. The question of how to renovate or repurpose classrooms to address the needs of the future is being answered through the concept of makerspaces, or workshops that offer tools and the learning experiences needed to help people carry out their ideas. The driving force behind makerspaces is rooted in the maker movement, a following comprised of artists, tech enthusiasts, engineers, builders, tinkerers, and anyone else with a passion for making things. The foundation of the maker movement was built on the success of the Maker Faire, a gathering that launched in 2006 and has since propagated itself into numerous community-driven events all over the world. Makerspaces are intended to appeal to people of all ages, and are founded on openness to experiment, iterate, and create. In this landscape, creativity, design, and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations, as tools such as 3D printers, robotics, and 3D modeling web-based applications become accessible to more people. Proponents of makerspaces for education highlight the benefit of engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • I see great benefit in "learning by doing" and maker spaces do this really well. Just to get together with other geeks could be a valuable source of knowledge. Maybe even schools could be better at inviting industry experts to schools to host some maker spaces to get a better understanding of what the industry is working on right now? - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016 - ingrid.melve ingrid.melve Nov 7, 2016- morten.soby morten.soby Nov 30, 2016- susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallanderjette.risgaard- jette.risgaard jette.risgaard Nov 14, 2016- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016
  • Agree with Johan about learning-by-doing. Maker spaces add to the idea of diverse learning spaces for different purposes. To encourage learners with different strengths, maker spaces are very suitable especially for those who "think with their hands", who need a spatial end sensory experience. As long as they support students' creativity and innovation and experiments and failures are allowed. - tiinsari tiinsari Oct 19, 2016- jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016
    - LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016- helle.mathiasen helle.mathiasen Nov 13, 2016jette.risgaard- jette.risgaard jette.risgaard Nov 14, 2016- Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016
  • In nOrway a new subject is piloting. It is called Koding and programming. This is to some extent driven by the experience that Maker-space movemnet has had. - sven.o.brekke sven.o.brekke Nov 4, 2016
  • I agree with the above.
  • The makerspaces take technology away from something abstract and makes it practical. It is a return to 'shop' classes but in the best possible way and with both tech and tangible creation in one. - kristineploug kristineploug Nov 11, 2016- susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016
  • Makerspaces are not really talked about in Swedish preschools, yet carried out in workshops and ateliers which is a room in almost every preschool where digital tools recently have been introduced along with creative material such as clay, paint, cloth and wood. Children are allowed to explore and to play with the different resources in this room and their ideas are carefully met, embraced and used as a starting point for teaching. Most often iPads are used for documentation and for making art in the makerspace area, but also for programming activities, creating drawings/designs for things to create. 3D-writers can be used and projectors for designing art as well as for inspiration and information are used on the walls. - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander
  • Makerspaces is also about designproces, aesthetics and real world problem solving - Coding and programming is only a small part. Makerspaces in schools should be about learning from your mistakes in a iterative process with feedback from the real world. The proces in the center - not the product... Index model- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016
  • - martin.claesson martin.claesson Nov 17, 2016 I think that I mentioned last year that most us have been making things since we started kindergarten so learning by doing is not something new. Unfortunately the drift towards being more theoretical in the later K-12 have not incorporated the kind of elements that maybe makerspaces can bring to school. We are seeing a situation in Sweden where the value of practical skills is declining, although it's fairly easy to get a decently paid job if you pursue a non-academic career. I think that more active participation in creating things could increase the value of practical skills as well as increasing the interest in higher education throughout the technical field.
  • Makerspaces is a bridge between analog an digital. Participants use IT as a yet another material, combining it with to wood, fabric, clay and even steel. By tinkering, playing, enhancing, programming and remaking they take ownership of technology instead of consuming or simply using it. This combination - IT as material and the sense of ownership of technology - hugely impacts the participants view and interaction with technology in general. This is true digital competence. - lars.lingman lars.lingman Nov 17, 2016
  • This represents the most important shift for the education sector during the last decade because it shift the focus of the learning process from the teacher and the text book towards the learner him, or herself. The tools available now make it possible for students to create content in diverse ways. It also points to spaces outside the traditional classroom where learning activities takes place.~~~~

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Activities framed by the makerspace idea can be designed and used in preschools and schools in special rooms such as a digital studio. - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander
  • The MakerSpace as the digital ressource that trains profession aimed technological literacy.- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016
  • Our test/assessment system are not ready to evaluate how MakerSpaces (or other ways of learning 21st century skills) are often implemented as something "off the regular learning processes". It needs to be integrated, so the learning outcome can be evaluated/assessed. - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016
  • The MakerSpace mouvement has to develop its potentials in order to ensure that other fields than the more technical ones can be included. It is not all about the product created but also about the process leading to this product. How does at product look like in foreign language teaching and acquisition, for instance? And in history? - Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • It's fun and rewarding to have an idea, start creating and see it come to life. I think "doing" beat any other form of learning. - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016- susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander- LREM LREM Nov 15, 2016
  • Learning at an abstract level is difficult. When you add on a “hand on” element to abstract learning I think it will be motivating and more inclusive for different ways of thinking and learning amongst students. Some students need to have a bodily, visual and tactile experience for them to learn the best. Maybe a small task like designing a nice decoration for the class whit the alphabet, and cutting it whit a vinyl cutter or building them whit different materials will make the student remember the letters better.- susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander - lars.lingman lars.lingman Nov 17, 2016
  • This idea of learning by doing is great also for the youngest who do not yet have a developed language, yet many creative ideas and the will and grit to make it happen.
    - susanne.kjallander susanne.kjallander
  • It has the potential of enhancing learning with students not typically "literate/academic learners". - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016
  • I agree with Jakob, - but I think we could get much further if we consider it as a didactic tool rather than as a technology - Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016
  • It engages students as active learners. Also it provides diverse ways of expression and working with content.~~~~

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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