makerspaces demystified for administrators
Post on 07-Dec-2015
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DESCRIPTIONa Q&A regarding makerspaces in schools
Whats a Makerspace? Why should I care?
Sonja Bryant Stewart
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What is a maker WHAT? Why do we need one?
A makerspace is a place where people of all kinds come together to create, invent and learn. The are places where learning is fun and fluid. These spaces are also called hackerspace, libratory and fablabs. It is a place where people restore the joy of seeking solutions. The places are equipped with all kinds of supplies and resources not limited to 3D printers, legos, crafts, tools, and computers, The highest level of Maslows Theory is self-actualization. Humans need to make, express and affirm who they are.
Didnt you techie teachers tell me a while ago that computers were going to REVOLUTIONIZE learning? How is this different?
All the techie teachers were right about computers. We may be under using computers for instruction. But you have to
admit that the desktop, laptops tablets and other technologies changed a lot for the classroom. But here is
how Seymour Papert, a pioneer of artificial intelligence and the Makerspace Movement view computers. Kids using
computers use shouldnt be the end goal. Rather students should be using computers as a tool in the Makerspace to
aid in the creation of something. Its just one more powerful to foster invention. Papert penned, Twenty Things to Do with a Computer. The computer is to be viewed as a tool.
Why do we need this at the high school level? This is just childs play. Isnt it?
One of the missing basic elements of learning is the play. Boy do we need to figure out how to get it back. Who ever
said the lite side of learning made instruction a lightweight.
It has been said that one of the best discoveries of the Makerspace is that students immerse themselves in a
project. They figure out what they know, what they need to accomplish a goal, set about to see it through and share. Who can argue that this is not education at its peak? The
intelligence multiplies wide and deep.
A very valid point has been made that what some call play is the liberation of learning.
Has this been done in A
other school? Are we go
The Maker Movement has in some form always been around. Its gaining traction so that there are Maker Faires, conferences, workshops and trade journals. One of the most popular proselyte founded the periodical, Maker. The Maker Movement is being validated everyday.
Among the many valuable theories of Jean Piaget, the reknown psychologist was the idea that learners adjust what they already know to accept and embrace new knowledge. This is a very core value to the Maker Movement. To take
what has been created and recreate a better version is essential to worlds development. Every school would do well to revisit this idea often. It would help steer teachers
from the undesirable practice that Piaget describes as presenting students with canned and organized concepts.
Piagets idea of learning coupled with action is the Makerspace realized.
How successful are they in schools?
Lets turn the table and ask a few different questions. Where has the joy in learning gone? Is the content mearningful to students?
A MIT professor, Neil Gershenfeld talks about a sort of cycle of Makers who ask questions, construct some sort of answer answer and shares out. The satisfaction of ah- hah, I did it or I found the answer is huge for student of all ages. That learning experiences makes for the student an ultimate and meaningful connection to the world.
Whos out there
co-signing this stuff? It seems so trendy to me.
President Obama held a sort of Maker Faire in the White House.
The President believes and endorses STEM education as critical to the countrys economic sustainability.
Mr. Obama calls Makers the countrys risk-takers, doers and makers of things when addressing the National Academy of Sciences.
Because of the Presidents interest in Makerspaces, there is now the Maker Education Initiative (MEI) to give every child the opportunity to become some type of Maker.
We already have STEM classes. Why do we need aMakerspace?
STEM/STEAM classes generally are little more than a presentation of ideas, theories and concepts in isolation. Makerspaces bring the element of action to the table. I never want to be on the that flight where the pilot has only flown simulators. I want her to have real flight experience. Id like for my dentist to have some real experience also.
Hey Genius, any other geniuses out there think this is a good thing?
Everyone from Leonard da Vinci, artist/engineer Jean Piaget, psychologist Seymore Paper, artificial intelligence pioneer MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld
and many, many others believe in the potential of Makerspaces to personalize learning.
DetailsBecause Makerspaces will continue to become more important, were careful with planning the details. We welcome the opportunity to discuss more details with you