Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘makerspaces

I read a tweet like this and the linked article more critically than most.

I am glad that the school is doing something different, but is it doing something qualitatively better?

As much as maker spaces seem to be the flavour of the moment, how many school authorities have asked themselves whether they need such spaces to make?

Why are students not already making and creating in mainstream curriculum? Unless extremely dangerous or specialised, why must these activities only happen in special spaces or rooms?

In April I questioned the validity and purpose of maker spaces. Others more articulate than me have blogged about the same issues.

Why is the whole school not a maker space?

Is much of the curriculum and practice driven by design thinking, exploring, tinkering, learning from mistakes, and reiterating?

Does a maker space help school leaders and teachers question the assumptions of schooling?

Can having a maker space for robotics or coding really be setting sail to the future while the rest of schooling is anchored in the past?
 

I had mixed thoughts when I read this TODAY article on makerspaces in Singapore schools.

I was glad that kids could get the opportunity to learn by designing, tinkering, failing, and persisting.
 

 
I was also reminded of articles that provided cautionary notes about such initiatives. Juliani wrote about how You Don’t Need A Makerspace to Be a Maker. Scherer advocated that Every Classroom Should Be a Maker Space.

I weighed in with a simple tweet that needs some elaboration.

The school computer laboratories were not available to all, they were costly to maintain, and some special rooms became white elephants with infrequent use.

Might school-based “makerspaces” with expensive 3D printers and sensitive tools become the new computer lab?

Specifically, are such places:

  • Limited or open access?
  • Peripheral or central to making and learning?
  • Special or ordinary?

Can meaningful and powerful learning happen only here, and if so, why does this not happen in more classrooms?

Should the message that this sort of learning only happens in such places be transmitted by accident or even worse on purpose?

Are such spaces good-to-have or must-haves? Are they good for showing off to visitors or do they actually make difference to teachers and students?

Must a makerspace only be a physical one that learners do not own?

I am Ashley and this is my blog. It is one of the spaces that I take ownership of online in order to make myself and others learn.


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