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. 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. 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. Makerspaces are intended to appeal to people of all ages, and are founded an openness to experiment, iterate, and create. The driving force behind Maker spaces is rooted in the Maker movement, a following comprised of artists, tech enthusiasts, engineers, builders, tinkerers, and anyone else who has a passion for making things. The formation of the movement stems from 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.

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

  • - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Nov 21, 2014Makerspaces can enable students to create and explore. Many subjects in school could benefit from projects were you create a product. Being able to create a product will often increase motivation and understanding of a subject.
  • It would push the idea about what school and school culture is. The only time we're organized in school-like systems is in school or maybe the military. If we can break that concept in a positive fashion we have moved our minds just a little bit. - martin.claesson martin.claesson Dec 2, 2014
  • A makerspace in an educational setting raises awareness of science and technology. It provides a place of both making and reflecting, working and experimenting. It teaches methodologies and practices that might inspire more children, girls and boys, to try out the path of the scientist or engineer, or go into manufacturing or making. - ch.tii ch.tii Dec 6, 2014
  • Puts the students in the driving seat and fosters experimentation in creating things. Gives learning a purpose - peter.karlberg peter.karlberg Dec 7, 2014

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

  • Making things is great and can teach us a lot. Knowing that you can make a prototype or end product will make learning more meaningful. It could change the idea about what school is and why it exists toward liberated collective aspirations. - martin.claesson martin.claesson Dec 2, 2014
  • By introducing IT not only as a tool, but as a design material, it becomes possible to see its purpose and function in everyday life, under the hood. It becomes easier to see the emerging internet of things, in both its physical and digital sense. It enables pupils and students agency not only when it comes to matters of the mind, but also matters of the hand. It reframes the importance of vocational education and the need for skilled workers of all shapes and sizes. It enables for more innovation, experimentation and collaboration. - ch.tii ch.tii Dec 6, 2014
  • The possibility to get coding into the space - peter.karlberg peter.karlberg Dec 7, 2014

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

  • - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Nov 21, 2014The potential is to give students another representation of a concept. Also it will help inquiry by giving students the chance to work with physical representations and not just text and images, which may require a greater degree of abstract thought.
  • Adding a creative dimension to theory. Combining different subjects and crafts. Making school more meaningful for students. - martin.claesson martin.claesson Dec 2, 2014
  • It will enable teachers and students to work with more open-ended collaborative and creative projects that might support the development of abductive thinking. - stefan stefan Dec 3, 2014 - thih thih Dec 6, 2014
  • It becomes easier to design learning so that it clearly focuses on the interests of the learner. By bringing in practices of iterative design and rapid prototyping into school, you enable much shorter feedback loops between learning and time of assessment which in turn enables better formative practices. By bringing several subject matters into the same space and time, collaboration and exchange between teachers increase, further expanding teachers knowledge of both their own subjects and others. - ch.tii ch.tii Dec 6, 2014
  • If not limited to the creation of physical representations and allowing for real world up-to-date "things" it gives the students an in-depth understanding of the whole world of today - peter.karlberg peter.karlberg Dec 7, 2014

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