The Benefits of the Maker Movement in Education
The phrases “do it yourself” or “do it with others” are what identify the maker movement. This social movement has a close link to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Its objective is to make and share knowledge regarding the use and development of technological devices and applications.
The maker movement: doing
The maker movement is a subculture that promotes the idea that all of us can perform any task we want with the help of technology. So, in this way, the maker movement aims to get people to participate and share in the creative production of all kinds of devices.
The philosophy of the maker movement is that of people coming together in the spirit of “doing.” In this context, they share experiences, skills and knowledge. Students can carry this out through the use of hardware (electronic components) and software (programs that run on that hardware), as well as open source code. These are all inexpensive, easily accessible, and shared.
This movement is aided by digital design and manufacturing tools. These include 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters and design software for the manufacture of the devices. People can create everything from intelligent devices, robots and drones, to clothes, food, cosmetics and even music.
The maker movement in education
The maker movement and its “do it yourself” or “do it with others” philosophy has positive aspects that we can apply in school settings. Maker culture can be adapted to education as a way of using and developing technological devices and applications. However, it can also be used as a way of learning concepts and increasing knowledge of school subjects or specific learning areas.
This is possible because it promotes the conceiving and organizing of learning through collaboration. At the same time, it helps to promote understanding of concepts and operations. In this way, it also helps to generate active, critical, creative and supportive attitudes in students.
In the educational field, the maker movement can encourage meaningful learning, by the action of “doing.” It also highlights the importance of active and interactive learning, both shared and collaborative. This is all based on creativity and fun.
Above all, in relation to new technology, maker culture helps students to become aware of the possibilities they have at their fingertips to create things. It doesn’t only encourage the use of technology, but also gives them the chance to develop advanced digital skills themselves. We should point out that this requires specific curriculum planning and teaching skills.
The maker movement in education brings great benefits when it comes to training students. It also has great potential to improve educational and pedagogical practices.
This is because, in the first place, it helps to reaffirm the importance of education in order to learn to use technology. It also encourages digital media as the means of accessing information.
And, secondly, because it’s in the actual classrooms that the learning encouraged by the maker movement is organized. This learning method is supported by technology. Not only is it based around using it, but also around making and doing things with it– all in a creative, innovative, shared, and democratic way.