The concept of Makerspaces is a new technology and is a significant component in mobile learning (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, and Freeman, 2015). The concept originated as an outgrowth of the first Maker Faire that occurred in 2006 (Skiba, 2015). Makerspaces enhance evolutionary educational reform and sustainability that result in improved teacher quality, student performance, and entrepreneurial-type designs for all content areas (Loertscher, 2012). Schools and libraries are positioned to exploit this technology which facilitates the blending of formal and non-formal learning for the students who exploit the learning process via virtual reality and the real world simultaneously (Schroeder & Fisher, 2015; Pegrum, 2016).
Although the Makerspace technology has been praised as a do-it-yourself effort, the methodologies used by the participants are aligned with a social constructivist approach to learning (Robbins & Smith, 2016). With this in mind, the existing Makerspaces infrastructure presents challenges for people with disabilities. Other challenges include training and guidance for the participants. The issue of time is a challenge. Time constraints often result in quick demonstrations becoming the norm as opposed to hands-on practice (Kempton, 2016). Ensuring the presence of staff that can provide consulting or pedagogical guidance is critical for the success and sustainability of the Makerspace.
The maker movement, which is evidenced by the informal workshop environments or community-oriented spaces, allows people who have a passion for making things to merge the technical skills associated with artistry, technology, engineering, and building to create, make and learn via a variety of tools (Schroeder & Fisher, 2015). These tools include Adobe Creative Suite applications, laser cutters, and 3_D modeling applications and printers (The New Media Consortium, n.d.). This maker movement is at the forefront of viewing education as a service and promotes the repurposing of libraries and educational labs and facilities as makerspaces that are used as vehicles of learning in collaborative environments.
Makerspaces enable individuals with creative endeavors to bring their innovation to fruition by providing material and equipment irrespective of ability (Robbins & Smith, 2016). While Makerspaces often have equipment that may be unfamiliar to individuals who frequent the specific location, there is an opportunity for the administrators of local schools to create internships for their students to support the Makerspace community). In addition, literature and guidance about universally accessible Makerspaces are scarce. Consequently, employing experienced individuals to serve as “field experts” who can make suggestions relative to policy, equipment, and staffing is needed (Becker,O’Connell, & Wuitschik, 2016).
Makerspaces are environments that remove the “command and control” instruction in favor of a self-directed, do-it-yourself learning format. Consequently, the participants learn from the instructive complications of error rather than trying to avoid or disguise the error. The members of the Makerspaces often form teams and optimize the team performance by scaffolding opportunities with the team’s collaborative skill sets (Flintoff, Martin, & Barker, 2016).
From Brick and Mortar to Makerspaces – follow the link below
Becker, S., O’Connell, L., & Wuitschik, L. (2016). Professional learning in the Makerspace: Embodiment of the teaching effectiveness framework.
Flintoff, K., Martin, R., & Barker, A. (2016). Pedagogy in creative disciplines.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Kempton, W. L. (2016, June). Having or using a 3D Printer in experiential learning. In Conference Proceedings. The Future of Education (p. 25). libreriauniversitaria. it Edizioni.
Loertscher, D. V. (2012). Maker spaces and the learning commons. Teacher Librarian, 40(1), 45.
Pegrum, M. (2016). Future directions in mobile learning. In Mobile Learning Design (pp. 413-431). Springer Singapore.
Robbins, P. N., Smith, S. (2016). Robo/graphy: Using practical arts-based robots to transform classrooms into Makerspaces. Art Education, 69(3), 44-51.
Skiba, D. J. (2015). On the horizon: Implications for nursing education. Nursing education perspectives, 36(4), 263.
The New Media Consortium. (n.d.). NMC Horizon Report 2016 higher education edition | Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2016-higher-education-edition.