Makerspaces: Overcoming the Barriers to Adoption to Join the Maker Movement
Makerspace refers to a location that people can gather to share resources, brainstorm. collaborate and build. The purpose of a Makerspace is to provide tools and space in an environment that allows those participating to learn from each other through hands-on experimentation. When applying this concept to K-12 institutions. the movement results in a new level of creativity, problem-solving and innovation.
In our rapidly advancing world, schools must prepare students to solve problems their teachers have not anticipated and build skills for jobs not yet created. Makerspaces offer the most powerful educational context to meet these challenges: collaborative, project-based learning. new technologies, and repurposed spaces converged to put learning in the making. Makerspaces not only build and support 2020 workforce skills. they develop lifelong learners.
Throughout the past decade, many K-12 schools have struggled to incorporate technology into the classroom. The first step for these schools to fully embrace Digital Learning Convergence (DLC) is to create Makerspaces in an effort to improve the educational experience for students and accelerate learning. Staff and administration should consider creating areas where their students have the ability to imagine the impossible and challenge not only themselves but also each other.
Becoming DLC is not only defined as moving from text to digital, but also extending a 1:1 ratio by equipping every student with a smart device.
Understandably, this can be a daunting transition for schools, especially in larger districts; the implementation of Makerspaces serves as a gateway.
Often times, institutions do not have the time, resources, skill sets or funding to create successful Makerspaces without assistance from professionals in the area. Schools looking to join the Maker Movement struggle to overcome barriers to adoption and are unsure how to begin the process. Identifying and understanding these obstacles is important before choosing the right partner necessary to help navigate this critical movement and ensure a successful Makerspace.