How do digital makerspaces encourage engagement and critical thinking?
This Innovation Grant Inquiry asks how digital makerspaces increase student learning. Digital makerspaces represent a broad range of activities and concepts so we narrowed our focus this year to develop four modules - coding, circuits, 3D printing, and microcontrollers.
This website is an archive of the teaching materials, student work, stories, and resources used in developing this Inquiry project. Feel free to contact a team member if you would like more detail.
One of the challenges of Inquiry is that progress is not linear. Projects occurred concurrently, for example, John handled the administrative logistics of transforming the physical space of the NWSS library towards a Learning Commons. More open, flexible space and portable laptops in the library made it naturally possible to inspire Maker creativity. For example, students were able to find quiet spaces to tinker. We also had more open space and free electrical outlets to host a Maker Fair (by changing from desktops to Chromebooks).
As such, this project was truly a team effort to foster "seamless learning" through the makerspace approach.
We also noticed parallels between the mindset of the Maker culture and the Core Competencies. The Competencies come into play when students are engaged in "doing" as well as when students set personal goals for learning. This ownership of learning steered us in the direction of using self-reflection as the basis for assessment.
Here is an example of one of 3 attempts at self-assessment: Self-assessment form