by Akinpelu Babatola Guest Writer
What exactly is the maker movement?
The Maker movement focuses on helping students learn through the creative process. They are taught to think for themselves, to create and learn from each other when they face difficulties. With a focus on design thinking, the movement encourages students to develop new technology trends but to also adjust and redesign already existing trends. This will help students explore their creative sides as well as learn how to solve problems on their own. The combination of creativity and problem solving will create an avenue for learning that was not previously explored.
Schools all over the globe are slowly adopting the maker movement in their classrooms. This is in a bid to encourage students to learn by doing. The entire process is linked to helping students think, design, and create rather than simply only learning from books. It is an inquiry-based learning process and one that holds great promise for the world of education.
Why is it important that the maker movement is brought into the classroom?
While the movement is slowly gaining its footing in education sectors all over the globe, there is a need for us to pick up the pace. Why? A simple look at job economies all over the world provides the answer. The job market is no longer friendly to those who simply learn by memorizing and regurgitation. It now looks at skills and the level of innovations workers bring to the table. Training students through conventional methods is all good and dandy, but as time goes on, the level of creativity that a person has is what will put food on their table.
With this in mind, the maker movement has incorporated aspects of both STEAM and STEM education, to ensure that not only are our students knowledgeable and teachable, but they are also creative and innovative. Entrepreneurship and Startups are the future of the job markets, at least that is what I think.
How do you bring the maker movement into your classroom?
As a teacher, an educator, or a learning facilitator, you are probably wondering how to bring this maker movement into your class. The process does not have to be so overwhelming, the idea is to teach students to be creative and able to think on their own, so you won’t do much thinking on your part.
The most important thing to do when introducing students to this process is to start small. You don’t want to overwhelm the students by having them build a giant robot in the first class. Start small with simple experiments that have already known beginnings and ends and you will be able to retain control.
Once the concept has been introduced, you have to create an environment that is supportive and safe so your students can thrive. Let them make mistakes on their own, this will help them learn to think of solutions to their problems. If a student knows that mistakes are allowed, he or she is more likely to apply themselves fully and without fear.
As you introduce the idea of learning by doing to your students, it is important that you all have fun. You can involve yourself in projects with them, learn, fail, and grow together. Knowing that the teacher is learning with them will help your students relax and put a smile on their faces.