The Maker movement is a recent social, economic, scientific, and educational phenomenon that spans academic disciplines, skill levels, and industries. The core value of the Maker culture is ownership of your creative work, in contrast to using pre-packaged or proprietary products. The cultural phenomenon was first described in the mid-2000s and is a confluence of Do-It- Yourself (DIY) culture, hacker culture, crowd-sourced initiatives, and inexpensive personal manufacturing technologies such as 3D printers. Maker culture has expanded rapidly with the creation of physical and virtual Makerspace communities, start-up companies attracting a predominantly young workforce, significant federal funding, and the attention of educators, especially at the primary and secondary level. The Maker educational philosophy can be described as learning-through- doing in an interdisciplinary social environment. Pieces of this educational philosophy can be recognized within DePaul’s engaged learning environment today: art or music “studios”, science “labs”, Internet-of-Things “product development”, and other collaborative creative endeavors.
These pieces are rapidly merging into a Maker community, and this workshop served as an introduction. The first two officially designated DePaul University Makerspaces open in September 2017: one at the Richardson Library, and the other on the Loop Campus. How can teachers use these new facilities to tap into the latent “Maker” in their students? How do you get students at all levels and in all disciplines to reach the top level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and “Create” ? How do you assign and assess student work at Makerspaces? We discussed these questions while building some “smart devices” and designing and 3D printing our own creations.
At the conclusion of this program participants were be able to:
- Recognize the educational philosophy and culture of the Maker Movement.
- Build their own webservers, create their own intelligent devices, design and 3D print their own objects, and know where to go on or off campus to hack stuff.
- Plan, assign, and evaluate Makerspace activities in their own classes.
Eric Landahl (College of Science and Health- Physics)