THE BENEFITS OF MAKERSPACES
Guest blog by Ruth Shirk
Makerspaces are a vast asset in education as they allow people to become more than consumers of technology. Instead, these spaces allow people to work together to learn a new skill or practice one that they are learning. They are great places for people to release their creativity. In other words, a makerspace is an outstanding place to turn action into activity. There are several benefits to makerspaces.
Makerspaces Encourage Students to Develop Creative Skills
In today’s world, people are often consumers of information without making it applicable to their lives. Makerspaces encourage people to apply the information that they are learning to problem-solving. In the process, they become more prepared to be creative problem-solvers in a world that we cannot yet imagine. Students who can work in makerspaces regularly are more inquisitive instead of accepting all information as if it were fact. They are also more imaginative, which may transfer into skills needed to solve the world’s biggest problems, like finding the answer to Alzheimer’s and cancer. Students who spend time in makerspaces are also more motivated to learn more in and out of traditional classroom settings.
Makerspaces Encourages Critical Thinking Skills
Students who are involved with makerspaces on a regular basis are better equipped to understand that there may be more than one answer. They understand that just because what someone suggests may seem wild, it may be worth investigating before giving it up because it may lead to new discoveries that are part of a brand-new concept or product. Students who get to explore makerspaces become better at accepting others and their ideas. They are also better at learning from their mistakes and the mistakes of others.
One of the real struggles for educators is getting students to transfer what they are learning in the classroom to real-life problems. Makerspaces are ideal at doing that because students learn information at a deeper level than if they just read it in a book or on an iPad. They also encourage students to see how skills they are learning in different classes combine to make a complete picture.