Makerspace - changing education and students

Whether you’re a teacher, have a child at school, or one day will have a stake in education, here’s the word you should be paying attention to: Makerspace.

Much like iPads and technology shifted the way our kids learn and invigorated the way teachers teach, so too is global trend Makerspace transforming the learning space.

Makerspaces provide hands-on and creative ways to encourage students to question, solve, design, experiment, build and invent. It’s shifting schools internationally, and it’s now emerging in South African schools today.

Think Ahead*, education partner of iStore, specialises in inspiring and infusing 21st-century skills into the education space, and will be hosting the first Makerspace Conference in Johannesburg this Saturday 7 May, in partnership with Create Africa  The conference will bring together thought leaders in education, anthropology and the maker movement to educate, inspire and equip teachers with the knowledge to successfully create Makerspaces in their own schools and incorporate maker movement practices in their subjects.

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What else will the conference achieve?

  • Introduce teachers to experts in the Maker movement who are skilled in the fields of 3D printing, electronics, programming and physical computing.
  • Give attendees a hands-on experience of Maker practices - workshops to be booked prior to conference day. 
  • Provide teachers and Makers the opportunity to network and form a Maker movement with other educators. This will ensure ongoing co-learning and inspiration.

More about the benefits of Maker education

One of the most exciting aspects of the maker movement is how children are at the centre. Students learn by doing. The process of making leads to learning and help students refine their creativity and imagination with real life experiences.

On campuses around the world, the Makerspace is being embraced by the arts as well as the sciences, and a new energy is building around multidisciplinary efforts.

Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. It recognises that knowledge is a consequence of experience, and allows  each child to engage in authentic problem solving.

Even if you don't have access to expensive (but increasingly affordable) hardware, every classroom can become a Makerspace where kids and teachers learn together through direct experience with an assortment of high and low-tech materials. 

Watch this video to know what students are actually “doing” in their schools to make their learning happen in many ways.

* Think Ahead ( specialises in inspiring and infusing 21st- century skills into the education space. They specialise in the sustainable and accessible integration of technology into teaching and learning. Think Ahead works with over 300 schools - private, township, rural, mainstream and special needs. They offer educator, parent and learner workshops.  Think Ahead helps schools, educational companies and policy-makers to navigate the world of digital education. They offer the full solution from planning, infrastructure, procurement, deployment and evaluation, and passionately believe that learning and innovation should be accessible to all.

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