How to use coding to engage students in making
Makerspaces are a key example of something that can be implemented today to build a school of the future. While they can differ in size and approach, they’re essentially interactive spaces where learners can use their hands (and their brains!) to make something. In an academic setting, it’s often complementary to a lesson or reading. In this example, lessons on coding are supplemented by kits where students are told to make something with computer components. Some students chose to make a basketball-esque scoreboard, others built a flashback to the 1980’s Pong… but they all learned something and immediately used that knowledge to make something inspired by their learning.
The maker movement is important because it moves us toward learning for a future where the instructions aren’t written and clearly defined. Makerspaces are defined not by a set of step-by-step instructions, but by a question: “What can you make today?” That is much more grounded in learning how to learn and think critically. Even better, it abandons the 20th century assembly line model of classroom learning, where there’s a uniform path to knowledge by encouraging learners to blaze their own creative trail.
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