• The University of Sheffield

Makerspaces for Creative Learning

Ever thought about creating your own makerspace? Learn how to provide a space for children to boost creativity and employability.

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Makerspaces for Creative Learning

Understand how a makerspace can prepare children for industry 4.0

The fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) will fundamentally change the way we work and live, yet it is still uncertain exactly what our future ways of working will look like. So how do we prepare our children for something that is yet to be defined?

On this three-week course, you’ll delve into the importance of cultivating creative mindsets alongside scientific and engineering disciplines, and learn how makerspaces are an effective way to do this.

Makerspaces are physical locations that provide hands-on opportunities for students to design, experiment, build, and invent. This course will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to visit makerspaces in your area, or even better, set up one of your own.

Discover the importance of makerspaces

A makerspace can help children and young people develop the types of creative skills that will be vital for future employment and learning.

You’ll identify the importance of fostering creativity in children aged 3-15 before exploring the educational, cultural, and social value of makerspaces.

Create a space to improve digital literacy with the University of Sheffield

You’ll discover how makerspaces have been set up in early years settings, schools, libraries, museums, and community spaces to see the different methods for fostering creative learning environments.

Guided by the University of Sheffield and experts in creating makerspaces, you’ll develop ideas for building your own makerspace in your community. You’ll focus on enhancing digital literacy and promoting creativity to design a makerspace that prepares children for entering work in the fourth industrial revolution.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds What exactly is a makerspace? Well, to put it simply, it’s a space for making, but they are also far much more than that. Makerspaces encourage us to discover how things work, to mend, to reuse, to hack, to build. They help us to break the habit of throwing things away and buying them new. They inspire us to think like makers and to develop our creative, collaborative, and problem solving skills. In this open online course from the University of Sheffield, we will explore the benefits of making for adults and children alike. We will look at how to develop your own makerspaces, whether that is starting small with a pop-up makerspace or developing a whole dedicated area and programme of activities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds We will visit successful maker enterprises, from community startups to school classrooms, from factory assembly lines to companies like Lego, and see how they’re able to influence and nurture our maker mindsets. We’ll speak to artists, engineers, academics, and museums. We’ll learn what maker skills employers need and why these skills are revolutionising businesses. As part of my work I help schools, libraries, and museums develop their own maker spaces. I train educators in how to run them and support schools by developing maker activities and projects for the classroom, and I hope to pass this knowledge on to you as you start your own makerspaces journey. You’ll be offered a wealth of tips, hacks, and suggestions for creating a makerspace of your own.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds How to get started with what you already have, how to make them accessible, how to engage with your community, and most of all, how to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers. So if you’re ready, come and join us and jump into the wonderful world of makerspaces for creative learning.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Cultivating creative mindsets

    • Are we all born creative?

      Creativity is increasingly being recognised as a vital skill in a rapidly-changing world, but whether our current educational systems cultivate or kill creativity is a subject of some debate. What do you think?

    • What is a makerspace?

      We take you inside a makerspace to find out what they are and how they foster creativity, playfulness and learning.

    • Why do we need creative skills?

      Creative learning develops knowledge and skills that are important for the 21st century. We talk to employers about why these skills are important and find out what creative skills you use in your daily life.

    • Makerspaces: uniting STEM and the arts

      Uniting the arts with science, technology, engineering and maths is crucial for nuturing critical-thinking and creative skills.

    • Learning in makerspaces

      So far this week, we have suggested that participating in makerspaces can develop a wide range of skills - but is this always guaranteed? In this activity, we'll look at how learning takes place in makerspaces.

  • Week 2

    Makerspaces in formal and non-formal learning spaces

    • Welcome to Week 2

      This week we'll be visiting schools, libraries, museums and community settings to find out how makerspaces can be organised in these locations.

    • Makerspaces in schools and early years settings

      We'll begin by looking at makerspaces in schools. You'll have an opportunity to take a look inside a makerbox and observe some teachers as they learn how to use these boxes with their students.

    • Making and the curriculum

      In early years settings, makerspaces can operate outside of the curriculum, however, this becomes more challenging in primary and secondary schools, when teachers are expected to follow specific guidance.

    • Makerspaces in museums

      In this activity, we'll explore case studies from the Victoria & Albert Museum in the UK as well as the Bay Area Discovery Museum in San Fransico, USA to find out how makerspaces are organised in museum settings.

    • Makerspaces in libraries and community settings

      We’ll explore the many reasons why libraries and community settings are great locations for organising makerspaces. In particular, we'll focus on how they can enable fruitful learning experiences for people of all ages.

  • Week 3

    Getting started with your Makerspace

    • Welcome to Week 3

      This week we want to hear all about your plans for developing a makerspace. Where will you organise it, how will you run it and what resources will you need? We'll offer some practical guidance to get you started.

    • Diversity in makerspaces

      This week, we’ll begin by discussing the issue of diversity and inclusion in makerspaces and consider some of the ways you can attract a diverse group of makers to your makerspace.

    • Building your maker community

      We’ll consider the benefits of building a community of makers that you can seek support and advice from and share some ideas for how you might develop your own maker network.

    • Practical considerations

      In this activity, we'll focus on your intentions for developing a makerspace and offer some practical guidance for doing this.

    • What next?

      In this final activity, we want to find out about your plans for making.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the importance of fostering creativity in children aged 3-11
  • Discuss the educational, cultural and social value of makerspaces
  • Describe ways of organising makerspaces in early years settings, schools, libraries, museums and community spaces
  • Develop ideas for building your own makerspace

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in makerspaces and how they are used in formal and informal learning spaces.

It will be of particular interest for people who use or work in early years settings, schools, museums, libraries, community settings and parents or teachers.

Who will you learn with?

I am an Educational Developer of Makerspace Projects in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. I am a maker-educator and passionate about getting others making too!

I am Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield. I am interested in children's development of digital literacies and creativity through their engagement in making and makerspaces.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

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Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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