Jackie Marsh

Jackie Marsh

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.

Location University of Sheffield


  • No worries, it is absolutely fine to work at your own pace, Sharon!

  • Great idea, William!

  • I think there is room for both - tinkering with materials without a design plan to follow is important as it leads to ‘possibility thinking’ -‘what would happen if…’, and trial and error, experimentation, exploration are so important for creative thinking. But thinking through a design prior to making develops other skills, so should also be supported when...

  • Thanks, Karen, for those suggestions, which are really helpful.

  • Do let us know what you do, Intan, our contact page is here https://makerfutures.org/contact/

  • Thanks for all of the great ideas, everyone - keep them coming! :)

  • It is wonderful to see what a talented and creative bunch you are! I am sure with these experiences of making, you will be able to provide a firm foundation for others to make, whatever the context.

  • Hi Maxine - STEM is an acronym for 'Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics'. STEAM combines these areas with the Arts.

  • I agree with the points made about a maker mindset being valuable for all careers - and for life/ leisure. Creative thinking/problem-solving/ teamwork etc are so important and the more we can engage learners in maker activities from the early years, the better.

  • Hi Cora, yes, Alison Buxton has been undertaking some brilliant online makerspaces for children and families - sending them materials/ packs and then engaging in virtual sessions. They have worked really well but need a lot of preparation, as you might imagine.

  • Yes Helen, I think teachers have been amazingly creative through the pandemic, as have library and museum educators, community workers, and so on. We have had to find new ways of engaging with our various stakeholders and it has made many of us think 'outside of the box'. This may well change our practice forever. Alison Buxton, the Lead Educator for this...

  • That is a good point, Diksha, so we always plan maker pop-ups so that they are self-contained - participants would not have to come along to more than one to engage and learn, although if they do come to more than one, they are most welcome! So we tend to have particular themes linked to our pop-up makerspaces that can change each time, and can be linked to...

  • Sounds great, Karen, and each offers users something distinct also, which is valuable.

  • Hi Rebecca, that sounds great - we have developed our own Maker{Move} mobile makerspace that we can take to venues in the region - we are looking forward to engaging in face-to-face events again! See https://makerfutures.org/?strand=makermove

  • Hi Saman, I think that is an excellent suggestion - we need to trace the long-term impact of engagement in makerspaces on children's orientation to STEM learning.

  • That would be wonderful, Helen, intergenerational learning is so powerful!

  • Hi Holly, we offer more practical guidance on setting up a makerspace in Week 3.

  • Absolutely, Suzanna, I agree that giving sufficient time to explore the maker mindset is important.

  • Hi Holly, good question, which we consider in Week 3!

  • Hello everyone, it is wonderful to have such a diverse and international group on the course. I look forward to learning from your experiences as we progress!

  • That's nice - family play!

  • Really interesting thoughts on the topic - as many people have said, it is not 'either'/ 'or' - it is the quality of play that matters, whether digital or non-digital.

  • Good point re Wii, but they don't seem as popular any more - are children moving into virtual reality games instead?

  • Thank you for such fascinating examples, which have brought back memories for me! Thank for sharing these.

  • Hi Dorothy, children still play imaginatively with these kinds of things - a few weeks ago, my grandson played inside a 'volcano' made with an old clothes horse and sheet!

  • That is a nice example of the way in which some aspects of play remain consistent, Andrea. I would love to see the paper dolls Minecraft figures!

  • Hi, so glad you all enjoyed the week and we look forward to your discussions on next week's theme!

  • Thank you for your comments and hope you have plenty of opportunities to play in the future!

  • Good luck with your masters degree, Eva!

  • Thank you for all your wonderful feedback on the course! Thanks also for your participation, your comments have been so interesting.

  • Hope you recover fully soon, Sarah and thanks for the feedback!

  • Thanks for your comments, and for recommending the course to colleagues!

  • We are very pleased to hear about how valuable you have found the course. Thank you all for your contributions, as these have brought the material to life!

  • The 'Exploring Play' team is very sorry to hear of your loss, Tracie. Thank you for your contributions to the course, especially during this difficult time for you.

  • Thank you for your comments and your active participation in the course!

  • Thank you all for the great feedback on the course - we have really welcomed your active participation!

  • Sounds like a great place to work, Eileen!

  • Great project, Claire, thanks for sharing it!

  • Sounds like great fun, Jules!

  • Hi Lisa, this book is based on the study:

  • What beautiful puppets! Interesting history also, thank you.

  • Good point, Jo!

  • I agree that movement is essential for development. We would not advocate that children engage with screens all the time, healthy children also engage in physical play and activities. It is not a case of either/ or, I feel.