After all of my research, I have come to the conclusion that the benefits of maker spaces are numerous and they far outweigh possible negatives. While creating a maker space in a K12 classroom may be impractical for some schools, I do think it something that all K12 teachers should look in to. I found three big benefits from maker spaces. All of these benefits, however, come because a maker space is pretty much student directed. As I said in my third blog spot, students really won’t benefit unless the area is self-directed. I didn’t realize how important this aspect was until I started to do a little more research.
Okay, the big reveal! The three biggest benefits, in my opinion, is that students gain creativity, independence and critical thinking skills. Let’s break it down.
Creativity: Obviously in the hands on environment children will have to be creative. Within certain parameters, they have the power to make whatever they want. This is really cool opportunity to have. Especially for older kids who can begin to get in to more complicated things, like robotics. For some students, if it isn’t something isn’t happening at school, they’re never going to experience it. They may never know they like to build and experiment with robots unless their school provides some type of maker space to allow them experiment.
Independence: Because of self-directed learning children have to step outside of their comfort zone and find their own answers. They aren’t guided every step of the way. Students have to rely on themselves and work it our for themselves rather than anticipating the teacher will tell them everything.
Critical Thinking: This is probably the most important of the three benefits in my opinion because it’s really something that you will use your whole life. Again, self-directed learning is imperative. Without step by step instructions on how to solve a problem, student are forced to think critically and come up with an answer on their own.
Hopefully, all K12 teachers have the opportunity to experience and try out maker spaces in their classrooms. It won’t always work, but when it does, it will be really beneficial for students!