The Maker movement has grown out of a desire to use technology for active creation rather than passive consumption. Advances in the areas of 3D printing, programming, electronics and robotics mean that it is possible for learners of all ages to be creators and solvers of problems using technology.
The maker movement is also a response to the fact that advances in technology over the last few decades mean that our devices are incredibly slick and reliable. While this is great on one hand, it’s also a challenge: if devices don’t often break down, we don’t need to get inside them to understand how they work. Many devices now don’t even let users replace simple things like batteries, which ultimately means learners don’t get to explore and learn how things work.
Another important element in the maker movement is the democratising of learning: where anybody may have the expertise you need to complete your project and you, in turn, may have the missing piece of someone else’s puzzle. We’re seeing more and more ‘maker clubs’ and ‘Makerspaces’ appearing in schools and communities, providing people places to learn about technology and to solve problems.
‘This kind of lateral learning (rather than a top-down model) is a much more authentic representation of how learning happens in life.