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Affording Makerspaces

by Patrícia Gomes

EdSurge

Article excerpt

‘Diversity Does Not Happen By Accident’ and Other Lessons About Equity in the Maker Movement

Today there are more makerspaces in schools, and more teachers willing to become part of this community. But do all students—regardless of background—have the same opportunity to be part of this movement? Sadly, the answer is no.

Our take

More Than One Option for Making Makerspaces

The Maker Movement is getting a lot of buzz these days and certainly holds promise in education, but only if available equitably. But not all school systems have access to 3D printers, robotics and other high tech devices that have been fueling interest in makerspaces. Are there other alternatives that can help to close the gap between the haves and the have nots?

Concerns about equitable access to educational experiences are growing, driven to a large degree by access, or lack of access, to technology. But, concepts like makerspaces don’t have to be based on expensive high-tech equipment in classrooms. In fact, as libraries shift their focus to remain relevant, many are becoming places for the type of interactions and engagement that makerspaces are based on. Corporations may also serve as partners, particularly in settings where recruiting is a challenge. And, as one commenter on this piece noted, there also are virtual online forums like Virtual Makerspace that can offer access.

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