Oscar M. Ciuró

Assessing learning in maker education

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CNC caption at MakerConvent.

Typically, teachers and educators find it very hard to assess and evaluate making activities. For one thing, the spirit of making activities consist of unleashing one’s imagination and creativity to produce whatever gadget one feels like. The issue with project-based learning is that guidelines for making activities are kept to a minimum, however this means that it is not possible for the final creation to be evaluated against a system of pre-established standards.

In this section we aim to provide some methods and solutions for assessing the learning that would have been experienced by each of the participants. These methods each exemplify an intellectual approach (eg. …

Inclusion in makerspaces

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Wood tools wall at MakerConvent.

Inclusion of youth at risk in maker educational activities

Maker education attempts to be as inclusive as possible: everyone, regardless of their gender, age or social economic background should be able to engage with maker education and benefit from the numerous learning outcomes it can provide.

Educators and facilitators, may however find it challenging to involve certain groups of individuals, notably youth at risk. Disadvantaged youth may for example struggle with open-ended and project-based approaches to learning, which is likely to result in them feeling frustrated, and consequently risks jeopardising their long term involvement in maker education.

Main possible causes of tension for youth at risk, in the context of maker education, include the aesthetic elements of design and creation (particularly when more complex machinery is involved, such as cnc machines). As well as this, the need to venture outside of comfort zones with multi-faceted projects, which could include interdisciplinary elements can also appear daunting. This presents a clear need for educators to be able to support youth throughout their projects, especially for those who may particularly struggle with these aspects. …

Making activities things to take care

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3D printing inside an exhibition. By MakerConvent.

Budget and management

Normally in the maker field, there is a tendency to believe that the costs of digital technologies and recycled materials are relatively low. Although partly true, it is sometimes not the case. Whether it is an activity with either free or paid registrations there is a need to be cautious, clear and organised when making a budget and defining who is responsible for each section.

The management of the budget and activity will depend on its nature and organisation. …

Making activities materials and supplies

Makerspaces are collaborative places where all people, including young individuals, can gain practical hands-on experience with new technologies and innovative processes. They provide a flexible environment where learning is made physical by designing and building projects which apply science, technology, maths, art and creativity.

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Building robots at MakerConvent.

It is important to emphasise that every space will be different due to its size, its available resources and the makers who use it. Any kind of physical space can be used; from a classroom to a table, from a storage room to a freestanding building. …

Themes from maker education

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Tools wall at MakerConvent.

“There is only knowledge in the invention, in reinvention, in the restless search.”

Paulo Freire

It is not easy to establish the motivations behind wanting to start educational maker activities. There are usually many factors that influence this. Starting in a space focused on digital fabrication, community engagement and impact. Some key factors which may motivate the creation of a fablab include:

  • to help regenerate places, communities and neighbourhoods
  • to provide services to the local community
  • to educate new makers
  • to advance knowledge of digital technologies and explore new possibilities
  • to support research and development and upgrade knowledge in existing…

Educational Making Activities : Step by step

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The project develops a compendium of making activities.

“The Maker Movement has developed in out-of-school spaces and has mostly involved adult participants, there is growing interest among educators in bringing making into education to enhance opportunities for students to engage in design and engineering practices, specifically, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM, or STEAM when art is included) practices, more generally.”

Lee Martin

Educational making activities start from an environment that include; open source resources, affordable electronics and technologies, crowdsourcing and participatory culture, a focus on STEAM education, information access and DiWO methodologies for inclusion.

The environment where the activity takes place can become an aid to the process and motivate expression, creation and communication. A friendly space allows people to explore. Here, we will give some advice on how to create such a space, as well as providing some technical information that can help in the organisation and development of a model activity which are available in the annexes. …

This methodological guide has been created from observations and lessons learnt during the consortiums’ experience in creative activities and digital fabrication, as well as combining state of the art research from each of our countries. We aims to help orientate readers with information, advice and ideas, which will allow these activities to be incorporated easily and smoothly into day to day practices, in an organised, thought out and prepared manner.

It should be taken as a road map and applied accordingly to the reality of the situation at hand. …

“The Maker Movement has crept into the consciousness of schools in the past few years. For some, it’s a wake up call that over-tested, over-scheduled young people are not going to become the creative, enthusiastic learners we all hope to nurture. For others, it’s a personal reconnection to our collective, deeply-felt human impulses to create, invent, and shape the world. Makerspaces, genius hour, design thinking, and other frameworks can help make these ideas come to life in classrooms, libraries, museums, and community centers. But are these innovations accessible to everyone, to every child?”

Sylvia Martínez “How to Build Your Makerspace

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Starting to prototype.

What do we mean by educational making activities?

An educational making activity is one that brings together creative and innovative processes with an educational perspective, emphasising practical learning during the process, and includes, technology in all or some part of the process. …

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CiutatBeta 2015 Workshop

Social Action: innovative approaches and methodologies for intervention in the public space


CiutatBeta was born as a platform for research and prototyping of innovative tools and citizen processes for intervention in public space. A place to explore the DNA of the city in which we live and, through an interdisciplinary approach, design and test prototypes and creative solutions tailored to the needs of specific neighborhoods and / or new social problems.

CiutatBeta becomes a different and innovative training area, where people from neighborhoods and different professionals work together to build prototypes to run them and put them to the test in the field. …

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15M Plaça Catalunya — Barcelona

Good thinks from bottom

In his book the author Lewis Hyde says something important: “True citizens are not the audience of their government, not its consumers; they are its makers“. It is an appointment that compiles the divergence of the status of the current political relationship with voters. Thought to have some politicians should make use of their power and it really is, someone designated by their voters to exercise power of all.

One of the major concerns of politicians these days is the degree of disaffection of voters and the low motivation of these face major elections. There have been great reflections on this subject, but with few conclusions.
Most important are the collateral ideas that emerged around this concern. I must say, is not only a concern of politicians, voters are also concerned about the poor quality of politicians, their lack of proximity, and in some cases the abuse of impunity. …


Oscar M. Ciuró

Edugestor cultural. International Projects, Consultancy, Digital Culture, Innovation, Fabbing, Inclusion, Participation, Education

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