Yes, I would invest in creating a maker…

Yes, I would invest in creating a maker space with a 3D printer in our school. Reading through the Ontario curricula, most updated iterations place emphasis on ensuring authentic learning experiences and real-world applications. Paired with the need to cultivate 21st century learning skills, it’s clear that a maker space is a hub of collaborative learning, allowing users to experiment and to create. They are built on the belief that sharing, collective problem solving, and task performance lead to better learning outcomes. Our school’s Design Tech class finds real problems and attempts to design solutions. A student in the design tech class who was also in my English class noticed that our laptop power cords were always tangled (which we lovingly referred to as the “rat nest.”) He borrowed a cord and attempted to design several different holders to help keep the cords separated. In the end, he designed two different prototypes. Neither of them have worked (yet) but he will continue designing next year, improving upon the previous designs until we have a product that works. The motivation to continue learning “after the class is finished” and the drive to seek out real-world problems and find authentic solutions is what 21st-century learning is about.

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