Collaboration, Facilities, Innovative Instruction, Tech Generation

Makerspaces in Higher Ed

Makerspaces are a relatively new trend in education. Makerspaces are physical spaces where students can get together to work on creative projects and often contain 3D printers, innovative software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies, and other materials. In education, makerspaces can be thought of as a combination of a classroom and a workshop or lab. But why do we need makerspaces, and why are they relevant in higher education? Andrew Kim, a Steelcase education researcher said, “…we have found that, at the same time that technology is reshaping education, the importance of face-to-face learning is also growing, providing new opportunities for hands-on learning instead of all lecture-based.” Unlike traditional classroom environments, student learning in a makerspace is hands-on and self-directed. Georgia Tech’s makerspace, called the Invention Studio, has been incredibly successful and is often used as a model for others in higher education.

Do you think makerspaces have a place in higher education? If you were designing a makerspace, what equipment, software, or tools would you like to see included?