The positioning of makerspaces in relation to government educational policy and curriculum

Introduction My latest reading examines the place of makerspaces for learning in the school curriculum as an analysis of contemporary educational policy around technology and computing education, at a time when makerspace education has been touted as “having the potential to empower young people to become agents of change in their communities” (Sheffield et al,…

The conceptualisation of well-being in education

Introduction Summer reading examined how well-being in schools has been conceptualised in different ways across disciplinary areas including psychology, sociology and economics, and relate findings back into my chosen context of maker education.  The reference of “optimal functioning and experience” from Ryan and Deci (2001) is one example of a broad and ambiguous definition of…

This Girl Codes: A new ‘Love’s Welcome for Bolsover’ through data science.

Women in Science Day 2019: A perfect time for Junction Arts to share updates about the This Girl Codes education programme in rural Derbyshire. Exploring cultural heritage through creative challenges, its aim over the two academic years was to empower women and girls through art, science and technology. The sessions were open to all abilities…

Back to school as an academic next term.

In what ways can Maker Education impact on child’s emotional well-being? This will be my focus as I join the Doctorate in Education (EdD) programme at Leeds University and combine research with our digital making programmes at The Foundation for Digital Creativity.   I’ve accepted my offer and opted for the part-time route to link both…

Constraints on creativity

Much has been written this week about a squeezed creative curriculum in our schools, including a perceived emphasis of teaching children to code to the detriment of other subjects in a timetable. Two points close to my heart and, for me, very much linked to curriculum and a wider perspective.  Also highlighted through conflict coming…

First Light: Electric Paint Lamp Kit

Perfect timing to build on the 'Dynamic Circuits' workshop we've just delivered with The Ada Show, and continue that exploration through creative tech. If it weren't for watching paint dry (literally, that's not an opinion!), the instructions and boxed kit were so intuitive that it could've been 'open to first light' in under 10 minutes.…

Shake Your #STEAM Power

Looking for a project with a social good theme and to build on resilience?Perhaps signposting girls towards STEAM through inspiring female role models?And support to make classroom connections or resources to develop design thinking skills? These were some of the reasons that I travelled to BETT2017 in January, with an intention to ask the MakerEd community for…

Exploring paper circuits before a live data feed

I've got an idea in mind to create a piece of artwork to visualise some live data, and wanted to see how quickly we could create a starter paper circuit. Ordering Chibi Lights from the good folk at Pimoroni meant a first attempt notebook circuit within 24 hours and a whole lot of ideas to follow…

‘Quality’ decision making without peer pressure using Picap

Christmas came early last week.  Got to admit that we became embroiled in Quality Street-gate with forceful opinions expressed about which choc should have been replaced. The trouble was that peer pressure swayed some, and anecdotes through rose tinted spectacles blurred others, into thinking that another choc should've been booted first. Out came the first choc…