The “Maker Movement” is more than just making, it’s about “play with meaning”.
We’re now seeing significant momentum around something that is innate, particularly for kids. It turns out we learn better with our hands. We are by nature a tactile, experiential, and kinesthetic, being. There’s no better compass North than trying something and failing, or succeeding. We learn through a process that is intrinsic. There’s no carrot ‘n stick motivation but something more sustainable as we are driven to find the answer without any external prodding or encouragement.
My son, who is now ten years old, was working with some Lego bricks the other day. He became frustrated and despondent with his efforts to build something. Two things happened; he didn’t quit, and rethought the design. He decided he’d build something else out of the bricks rather than the intended design and he took his frustration in a new direction. As an interesting sidebar, by virtue of his success he went on to actually build the original design emboldened by his new found confidence.
Many kids in our schools need to have the facility to create, discover, imagine, and do. New products are emerging in the market that combine the kinesthetic to technology. Allowing kids this experience of discovery in many ways helps with career or college endeavors and allows them to understand a calling for what truly interests them.
Certainly these kids are technologically aware, but balancing that with something that let’s them build their learning is physical evidence that better represents what they know.