How making things can help students learn

This post was originally featured on Stanford GSE’s “School’s In” webpage.

GSE Makery Director Karin Forssell talks about technology in the classroom and the value of letting kids have the freedom to design things.

Karin Forssell is the director of the Learning, Design and Technology master’s program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, as well as the director of the new GSE Makery, a studio that allows users to explore how making things helps people learn.

On this episode of School’s In, hosted by GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope, Forssell explains the purpose of makerspaces and how technology is used in the classroom. “Too often we try to get teachers to use stuff that’s not useful to them or is not easy to use,” she says, “because we’re using something that was designed for a completely different use.”

Makerspaces may be an older concept, but they’re still relevant today, Forssell says. “In today’s maker spaces, we have 3D printers, laser cutters and vinyl cutters – those are new toys, and we want to play with them and see what’s possible. A makerspace is a really powerful place for us to put our students in the role of playing, figuring things out and designing stuff.”

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