The phenomenon of early school leaving is a complex problem that involves several dimensions of social life, very often strictly linked to social contest marked by poverty and exclusion.
But there are also reasons that arise from personal factors, family matters, learning difficulties and more generally, how the school education system is organised and the role that the individual plays in it.
For all these reasons, the answers to the phenomenon of dispersion should be in order to counteract and reduce the seriousness of the problem and the initiatives must be several and addressed to educational ,social, labour and health policies.
Digital education is a fundamental element to increase the motivation of young people in general, and to counteract inequalities in learning even if technology itself is not enough, but must be accompanied by a technological and digital renewal of teaching methods and approaches.
For some years, the social policies of the Municipality of Fano have been aimed to promoting technologies in favour of adolescents and young people not only during school but above all in their free time, offering a FabLab service with spaces for the construction of three-dimensional products and devices and spaces for playinginstruments.
Agreements were made with local high schools to accompany students during class hours, offering atechnologicallaboratory where they could learn how to build and use 3Dproducts and drones.
So much curiosity was aroused that in the afternoon many of them began to attend the FabLab deepening their knowledge, often abandoning the unqualified attendance of leisure time without interest but mostly marked by boredom and sometimes forms of aggression towards peers.
Counteract the use of drugs and alcohol abuse in young people is the mission of the municipal social services that strongly believes in offering opportunities for healthy interests by keeping adolescents and young people away from degraded spaces and often prone to violence.
–IES El Clot: María Teresa Fernández, Marcial Terradez
–Gymnasium Neubiberg: Stefanie Will, Christopher Müller
During the different sessions the partners have discussed the project activities carried out so far and the activities planned for the next six months.
The partners focused, in particular, on the on-going first Intellectual Output (IO1 Make In Class Competence Map) and the activities foreseen in the second and third Intellectual Output (IO2 Open Educational Resources and IO3 Teacher Training Programme).
Another section was dedicated to the first multiplier event that is planned in September 2019 and the LTTA that will be organised in Germany in December 2019.
At the end of the meeting all the participants had the possibility to visit MCAST, in particular the laboratories for 3D printing and CNC machines.
The Make in Class project is developing different tools for secundary teachers to use maker-based activities with students to develop teaching-learning processes, and especially to reduce school failure. Perhaps it would be interesting to start by defining what are exactly maker based activities.
The maker movement
In 2005, Dale Dougherty launched the magazine “Make” where the concerns of many people who liked to “make” things were collected. In 2006 he launched the Maker Faire event where the “makers” show their projects year after year. From there, the movement grew until our days in which people of all ages with more or less knowledge about technology has joined this movement that even has its own Manifesto.
The maker movement promotes the idea that all people are capable of developing any object, “do it yourself” (DIY), instead of ordering it or buying it. The maker movement is a social movement that began with craft manufacturing and where digital interaction and manufacturing methods have been quickly integrated mainly due to 3 factors: 1. The integration of electrical and electronic components. 2. The emergence of digital tools for design and manufacturing with affordable sizes and prices: 3D modeling programs, 3-D printers, laser cutters, 3-D scanners. 2. Social and collaborative digital media, which have fostered collaborative innovation on the web and where innumerable open source digital practices are shared.
What are “maker based activities”? They are activities, challenges, personal fabrication projects with the “do it yourself” philosophy where creativity, autonomy and collaboration are essential factors.
These activities can range from traditional manufacturing:
simple objects with traditional materials (paper, cardboard, plastic, light plywood, etc.),
objects with recycled materials (boxes, light containers, toys, etc.),
up to digital manufacturing:
physical objects to which are added electrical components (cables, switches, batteries, …)
For more than 10 years, communities of people and companies interested in programming and electronics have developed technology that makes it easy to connect, control and interact with physical objects directly or even through the Internet using mobile devices such as our mobile phone. For example: Arduino or Raspberry Pi circuit boards that can be “programmed” from the computer. Thanks to the technology of “programming by blocks”, to start coding is as simple as assembling pieces of a puzzle. It can be said that technology is becoming more “inclusive”. You can “manufacture” projects with simple technology and with little money thanks to electronic components are becoming cheaper and because there are many software applications with free or open source versions. The computer and mobile devices, such as phones or tablets, have become a tool where hundreds of programs can be used to “create” and perhaps for this reason, the concept “maker” sometimes transcends the idea of creating projects with only “tangible” elements. Makers creativity sometimes need to use software apps to complete their projects. In other words, we can “manufacture” a virtual object with 3D modeling software to be printed and maybe we need also create with this object a digital film through video recording and editing.In short, we can say that a “maker” activity is always creative and it has a simple or complex project behind it.
The degree of integration of technology will depend on different factors: age, knowledge and skills on different techniques and technologies of people “maker”, type of workspace, equipment, budget, personal, professional or educational objective, etc.
Education and the maker culture Active learning ( “learning by doing”), teamworking, solving problems in a collaborative way, autonomy or creativity are being key in the new methods of learning in schools, and these elements are adjusted to the DNA of the maker movement. “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” At present, there is a great interest to develop in the students basic and professional competences that still cost to develop in the classrooms. It is for these reasons that teachers are interested in everything that has the name “maker”, and begin to experience this type of activities, initially in the subjects related to STEAM areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. But….if these activities are implemented beyond the scope of technology subjects?
The Make In Class partners started to work on the first Intellectual Output: the Make In Class Competence Map.
It is an intuitive and easy to use tool useful to identify knowledge, skills and competences acquirable by students involved in maker-based activities. The main aim is to create a guiding tool to support non-expert teachers in integrating maker-based activities in their lessons.
It can be used in different scenarios and for different purposes from the achievement of specific learning outcomes to the implementation of maker based activities in the standard school curricula and the organisation of an inclusion process involving different subjects.
The partner are carrying out the first step: the Identification, comparison and analysis of the learning that takes place through maker-based activities in partner countries. During this step the partners will interview at least 5 respondents per country (teachers, experts in maker-based activities and inclusive processes for students) based on a common framework.
The data collected will be elaborated and will be the basis for the creation of the Map.
Stay tuned for more detail on the IO1 Make In Class Competence Map.
The kick off meeting was successfully held on 7-8 November 2018 in Fano (Italy). During the different sessions the participants had the opportunity to present their organisations describing the activities carried out and the added value for the project. The partners have discussed the project proposal in detail, analising the project results, the possible target groups, dissemination and administrative tasks and financial issues.
The partners focused, in particular, on the activities foreseen for the next 6 months. They discussed the most suitable methodologies and tools to produce the first Intellectual Output (IO1 Make In Class Competence Map) and the activities related to the second Project Outputs (IO2 Open Educational Resources).
In the next few months, the partners of the project will be working also on the promotion of the project in different secondary schoool teachers in order to create a comunity of interest.