At a presentation to our faculty over the summer, we had the opportunity to share some of the awesome ways our makerspace and its tools and equipment can be integrated into a wide range of academic disciplines. Some of what we talked about is on our assignments by subject page. We were a little worried that all of the new project ideas could be overwhelming, however, especially when many faculty are interested in working with existing courses. In an effort to make things a little easier to digest, we came up with the following:
How to Integrate the Makerspace into your Courses:
Look at your courses and think about how a creative assignment or visualization might help in the understanding of a concept, event, place, etc.
Think about times during the course when many students had a difficult time understanding or staying engaged with the content and may have benefited from hands-on work or a change of scenery.
Do a library database search to find articles about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
Do a web search to find content about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
Contact your friendly makerspace coordinators. We have tons of ideas and are happy to chat about them!
It’s even available as an image, if you’d prefer! We know assignment design is a complex process, but we hope these tips can at least make it a little easier for faculty of all academic disciplines to provide high-tech, hands-on coursework for their students.
To gain a better understanding of life in a refugee camp, Professor Lavanya Proctor brought her Anthropology of South Asia students to the makerspace to experience a virtual reality video. The video entitled, I Am Rohingya, follows a woman named Jamalida as she walks through the refugee camp in which her family lives. The following is the description on Vimeo:
In this immersive VR film by Contrast VR and AJ+, ride with Jamalida around the crowded camp, accompany her inside her tiny home, sit down in the narrow streets with her sons as they play and feel what’s it like to be a refugee stranded in a foreign land.
Prior to coming to the makerspace, students were instructed to download the Vimeo app on their smartphones. Additional smartphones were provided in case students did not have their own. Cardboard VR headsets provided a low-cost, and low-tech way to allow students to immerse themselves in a new surrounding and feel what daily life is like for people living in refugee camps.
While watching the video, students could use audio headsets to block out other sounds and listen at a comfortable volume. They could move through the space and rotate to explore the camp. The VR experience allowed students to immerse themselves much more than passively watching a video. Immersive VR videos like I Am Rohingya give students an opportunity to experience powerful stories, and at between $8-$15, cardboard VR headsets offer a cost-effective way to do this.