University of Oulu

Learning computational thinking and 21st century skills in the context of Fab Lab

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Author: Pitkänen, Kati1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Pages: 37
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Pitkänen, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-06-02
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
The increasingly automated world has made humans more and more passive consumers. Students are great at using technologies but are not able to design and create artifacts by using technologies. At the same time, programming and computational thinking skills are seen ever more important in society and working life. The new National Core Curriculum for Basic Education in Finland focuses on future skills. It emphasizes pupils’ participation and responsibility of their schoolwork. It aims to regenerate work methods and learning environments used in basic education by using technologies and seeking new inspiring learning environments outside the classroom. The curriculum involves opportunities for pupils to develop their information and communication technology skills in all subjects, where also programming has been integrated as part of the objectives. It aims to respond to the requirements of study, working life, and active citizenship by focusing on to develop students’ transversal competences for commanding and combining different knowledge and skills. The aim of this study is to investigate in theory, how can computational thinking and twenty-first century skills be learnt in the context of maker culture. The study is conducted by a literature review on the maker culture approach in education to see, if there is a possibility to learn these skills in maker activities in the context of Fab Lab Oulu, Finland, which has potential to be new student-centered and technology-enhanced learning environment for schools in Oulu area. The study forms an understanding of growing maker culture phenomenon in education to realize its potential when considering to integrate making into formal education. It indicates differences between two similar but slightly different concepts, maker culture and maker movement, to notice that at first there was a maker culture philosophy, which has been later started to foster by a social movement called maker movement. Then, the study explores the historical and theoretical base of learning by doing and making to understand the roots and nature of maker culture. The study investigates what can maker culture give for education and how can digital fabrication learning activities in the context of Fab Lab Oulu foster and inspire learning computational thinking and 21st century skills. It presents how making cannot only bring about interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects but also make students understand and connect their knowledge to the world around them. In Fab Lab, they can involve theory to practice, and experience project-based and collaborative learning, for solving meaningful challenges. To boot, they can find how are they able to design and build tangible artifacts and make their ideas become true and thus, be active producers.
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Copyright information: © Kati Pitkänen, 2017. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.