New Digital Craft

New Digital Craft

All craft skills need to be practiced in order to master them.

Traditional crafts education was on-site practice based learning. Skills were often inherited from parents to children. The maker movement and school makerspaces and labs might seem new, but hands-on creation has a long history. From the arts and crafts movement to technical education and shop class to the hacker culture that spawned Apple, Microsoft, and more, tinkering and making is part of the fabric of learning and invention. Now we are seeing hands-on activities such as robotics, electronics, carpentry, and even software development become a bigger part of schools. There’s no doubt that making something from scratch is a core component of learning, requiring confidence, imagination, and ingenuity while building conceptual understanding. Maker and DIY-focused apps and websites can be a huge help, providing students with scaffolding and schematics for their next project or serving as tools to use for design and creation. Nowadays we live in the middle of flux, and remote learning has become the new normal during the spring 2020 due to corona crisis. YouTube and other video tutorial hubs help us in learning new skills, but in order to develop a real craftsmanship, it is usually important to meet, see and discuss with more experienced professionals. In the DWA project, this opportunity is offered when we arrange the short-term staff training session. Also digital tools need hands on learning, supported by the experience from established makers. For example, the Crafts Council (UK) has arranged workshops for this purpose. And as stated in the article “Makerspaces as social and technological innovation platforms”, there are venues where people share their knowledge gladly with peer learners. The new generation of digital makers may be something we cannot yet properly imagine.



PHOTO: by Milla Virkki

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