THEMED “Maker Education Lights the Future,” the fourth National Maker Education Summit Forum was held at the Sea World Culture and Arts Center in Nanshan District on Saturday morning.
Experts and scholars from home and abroad, and representatives of science and technology enterprises in the educational field, were invited to explore the development of maker education.
Zhang Shaogang, executive vice president of China Association for Educational Technology, said maker education is burgeoning in China and that there are diverse demands for maker education in different regions.
“Parents in first-tier cities pay more attention to word of mouth and the teachers’ qualifications, while parents in second-tier and small- and medium-sized cities pay more attention to time arrangement and price,” said Zhang.
According to Zhang, maker education can be further promoted through competitions, internships, and study tours, as well as summer and winter camps.
Song Shuqiang, associate editor of national academic magazine Modern Educational Technology, said the volume of academic journals on maker education has seen an explosive growth since 2014, with nearly 1,000 academic papers on maker education published every year.
Steen Lund, vice president of open-source electronics platform Arduino, emphasized the importance of teachers in maker education. According to Lund, teachers must act as facilitators of learning instead of simply imparting knowledge.
Zhu Zhiting, a tenured professor at East China Normal University, said the lack of teachers is a major problem in maker education. “In some schools, maker education is taught by teachers from other subjects and some only work part-time,” he said.
Zhu suggested that it is necessary to strengthen the training of maker educators. In addition to teacher training, the government could also introduce social forces, such as businesses and volunteers, through buying their services.
As a thematic forum of Maker Faire Shenzhen 2018, the forum was hosted by the Nanshan District Government and supported by the National Teachers’ Union, the research center for basic education curriculum of Shaanxi Normal University, Shenzhen Chaihuo Maker Space and Shenzhen Polytechnic.