ChangeMakers: exploring social consciousness through making and the Internet of Things
Robb, Jennifer A.
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Since the advent of the computer, digital technologies have transformed our engagement with society. Not only are technological competencies required for economic participation, they also facilitate creativity, self-expression, and personal fulfillment. Technology has also broadened citizenship beyond our local communities, necessitating the development of social consciousness and skills to navigate global challenges. Given the need for tools that facilitate digital competencies and social action in schools, this study investigated how passion-based making with the Internet of Things (IoT) could facilitate students’ involvement with citizenship and social justice. Over the course of a five-day makerspace camp, this study employed a qualitative multiple case study design to explore the IoT learning and social participation of ten elementary school students. The findings revealed meaningful development in participants’ understanding of concepts and concerns related to IoT, as well as thoughtful engagement with societal challenges through the construction of socially oriented IoT artifacts.