Hacking the Knowledge of Maker Communities in Support of 21st Century Education

  • Christian VoigtEmail author
  • Sebastian Mair
  • Elisabeth Unterfrauner
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11193)


The paper addresses the need to rethink education to be effective in a changing environment. More concretely we look at the intersection of craft-based learning, digital fabrication technologies and schools’ capacities to absorb educational innovations. Although making and hacking are known activities within constructionist learning settings, they are not yet widespread at a school level. An explorative study of maker education across European countries has shown that a major impediment to innovations, such as digital fabrication in schools, were the perceived complexity of the process, the technical skills required and the lack of easily accessible resources for getting started or being able to troubleshoot if needed. The aim of this paper is to test the possibilities of referencing existing knowledge embedded in platforms such as Using the available API, we created a network graph of 225,681 instructables authored by 74,824 authors. The potential of that knowledge base is analysed in two steps: first, we describe the available content on the platform in terms of topics, structure and licenses and second, we explore the value of topic networks, as one specific possibility to make platform knowledge more accessible to educators and learners themselves. A first prototype has been implemented and evaluated, showing the importance of discussing the value and limitations of resources external to educational systems, learning by doing, accountability and the right to tinker in technology-embedded teaching.


Digital fabrication Education Knowledge Network Platform hacking Communities 



This research was supported by the eCraft2Learn project (H2020) funded under Grant Agreement No 731345.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social InnovationViennaAustria

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