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“TINKERING” as Learning Reinforcement towards Multidisciplinarity in Research-oriented Education

Conference : 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies , pages: 9855-9859 - EDULEARN17 Proceedings

Published: 13/07/2017

The drastic technological development we facing today has led to the pervasiveness of low-cost platforms with inherent tremendous functionality from one side and ease of use from the other. As consequence, the ubiquitous availability of these instruments has contributed, as we see it, to the reformation of the term of "tinkering". A cursory glance at a list of videos on YouTube to the query: "tinkering" or "arduino-based projects", might even give an idea of a certain subculture formation.

Moreover, the variety of the free applied engineering apps, which may turn a smartphone into an oscilloscope or a signal generator for example, are to consider as well due to their obvious potential utility in research-oriented education. Together they form an extremely flexible, universal and potentially fruitful environment to keep STEM curriculum updated and represent a huge source for pedagogical ideas renewal and adjusting according to the state-of-the-art in emerging technologies.

Thus, we argue that an appropriate mode to think and act in a "tinker-way", to orient oneself within the flow of today's technical possibilities become a relevant issue for both parties: educators and students. Undoubtedly, the specificity of scientific and research-oriented education implies a compulsory basic curricula to follow. The last is absolutely crucial to the formation of a solid professional mindset in every major. But to render theoretical knowledge active, problem- and application oriented, more effective in the face of different multidisciplinary contexts, of course, is not an easy task. On that basis, we discuss the potentiality of tinkering as an auxiliary tool in such an endeavor. In particular, first, by re-determining tinkering in the context of STEM education, we that this phenomena, if adequately adopted, may be of significant value and profit. And secondly, on the example of several projects developed, we discuss the aspects of multidisciplinary potential of this approach which, unfortunately, is still insufficiently apparent, and therefore underestimated.

Keywords: STEM Education, Tinkering, open platforms, apps.
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