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Towards a Model of Early Entrepreneurial Education: Appreciation, Facilitation and Evaluation

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Towards a Model of Early Entrepreneurial Education: Appreciation, Facilitation and Evaluation

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This paper introduces the Maker movement as a bottom-up movement, placing digital fabrication technologies on people’s desks to produce “almost anything”. It explores further the pedagogical value of making in education in general and in early entrepreneurial education in particular. Making as a pedagogical approach is analysed referencing established pedagogical concepts as well as a qualitative study including makers and managers of maker spaces. Although maker education has so far only rarely been introduced in formal education, there are many initiatives that bring making and formal education together. According to maker experts, formal education would benefit from making because it is well suited to develop practical skills such as prototyping, supporting creativity and promoting critical reflection. In conclusion we describe a model of introducing making in early entrepreneurial education and conclude with a proposed assessment framework for measuring its impact, which will be tested in an on-going project funded by the European Commission.
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Preliminary version - MisTEL 2018
TOWARDS A MODEL OF EARLY ENTRE-
PRENEURIAL EDUCATION: APPRECIATION,
FACILITATION AND EVALUATION
Preliminary version, published here:
Fraunhofer, Elisabeth; Voigt, Christian & Schön, Sandra (2019). Towards a Model of Early Entrepreneurial
Education: Appreciation, Facilitation and Evaluation. In Di Mascio, T., Vittorini, P., Gennari, R., De la Prieta, F.,
Rodríguez, S., Temperini, M., Azambuja Silveira, R., Popescu, E., Lancia, L. (Eds.), Methodologies and Intelligent
Systems for Technology Enhanced Learning, 8th International Conference
(pp. 139-146), retrieval date, from https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-98872-6.
1
Preliminary version - MisTEL 2018
“DOIT – Entrepreneurial skills for young social innovators in an open digital world”
A HORIZON 2020 INNOVATION ACTION
Consortium: Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H. (AT, co-ordinator), Stichting Waag Society (NL),
Lappeenranta University of Technology (FI), Zentrum für Soziale Innovation (AT), mediale pfade.org - Verein für
Medienbildung e.V. (DE), eduCentrum (BE), ZAVOD Kersnikova (SI), Polyhedra d.o.o. (RS), Capital of Children A/S (DK),
University of Zagreb (HR), Institut d'Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya (FabLab Barcelona, ES), European Social
Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute (LT), and YouthProAktiv (BE)
Webpage: http://DOIT-Europe.net
Duration: 10/2017-09/2020
Grant: H2020-770063 (Call H2020-SC6-CO-CREATION-2017)
Contact (co-ordinator):
Dr. Sandra Schön
Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H.
e-mail: info@DOIT-Europe.net
Disclaimer: This document’s contents are not intended to replace consultation of any applicable legal sources or the       
necessary advice of a legal expert, where appropriate. All information in this document is provided "as is" and no
guarantee or warranty is given that the information is fit for any particular purpose. The user, therefore, uses the
information at its sole risk and liability. For the avoidance of all doubts, the European Commission has no liability in
respect of this document, which is merely representing the authors' view.
 
2
Preliminary version - MisTEL 2018
Description of the Publication
Overview
Details
Description
Preliminary version, published here:
Fraunhofer, Elisabeth; Voigt, Christian & Schön, Sandra (2019). Towards a Model of
Early Entrepreneurial Education: Appreciation, Facilitation and Evaluation. In Di Mascio,
T., Vittorini, P., Gennari, R., De la Prieta, F., Rodríguez, S., Temperini, M., Azambuja
Silveira, R., Popescu, E., Lancia, L. (Eds.), Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for
Technology Enhanced Learning, 8th International Conference
(pp. 139-146), retrieval date, from
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-98872-6.
License
CC BY 4.0, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Attribution
CC BY 4.0 DOIT, http://DOIT-Europe.net, H2020-770063
Publication Date
2018-08-13
 
3
Preliminary version - MisTEL 2018
Summary
This paper introduces the Maker movement as a bottom-up movement, placing digital fabrication technologies on
people’s desks to produce “almost anything”. It explores further the pedagogical value of making in education in        
general and in early entrepreneurial education in particular. Making as a pedagogical approach is analysed referencing      
established pedagogical concepts as well as a qualitative study including makers and managers of maker spaces.    
Although maker education has so far only rarely been introduced in formal education, there are many initiatives that
bring making and formal education together. According to maker experts, formal education would benefit from
making because it is well suited to develop practical skills such as prototyping, supporting creativity and promoting
critical reflection. In conclusion we describe a model of introducing making in early entrepreneurial education and
conclude with a proposed assessment framework for measuring its impact, which will be tested in an on-going project
funded by the European Commission.
Keywords: Making, early entrepreneurial education, maker pedagogy
 
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Content
Summary 4
Content 5
1. Introduction 6
2. The Pedagogy of Making 6
2.1 What Makers Say - Empirical Results from Interviews with Makers 7
2.2 Maker Education in Social Media 8
Making in Early Entrepreneurial Education 8
3.1 Objectives of Early Entrepreneurial Education 9
3.2 Facilitation and Evaluation of Early Entrepreneurial Education 9
4. Conclusion and Outlook 10
Acknowledgment 11
References 11
 
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1. Introduction
Thanks to the availability of digital technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC (Computer Numerical
Control) machines, digital fabrication and prototyping have become widely accessible for anyone and are no longer
limited exclusively to industries. The number of maker spaces and Fab Labs (fabrication laboratories) that make their
facilities and digital fabrication tools available to their members are constantly growing in the recent years. Currently
there are around 1,200 Fab Labs globally. In these workshops makers design and fabricate their own prototypes, some
meant for personal use, others for commercialisation. The inter-changeability of bits and atoms, from design to      
physical artefacts, is being called the Maker movement [ ]. It could be said that the Maker movement represents a
1
return of interest to the physical side of innovation following the almost complete shift to the digital side with the
dot-com bubble, the rise of the participatory Web 2.0 and the diffusion of Open Source Software. Neil Gershenfeld [ ]
2
called the Maker movement the next digital revolution as it placed the means of fabrication on people's desks.
It started as a community-based, socially driven bottom-up movement, but today its potential to impact on society is
manifold, in terms of environmental, economic and social impact.
Most maker spaces and Fab Labs offer educational activities for children and adults, from kindergartens up to
university students [3], recognising the pedagogical value of making. However, there are few examples where making
has been introduced to school settings [4], for instance as a school subject, and where the impact and value of making
have been scientifically analysed. This paper seeks to close this gap in regard to early entrepreneurial education (EEE)
proposing an assessment framework to diagnose the impact of maker activities on attitudes, knowledge and skills
that favour an entrepreneurial “spirit”. We depart with exploring the pedagogical value of making in general in      
reference to established pedagogical concepts as well as a qualitative study with makers and maker managers [5].
We will further describe the DOIT (Entrepreneurial skills for young social innovators in an open digital world)
approach, a model of entrepreneurial education that is put into practice in the framework of a EU (European Union)
funded project. Finally we will deliver an assessment framework for analysing the impact of maker activities in EEE.
2. The Pedagogy of Making
The pedagogy of making builds on several pedagogical pioneers, from reform pedagogues to constructivists, from
Montessori [6] to Piaget and Papert [7], who all support self-regulated learning [8], where learners decide on their
learning goals and on the when and the how. In this learning setting teachers acquire the role of tutors assisting the
learner in their learning paths replacing the traditional teacher-learner relation.
1 http://www.fabfoundation.org/index.php/fab-labs/index.html
2 https://www.doit-europe.net/
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Making is hands-on learning, where makers learn from others, from trial and error, often in interdisciplinary and    
collaborative teams [9–11]. In this, making is similar to problem solving and project based learning approaches.
Making includes a desire to produce things more collaboratively by improving design suggestions of others or by
simply copying, mashing or personalising existing design elements. Making is thus theoretically and historically
founded on “learning by doing” principles [12, 13]. As a pedagogical approach, it is learner-centred and project
oriented, while allowing learners to follow their individual goals [14]. According to the Horizon report, which
anticipates technological trends having an impact on educational settings, maker education will have an increasing
impact on education in the following years [15].
2.1 What Makers Say - Empirical Results from Interviews with Makers
In order to understand the value and impact of making, we have conducted 40 interviews with experts in making, i.e.
makers and managers of maker initiatives across Europe and asked them, among other questions, how they perceive
the educational potential of making [3].
In qualitative analysis of the interviews, it became clear that makers themselves believe that the Maker movement
already has an impact on education, as there are numerous examples of collaborations between maker spaces and
educational institutions. They either invited school classes to the maker space or installed pop-up maker spaces at
schools or rented out some machines to trained teachers, although no integration in the school curriculum is known to
date. In respect to the educational potential of making, the interviewees named entrepreneurial education, STEAM
(Science technology engineering arts and mathematics) education, and as pedagogical approach collaborative and
interdisciplinary learning in particular. For instance, a maker at Fab Lab Barcelona said:
“…this could be a way to
 
 
introduce them to a new way of production as well as also teaching the young people who are interested in
technology…(…) get things moving on a different level when you bring two skilled individuals together by combining
these skills“
(maker, Spain). Children are taught to be creative themselves,
“which might lead to further growth of the
 
   
DIY (Do-it-Yourself) community, which then in turn could have a considerable impact on production processes”
(maker, Denmark). Also, local job creation was named as an argument for developing 21st century skills through
making and keeping a well trained work force in the region if making found its ways into formal education.
The makers see maker pedagogy as preparing children better for real life situations: “
I think that they are having this
 
 
traditional education that is not preparing them for the real world, to be competitive (...). When one day they have to
start working and they are being educated like you just sit and listen and here are 10 pages and then (…) they do not
know what to do”
(maker, Croatia). Kids’ interest in 3D printing and other digital manufacture technologies can be
 
 
easily triggered and many makers and maker initiative managers claim that the incorporation in formal education
would be a necessary step to prepare children for the skills that are needed today to compete on the labour market.    
Maker initiatives can also provide room for education for disadvantaged kids and young adults by empowering them
and thus maker initiatives would have the potential to break barriers and give access to people from different social
backgrounds:
“Part of the task, which we set ourselves is of course to try to break barriers, especially for pupils who
     
would never get the idea to study because they grow up in a social environment where they have no contact at all to
universities. (…) social origin determines the educational career a lot here (Düsseldorf, Germany). And one of our
tasks, which we set out to do, is to provide a bit of support there. (…) When I say we were successful here, even      
though we have no proper measuring tool for it”
(maker manager, Germany).
After all, making contributes to a paradigm shift in its anti-consumerist perspective that leads from pure consumption
to producing and further to prosuming, which is the merge of producing and consuming:
“I don’t want to have a kid
 
 
who thinks ‘OK, I want this and where can I buy it’, instead of ‘I want this and how can I make it’”
(maker, Croatia).
     
 
Maker education is about opening black boxes, giving first hand experiences how artefacts are produced and
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know-how regarding the production cycle:
“One of the things could be that people stop being consumers, but instead
 
 
become more creators. (…) Today we are in a society of consumerism, so people buy things (…). I really believe that
will change the way society works”
(maker, Denmark). Maker objects are believed to create a different awareness of
 
 
products in general and many interviewed makers showed an anti-consumerism attitude. Makers want to know how
products are made, what the product consists of, and open these “black boxes”. Some argue that they would like to be
in control of the production phase as buying off the shelf means missing out on the different production steps and
losing that knowledge.
2.2 Maker Education in Social Media
Previous studies analysed the ‘making’ related discussions in social media [16]. After analysing a total of 50,097
tweets with #makerspaces (12,180 occurrences), #makerEd was one of the more prominent hashtags for indicating
the discussion of making in education (4,370 occurrences). However, more informative than the absolute numbers are
the co-occurrences of keywords characterising these two data sets. Hence, #makerspaces are most frequently
mentioned in conjunction with libraries, schools and STEAM showing how much ‘making’ is already connected with
traditional places for learning, at least as far as the informal debate on Twitter is concerned.
Figure1: Co-word analysis of 4,370 tweets containing #MakerEd (Nov 2015).
Based on a qualitative screening of these tweets, these words indicate the contextual constraints of introducing    
making into formal education, where ‘classes’ are the standard unit for teacher – learner interactions and where
‘rubrics’ are critical instruments to assess learning (see Figure 1). ‘Free’ refers to the availability of freely available      
materials supporting ‘maker education’ that are promoted over the Twitter network. This is not necessarily an
indication that only free materials are thought after.
Making in Early Entrepreneurial Education
At first glance, making supports many skills relevant to entrepreneurship: setting goals and devising paths to achieve
them, the ability to integrate the skills of others (collaboration) and it is highly interdisciplinary, since making
proceeds iteratively and supports primarily problem-based learning. Nevertheless, despite the promising nature of
introducing making in education, there are only rare examples where making has been integrated with formal   
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education, apart from short term arrangements such as project or maker days [e.g. 17] at schools or teachers who
incorporated making in their classes without the curricular support other forms of learning have.
3.1 Objectives of Early Entrepreneurial Education
As stated in the 2016 Eurydice report, defining goals and learning methods for entrepreneurship education is still an
underdeveloped area in most European countries [18]. First and foremost, we do not propose a narrow, commercial
definition of entrepreneurship education, but work on the basis of the more comprehensive definition provided by the
EC thematic working group: “Entrepreneurship education is about learners developing the skills and mind-set to be
able to turn creative ideas into entrepreneurial action. This is a key competence for all learners, supporting personal
development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability” [18].
Putting skills and attitudes at the core of the definition, means that some broader objectives, e.g. creativity, planning
or teamwork, are already addressed in other programmes, run by schools. A first overview is provided by Lackéus
[19]:
Entrepreneurial attitudes
: self-confidence, self-efficacy, sense of initiative, ambiguity tolerance, perseverance;
 
Entrepreneurial skills
: creativity, planning, financial literacy, managing resources, managing uncertainty/risk,
 
teamwork;
Entrepreneurial knowledge
: assessment of opportunities, identifying with the role of an entrepreneurs –
 
self-reflection, how-to knowledge (accounting, finance, marketing and communications)
3.2 Facilitation and Evaluation of Early Entrepreneurial Education
The EEE approach as developed in the DOIT project builds on the advantages of maker pedagogy since its effect on      
most of the above mentioned attitudes, skills and knowledge is promising. However, it is not meant to replace existing
EEE such as entrepreneurial games or companies [18] but adding to these more traditional settings. Specifically, the
focus of DOIT is on social entrepreneurship, assisting children between the age of 6 and 16, in their path from the      
ideation phase with the identification of a “problem” from their life worlds to calibrating options for businesses based
on their inventions. The programme will be tested in 10 different pilots across Europe with 50 children each, thus
involving 500 children in total. The following table (Tab. 1) gives an overview of the programme elements.
Table 1: DOIT programme elements of early entrepreneurial education (EEE)
EEE elements
Description of possible
activities
How the activity could
be supported
Evaluation
dimension
1. Motivation
(Do it because
you can)
Students get motivated by early
successes or by envisioning the
scope of their possibilities
Presenting/telling success
stories that motivate, e.g. by
peers
Self-confidence
Self-efficacy
Sense of initiative
2. Co-design
(Do what
matters) 
Students are asked to collect and
select potential ideas for
innovations, this includes
methodologies and approaches to
identify the true roots of a problem,
e.g. talking with relevant
stakeholders
Methods and Materials to
detect true roots of a
problem, Creativity tools
Self-confidence
Sense of initiative
Creativity
3. Co-creation
(Do it together)
Students will make the project a
reality collaboratively – including
Planning methods
Interdisciplinary group
Creativity, sense of
initiative, planning,
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more knowledgeable others
(entrepreneurs, makers).
working
managing resources,
managing uncertainty/
risk/ teamwork
4. Iterate
(Start it now)
The development of projects is
focusing on concrete prototypes and
their continuous improvement.
Lean prototyping methods
using different materials,
understanding the
decomposition of design
challenges
Teamwork, creativity,
managing resources
5. Reflection
(Do it better)
Within and after the development of
the projects, students are asked to
reflect their work and to get and
give feedback for better (future)
results.
Moderation skills; Reflection
and feedback phase; sharing
of failure experiences
Assessment of
opportunities,
managing resources
6. Scaling
(Do more of it)
Depending on students’ age, project
results are brought to a bigger
group of users.
Developing plans for scaling.
Testing the robustness of a
solution if replicated multiple
times 
Assessment of
opportunities, financial
literacy, managing
resources, managing
uncertainty/risk
7. Reaching out
(Do inspire
others)
Students are asked to share their
ideas and projects to a wider public
Public presentation and
sharing of the idea and the
(success) story
Role of entrepreneurs,
entrepreneurial career
options
The evaluation method is based on a mixed method approach, with quantitative and qualitative measures. It follows a
pre-post design, comparing the baseline data before and after the programme, where possible. For some of the above
listed dimensions standardised psychological assessment tools are available, for instance, for measuring creativity
(e.g. TSD-Z) and self-confidence (e.g. CFSEI-3) [20, 21]. For others, a self-rating survey will be developed to cover
dimensions such as planning capacity or the perceived role of entrepreneurs. Not for all dimensions and EEE elements
a pre-post comparison is feasible, e.g. for the assessment of opportunities or teamwork. For these, qualitative
instruments will be used along the path accompanying the different programme elements. Interviews with facilitators
and children will be carried out to understand if and how children identify with the role of entrepreneurs, how the deal
with uncertainties or think of entrepreneurial career options. Semi-structured interview guidelines based on critical
incidence technique (CIT) steering self-reflection and self-evaluation will be developed for interviewing two (randomly
selected) children per pilot.
Furthermore, an artefact analysis of the developed prototypes will be carried out.
Facilitators will be asked to fill in a researcher diary at various occasions and will be interviewed after the programme
reflecting based on their observations throughout the programme and on their dairy entries. With qualitative content
analysis software the qualitative data will be analysed and complemented with the quantitative analysis constitute a
rigorous evaluation framework.
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4. Conclusion and Outlook
The argument that formal education in general and early entrepreneurial education in particular would benefit from
making and the maker pedagogy is not without foundation but empirical data for grounding these claims are lacking.
Setting goals and devising paths to achieve them, collaborating with others, in project based learning environments
are typical characteristics of maker work as well as entrepreneurial activities. However, making as subject has so far
not been introduced to formal education settings - with a few exceptions. The project DOIT constitutes an attempt to
bring making and social entrepreneurship education together and to analyse in sound and rigorous manner its effects
on the development of entrepreneurial skills, attitudes and knowledge. Thus, we will systematically evaluate the DOIT
programme based on mixed method approach combining qualitative and quantitative measures and contribute to the
science base as empirical insights into the effect of maker pedagogy in reference to opportunities and constraints are
currently lacking.
Acknowledgment
DOIT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant
agreement No 770063.
References
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43-57 (2012). Council on Foreign Affairs.
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... They see it as a possibility for children to grow to 'digital innovators of future' who can change the world through their skills [23]. For this end, eforts combining Making and early entrepreneurial education, even if still relatively rarely reported, have emerged, Unterfrauner et al. [49] and Fraunhofer et al. [14] reporting on such a project. They argue for the pedagogical value of Making in early entrepreneurship education [16]. ...
... Overall, we see that in the current work combining design and Making in education (e.g. [23], [25], [48]) as well as combining Making and entrepreneurial education ( [14], [49]) design and Making are seen as vessels for serving something else than purely the individual provided with practical tools: they advocate empowerment, agency, entrepreneurship. Thus, design and Making serve a higher goal than just learning the practical skills. ...
... Designers easily resort to designing for themselves. Especially for children, designing for common good and for others is challenging -this requires empathy, and building of empathy towards users is not a trivial task even with adults (see also [48], [49]). ...
... While democratizing innovation is the traditional focus of maker movement, there is also an entrepreneurial vision that positions making as an enabler of business innovation and a key to entrepreneurship [22,38]. However, studies that combine entrepreneurship education with digital fabrication and making are scarce [35,36], even if both entrepreneurship education and digital fabrication and making have been widely studied separately. Studies on digital fabrication and making tend also to focus on success stories rather than on scrutinizing the challenges involved [25]. ...
... The combination of digital fabrication and making with entrepreneurship education has been acknowledged as having potential to produce the 'digital innovators of future' [16] and found to increase university students' entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions [24]. Attempts to try the combination out in education have still been rarely reported [12,15,35,36,38] and very little is known on how to do it in practice. Hollauf et al. [15] propose it is important to motivate children (allow mistakes, solving problems that are easily relatable, start with easy tasks), have an open process (asking open design questions, scaffolding children's work but encouraging them to do as much as possible themselves, making technology exploration as easy as possible), and open outcomes (iterative process, focus on learning from the process itself, aiming for positive outcomes). ...
... Thus, broader societal developments tend to influence pedagogy, in terms of teaching methods as well as in terms of educational goals associated with specific skills and competences, required to enter the workforce [14]. With ever more fluid demands on educational systems comes the challenge of adapting curricula, educational technologies and resources [29]. Our aim is to open up existing resources by testing the possibilities of using content from platforms such as instructables.com. ...
... Computerisation and automation are seen as drivers for "routine" tasks and "lower skilled" jobs becoming obsolete in a near future. Areas where human workers are not yet easily replaced by automation include solving unpredictable problems and maintaining complex interactions with other humans [17,29]. Globalisation has led to a situation where services such as the ones offered by call centres are outsourced to countries with lower wages and where workers compete on global scale for jobs [12]. ...
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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 instructables.com. 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.
... The "maker pedagogy" builds on constructive learning approaches: Learning by doing principles, social learning (Bandura, 1977;Rotter, 1982) engaging in collaborative and interdisciplinary teams, problem based learning (c.f. overview by Walker et al., 2015), and learning through trial and error, where mistakes are acknowledged as learning opportunities (Kaltman, 2010;Unterfrauner et al., 2018). Making is hands-on learning, where makers learn from others and from their own experiences (Bell, 2010;Bruffee, 1993;Kaltman, 2010). ...
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The Maker Movement emerged from a renewed interest in the physical side of innovation following the dot-com bubble and the rise of the participatory Web 2.0 and the decreasing costs of many digital fabrication technologies. Classifying concepts, i.e. building taxonomies, is a fundamental practice when developing a topic of interest into a research field. Taking advantage of the growth of the Social Web and participation platforms, this paper suggests a multidisciplinary analysis of communications and online behaviors related to the Maker community in order to develop a taxonomy informed by current practices and ongoing discussions. We analyze a number of sources such as Twitter, Wikipedia and Google Trends, applying co-word analysis, trend visualizations and emotional analysis. Whereas co-words and trends extract structural characteristics of the movement, emotional analysis is non-topical, extracting emotional interpretations.
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