To realize the opportunity that the maker movement offers education, students need room for self-directed learning and interdisciplinary problem solving.
While setting up spaces for hands-on tinkering, schools also need to make mental space for creativity, risk taking, and learning from failure. Those qualities are central to maker culture, but still rare in too many school settings.
More important than gaining access to expensive tools is learning how to turn raw ideas into prototypes that can be tested, refined, and improved through feedback.
Students who gravitate toward an engineering or STEM approach to problem solving may get fresh ideas from watching artists work out solutions (and visa versa). Collaboration is more likely to happen when thinking and tinkering take place in the open.
parents team up with their children for monthly Maker Saturdays.
Encourage students to tell the stories behind their ideas and describe the process that took them from inspiration to finished product.
Should we worry that making in the classroom is just the new-new thing, soon to be replaced by some other newer new-new thing?
To prevent this, I like to combine the work of education pioneers and giants with the new work of scholars to show that this is more than just a fad or a chance for a shopping spree.
"making" shouldn't be just making anything.
When we talk about making in the classroom, we have to continually raise the bar and challenge ourselves to create an academically worthy process. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to add computational technology to the making
Interaction between the digital and physical world adds a level of complexity that results in greater understanding of both.
Although the learning happens inside the learner's head, it happens most reliably when the learner is engaged in a personally meaningful activity that makes the learning real and shareable.
"meaningful" part of constructionism
the power of making something comes from the learner's question or impulse and is not imposed from the outside.
It seeks to liberate learners from their dependency on being taught.
"It made me clearly realize how much superior an education based on free action and personal responsibility is to one relying on outward authority."
It's easy to find widespread support for the idea that hands-on experiences are crucial for students to develop deep understanding.
The modern Maker movement has its roots in timeless craft traditions combined with new materials and a community approach to problem-solving spread globally by the reach of the internet.
Educational institutions should take notice when a learning revolution is happening outside its doors. School loses relevancy to young people when it fails to connect to the real world, to their world, and the world of the future.
Agency by Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is investigating the "promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning experiences." They see a new kind of hands-on pedagogy emerging, one that "encourages community and collaboration (a do-it-together mentality), distributed teaching, boundary crossing, and a responsive and flexible pedagogy."
like being on the same side as Piaget, Papert, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, thousands of museums and libraries, and a global revolution