The following is an excerpt from an article in The Journal by Mike McGalliard and Anne Wintroub. It’s too good not to share. I encourage educators and parents to read and consider the ideas and recommendations presented in the full article.
“Educators and business leaders have more in common than it may seem. Teachers want to prepare students for a successful future. Technology companies…have a vested interest in developing a workforce with the STEM skills needed to grow the company and advance the industry. How can they work together to achieve these goals? Play may [be] the answer.
“We’ve assumed that focusing on STEM skills, like robotics or coding, are important, but the reality is that STEM skills are enhanced and more relevant when combined with traditional, hands-on creative activities. This combination is proving to be the best way to prepare today’s children to be the makers and builders of tomorrow. That is why technology companies are partnering with educators to bring back good, old fashion play.
“In fact many experts argue that the most important 21st century skills aren’t related to specific technologies or subject matter, but to creativity; skills like imagination, problem-finding and problem-solving, teamwork, optimism, patience and the ability to experiment and take risks. These are skills acquired when kids tinker. ” — The Journal
Edutopia defines Marker Education as “a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship” (source). This type of making is not a new idea but, until a few years ago, has not been in education and has been growing in implementation ever since.
What is Maker Education?
Several terms are involved with Maker Education such as tinker, hack, create, modify, build, and invent (source). This basic concept involves changing the traditional lecture style of education to a more engaging hands-on environment where students are learning through active projects. This style of learning does not have traditional assessments but uses the finished product as the assessment; thus, completely flipping the traditional style of learning.
Why implement Maker Education?
The following four mindsets show the benefits of implementing Maker Education into the classroom.
Implementing Maker Education within your classroom does not have to be difficult. Start with one project and allow students to build or create something tangible. You can use Pinterest or Instructables to find handy DIY projects for the classroom simply be searching. You will soon become hooked on the idea and will begin to modify your own lesson plans to include more making.
Kaylah Holland is currently a Middle School Instructional Technology Facilitator at Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching coding, app development, and robotics; she has a vital role of assisting teachers with the integration of technology into the classroom through ample research, lesson planning, and training. She is currently completing her doctoral degree in the field of Instructional Design and Technology and is in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. She is passionate about building an innovative culture for learning.
“That time in the shop saved my life. Putting aside the anxiety and worry for an hour or two, while I worked on a project or took a class at TechShop, could always turn my mood around, or at minimum kept me distracted enough to do something productive. The patience of the teachers and the encouragement of others around the shop was my lifeline. Eventually, that became the new normal. It still is. Just keep going: moving forward, working on the next thing, and helping as many other people as possible.”
“It’s a pen that can draw in the air! 3Doodler is the 3D printing pen you can hold in your hand. Lift your imagination off the page!” (Source)
“Forget those pesky 3D printers that require software and the knowledge of 3D modeling and behold the 3Doodler, the world’s first pen that draws in three dimensions in real time. Imagine holding a pen and waving it through the air, only the line your pen creates stays frozen, suspended and permanent in 3D space” (Source).
“DIY is a club for kids to earn Skills. DIY Makers share their work with the community and get patches for the Skills they earn. Each Skill consists of a set of Challenges that help them learn techniques to get the hang of it. Once a Maker completes a Challenge, they add photos and video to their Portfolio to show what they did.
Makers are curious about the world and strive to learn all kinds of practical knowledge and share it. They seek adventure in the outdoors, participate in communities, use technology to innovate, and have the confidence to try new things” (Source).
Take a look at DIY.org and consider the positive impact it can make in your family, classroom, club, civic group, etc.
“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy,
and we should treat it with the same status.”
–Sir Ken Robinson
The following is an excerpt from an article by Marie Bjerede on O’Reilly Radar. It spotlights a few educational innovations that continue to gain traction.
The “DIY ethic is now seeping into one of the most locked-down social institutions in existence: education. Educators, parents, technologists, students, and others have begun looking at the components, subassemblies, assemblies and specifications of excellent education and are finding ways to improve, reimagine, and reinvent learning at every level…In every way, they are looking at the components of teaching and learning, and finding ways to re-create them to be more efficient; more effective; and, critically, more modular.” (Source)
The following are few terms that are included within the article. Regardless of your philosophical leanings it is important that we are aware of current trends and innovations within education. Take a few moments to make sure you are familiar with their meanings.
Bierede concludes, “In a pretty fundamental way, DIY is intrinsically about owning your learning as well as your hardware. No wonder there is a growing movement to open it up, void the warranty, and tinker. What will you make of it?” (Source)