So I’ll admit it, I had heard of the Maker Movement previously. But it wasn’t necessarily in regards to education. It was really more in relation to the development of small businesses or individuals making items to sell for a profit. Regardless, the basic concept is still the same. In reference to education, instead of teaching by lecturing, the students learn by making. A lot of the scenarios I’ve read focus on using technology to guide the students making. While I think technology is great, I think students would also get a lot out of making low-tech projects.
One example of a classroom that is using this approach is the FabLab (short for fabrication laboratory) at Kentucky Country Day School. The below YouTube video gives you a quick tour of the FabLab.
This video was from a couple of years ago, so it would be interesting to see how kids have taken to the FabLab and what upgrades and/or changes the educators have taken to make it even better for their students.
For anyone who doesn’t know what the Maker Movement is all about, Vicki Davis does a great job laying it out in her post How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms. Vicki is a Computer Fundamentals, Computer Science and IT Integrator from Camilla, GA. Not everything she writes is about the Maker Movement, but the pieces she does write on the topic are very informative and well-written.
I have followed several Maker Movement “experts” on Twitter. One of them I mentioned before, Vicki Davis. Like I said, not everything she posts is about the Maker Movement, but she is very well-read on all things education-technology related. She has a great understanding about the Maker Movement and makes it easy to understand for us newbies.
Krissy Venosdale is another educator associated with the Maker Movement that I recently started following on Twitter. Similar to Vicki Davis, not everything she posts is related to the Maker Movement, but you can tell from her posts that she is very passionate about extruding the creativity out of students. The quote at the top of her Twitter account says, “There is a makerspace inside every kid. It’s our job as educators to release it, draw it out, and make it explode.” That quote alone shows her dedication to the Maker Movement.
I also followed Paul Hill on Twitter. He is in an educator role, but a little different from your traditional classroom. Paul works for the 4-H Extension Office in Washington County Utah for the University of Utah. He is very passionate about the Maker Movement. In one of his blog posts, titled Why Making is Meaningful, he goes onto express his concerns about people jumping on the maker bandwagon without fully understanding what it’s all about. He makes some really great points, and I learned a new acronym that I’d like to incorporate in my teaching – FAIL: First Attempt In Learning.
Probably the best website I found about the Maker Movement is Maker Faire. The website is home to its namesake, which is a huge science fair/show-and-tell. The website is also tied to Make: Magazine, which is dedicated to the Maker Movement. This website is really a one-stop-shop for all things #MakerMovement.