White House: A Nation of Makers

America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools. This, in combination with freely available information about how to use, modify, and build upon these technologies and[…]

Stanford d.school K12 Lab Network

K12 Lab Network is a catalyst for the national movement to bring design thinking into schools and to help communities think beyond current school models. We empower educators and innovators of many stripes to experiment in order to show that improvement and change are possible. To envision and create powerful models for teaching and learning,[…]

Agency by Design

Investigating the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. Educational initiatives that emphasize making, design, engineering, and tinkering have been gaining traction in schools and organizations across the country. While maker-centered learning is not a new concept, recent and emerging trends suggest a new kind of hands-on pedagogy—a responsive and flexible pedagogy that encourages community[…]

SparkTruck: A Maker Journey

SparkTruck is an educational build-mobile! Our mission is to spread the fun of hands-on learning to kids all across the USA, empowering teachers and students to find their creative potential. The SparkTruck Movie The short documentary, SparkTruck: A Maker Journey, tells the story of SparkTruck’s inaugural road trip across the United States in the summer[…]

The Maker Mind

Jennifer Oxman Ryan is a Researcher and Project Manager at Project Zero, a research organization at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her current research project, Agency by Design, focuses on the thinking and learning engaged during making and design experiences. She is particularly interested in exploring how educators, schools, and organizations can optimize maker[…]

The National Science Foundation and Making

Discoveries often begin with the initiative of a student, a young person, an educator, an entrepreneur, or anyone with the drive to make something new. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds science and engineering research and technological innovation built on the creativity and imagination of individuals such as these. read more

6 Questions for the White House’s Maker-in-Chief Stephanie Santoso

Stephanie Santoso on why the maker movement is key to America’s future. The holiday decorations at the White House this year were decidedly nontraditional. They included a robotic replica of the Obamas’ dog Bo, crowdsourced lighting design, and 3-D printed Christmas tree ornaments designed by contest winners. The design and tech invasion was an extension[…]

The Maker Movement: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to Own the Future

Many teachers know that children learn best by doing. Champions of project-based learning have decades of research to support this, including Edutopia’s own compendium. In recent years, the Maker movement has generated a new following in education with many teachers adding interesting new tools and materials like robots, 3D printing, e-textiles, and more. The idea[…]

The Maker Movement in Education: Designing, Creating, and Learning across Contexts

The process of making useful objects was an everyday activity in both schools and homes throughout the twentieth century. Whether sewing a garment, building a birdhouse, or constructing a model airplane, children and youth—often with the mentorship and guidance of adults—had plentiful opportunities to learn through the process of physical creation. With ever-increasing access to[…]

The Maker Movement is about Making Meaning

The maker movement as I understand it isn’t about robots or 3D Printing or STEM or even building things. It’s a new Renaissance, post-industrial, that is led by each person and every person being fluent with the idea of meaning making, ethics, politics of technology, and conscientization. Jay Silver is Founder/CEO of JoyLabz/Makey Makey and[…]

Give P’s a Chance: Projects, Peers, Passion, Play

To thrive in today’s rapidly-changing world, young people must learn to think and act creatively. This paper discusses how our Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab designed the Scratch programming language and online community with the explicit goal of helping young people to develop as creative thinkers. The paper analyzes the design of[…]

Design Principles for Tools to Support Creative Thinking

We have developed a set of “design principles” to guide the development of new creativity support tools – that is, tools that enable people to express themselves creatively and to develop as creative thinkers. Our goal is to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower users to be not only more productive, but more[…]

Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People

In January of 2008, with a thousand dollars, a laptop and an outsized conviction that design can change the world, rising San Francisco-based product designer and activist Emily Pilloton launched Project H Design, a radical non-profit that supports, inspires and delivers life-improving humanitarian product design. “We need to go beyond ‘going green’ and to enlist[…]

Soft Circuits: Crafting e-Fashion with DIY Electronics

Soft Circuits introduces students to the world of wearable technology. Using Modkit, an accessible DIY electronics toolkit, students learn to create e-textile cuffs, “electrici-tee” shirts, and solar-powered backpacks. Students also learn the importance of one component to the whole—how, for example, changing the structure of LED connections immediately affects the number of LEDs that light[…]

8 Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab

By Dr. Seymour Papert (1999) The first big idea is learning by doing. We all learn better when learning is part of doing something we find really interesting. We learn best of all when we use what we learn to make something we really want. The second big idea is technology as building material. If you can use[…]

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

Join the maker movement! There’s a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children[…]