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[…]
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,[…]
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[…]
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Sylvia’s DIY webshow on everything cool and worth making. visit Sylvia’s site
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[…]
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Maker Ed’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, arts, and learning as a whole through making. view feed
Designing electronics is generally cumbersome and expensive — or was, until Leah Buechley and her team at MIT developed tools to treat electronics just like paper and pen. In this talk from TEDYouth 2011, Buechley shows some of her charming designs, like a paper piano you can sketch and then play.
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[…]
Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She’s teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers’ minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state.
America was built by makers — curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors whose tinkering habit sparked whole new industries. At TED@MotorCity, MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty says we’re all makers at heart, and shows cool new tools to tinker with, like Arduinos, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites.
9-year-old Caine Monroy spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store. The entire summer went by, and he never had a single customer. But Caine didn’t give up. Then, on the last day of summer, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked in by chance to buy an auto part[…]
In a zippy demo at TED U, AnnMarie Thomas shows how two different kinds of homemade play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties — by lighting up LEDs, spinning motors, and turning little kids into circuit designers.
Agency by Design is a research initiative investigating the promises and practices of maker-centered learning. “Agency by Design: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds” explores the ways in which educators can develop teaching strategies that support student agency through maker-centered learning experiences.
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
In the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, a group of young people is making tiaras–light-up tiaras. Using copper wire, a soldering iron, batteries and LED lights, they use trial and error to build the kind of design they want. In the process, they start to figure something out. If you want all[…]
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[…]
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 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[…]
I live at the epicenter of the artisanal crafts movement: Oakland, CA. My friends make their own chicken coops, meyer lemon marmalade, cocktail bitters, meat smokers, puppets. Full disclosure: I myself have taken part in said movement, most recently by brewing my own beer — the results of which have been hit or miss, and therefore not[…]
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[…]
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[…]
Our primary goal in this chapter is to examine strategies for encouraging and supporting a tinkering approach to making and learning. We view this as a design challenge: How can we design technologies and activities for tinkerability? We start, in the next two sections, by giving a fuller description of what we mean by tinkering[…]
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[…]
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 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[…]
Script Changers shows the ways that stories offer a lens for seeing the world as a series of systems. It provides opportunities for students to create interactive and animated stories about creating positive change in their communities. These projects utilize the Scratch visual programming environment. view book
Lessons learned from the grassroots spreading of the “maker movement” can help us reimagine schools and foster a mindset of creativity and innovation in educational settings. view article
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[…]
Mindstorms has two central themes: that children can learn to use computers in a masterful way and that learning to use computers can change the way they learn everything else. Even outside the classroom, Papert had a vision that the computer could be used just as casually and as personally for a diversity of purposes[…]
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[…]