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[…]

The Promise of the Maker Movement for Education

The Maker Movement is a community of hobbyists, tinkerers, engineers, hackers, and artists who creatively design and build projects for both playful and useful ends. There is growing interest among educators in bringing making into K-12 education to enhance opportunities to engage in the practices of engineering, specifically, and STEM more broadly. This article describes[…]

Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything

Are you possessed by the urge to invent, design, and make something that others enjoy, but don’t know how to plug into the Maker movement? In this book, you’ll follow author David Lang’s headfirst dive into the Maker world and how he grew to be a successful entrepreneur. You’ll discover how to navigate this new[…]

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation, have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us. Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation[…]

Electronic Textiles as Disruptive Designs: Supporting and Challenging Maker Activities in Schools

Electronic textiles are a part of the increasingly popular maker movement that champions existing do-it-yourself activities. As making activities broaden from Maker Faires and fabrication spaces in children’s museums, science centers, and community organizations to school classrooms, they provide new opportunities for learning while challenging many current conventions of schooling. In this article, authors Yasmin[…]

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

The MIT Press. Many teens today who use the Internet are actively involved in participatory cultures—joining online communities (Facebook, message boards, game clans), producing creative work in new forms (digital sampling, modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction), working in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (as in Wikipedia), and shaping the flow of media[…]

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media

Conventional wisdom about young people’s use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today’s teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networking sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youths’ social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around,[…]

The Maker Movement Manifesto

Book by Mark Hatch. A revolution is under way. But it’s not about tearing down the old guard. It’s about building, it’s about creating, it’s about breathing life into groundbreaking new ideas. It’s called the Maker Movement, and it’s changing the world. Mark Hatch has been at the forefront of the Maker Movement since it[…]

Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff

Book by Curt Gabrielson. After-school and out-of-school programs—as well as home schooling—have been growing steadily for nearly a decade, but instructors are still searching for high-interest content that ties into science standards without the rigidity of current classroom canon. The author draws on more than 20 years of experience doing hands-on science to facilitate tinkering:[…]

How to Build Your Makerspace

Learning by making has been around since long before edtech—just think about what the adventurous explorers or intrepid settlers of yore would have thought of “Do-It-Yourself.” But with thousands of kid-friendly tech tools and a whole World Wide Web of resources out there, creative, interesting opportunities for learning-by-making abound for everyone. Okay, so with all[…]

Digital Fabrication and ‘Making’ in Education: The Democratization of Invention

Every few decades or centuries, a new set of skills and intellectual activities become crucial for work, conviviality, and citizenship – often democratizing tasks and skills previously only accessible to experts. Digital fabrication and ‘making’ could be a new and major chapter in this process of bringing powerful ideas, literacies, and expressive tools to children.[…]

Make Space

Make Space (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) is a book by Scott Doorley & Scott Witthoft based on the work of our Environments Collaborative – the team who designed and developed the d.school space. It is a tool for helping people intentionally manipulate space to ignite creativity. Appropriate for designers charged with creating new spaces[…]

Maker-centered Learning And The Development Of Self: Preliminary Findings Of The Agency By Design Project

Over the last two years we have simultaneously pursued three strands of work: 1) a review of pertinent literature; 2) interviews and site visits with leading maker educators; and 3) action research and concept development. We’re now commencing our third year of work. Our active data collection stage is over. We are well into an[…]