Maker Learning

Constructionist Learning to Foster Creativity Innovation and Design

The Maker Movement is about hands-on designing, building, tinkering, re-designing, testing, purposeful playing and just plain making cool stuff.

Maker Learning is active, constructive real world object creation using student minds and student hands. It’s what kids used to do with their moms, dads and grandparents to learn about the world. It is whatever you want it to be – from fixing a broken toy, to learning to cook, to growing things, to learning about technology, programming a computer or creating a game.

In Maker Learning there is no one right answer.  Teachers and students learn by questioning, problem solving, building prototypes, testing them, redesigning them and trying them again.

Maker Learning is about learning by making mistakes.  Almost no one gets their idea right the first time, and even if it’s pretty good, you can always make it better. Student today get few chances to make mistakes that lead to greater understanding, determination to make it better and excitement when they actually do

Maker Learning allows teachers and students to learn critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, design and innovation.  They learn to ask questions of the world? To ask how can we make something better? Or why does something work the way it does?  From there they think, plan, draw, design, make models, redesign, test their ideas and celebrate their accomplishments.  Then they ask more questions – how can we make this better, why did the wheels fall off, where can we get more stuff to build a bigger better one?  And then they try that or something new and totally different.

Maker Learning exemplifies 21st century learning.  It celebrates creativity, innovation and design.  It fosters problem solving skills, persistence, resilience, determination, and love of learning.  It allows students to learn things that are not on the test –  curiosity, motivation, resourcefulness, empathy, compassion, honesty and integrity.

Maker Learning is authentic real-world learning – even if it looks like playing.  It connects learning in multiple ways to STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  But in ways that aren’t experienced in a textbook or video.  Creating and constructing things connects students to learning with all of their senses, their body and their mind.

We are in the process of exploring and trying these activities and learning in classrooms this year.  Our goal is to create a summer workshop or be a strand in a larger worksop program.  STAY TUNED!

Here are some resources we have to explore so far:

Scribble Machine – Make your own robot artist
Squishy Circuits – First make the play-doh, then make the circuits
Sylvia’s Show – We can all have as much fun as super-awesome Sylvia in DIY Making

Invent to Learn by Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager – This is THE RESOURCE

Sylvia Martinez’s Blog and the Maker Movement
Gary’s Blog and Invent to Learn Site

Kids Invent – Support Creative Learning