Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Maker Movement (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 24)

Which learning trend captures your attention the most, and why?

This summer, I participated in a professional development opportunity at the Generator maker space in Burlington, Vermont.  The class, called Create Make Learn, brought together educators from across the state to experiment, play, and tinker in a celebration of the creative process.  We were introduced to a menu of options (a well-stocked buffet table) and invited to sample the offerings based upon our personal learning goals.  Among the things I learned during my dabbling was how to solder, create animations, and use a green screen.  I experimented with a 3D printer and e-Textiles, played Minecraft, and designed a jitterbot.

In addition to the fun that this level of play provided, we reflected on ways that our tinkering related to the Next Generation Science Standards and the book Invent to Learn (this link will take you to a previous blog post about this book).

I am drawn to the Maker Movement, because it mixes my love of art with my philosophical belief in the power of constructivism; the Maker Movement goes further by advocating "constructionsim."

(Click on the image to enlarge it).

Like many students with whom I've worked, I do my best learning when I tinker, experiment, and play in a collaborative environment focused on process over product.  It's liberating to create, fail, revise, and make a breakthrough, and then revise again.  The Maker Movement encourages failure and reflection in order to maximize learning.

On a personal level, I challenged myself to weave together my love for bookbinding with my desire to learn more about coding and electronics.  To learn more about my creative process, please visit my Bling the Book blog.

I am a strong advocate for bringing maker spaces into schools as a step toward redesigning education.