What exactly do I think about the “Maker” movement, and it’s application in education? Well I though I could have a little fun with this and make an infographic to explain what I think. Now this infographic is accurate in some ways, it also makes some overexaggerations. “Non Maker” education can be collaborative, inquiry based, and many other important pedagogies can be included, but when compared to “Maker” education some differences do exist.
Maker education requires remixing everything, from curriculum, technology, even teaching styles, this simple approach changes a way a teacher approaches the classroom and leads them to always be trying to improve.
Maker ed, also, leads to collaboration, which is one thing I am an extreme proponent of. Collaboration allows students to lead their learning, leading to deeper learning (Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking R.R., 2000), and an improved classroom environment. This collaboration can be done in “making” or in using the curriculum, tools, classroom, etc. that was “made” for the students. All of these lead to greater engagement, which is what we want as teachers!
One other key thing all teachers can appreciate, is that Maker ed is easier! Now, I know first hand that using maker principles is challenging, and adds a lot of work for teachers, so it may be tough to understand initially why I say it is easier, but the challenge for teachers is ensuring students learn the teachers learning objectives. In maker ed you can be confident in them learning, and you can use them in the process. How? Here is one example. I have a learning objective for one of my classes as follows “Understand and apply the principles of force production in relation to human movement”. If I am trying to make sure I achieve this objective I spend many hours planning, teaching, and assessing, but if I give my students the basic information they need, and then some outlines and tools and tell them to create a question within that outcomes parameters, and find an answer. Well now they have taken a ton of work out of my hands, and ensured they will reach this learning outcome, all I have to do is guide, assist, scaffold, and support!
I hope anyone reading this challenges themself to incorporate maker ed principles into their teaching toolbox!