“Making” “Makey Makey” “Maker Movement”

This weeks presentation was from Sylvia Martinez on “Maker culture” in education. To sum up what is “Maker” education I found a nice website and definition that helped me better understand what Sylvia was presenting on. The definition is:

The Maker Education Initiative’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making. I found this definition on the web site Maker Ed.

Sylvia showed examples of high tech equipment like 3-D printers and “Makey Makey” Which is an invention kit that can turn everyday objects into a touch pad with the help of the internet. She explained all of these technologies can be used in the classroom and help with students learning. My biggest thought throughout the presentation was cost. How could a school afford to bring this type of learning  and tools to our students.

Using a makey makey kit with bananas!

Using a makey makey kit with bananas!

Photo Credit: CTJ Online via Compfight cc

I felt a little bit better after listening to the entire presentation and thought that this hands on learning really doesn’t need to always be high tech technology and doesn’t need to cost a ton of money.

I had many moments sitting in front of my computer screen nodding my head in agreement with Sylvia. She made statements that learning should be hands on, and that kids should be excited to learn by making. One quote that really stuck out to me was “The best way to ensure understanding inside your head is through active construction of share able things outside your head.”

The best way to confirm this quote was that I actually got to experience hands on projects with my students. We participated with the Globe Theater in creating a performance using dance, drama, music and art. The instructors from the Globe theater wanted to incorporate what we were learning in the classroom.  We were learning about different cultures in language arts and social studies with a specific focus on the Chinese new year. We decided to focus our presentation on using the Chinese animals. The students choose the dragon, snake, and horse. Each group was responsible for creating a large 3-D art project that they could use for their presentation. Students were given minimal instructions and were given material that was basically consider “scraps” cardboard, fabric, tape, glue and paint. I was really impressed with what the students came out with. My students did need lots of guidance with the construction but the creative art piece was what they came up with all on their own.

Within the past few years our school division has been introduced to PAA (Practical Applied Arts). There is many projects and units that can be accessed that incorporate many subjects and outcomes in the Saskatchewan Curriculum that focus on hands on projects. I tried the kite-building kit, photography and circuit boards. I had a challenges with the circuit boards as this was a very new concept for me! I decided to give it a go and the students were teaching me how to use them! Here is a few pictures of the students hard at work.

Working hard on circuit boards.

Working hard on circuit boards.

Hands on learning.

Hands on learning.

I had the chance to read a few other blogs on the presentation we had this week. One blog that really stuck out to me and gave me lots of ideas was from Janine Taylor. She worked with students for a full semester on a hands on project creating a Hip hop presentation where students showcased their learning. Throughout the semester the students created and learned to dance, rap, write, mix beats, and perform. I just love this idea!

If anyone else is interested in this approach to teaching I suggest following the #makered  and #PBL on Twitter! Thanks for reading my entry!

About tarasmith311

Hello my name is Tara. I am an educator and a new mom to a beautiful girl Adalee. I am staying at home for the year to raise my little one but miss being in the classroom every day. I have been teaching middle year students for five years. I have decided to continue my education by taking my Masters in Educational Psychology through the University of Regina. My dream would to one day be a guidance counselor. In my free time I love to be around the pool. I have played competitive water polo for many years and have been coaching the sport for over ten years. I look forward to my journey as a new mom and life long learner.
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3 Responses to “Making” “Makey Makey” “Maker Movement”

  1. Kelly says:

    Great post. Hands on learning is something that we see happen around us but don’t always notice. As a basketball coach, the students were always doing hands-on learning – that’s how they learn to play. We sometimes have to step out of the box to see that there are many ways for students to be engaged besides the use of tech.


  2. tarasmith311 says:

    I agree Kelly. Technology is great but I am finding that there is almost to much to choose from. Either way it is important to try many different ways to teach our students and for the students to find out how they learn best.


  3. Pingback: Makemake | andrewforemanblog

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