CHANGEd 60-60-60: CULTIVATING A MAKER COMMUNITY

Thinking about What if schools IGNITEd more Leonardo da Vincis? 60-60-60 #53 and reflecting…

Two can play this game, Mr. Bo Adams…I see your IGNITE presentation posted on #53 and raise you this PechaKucha presentation by father-son combo, Adam and Ian Cole.

I didn’t even know it existed until today, but since IGNITE and  PechaKucha are close relatives, I figured I’d explore the PK website a bit and see if anything connected for today’s CHANGEd post. Fortunately I stumbled upon “Making Our Community” and gladly jumped down the rabbit-hole into a world of what I now understand to be called the maker movement. The video (a must-watch) is an excellent example about how passions, interests, and learning experiences can be amplified and shared (which connects to yesterday’s CHANGEd #52 post). Talk about making more Leonardo da Vincis…today’s rabbit-hole adventure showed me that the “what if” is certainly possible. Could this DIY learning be happening in spite of the day-to-day school experiences? Is this Mr. Cole trying to create a culture of learning in spite of the

If a father-son team can take outside-of-school learning adventures and make it something which has enough momentum for a website, a Twitter profile, and a number of mentions in mainstream media, what are we educators waiting for? If the Mr. Cole did this with just his two boys, imagine what we could do with a schoolful of our eager, engaged learners and future tinkerers and makers…

The “Maker Movement” page on the Cole’s site asserts that events like MakerFaire and Hackerspaces (certainly connected to the Makerbot community) are on the rise for a number of reasons. Why shouldn’t they be on the rise?

Makers have been on the “margins” for a long time – but what caused this move from the “margins to the mainstream?” Many factors have contributed, from technological progress, cost reductions in electronics manufacturing on a small scale, even an economic recession which refocused many people on repairing and re-purposing items. The largest impact however comes from the resurgence of the community itself. This is a community that celebrates learning, and freely shares ideas. This community formed in many pockets however (computer groups, electronics groups, robotics groups, craft groups, sewing groups, etc.) – and needed something to bring them all together. 
~ The Maker Movement on RaisingGeeks.Com

Why aren’t our schools those places? We already have the tribes (computer groups, electronics groups, robotics groups, craft groups, sewing groups, etc.) and as schools, we certainly should be celebrating learning.

So, what’s getting in the way of us educators cultivating a maker community? We have the role models in the form of a dad and his two sons, as the “learn and make things together.”

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One thought on “CHANGEd 60-60-60: CULTIVATING A MAKER COMMUNITY

  1. An interesting follow up from Wes Fryer on his blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity:
    http://bit.ly/JLo9Ao
    “Overall science class this year for him has been (I think) largely a disappointment and a big frustration on several fronts. I won’t elaborate here in detail, but it’s been a case as a parent where I dearly wished there were more opportunities for both student and parental feedback to be integrated into the formal teacher evaluation process. Those frustrations aside, I want to observe that good things can come from projects and specifically engineering challenges which students are given. We spend far too LITTLE time in school and outside of class actually BUILDING THINGS we design and tweaking those models until “they work.” Alexander’s project isn’t likely to win any STEM awards and I’m not even sure what his grade on the project or in his class will be… but those things really don’t matter much. What matters is this science and engineering project gave him a chance to design and build something he imagined in his mind. It gave us a chance to work on building his design together.”

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