What does making in the classroom look like?

The 2014/2015 FabLearn Fellows cohort is a diverse group of 18 educators and makers. They represent eight states and five countries, and work with a wide range of ages at schools, museums, universities and non-profits. Throughout the course of the year, they will develop curriculum and resources, as well as contribute to current research projects. Their blogs represent their diverse experience and interests in creating better educational oportunities for all.
 I’ve been privileged to mentor this group this past year and part of that is summarizing their amazing blog posts. Here are some recent highlights from April 2015.

 My Visit to the ‘Iolani School

Jaymes Dec spent Spring Break  visiting The ‘Iolani School, a K-12 school in Honolulu, Hawaii. Jaymes shares their innovative approach to student-centered project-based learning, shops and makerspaces, and classroom integration.

Fostering a Constructionist Learning Environment, the Qualities of a Maker-Educator 

Creating and equipping a makerspace is just the start of changing education to a “maker” mindset. Christa Flores offers five qualities and behaviors for teachers that help  foster a constructionist learning environment.

FabLab and Its Learning Dynamic  (Part 1) &  (Part 2)

In the first two posts of a five part series, Nalin Tutiyaphuengprasert explores the roots of the current FabLab or “maker” trend of today, situated in the constructionism that Seymour Papert first articulated in the 1980’s.

  • Part 1 discusses the classroom – not just the physical setting, but the freedom and richness of the environment.
  • Part 2 explores the personal relationships and the learning dynamic – the assets at the heart of a maker classroom.

Earth Day- Free Upcycling Curriculum 

 In honor of Earth Day, Mark Schreiber contributes a free set of curriculum resources to lead students through a design process using hard to recycle materials. The curriculum covers recycling and waste investigations, materials research, engineering and design. It includes activity guides and lesson plans.

Maker research: instruments for efficacy and visual spatial skills

by Sylvia Martinez

One of the challenges of trying to incorporate more hands-on, authentic activities in schools is assessment. Schools not used to authentic assessment see it as subjective and unreliable. So the search for validated instruments, those that can be shared and compared, is vital. This post shares the work of Shaunna Smith, Ed.D. an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Texas State University in this area.

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