Maker Movement

The approach to learning that I decided to research this week is known as the Maker Movement. It is an approach to learning that focuses on the natural inclination of students to learn by doing. This is important because it has students using hands-on materials to learn the curriculum.

In my opinion, the article, Why the Maker Movement Is Important to America’s Future, defines the Maker Movement the best. This definition is as follows:

The maker movement, as we know, is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. A convergence of computer hackers and traditional artisans, the niche is established enough to have its own magazine, Make, as well as hands-on Maker Faires that are catnip for DIYers who used to toil in solitude. Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in–China merchandise.

A classroom that fully implements the Maker Movement incorporates many different types of technology including 3-D printers. It is filled with students working on projects and designing answers to questions they ask. A school that is dedicated to the Maker Movement also incorporates every subject into one classroom and every project. This approach can be used for the entire school year and all of the curriculum.

An example of this type of classroom can be found in the article MAKER MOVEMENT REINVENTS EDUCATION. This article shares the story of how some San Diego business leaders and educators started a maker movement high school that grew. This charter high school is known as High Tech High. Since High Tech High was started, the maker movement schools have grown to include three elementary, four middle schools, five high schools, and a graduate school of education. In these schools, most of the learning happens through students making, building, doing, shaping, and inventing things through the use of projects that incorporate every subject instead of separating out the subjects like a traditional school.

I picture the classroom space to be set up like typical science labs with stations set up all around the classroom for students to do their work. I also picture it as having a central group of stations in order to bring the entire class back together to focus on a new topic.

A teacher would choose this approach in order to get students thinking outside of the box. This approach is also used to get students interacting with the material instead of trying to memorize a lot of information.

I believe the advantages of this method include allowing students to do their own research while incorporating every subject into one classroom during every project. The Maker Movement also allows students to an opportunity to move around and burn the extra energy they gain from sitting all day long. Another advantage is the Maker Movement gears students to find ways to create and produce instead of use and consume.

The disadvantages I see to the Maker Movement include cost. Much of the materials needed for a true Maker Movement classroom are pricy. The main materials used are technology based. I also see students finding additional ways to misbehave if classroom management is lacking which could cause added injuries.

Laura FlemingMark Anderson, and Angela Maiers appear to be expert teachers on the subject of making things in the classroom.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Barbara, I also chose to research the maker movement. It was the one that I was least familiar with on the list that we were given. I agree with you that one of the disadvantages to the movement is all of the pricey equipment that is needed in the classroom. I did a lot of research on this and there are so many grants available for these type of classroom supplies, so as long as you are a good grant writer and have time to dedicate to that I think that you could probably make it work!

    Like

    1. I am glad to hear that I am the only one who did not know a lot about this learning approach. It is also good to know that there are grants out there to help cover the cost of the equipment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolee,
      This movement is very design based. Its goal is to get people to think in a more creative manner instead of wanting to follow step-by-step directions for life.

      Like

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