“Whether it’s a paper airplane or a robot that walks, kids have always wanted to create functional objects with their own two hands. These days, many educators are channeling that natural urge to build with help from the wider “maker movement,” which has spawned maker faires and dedicated “maker spaces” in classrooms and media centers around the country. Pam Moran, superintendent of the Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, contends that American classrooms of the past regularly fueled this type of creativity, and now is the time to bring back that spirit of innovation. “I see the maker movement as being a reconnect, both inside schools, as well as in communities, to redevelop the idea that we are creative individuals,” Moran said. “We are analytical problem-solvers, and we are people who, in working with our hands and minds, are able to create and construct. We are makers by nature.”
The article has some great examples of what’s going in real schools, and we contributed as well:
“Stager said he hopes that maker concepts will eventually be seamlessly incorporated into the curriculum. In making the case for “tinkering and engineering” throughout the school day, Stager and Martinez said they believe that keeping maker spaces separate from the classroom is less than ideal. “When computers first came into schools, they came in through the classrooms of interested teachers, and then they all got rounded up and segregated and we made computer labs,” lamented Stager. “It wasn’t very successful to have everything separated out, and we don’t want to make that mistake again. We make the case that this kind of learning can happen in every subject area and in every classroom.””
Check out the rest of the article, The Maker Movement Conquers the Classroom online or in the April 2014 issue of THE Journal.