Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

The Role Making Can Play in Education and Future Work

“American kids should be building rockets and robots, not taking standardized tests.”  —  By 

Learning by Making

In this post “Learning by Making” published on Slate Magazine site, Dale elaborated:

 “Learning by doing” was the distillation of the learning philosophy of John Dewey. He wrote: “The school must represent present life—life as real and vital to the child as that which he carries on in the home, in the neighborhood, or on the playground.” He also wrote that “education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Each year at Maker Faire in the Bay Area, we have an Education Day, when kids get to meet makers and see their creative projects. The kids interact with robots, rockets, and all kinds of contraptions. They get to make things themselves. One comment I hear from kids was that the experience was “real.” It’s a telling comment, because so many kids have come to see school as isolated and artificial, disconnected from the community.

The maker movement has the opportunity to transform education by inviting students to be something other than consumers of education. They can become makers and creators of their own educational lives, moving from being directed to do something to becoming self-directed and independent learners. Increasingly, they can take advantage of new tools for creative expression and for exploring the real world around them. They can be active participants in constructing a new kind of education for the 21st-century, which will promote the creativity and critical thinking we say we value in people like Steve Jobs.

maker movement


Document for the role making can play in education

In January 2012, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) hosted Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators. The two-day conference brought together leaders of schools, community-based programs, research and development organizations, the funding community, universities, government and business. They gathered at NYSCI to assemble evidence supporting the belief that designing, making and playing can create new pathways into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), particularly among children.

The following document has been produced

The Future of Work

Like the advocacy on learning coding came from the foreseen shortage of programming human resources in future. The maker movement isn’t initiated by imagination without relevancy. The fast-changing pace of this world makes diplomas not a guarantee to meet the demand of job market. The authentic evidence of learning is what you can make or create in this real world. Continuous learning becomes a constant. From this PSFK report “The Future of Work” you can find this trend along with some useful information and tools.

This report uncovers major themes, key trends and opportunities to help you grow your business and progress your career into the future. Available in different formats to buy or just preview, the themes of PSFK’s Future of Work report cover the Ideal Workforce, Empowered Culture, Intuitive Connection and Agile Workplaces. PSFK extends its ‘Future of’ reports with the 140 page document that covers the new ways we are working and the implications for business and for workers.

Within each theme we describe 4 trends and each trend is supported by 4 examples, supporting statistics and implications defined by our PSFK Labs team. During this process we spoke to a number of experts to understand the trends better. Their feedback can be found in quotes and interviews throughout the report.

As a bonus, we also turned to a number of creative agencies to bring the trends to life. We asked them to imagine the future of work and you will find their concepts within this document. At the end of the report, you will also discover the submission of examples of progressive work environments. These were submitted by the readers of after we asked for their input into the report in 2012.


Resources of maker education

Maker Education Initiative

The mission of the Maker Education Initiative is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts—and learning as a whole. We want young people to join—and eventually lead—the growing Maker Movement.

Part of the Maker Education Initiative’s mission is to help spread the best practices, lessons learned, and research from maker programs around the world. We are working to build a database of maker education resources and research.

Especially recommended resources – Places to Look for Project Ideas


The Makerspace Playbook guides those who are hoping to start a Makerspace at their school or in their community. We welcome your feedback on the kinds of things we should add to this Playbook, what you think we got right and wrong, and any changes you’d make in general. We already know we’d like to add things like sample letters to garner support from administration and potential funders, more spotlights of teachers doing this kind of making with their students, and more detail about what the new roles for teachers, mentors, and shop hosts might entail.

The maker spirit isn’t necessarily limited to making robots or electronics, the idea of constructionism for learning is the key. Mitchel Resnick’s paper All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten is a great reading to rethink education.
photo credit: the_exploratorium via photopin cc


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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