Make-to-Learn

Designing a More Connected World

Thursday, January 08, 2015 Comment Kylie Peppler 4 books script changes short circuits soft circuits gaming the system

It has become increasingly clear that youths’ experiences in schools do not match the kinds of experiences they are likely to have once they have completed school. The push to support “21st century” skills stems from this mismatch, and many have advocated for ensuring that young people learn to think about the world not as a simple set of cause-and-effect experiences, but rather as a set of complex systems. I and a team of colleagues decided to explore the possibilities of enhancing youths’ systems thinking through powerful learning principles found in design. What we came up


Tinkering and Thinking with Maker Kylie Peppler

Monday, December 15, 2014 Comment kids hands making a project in the classroom

Some enthusiasts of digital media in learning and inclusion of making/tinkering as a learning activity — including myself — believe that talking about tinkering while doing it, in person and online, can enhance social contexts for peer learning and for learning thinking skills. Although the contemporary availability of resources such as YouTube and Arduino seems particularly suited to an emphasis on social learning and tinkering-thinking, the pedagogy goes back (at least) to the early 20th century Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. A few key Vygotsky ideas about learning seem particularly applicable to connected learning, whether or not


“Making is a stance toward learning”: Sylvia Libow Martinez

Monday, December 23, 2013 Comment 2 young kids focusing closely on iphone

Messing with Makey-Makey, tinkering with Arduino, building robots or creating wearable art are not primarily about teaching electronic skills, problem-solving, or technological literacy – although those can be benefits of the maker revolution in education. Messing, tinkering, building projects that actually interest learners is about developing skills of autonomous learning, cultivating an appreciation for and fluency in using learning communities and experienced guides, and practice at thinking big. “Making is a stance toward learning that puts the learner at the center of the educational process,” is how Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager put it in


Makers and DML – Separated At Birth?

Thursday, October 17, 2013 Comment adult and child playing card game outside with google glasses

I have a question for you. What do you think is going on in the photos I’m including in this post? They were taken last month at World Maker Faire NYC. And it fascinates me (Full disclosure: I worked the booth in the photo so I know the answer). Okay, I’ll tell you what I see and how it captures the “separated at birth” story between the Maker Movement (“Makers”) and the Digital Media and Learning (“DML”) communities. But first, about the photos. Let’s see if I can do this in one sentence: the pictures show


Arduino and Learning: H.S. Teacher Ariel Simons

Monday, September 30, 2013 Comment female student working on circuit board at computer desk

A powerful recipe for engaged learning: Show students how to command actions in the physical world – make lights blink, sounds sound, motors move, robots roam, sensors sense. Combine this concrete act of control over physical objects activity with the abstract power of programming – show students how to make those lights blink in response to the sounds, make the sensors guide the motors. Apply this combination of software and hardware hacking to measuring the radiation levels near Fukushima and aggregating radiation data, a task that the Japanese government apparently failed to do for months. Now


‘Making’ and Education Reform: Learning to Ride the Wave

Thursday, June 06, 2013 Comment large art metal installation for open make space

At this moment in time, on both sides of the Atlantic, digital making and the maker movement is enjoying its time in the sun. A combination of policy concerns, technological developments, learning theories, social opportunities and articulate enthusiasts have come together and, although the maker movement is a bit of a minority sport, it seems to have broken through into the mainstream. In the UK, for example, there is a terrific program of support offering a range of activities from maker-faires to hacking events to coding clubs working with apps and mash-ups and the new pliable,