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why non-geek parents have the advantage in parenting young makers

This article was first posted at EdSurge on May 22, 2013


em27What does it take to inspire, raise, and nurture young Makers? Do they need lots of “stuff” lying around the house to create with? Do they need Internet access to connect with and learn from other makers? Do they need parents who respect and protect their need to make? “All of the above,” was the conclusion of apanel of Maker Moms and Dads I had the pleasure of participating in at last week’s San Mateo Maker FaireRead more

what makers bring to education

This article was originally posted on EdSurge on October 10, 2012

em13What does the Maker movement have to offer education?  One compelling idea is what some many consider to be an upside-down way to learn.

Larry Rosenstock, founder of High Tech High, started me thinking about this idea in a conversation we had on project-based learning. He pointed out that most programs teach kids in advance the skills they will need to succeed at the project, but Larry believes that the students should learn the skills as part of the project – just at the moment they need them.

For example, if one were to teach skills in advance for, say, scientific data collection, a teacher might show students pictures of the equipment they will use, test them on their ability to describe the function, demonstrate how to organize their data and warn them to label their axes–a somewhat mind-numbing approach.

Consider instead the opposite approach–laying out the objective of the lesson, and then helping students discover what tools will help them reach their goal. Read more

diy learning: schoolers, edupunks, and makers challenge education as we know it

This article was first published on O’Reilly Radar on May 15, 2012

Create, disassemble, repurpose! DIY-ers relentlessly void warranties and crack manufacturers’ cases, showing us what is possible when people decide that they, not the vendors, truly own the technology they have purchased. “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it,” the Make Owner’s Manifesto tells us.

This DIY ethic is now seeping into one of the most locked-down social institutions in existence: education. Educators, parents, technologists, students, and others have begun looking at the components, subassemblies, assemblies and specifications of excellent education and are finding ways to improve, reimagine, and reinvent learning at every level. They are inspired by a multiplicity of sources, from neuroscience to gaming, to knock down the barriers to learning that exist for so many young people. In every way, they are looking at the components of teaching and learning, and finding ways to re-create them to be more efficient; more effective; and, critically, more modular. Read more