Redesigned Framework Helps Construct Maker Learning Programs
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Education technology nonprofit Digital Promise has updated its guidance to help school leaders set up maker programs that are sustainable and serve all learners. The organization's "Maker Learning Leadership Framework" has been redesigned to emphasize three areas:
Building support systems for administrators, teachers and the broader school community;
Viewing teaching and learning as a blend of core content and maker projects with assessment; and
Getting what's needed to build and run maker programs.
The focus on maker learning by Digital Promise isn't a casual interest. As Learning Experience Manager, Nick Schiner (who helped set up a maker learning presence in each of Baltimore County Public School's 170 sites when he was employed there) explained in a blog post:
"We believe maker learning is powerful learning because it is:
"Personal and accessible: Effective maker learning experiences provide students with opportunities to invest in and make decisions about their path and product;
"Authentic and challenging: Student projects serve their communities and prepare them to become the next generation of leaders and change-makers;
"Collaborative and connected: Students work together to create products as learning artifacts that can be shared locally or even globally; and
"Inquisitive and reflective: Students ask questions, identify problems, investigate and create solutions, and reflect to iterate on their designs."
The updated framework kicks off with "newbie" content, explaining what maker learning is, how to establish a vision for its use in schools and how to determine the maturity level of current and future maker initiatives.
Then the framework offers resources on building support systems, integrating maker learning into teaching and learning practices throughout the school and acquiring the essentials of maker learning, including funding and space.
The new framework is openly available on the Digital Promise website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.