Observing Makers

We observed a group of teachers in the makerspace at IntegratED.

Photo of Jennifer Utt
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When tasked with observing makers, my first thought was to go to the makerspace.  I didn't see what I thought I would when we walked in.  We saw about five groups of people gathered around large tables.  The tables were scattered with materials for experimenting and creating as well as several computers for teachers taking copious notes.  They were talking about the process and the advantages of makerspaces.  I first thought they were talking about the design and purpose of their new creation.  Then I realized they were talking about the advantages of makerspaces.  Each group went in a different direction with their conversations from the types of spaces to the materials to use.  This reminded me that sharing rational with students helps with buy in as well as gives them the big picture for where they are headed.  As we stood there observing, I was thinking about how to transfer that into my classroom.  Clearing some space, so students have space to spread out and work is a need; giving students permission to collaborate--teaching them how to collaborate and stay on task; adapting tasks so students are creating even if it isn't in the way that I picture a makerspace; even using these design principles to plan my lessons in a way that allow students more creativity.

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