I have been an educational technologist in Hawaii for the past 8 years. My passion for project-based learning helped prepare me for my own learning in this field. I used the inquiry driven framework and mindset of PBL to learn and integrate many educational tools into the classroom curriculum of my personal classroom as well as other educators at my institutions. Through my works as an educational technologist, I developed a passion for modeling the power of using technology tools as means of creation rather than consumption to students and educators . When educators began to trust and their student's ability to document and share their learning experiences using technology tools, the sky was truly the limit for their classroom learning experiences.
Recently, my professional development and growth has led me to immerse myself in the maker education movement. My school, Punahou School, is currently designing a Learning Commons building that will act as the innovation center for our school. It will contain our school library but will also have maker spaces as the centerpieces of the building. I was tasked by my administrative team to learn about successful maker education programs, lessons, and projects. I have traveled to the mainland and attended conferences, visited schools, and even got to attend the national Maker Faire. I have decided to use this blog post to "link" you to some invaluable resources I have found in my recent travels.
High Tech High
I visited this amazing school in San Diego this Spring and it was the absolute highlight of my travels. High Tech High is school that is immersed in project-based learning and doesn’t believe in stand alone maker spaces. They truly believe that "making" and design thinking should be happening every day in every classroom. They use the project-based learning framework to truly integrate technology and innovation into every aspect of their student's learning experience. I have linked to the student work area of their website. I could spend all day on this site.
Most Likely to Succeed
I have put a link to a trailer for the movie "Most Likely to Succeed" which is a documentary featuring High Tech High that I highly suggest anyone interested in maker education view. You can find the full video online as well.
In my travels, I also visited the Stanford d.school. This amazing school taught me that the whole design thinking process starts with empathy! Students need to learn to think deeply about who they are designing for and the purpose for their design. They believe the focus should be on the process and not the product. The true opportunity for learning and growth is in the thought process and not in the finished product.
I was introduced to Maker Ready at the South by Southwest EDU Conference in Austin, TX where they are based. The link will take you to their website which is filled with various kits and materials. If you are interested in bringing the maker movement to your school, Maker Ready provides excellent professional development workshops. We brought them to our school this Spring and their workshops really sparked innovation in the minds of our teachers.
This is a great website with many different tutorials and lessons that will help you "make anything"! I often pull lessons from here.
I truly hope this post helps spark an interest and desire to bring the maker education movement to your schools or districts. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at email@example.com and follow me on Twitter @liz_castillo.
Mahalo Nui Loa,