Hands-on, creative, and design-centered learning are elements of “maker learning.” Maker learning is important to teachers, leaders, parents, and especially students because it has the power to:
- Increase access, interest, and skills in STEM, particularly for diverse communities;
- Promote social and emotional learning by building empathy and perspective taking abilities through user-centered design thinking practice;
- Personalize, engage, and facilitate student voice and choice; and
- Catalyze interdisciplinary experiences and make curriculum more relevant.
The highest quality maker learning experiences share three common values:
- Agency – When students feel valued for their talents, are empowered to take intellectual risks and make choices, and are capable of determining for themselves when “good” is “good enough.”
- Authenticity – When work rings true with students’ aspirations, their lived experiences, or the reality of their communities.
- Audience – When students have opportunities to share their work and to see that what they produce can be worthy of other people’s time and attention, or are able to examine their work products from another person’s perspective.
Our maker learning work includes:
- Maker Micro-credentials: This stack of six micro-credentials are developed and issued by Maker Ed and are designed to recognize important teacher competencies. (Note: The first teachers to earn the “Makerspace Safety” micro-credential will be eligible to receive a gift of free student safety gear from Google’s Making and Science team.)
- Learning Studios: Learning Studios are currently being piloted in 60 schools around the world. This program helps teachers leverage powerful technology for digital fabrication and media production to help students develop skills in design thinking and social entrepreneurship.
- filmMAKER Challenge: The Digital Promise filmMAKER™ Challenge is an opportunity for middle and high school students to learn about product design and filmmaking through a set of activities, culminating in a challenge to redesign an everyday object and create a documentary video that tells the story of the process.
- Maker Promise: By signing the Maker Promise, more than 1,500 schools have committed to identifying a champion for maker learning in their school or district, dedicating a space for making, and creating an opportunity to showcase student work. Through this network we will deliver resources and opportunities and engage a dialogue with maker educators nationwide to advance maker learning. Sign the Maker Promise here.