New Cohort Opportunity for Designing Powerful Learning Experiences - Digital Promise

New Cohort Opportunity for Designing Powerful Learning Experiences

December 7, 2020 | By

In September, Digital Promise launched a series of events to support educators with continuing and growing maker learning opportunities that meet the needs of learners through distance learning and beyond. In this post, we share how the learnings from these events have informed our approach to a new professional learning opportunity, the Maker Learning @ Home Cohort

At Edcamp: Maker Learning, educators from all over the country joined us to discuss the most pressing topics related to designing hands-on learning opportunities. We gained insight from educators on the barriers that exist to continue making in new contexts like distance and hybrid learning. These challenges range from new safety considerations, like following COVID-19 guidelines in makerspaces, to issues of access such as equitably creating projects with little to no required materials or tools.

The learnings from these events informed our approach to the Powerful Learning @ Home workshop series, where participants began designing powerful learning experiences for their learners and context. Our conversations tackled this in smaller pieces by:

  • Defining Powerful Learning;
  • Exploring how making lends itself to powerful learning; and
  • Identifying the considerations for creating these experiences for learners at home.

These sessions and the Edcamp: Maker Learning events helped us better understand how educators are navigating hands-on learning at this time and demonstrated a need for continued support and opportunities to connect and learn from other educators.

Maker Learning @ Home Cohort

Digital Promise is excited to announce the Maker Learning @ Home Cohort, a professional learning opportunity for educators committed to designing maker learning experiences at home. This cohort is open to educators representing schools, out-of-school-time programs, libraries, museums, and other organizations serving youth. At this time, this opportunity is only available to organizations and educators based in the United States serving learners based in the United States.

Educators will receive:

  • Up to $5,000 (for their organization) to actualize maker learning projects with their learners
  • A six-month cohort experience that includes:
    • Professional learning tailored to the needs identified by the cohort participants
    • Direct support designing and publishing a maker learning project guide to engage learners and their community
    • Opportunities to connect with educators in Digital Promise networks

Digital Promise seeks to center equity in our work to ensure students have fair access to powerful and inclusive learning experiences.Through the Maker Learning @ Home cohort, Digital Promise is prioritizing support for the following stakeholders to increase access to maker learning opportunities:

  • Community nonprofit organizations and Title I schools
  • Educators beginning their “maker learning journey”
  • Educators serving youth disproportionately affected by COVID-19
  • Organizations looking to deepen their understanding and application of the Powerful Learning Principles

We believe creating opportunities for learners to engage in making at home is crucial. While these experiences are important during the continued pandemic response, we all must consider how we can sustain powerful maker learning opportunities in the long term, beyond a physical or virtual setting, that are available in and out of school. We invite educators interested in joining the Maker Learning @ Home cohort to apply and attend an informational session on December 9 at 4 p.m. PT/7p.m. ET.

Apply for the Maker Learning @ Home Cohort! Applications are due January  8, 2021.

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