Hands-on, creative, and design-centered learning are elements of “maker learning.” Maker learning, and its core values of agency, authenticity and, audience, 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 broad base of support for maker learning is represented by the more than 1,700 schools that have joined the Maker Promise, by having their administration commit to identifying a champion to lead maker learning initiatives in their school or district, dedicating a space for making, and creating an opportunity to showcase student work. We continue to support these Maker Champions and their schools through resources and opportunities offered on an ongoing basis through this collaboration with Maker Ed. To receive the latest opportunities to support maker learning in your school or district, sign the Maker Promise.
The maker learning movement started as a grassroots coalition of teachers, families, and enthusiasts that has grown to be valued by school leaders and education policy makers as well. Administrators and instructional leaders are seeking resources to better support their communities in cultivating a maker learning culture with new programs and practices for their students. The Maker Learning Leadership Framework pushes the movement forward by offering a suite of resources, strategies, and models to help school and district leaders develop maker learning programs that are sustainable for schools and equitable for all students.
Our maker learning work also 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 70 schools around the world. This program helps teachers leverage powerful technology for design and production to help students develop skills in design thinking and social innovation.
- filmMAKER Challenge: The Digital Promise filmMAKER™ Challenge is a project guide for middle and high school students to learn about product design and filmmaking, culminating in a challenge to redesign an everyday object and create a documentary video that tells the story of the process.