Adopting the right maker tools at the right time - Digital Promise

Adopting the right maker tools at the right time

All maker tools have the potential to enhance and transform learning experiences. Cardboard, crayons, and duct tape can make just as much of an impact as high tech tools, like 3D printers and laser cutters.

The following graph is a rough approximation of the difficulty and complexity of adopting popular tools. Use this graph for help identifying what tools might be appropriate to acquire as your maker learning program evolves over time.

  • Complexity for students: How much do students need to commit (time, craft expertise) to use this tool in a meaningful way?
  • Difficulty for adults: How much do adults need to commit (money, expertise, physical space, safety considerations, peripheral equipment) to integrate this tool in a meaningful way?


Categories Electronics
Digital Fabrication
Digital Media
Manual Fabrication

Worksheets to help you evaluate new tools

Changing or upgrading the tools available in their makerspace can be a big undertaking. To jump start the process, you can use one of our partially-completed worksheets for commonly used tools.

  • Use our blank worksheet to guide you through the process of vetting tools for your makerspace. These questions guide you through the process of talking with students, vendors, and other collaborators.
  • Kickstart the vetting process with these partially completed worksheets that we used to build the graph above.
Tool Complexity (1-10) Difficulty (1-10) Category

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