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The MakeShift: What is a maker?


What is a maker, anyway?  Makers (a noun) and making (old verb, new meaning) are words applied to a popular movement being embraced by public museums,  libraries and, now, the classroom. We all make things. We have our students make things. But being a maker means moving beyond the step-by-step process where outcomes are predictable.  Instead, makers approach problems with an open mind and creative outlook that result in innovative solutions.  So a maker is a THINKER, a DESIGNER, an INVENTOR. 


Want to shift your projects up the SAMR scale? Classroom projects that engage students as "makers" ask open-ended questions and applaud a student's attempts (and sometimes failures) as learning experiences.  What a student produces/designs/invents is unique from other examples in the classroom, fostered by the student's ideas and creativity.  


Today's school libraries may be shifting to school-wide maker-spaces, but the most important shift occurs in the mindset of the classroom educator and the school-wide community.  As learners become a community of makers, they move beyond "looking up answers" to designing solutions and contributing new ideas to our collective understanding.


“I think a lot of people view a library as ‘a place you go to borrow a book’, rather than somewhere that provides a portal into re-experience. Yet a really important function of libraries in this era is to reinterpret the great resource of knowledge that they contain, in a way that strips away the fusty connotation of what a library is and lets people peer into the wealth of possibility that lies there for anyone to access.”  ~Peter Miller, musician and remix artist


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Principles of Maker Education
This post on User Generated Education explores how the older concept of of Experiential Learning can be used to inform educators attempting to engage their students in the maker movement.  Also check out: the post on flipped classrooms and tinkering.

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Using the SAMR Model to Frame How to Teach with Apps This post on TeachThought blog explores "concrete examples of the movement from basic technology integration–in this case, apps–to that which redefines the learning process ."


What is a Maker?


Compare the Rubin Puentedura's SAMR Model   to  the Stages of Making (as Illustrated by Jackie Gerstein in her blog, User Generated Education). How can a maker mindset help you move projects using technology  to a level of transformation?




Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the Culture of Popular Science in the United States by Rebecca Onion  READ THIS REVIEW

READ THIS INTERVIEW with the author of Invent to Learn. (Interestingly, Stager is NOT a fan of SAMR. Read about it here.)

The Maker Manifesto by Mark Hatch (sample chapter)

Meaningful Making: Projects and Inspirations for Fab Labs and Maker Spaces (Stanford U) eBook


For a complete and up-to-date list of Maker resources in your MG libraries, check out our public list "MG Maker Resources" in the Destiny Online Library Catalog at your school.

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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