Breaking Rules, Erasers & Building a Learning Culture

[Here’s an interview with Dale Dougherty from Edsurge. Dale highlights the role of Making to create a Learning Culture. The week of June 12 is the national week of Making. Here is some information from WQED, the PBS station in Pittsburgh:

The Week of Making is an opportunity to for individuals in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world to participate in Making activities locally, celebrating the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of Makers. Makers are developing new solutions and products to pressing challenges, engaging students in hands on, interactive learning of STEM, arts and design and enabling individuals to learn new skills in design, fabrication and manufacturing. (Source weekofmaking.org, Sarah Durzo, PA Intermediate Unit 1)

The Week of Making will kick-off on June 12, 2015. Showcase the making and tinkering happening in your area by adding your event to the Week of Making Calendar. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to showcase your areas making skills and add your event today!

Make sure to check out the other making events happening in our region and all over the country at Week of Making.org/events. To learn more about the Week of Making and President Obama’s call to action check out the Nation of Makers.

Share your maker movement using #weekofmaking!]

Betsy Corcoran
May 27, 2015

half_size_dale2-1432715677I met Dale Dougherty back in 2008 when I put the “Do It Yourself” trend on the cover of Forbes magazine. Back then, I called him and his long-time business partner, Tim O’Reilly, the “Tom Paines” of this new trend because they had started the quarterly publication, Make Magazine in 2005. Now, a decade into the Maker movement, Dougherty is earned an upgrade: He’s become the George Washington of the Maker movement, the leading figure in evangelizing a world in which we learn by doing. Recently, I caught up with Dale to get his reflections on makers, the movement and yes, cutting in line. 

edSurge: Pete Seeger had a hammer; Douglas Adams recommended traveling with a towel. What’s the one piece of gear that every maker should have?

Dougherty:  A pencil to sketch an idea or take a note, ideally one with an eraser.

edSurge: Does the typical “maker” in 2015 look the same or different from the “maker” of 2005?

Dougherty: If you look in their eyes, you see the same joy and passion today that I saw at our first Maker Faire. You sense a child-like curiosity and wonder that never seems to age. They may look different in other ways, have new things to demo including 3D printers and drones, but makers are still having fun and enjoying each other.

edSurge: If money was no problem, what would be in your perfect makerspace?

Dougherty: It would look like a village where you had all kinds of people who knew how to make all kinds of things, and you could spend time learning from them, having them show you how they use their tools or work with materials. Some would be scientists and engineers; architects and designers; artists and craftsmen. I’d also have people who knit and weld, those who love model trains or Legos. I’d like to see all those people with their own interests and personalities working on their own and working together. What makes a makerspace awesome are the people who know how to do things and love what they do. The more of them the merrier. (edSurge note: Sure sounds like a Maker Faire to us!) 

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The Ed tech Trends on the Cusp of Mainstream

By Stephen Noonoo, eSchoolNewsEditor, @stephenoonoo
May 11th, 2015

Here’s a preview of K-12 Horizon Report notes big ed tech shifts from eSchoolNews. The final Horizon Report will be released at the ISTE Conference at the end of June.

This year, BYOD and makerspaces have their stars on the rise—they could be in 20 percent of classrooms by year’s end. And over the next few years, 3D printing, adaptive software, and even wearable technologies in schools could do the same, according to an advanced preview of this year’s K-12 Horizon Report, an annual trendsetting look at the current state of technology and learning produced by the New Media Consortium. Each year, the report confers with a panel of education experts and takes a close look at the trends, challenges, and underlying developments driving today’s education technology adoption and implementation.

The final product whittles dozens of emerging and established ed tech topics into just 18, arranged by category—the trends, challenges, and developments referenced above—and time to adoption (or, in the case of challenges, complexity of the problem and how close we are to solving it).

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Why Connected Learning is Catching On

A Digital Corps session at The Maker's Place / Photo: Ben Filio

A Digital Corps session at The Maker’s Place / Photo: Ben Filio

Digital networks are indispensable when educating young minds.

Young people today grow up fused to their digital worlds. And yes, being a screen zombie has its downsides. But instructors who harness students’ passion for social media can open their minds to a dynamic theory of education called “connected learning.”

At its core, connected learning capitalizes on a young person’s immersion in digital technology and online networks to encourage curiosity, deeper study, and self-education. With good guidance, learners tap into a vibrant network of teachers, like-minded peers, mentors, and role models. Before they know it they are absorbing crucial academic knowledge while engaged in enjoyable discussions, experiments, and accomplishments.

Take Patrick, a teen participant at YOUmedia’s ARTLAB+ program in Washington, D.C. Patrick was always passionate about art, but he saw his creative pursuits as a personal hobby unrelated to his future. His introduction to the digital tools at YOUmedia (a network of connected learning spaces with a presence in Pittsburgh), and his contact with digitally attuned educators who took his work seriously, gave him a fresh career outlook.

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