Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Making Our Way to Equity: Designing Makerspaces for All Students

Location: W186b

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Wednesday, June 27, 12:00–1:00 pm
Location: W186b

Sue Cusack   Jacy Edelman   Rhianon Gutierrez   Haruna Hosokawa   Rashmi Pimprikar  
Making in education creates new opportunities for students to think critically, problem-solve, and experience 21st-century ways of knowing. Our challenge is to ensure that all children gain access to these powerful experiences. Join us as we unpack access and culturally responsive practices, redefining equity through making for all.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: QR Code reader, no specific "name" required, to be used as a quick link to activities, or other resources or challenges. The tech is not "required" but any device that can connect to the internet will help us to engage participants in polls, twitter chats, back channels, and other online tools.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Maker activities and programs
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital age learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

We will examine the importance of Making in Education, detail the limited access to making for underserved populations, and share strategies to ensure equity and opportunity is provided to all students, particularly children who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

In this discussion, we will explore the affordances of this movement and the opportunities to influence and inform divergent learning experiences within a PreK-12 education context. These experiences can lead to increased engagement and critical thinking skills, such as computational thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and 21st-century competencies. Maker activities, when integrated into the general curriculum, can encourage more opportunities for social-emotional learning and identity affirmation.

Well-structured maker activities can also influence the fabric of the classroom and school culture, providing students with the ability to engage in authentic problems and develop deeper connections to their community.

Through this session, we will share the challenges that our students face and the ways that we have partnered to afford new levels of access, identity, and student-centered control over their learning and maker experiences.

(1) Demonstrate the unique affordances of maker activities to ensure meaningful student engagement and transform teaching and learning.
(2) Demonstrate best practices that inform the inclusive design of maker activities through the integration of technology, the application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and the use of culturally responsive instructional strategies in support of student-centered teaching and learning.
(3) Model and contribute to a culture of collaboration and effective communication among colleagues, students, families, and community members that is inclusive, culturally responsive, and sensitive to the evolving implications of making in education.


(1) Introduction of Boston Public School and Lesley University team [5 minutes]
(2) Establish a Context for Making in Education - Participant Response - Polleverywhere Activity [5 minutes]
(3) Unpack Participant Wordcloud and weave into Overview of Learning Goals (See above) [25 minutes]
(3)(a) Participant access to Backchannel
(3)(b) Multimedia presentation to provide visual representation of each goal, amplifying the personal impact of inclusive making activities
(3)(c)Turn & Talk questions with participant responses summarized through Twitter chat
(4) Table Activity designed to model student-centered, interest-driven making (15 minutes)
(5) Show & Tell/Debrief - Exemplars posted to Padlet (10 minutes)

Supporting research

Agency by Design (January, 2015). Maker-centered learning and the development of self: Preliminary finding of the Agency by Design Project. Cambridge, MA: Project Zero, Harvard University, Retrieved from: http://www.agencybydesign.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Maker-Centered-Learning-and-the-Development-of-Self_AbD_Jan-2015.pdf

Bers, M. U. (2017). Coding as a playground: Coding and computational thinking in early childhood. New York, NY: Routledge

Gaskin, N. (2014). Recontextualizing the makerspace: Culturally responsive education. Musings of a Renegade Futurist https://netarthud.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/recontextualizing-the-makerspace-culturally-responsive-education/

Gaskin, N. (2014). Techno-vernacular creativity, innovation and learning in underrepresented ethnic communities of practice. Retrieved from: https://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/53163

Gaskin, N. (2016) The New Face of STEAM. Edutopia. George Lucas Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-new-face-of-steam-nettrice-gaskins

Kafai, Y. & Resnick, M. (2011) Chapter 12: New paradigms for computing, new paradigms for thinking, in Constructionism in Practice. 255-267. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=3-Gdmm0-2wAC&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=social+construct+of+learning&ots=TjNMcgglvP&sig=fXGQM8se9kCvas34HnknarkR3xg#v=onepage&q=resnick&f=false

Madda, M.J. (2017). What will it take to push the K-12 Maker Movement to be more inclusive? EdSurge. Burlingame, CA. Retrieved from: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-09-26-what-will-it-take-to-push-the-k-12-maker-movement-to-be-more-inclusive

Martinez, S.L. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrence, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Mary Aldelaide. (2017 ) Empowerment and equity through making and Scratch. ScratchEd. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Retrieved from: http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/stories/empowerment-and-equity-through-making-and-scratch

Murphy Paul, A. (May 12, 2015). When kids engage in “Making,” Are they learning anything? School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://anniemurphypaul.com/2015/05/when-kids-engage-in-making-are-they-learning-anything/

Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Resnick, M. (2017) Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers & play. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Scherer, R. (Fall 2015) Every classroom should be a maker space. Unboxed: A Journal of adult learning in schools, 14. High Tech High Retrieved from https://www.hightechhigh.org/unboxed/issue14/every_classroom_should_be_a_maker_space/

Thomas, D. and Brown, J. S. (2011) A New culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change.
Tomlinson, C.A. (2014). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

More [+]


Sue Cusack, Lesley University
Jacy Edelman, Lesley University
Rhianon Gutierrez, Boston Public Schools

Rhianon E. Gutierrez is a learning designer and consultant. Her varied background includes instructional design, media production, and disability advocacy. As a Digital Learning Specialist in the Boston Public Schools, she builds district-wide partnerships around inclusive uses of technology and leads and supports blended professional learning for teachers and school and district leaders. Rhianon has presented nationally at ISTE, MassCUE, ATIA, South by Southwest, and Building Learning Communities and keynoted at the 2016 Scratch Conference. She is the Advocacy Co-Chair and Playground Co-Chair of ISTE’s Inclusive Learning Network and was named a 2018 ISTE Emerging Leader.

Haruna Hosokawa, Boston Public Schools
Rashmi Pimprikar, Lesley Univ, WPS & C-STEAM Futures

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