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Design Learning Experiences for the Makerspace

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Monday, June 24, 5:00–6:30 pm
Location: Franklin 8-9, Marriott

Jeff Branson   Colleen Graves   Heather Lister   Mark Schreiber  
Learn from veteran "maker" educators as they design maker experiences for classrooms, libraries and beyond. You'll work in groups to collaborate on crafting maker explorations that connect pedagogy, theory and best practices.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Design, develop and implement technology-rich professional learning programs that model principles of adult learning and promote digital age best practices in teaching, learning and assessment.
Teaching, Learning and Assessments
  • Coach teachers in and model design and implementation of technology-enhanced learning experiences addressing content standards and student technology standards.
For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Educators will learn the approaches to crafting learning experiences as a maker educator. These experiences differ from normal classroom learning because they are exploratory and problem/challenge-based in nature.

Multiple approaches to designing maker explorations will be modeled during this engaging workshop.

In small groups, educators will then work to create their own maker exploration/learning experience.


The leaders of this workshop will discuss various methods to instruction in a makerspace.

For example: One way to start is with content objectives/standards/etc. The making exploration will be used to support those goals (much like technology). So for this approach, the main goal is still the content knowledge/subject-area matter.

Another way to craft maker explorations is to assist students in “making skills” (i.e. learn to block code, learn to solder, etc. The teacher then designs an experience/project/activity where kids acquire those “making skills” and then use the maker skills to complete a design challenge.

Lastly, students can be encouraged to gather new skills by open-ended (or open- middle) projects. We will discuss how to hack PBLS with maker education.

Lastly, the attendees will be challenged to create their own maker explorations in small groups.

The end result will be a shared and crowdsourced curriculum that will be available for all educators.

Supporting research

Invent to Learn, Makeology, Art of Tinkering, The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn, Your Starter Guide to Makerspace

More [+]


Jeff Branson, SparkFun
Colleen Graves, JoyLabz

I am a school librarian turned content creator and creative education consultant. My pasions are: Learning Commons transformations, Makerspaces, technology education, and making stuff. I’m a tad obsessed with Makey Makey and Invention Literacy. I love to make and share stuff! I've co-authored two maker education project books, and one book on maker education theory.

Heather Lister, Construct Learning
Mark Schreiber, DesignCase Consulting & Stanford Fellow

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