Today’s accessibility to technology and the ability to share everything online has lead to a new age of personal empowerment, according to writer Sylvia Martinez and educator Gary S. Stager. With the use of technology humans are creating and mastering this world, solving problems, and amplifying human potential. With ‘smart’ materials like phones, robots, microprocessors, and 3D printers, individuals now have a power to invent like never before. This increase drive, motivation, and capability has become known as The Maker Movement. This movement is not exclusive to adults, but also includes children of all ages who are using technological tools to transition from passive learners with low motivation to real world makers with the potential to completely revolutionize education. And as children have become part of this movement, educators have to take advantage. The Maker Movement values human passion, capability, and ability to make things happen and solve problems at any point in time from any place in the world. Because of this, educators who incorporate technology into the classroom can harness this potential and instal a new confidence in their students. According to Martinez and Stager: “Classrooms that celebrate the process of design and making, which includes overcoming challenges, produce students who start to believe they can clove any problem. Students learn to trust themselves as competent problem solvers who don’t need to be told what to do next” (Martinez & Stager, 2014). Creating students that gain knowledge by doing will make for creative and ideal adults who are individuals full of new ideas.
The Maker Movement calls for people of all ages to go beyond the easy stuff like making videos, editing pictures, and slide show presentations with cool effects. The Maker Movement wants people to produce mashups, which according to educator Maureen Yoder, is a combination of many media elements. In her article The Buyers Guide Yoder describes and suggests available applications that enable students, teachers, educators, and pretty much everyone to mix media together and enhance them with personalized add ons like pictures, music, and videos. There are also applications described in her article that allow its users to share their creations with other users, as well as collaborate with other users.
As a future educator I plan to use many of these applications and turn all of my students into part of the Maker Movement. By doing so I believe that I can fulfill many of the student standards set forth by the ISTE. For example, Standard 2 can be met because students collaborate and address real-world challenges that they will encounter in their career and adult life. If they already have faced AND OVERCOME these problems as a student, these individuals will be more successful. Standard 4 can easily be met because students and problem solving and critical thinking in a unique way. They are not simple solving problems to check their answers in the back of a book, they are creating their own solutions to problems that are unique. By creating things students are not just learning, but teaching others as well. This allows students to not be idol learners anymore, but agents of change and revolution in a student centered classroom. Standard 6 can also be met by incorporating tools of the Maker Movement. Students are going beyond standard uses of technology and are creating things that have impact and influence. Topics that were once complex and maybe overwhelming now challenge students and allow them to better grasp new technologies and operations before reaching college.
Overall, being a part of The Maker Movement will enhance learning, encourage creativity, and allow for endless potential. Students will be able to use new technologies to create amazing things, allowing them to better be prepared as confident problem solvers for their future endeavors.
Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (May 2014). The Maker Movement in Learning and Leading with Technology. (pages 12-14).
Yoder, M. (Sep/Oct 2013). The Buyers Guide in Learning and Leading with Technology. (page 42).