What's Next for Maker Education

Confession: We at EdSurge are a bit in love with what may be America’s favorite new pastime: making. Indeed, it’s been a busy two years since we published our first guide on making, during which makerspaces have spread into classrooms and curriculum far and wide. But for many, issues of budget and buy-in mean maker education is still far from mainstream.

To be sure, there have been changes in the Maker movement in the decade-plus since the first Maker Faires wooed a new generation of DIYers. Along the way, we’ve celebrated successes and asked hard questions. How can we help making become more equitable and inclusive? How can maker ed embrace traditional technology, including computer science? What are the benefits of a maker education, and how do we measure them? In this guide, we hope you’ll find answers to—or at least ideas about—these and other questions that explore the meaning of making.

We’ve also included tips and techniques for building and funding your maker program and honing your maker skills. You’ll learn how to do a lot with a little, and find inspiration for what’s possible—in a school district, college library, even on a bus. For those of you who’ve never been to a maker event—we’ve brought one to you. And if you’re an experienced maker educator ready to up your game, check out our roster of professional development opportunities.

At its core, making is about doing. So we've also made sure you can build something—sitting right where you are.

Mary Hossfeld, Guide Co-Editor

Makerspaces: Building, Buy In, Funding and Furnishing

Learn how one underperforming school tapped into abundant resources—from neighborhood businesses to online networks—to build a model arts and tech program. Budget woes? The folks who founded the MakerBus describe exactly how to outfit your makerspace for next to nothing. Want to see what a makerspace on steroids looks like? Check out our photo essay of an innovative school where power tools are child’s play. Read about a school district that's infused making throughout.

Who Makes What: Equity, Access and Training

We've profiled the first maker certificate program of its kind, and assembled a list of other PD resources for teacher makers and would-be makers alike. You'll also find multiple perspectives on how educators can create more equitable maker communities that welcome a diversity of both students and teachers, specifically girls, women, and makers of color. Gary Stager's suggestion? Honor the industry's pioneers.

The Meaning of Making: Curriculum, Technology and Other Big Questions

Maker ed offers a whole new way for students to use technology. In fact, making is prompting many educators to rethink their approach not just to tech, but to teaching in general—in colleges and K-12 schools alike. We’ve rounded up a range of wisdom from maker big wigs, an award winning teacher, and even a student.

America's New Pastime: Fun at the Faire

Didn’t make it to Maker Faire this year? No worry, we’ve brought it to you. Better yet, learn how to launch your very own event. We've even got Faires by the numbers.

Maker Faire Multiplication

Professional Development Resources for Maker Educators

EdSurge and Maker Ed teamed up to create this list of resources for educators. Have other suggestions? Please leave them in the Comments section below, or tweet #edsurge. To dig deeper into maker PD, read Jessica Parker's article about creating Sonoma State University’s first-of-its-kind Maker Certificate Program.


The Growth and Development of the Maker Movement in Sonoma County Schools
Maker Ed’s Open Portfolio Project Research Brief series
Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff, by Curt Gabrielson
Maker Ed’s Youth Makerspace Playbook and the Makerspace Playbook, School Edition
Makerspaces: Highlights of Selected Literature
Agency by Design’s blog
Starting a Makerspace? Your Beginner’s Guide from Smith System

Watch and Engage

Participate in the National Week of Making, June 17-23, 2016
Maker Ed’s teaser PD modules
Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Bootcamp Webinars
Maker Certificate Program’s YouTube Channel

Enroll and Join

The Art of Tinkering, Coursera MOOC
Design Do Discover (D3) Teacher Institute
Lighthouse Creativity Lab
Sonoma State University’s Maker Certificate Program
Tinkering School
USPTO, 3rd Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property
Opal School Summer Symposium
Project Zero at Harvard
Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist program
Maker Ed’s VISTA Project and Maker Corps are both actively recruiting for individuals to work with partner sites

Do-It-Yourself (and Do-It-Together)

Create and engage in your own maker projects with SCOE’s Make and Take workshops
Peruse Maker Ed’s resource library
Pick a project from The Tinkering Studio’s list
Host a virtual Maker Camp with the folks at Maker Media


Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 12-15, 2016
reMAKE Education Summit, August 3-5, 2016
FabLearn, October 14-16, 2016

Compiled by Maker Ed and EdSurge.

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