Maker learning isn’t just a subject or a space in a school; it is a hands-on, design-centered way of engaging learners that can enhance learning in both formal and informal environments. Maker Learning embodies Powerful Learning that is:
Personal and Accessible: Learners own the process as they work to build meaningful physical and digital products. By tapping learners’ interests and talents, engagement and accessibility increase investment in the learning process.
Authentic and Challenging: Maker learning is rooted in real and relevant skills, concepts, and issues. Learners are challenged in core content, maker modalities, and their combined impact on the real world.
Collaborative and Connected: Learners work together to harness the skills and knowledge of their peers and the local and global community. These connections create opportunities for learners to make meaningful change alongside those who share their passions
Inquisitive and Reflective: Maker learning is a hands-on way to answer questions and find new questions to ask. It is an iterative process with a continuous feedback and development loop, allowing for reflection on process, product, and impact.
Maker Learning Leadership Framework: How can leaders design sustainable, equitable, and powerful maker learning programs for all learners? Beginning as a grassroots coalition of teachers, families, and enthusiasts, the maker learning movement has grown to also be valued by education leaders, community leaders, and policy makers. For those seeking resources to better support their communities in cultivating a maker learning culture, the Maker Learning Leadership Framework pushes the movement forward by offering a suite of resources, strategies, models, and stories to help leaders develop maker learning programs that are sustainable and equitable for all.
Cultivating Maker Learning Ecosystems: How can we grow and strengthen connections between individuals and organizations offering maker learning experiences? Since 2017, Digital Promise has convened educator cohorts to foster connections between the community, formal educational institutions, out-of-school-time providers, and industry. In the Pittsburgh region, in partnership with Remake Learning, we support the Maker Learning Collaborative which is developing a roadmap to chart a path for all youth to have access to maker learning experiences, no matter their ZIP code. We are broadening this work nationally by convening additional regional cohorts of urban, suburban, and rural K-12 and out-of-school-time administrators and educators to strengthen their maker learning ecosystems and develop stronger ties within their regions, as well as nationally.
Fulfilling the Promise of Maker Learning: How can we ensure that all youth have opportunities to engage in powerful maker learning experiences? In partnership with Maker Ed we contribute research findings to the field of maker learning, develop and amplify resources for making, and support capacity building for maker educators. This work builds on the Maker Promise campaign, a call to action for school leaders, educators, parents, families, and community members to bring quality maker learning experiences to all young people. From 2016 to 2019, over 2,000 Maker Champions and nearly 300 schools signaled their commitment to maker learning by signing the Promise.