Lesson: The Power of Maker Education

Lesson Objectives 

  • Define Maker Education
  • Articulate the importance and power of maker education experiences for student learning
  • Complete a maker project
  • Capture and share their maker experience with their teacher and classmates

The Design “WHY”

  • My colleagues (who will be referred to as participants for this lesson) are working with school districts across the country to envision and create collaborative classrooms and Maker Spaces
  • All participants are former educators, but have been out of the classroom for a minimum of 10 years and possess a limited knowledge of maker education, why it is important or how it can improve student learning
  • Need to establish an understanding of the importance of Maker Education in today’s schools in order for students to be effective in their current job roles

The Design “HOW”

  • 30-Minute virtual tutorial webinar
  • At-home maker project
  • Audience will be my Education Consultant colleagues
  • Evidence of Learning – participants will complete their maker project, capture the experience via photos/videos, and share via class Google Drive

Rationale – Personalizing the learning experience to leverage each participant’s learner “toolbox” so that, “what they learn, and how when, and where they learn it – are tailored to their individual needs, skills, and interests, and that their school enables them to take ownership of their learning” (Childress & Benson, p. 34).

  • Learner Agency
    • Participants can choose the maker project that interests them and can share their work and reflections with colleagues as part of the assessment
    • Participants are given a week to complete the activity at their own pace and when it is convenient for their schedule
    • Personalized learning with technology gives learners agency and students can make decisions about how they want to learn (Culatta 2013).
  • Student Engagement
    • Participants will be participating virtually in all aspects of this lesson, but will be asked to engage in a variety of ways
    • Participants can access the tutorial and lesson materials at any time via the Google Drive
    • This lesson “creates creators” as each participant will be creating a maker project and sharing their creation with colleagues
    • “Student engagement is generally considered to be among the better predictors of learning and personal development. The more students think about their course material, the more they practice and study (directly or indirectly), the more they tend to learn about it” (Chando 2013).
  • Feedback
    • Participants will be able to ask questions at the end of the tutorial & via email or Google Chat at any time
    • Participants will post their work on the class Google Drive folder and teacher will be able to comment on their work as it’s posted
    • “Timely feedback enhances the student/Instructor relationship and contributes to a healthy classroom dynamic” (Chakraborty & Nafukho, 2015).
    • Personalized learning with technology enables real-time feedback (Culatta 2013).
  • Supporting Transfer
    • Participants will not only learn about Maker Education, but will participate in a maker activity and will be asked to articulate the importance of maker experiences for students so that they are able to bring that knowledge into their role as an education consultant when they meet with school personnel to discuss Maker Spaces
    • “All new learning involves transfer based on previous learning, and this fact has important implications for the design of instruction that helps students learn” (Bransford, Brown & Cocking, p. 53).
    • This lesson will also allow participants to use their experience as former educators in comparison to the newer practices of maker education.
    • “Instruction is likely to be most effective when it capitalizes on students ’prior experiences and interests” (O’Donnell, p. 8).


  • Computer, phone or tablet
  • Google Account
  • Google Drive Apps
  • Zoom (Cloud Meetings)
  • Video camera (on computer, phone, tablet, or other device)
  • Vimeo
  • Maker Project 1 – Make Edible Paper
    • Bowl, plate, plastic wrap, scissors, microwave, rice flour, potato starch, salt, and cold water
  • Maker Project 2 – Homemade Bouncy Ball
    • 1/2 cup hot water, 1 tablespoon of borax, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of Elmer’s glue, 2 disposable cups, Popsicle sticks, Parchment paper (optional: liquid food coloring and disposable rubber gloves)
  • Maker Project 3 – Boombox
    • 2 cups, scissors or knife, set of earbuds/headphones, audio source (phone, mp3 player, etc.)


  • Essential Questions
    • What is Maker Education?
    • Why are maker activities important for student learning?
    • Why should schools implement maker learning experiences in their classrooms?
    • How does Maker Education align with, differ or enhance your former approaches to teaching?
  • Introduction Web Conference via Zoom
    • Tutorial on Maker Education
      • To be accessed synchronously, but will be recorded for participants who were not able to attend and for future access at any time – link to recording will be available in class Google Drive folder
    • Instructor will:
      • Outline lesson objectives, expectations and activities
      • Explain maker education, what inspired the Maker Movement, and how teachers and schools are embracing and incorporating maker education into their instructional practice
      • Provide research and examples of student maker projects and Maker Spaces that schools have created
      • Share the three choices for at-home maker projects and provide links to how-to tutorials for each project
      • Show Google Drive folder where students will upload their evidence of learning and Google Sheet where they will log their maker project choice
      • Students will be given one week to complete & post their maker activity
      • Open up conference for discussion/questions
      • Students will be encouraged to email the instructor with questions at any time
    • Participants will:
      • Actively listen and learn
      • Ask questions throughout and at the end when instructor opens the conference for discussion
  • Making
    • Log their maker project choice in Google Sheet
    • Gather the materials needed for their maker project
    • Utilize photos to capture their making experience
    • Make their project (encourage involvement of children or other family members) & capture the process along the way
  • Evidence of Learning (Assessment)
    • Using Vimeo, make a 1-2 minute video reflecting upon and sharing their experience, what they learned about maker education, why they would encourage school districts to implement maker learning experiences in their classrooms and how maker education aligns with, differs or enhances their former approaches to teaching
    • Upload photos of their maker project experience to a new Google Doc
    • Upload the Vimeo link of the 1-2 minute reflection video to the same Google Doc and upload to the class Google Drive folder
  •  Feedback
    • Teacher will provide feedback and comments on each participants work in the “Comments” section of their Google Doc
    • Students will be able to view each other’s work within the Google Drive folder and will be asked to provide feedback to at least two of their classmates’ work within the “Comments” section of their Google Doc


Culatta, R. (2013, January). Reimagining Learning: Richard Culatta at TEDxBeaconStreet. Retrieved from: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Reimagining-Learning-Richard-Cu

Chando, J. (2013, October). Why Student Engagement is So Important. Retrieved from: http://blog.chalkup.co/why-we-think-student-engagement-is-so-important

Chakraborty, Misha and Nafukho, Fredrick Muyia (2015) “Strategies for Virtual Learning Environments: Focusing on Teaching Presence and Teaching Immediacy,” Internet Learning: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 2. Retrieved from: http://digitalcommons.apus.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1046&context=internetlearning

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309070368.

Childress, S., & Benson, S. (2014). Personalized learning for every student every day.The Phi Delta Kappan, 95(8), 33-38. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24374606







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