Make-to-Learn Kick-Off — BIG success! 2

Make-to-Learn Kick-Off — BIG success!

MAKE is a movement that has been sweeping the nation – According to Dale Dougherty, “we are all makers” – at the 2011 TED conference he inspired the tech community with an incredible speech.

With gratitude to the Creativity Labs and Kylie Peppler, Ph.D., I was invited to help coordinate the first Make-to-Learn Symposium due to my work with the Labs and my current research in interest-driven, digital making & learning.  As part of a rather large team, I assisted in brainstorming, networking, coordinating, and creating a workshop style conference for researchers and practitioners regarding the affordances of the MAKE movement spreading globally!

Planning this event has definitely been an incredible experience – one I will draw upon for all my career. I worked on designing the website and social networks to market the event, photographed/recorded the event, and networked with MakerStation hosts. Beyond my role as the marketing assistant – I also brainstormed ideas for research and  held conversations with peers regarding the Maker Movement and learning.

While working at the Symposium, I had an opportunity to “hang out,” “tinker,” and “make” with others (Ito, 2009; Papert, 1991; and Dougherty, 2011).  In addition to making photos and videos of the workshop and panels, I also hacked toys, hacked a t-shirt, and made a cardboard arcade game. I shared these artifacts by showing them to peers in person, making photos and posting on Instagram and Facebook, and now I am sharing via my blog/site.  The sharing has led to some reflections about my experience.

Some of those reflections were silent, self- reflections…..questions I thought about and later wrote down to recall at another time in the future. Other moments of reflection were conversations I held with peers. Reviewing these conversations, several themes emerged leading to a few questions:

  • How might we design maker research projects in schools?
  • How might we explore or study the maker culture outside of schools and institutions? What are the differences and similarities? What are the affordances and limitations in either or both environments?
  • How might we conceptualize “making”?

What are your questions? We’ve started engaging in this conversation formally – but what about informally?  Please share your questions, feedback, and your thoughts – I look forward to being a part of this conversation.

We are all makers. -Dale Dougherty




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