Shelly Fryer (@sfryer) and I have joined over 1000 other educators this month and upcoming spring semester (for North American learners) in the free online Canvas course, “Tinker, Make and Learn.” I am a fulltime grade 4 and 5 STEM teacher, and Shelly is a self-contained 3rd and 4th grade teacher. Both of us are extremely interested in and focused on bringing more STEM learning experiences to our students. Last June our family attended Maker Faire Kansas City together. Last July, we both had the opportunity to participate in the transformative, week-long workshop and learning institute, “Create, Make and Learn” in Burlington, Vermont, led by the amazing Lucie deLaBruere. (@techsavvygirl)  That week-long learning experience in Vermont has had a HUGE impact on the classroom learning for students in both our classrooms the past semester, making us both hungry for more STEM learning. As a free, online course with hundreds of other educators interested in STEM, “Tinker, Make and Learn” promises to provide the kind of professional development experiences we want and need! The course enrollment is still open, so if you haven’t joined in the learning yet – please do!

The Twitter hashtag for “Tinker, Make and Learn” is #TMLOOE, and the course instructors are Robin Bartoletti (@robinwb) and Tom Kilgore (@tom_kilgore). This morning Robin shared the original link for a great video from 2010 featured in the course’s opening module, “The Value of the Maker Movement: To the future maker.” It’s a KickStarter video trailer called “ReMade: The Rebirth of the Maker Movement” by Electromagnate. It’s also available on the Electromagnate Vimeo channel. This is a trailer for a documentary @ReMadeFilm was going to produce about the Maker Movement. They haven’t updated their Facebook page or blog since 2011, or their Twitter channel since October of 2013, so I’m not sure if this project is still moving forward or not. Hopefully it is.

My favorite quotation from the 2.5 minute video clip is:

You start seeing kids learn how to make things and feel empowered, and instead of thinking ‘I wonder where I can go buy that’ they say, ‘I wonder if I can make that?

That’s awesome sauce.

I also like this quotation:

We need to help drive global innovation and creativity by giving the creative class and the education class and other people access to these tools.

Check out the complete video trailer.

ReMade: The Rebirth of the Maker Movement (1st Trailer) from Electromagnate on Vimeo.

Another STEM resource I learned about and added to my #book2read Twitter archive is Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen’s 2012 book, “Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun.”

The book description includes the following:

From how-tos on using the library or writing your representative to a graphic history of video games, the book isn’t shy about teaching. Yet the bulk of the 350-page mega-resource presents hands-on activities that further the mission in a fun way, featuring the best of the old as well as the best of the new: classic science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, skateboard repair, yarn-bombing, stop-action movie-making-plus tons of sidebars and extras, including trivia, best-of lists, and Q&As with leading thinkers whose culture-changing ideas are made accessible to kids for the first time.

I agree with others who maintain STEM education and the Maker Movement includes many elements of what can be best in both formal and informal learning contexts. As I continue to participate in the module activities of the “Tinker, Make and Learn” Canvas course, I’ll keep sharing things I’m learning and worthwhile resources I find here periodically. Follow me on Twitter @wfryer and the Twitter hashtag #TMLOOE to access more frequent updates. I encourage you to not only join the course but also share your learning, both on your own blog and via Twitter using #TMLOOE.

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On this day..

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2 Responses to Opening Reflections on Tinker, Make and Learn

  1. Robin Bartoletti says:

    Thanks for the reflections, Wes. We are so happy you and Shelly are in the course and looking forward to more reflections, tweets and you sharing your expertise with us (+carrots).
    Have a great evening @robinwb

  2. Jenny Slate says:

    great post.. thanks for sharing..

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