Professional Learning | Empower Teachers
Professional Learning

Introduction to the Maker Movement

The Maker Movement began in 2005 after Dale Dougherty and his team launched the MAKE Magazine for the tech-influenced DIY community. It is a grassroots movement of hobbyists, inventors, students, engineers and enthusiasts of making and creating. 

Maker Faires occurring around North America have created a venue for many different groups of people to mix together to combine artistry, circuitry and old-fashioned craftsmanship.

Maker Faire

Anyone can become a maker. All you have to do is start making! 

How Can You and Your Students Become Makers?


1. First, let's learn more about the Movement. Start by reading this short article by Dale Dougherty.

Dougherty says in the article "A century ago, psychologist and education reformer John Dewey extolled the virtues of learning by doing, and contemporary science of the brain confirms the importance of tac- tical engagement and of using our hands in the learning process. Kids today are disengaged and bored in school, and as a result, many see themselves as poor learners. We should be framing things in our schools not just in terms of “how do we test you on that?” but on “what can you do with what you know?”

2. Next, read this article on The Make Movement: A Learning Revolution by Sylvia Martinez

In the article you will be introduced to Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager who have written a book called Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom. It is available to purchase in hardbound or on a Kindle device. We highly recommend you borrow or purchase this if you are interested in learning more in-depth about making in the classroom.

3. Check out the Classroom Makers page by the REMC Association. REMC Classroom Makers (#cmakers) provides local REMCs with maker training, curriculum, and materials to be used with their districts to support and expand curricula and learning. There is information on how to check out materials and there are a lot of tutorials and resources to support classrooms. 

4. Finally, check out the 17 projects created by teachers to use with students.
     Making 1      Making two

In the four steps above you have received a short introduction to the Maker Movement and looked at sample projects for the classroom. Now it is time for you to become a Maker!

Move to Making and Creating



Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of
new digital resources and tools for learning.

4b. Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.

5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
5c. Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
6b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
6c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

Additional Resources

Lessons From the Maker Movement