Professional Learning | Empower Teachers
Professional Learning

Makey Makey

1. Set a goal with learning objectives and outcomes  
2. Make a space in your classroom which will accommodate the projects you and your students will make
3. Purchase and/or gather materials for making
4. Let the creative juices begin flowing and encourage the creation and sharing of ideas
5. Don't be afraid to fail! There are no wrong ways or moves when making. Every making experience leads to learning.


1. There are a myriad of resources that are available to you to begin making. There are free to very expensive tools to choose from. You will choose one to create a project that will be useful in your classroom. Check with your tech director to see if your district already has access to one of the below. If not, choose one that you think you would enjoy playing with and could use with your own students. 

a. 3D Printers

Your school may already have a 3D printer. You can create and design your own object/s to use in a lesson. Watch this video by an eight year old who gives a great overview on 3D printing. 

b. Physical Computing Devices

Microcontrollers, sensors and interfaces that combine physical and digital worlds are  becoming increasingly popular and are inexpensive. Students can use circuitry and controls to invent just about anything! All you need is an imagination.The 17 projects that were on the previous page used one or more of the kits below. 

Here is a list of popular kits that can be purchased that are a great place to start. 

1. Makey Makey
2. Strawbees
3. Littlebits - Check out the projects here.
4. Raspberry Pi
5. Squishy Circuits
6. Circuit Stickers
7. Lego Mindstorms
8. MakerShed 100's of kits from $2.00 on up
9. Sparkfun An electronics store that sells kits and parts

c. Programming and Coding

Programming and coding teaches many skills from basic to advanced math, thinking, analyzing and applying. Many of the kits above require students to use basic coding skills to design simple to complex projects. Below are several coding sites that are a great place to start as a teacher or a student. 

Scratch1. Scratch from MIT is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations. 
2. The Hour of Code is an event that takes place each year for one week in December but it is not limited to that week if you missed it. There are tutorials for ages 4-104 teaching basic coding skills.
3. links to the Hour of Code and has many tutorials and sample projects. Started in 2003 as a non-profit, the goal is to increase diversity in computer science by reaching students of all backgrounds where they are — at their skill-level, in their schools, and in ways that inspire them to keep learning. Each of the images below takes you to an activity. 

                star wars 


2. After choosing one of the above or one not even listed (more and more kits are being made available) you are going to want to have access to a tutorial to see how you can put the kit together or write some code. You can watch one of the many videos that are available on YouTube or on the site itself that advertises it. You can always use Google and type in the name of the kit and the keyword tutorial and you should retrieve a wide array of video and screenshot tutorials. 

3. After you have played, it is time to make and create! The sky is the limit. You can create a musical instrument, a game controller, artwork and much more. You can create code on and share it with your students. 

Go to the next page for your Assignment

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 maker spaces 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.