"To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve.
Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. They are a fairly new phenomenon, but are beginning to produce projects with significant national impacts."
John Evans's insight:
Make certain to request your free Makerspace Playbook!
"If you’re not feeling uncomfortable about the state of education right now, then you’re not paying attention to the pressures and challenges of technology,” said Will Richardson, a veteran educator author and consultant, at a talk at ISTE 2012. “We need to acknowledge that this is a very interesting moment, and even though in a lot of ways this isn’t what we signed up for when we went into teaching… as educators, it’s our job to figure it out.”"
"Below is a wonderful classroom poster I came across in Edutopia's Pinterest board.The poster outlines 5 things students should pay heed to when engaged in writing tasks. You can print and use this poster in your class with your students. It can be used as a self assessment checklist that students draw on when working on their writings. It can also be a good way to initiate discussions around areas that pose real difficulties to students writings."
"If you read the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take you 57,000 years to reach the end. You could bind the pages in a 10,000-foot-tall book weighing 1.2 billion pounds. Printing it would require half a million liters of ink, which is the volume of fuel it would take to power a 747 jet leaving New York and heading east to Tokyo. It would use enough paper to cover half of Long Island, or twice the number of trees in Central Park. If the Ancient Babylonians had started printing the Internet in 1800 BC, they’d be done right about now!"
"The educator’s role has or should change in this age of information abundance or Education 2.0-3.0. The educator’s role has always been to model and demonstrate effective learning, but somewhere along the line, the major role of the educator became that of content and knowledge disseminater. Now in this information age content is freely and abundantly available, it is more important than ever to assist learners in the process of how to learn."
"Teenagers hate school; everyone knows that! My name is Sarah Almeda; I’m a sophomore at New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey, and I love school! I’m sure that sounds strange to you, a high school sophomore who loves school…
But why do teens hate school?
School is a place to learn new things, discover who you are, and make friends. School doesn’t sound like a bad place—to a kindergartener! However, the amount of negativity on my twitter feed is indisputable. Nobody wants to go to school.
Here’s one answer: the traditional education system seems to have at least 20 different methods for helping a student’s self-esteem plummet."
"Whether this is your first year teaching and you’re right out of school or you’ve been teaching for 30 years, the students sitting in your classroom are facing a different type of classroom than you had as a student. There is more technology, the subject material may vary slightly, but the biggest differences are likely cultural and social."
"EasyBib helps educators provide students with the tools they need to do credible and ethical research, while allowing them to track student progress and understanding before they hand in their final paper. EasyBib has also been recently integrated into Google Docs allowing students to easily and properly cite their resources with one single click."
"Pretend for a moment you are a college admissions officer at a prestigious institution. Facing a large stack of applications, the shuffle of papers and pecking of keyboards resonates throughout the conference room. You and your colleagues are engaged in the difficult process of paring down applicants to the chosen few, and acceptance notifications must be sent out soon. You’ve got two resumes in front of you:"
In April, I turn to the social media site to help build math awareness. Whether you are a math expert, a teacher, a parent, or anything in-between, check out these 10 boards to see how pinterest has helped create a new way to engage in mathematics.
"The Oldest Living Things In the World is a short video featuring images from Rachel Sussman's book, The Oldest Living Things In the World. The video features two dozen of Sussman's photographs along with her narration in which she explains the project. The video does a good job of highlighting the fragility of some of the world's oldest living things like lichen, coral, and microbial mats. The video is embedded below."
"April 29th, 2014 is DNA Day in Canada! Developed by Let’s Talk Science and Genome Alberta, DNA Day is a unique day where students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics from Canadian experts. On DNA Day, student questions will be answered live by Canadian experts and videos from the experts will be available to view throughout the day. New this year, DNA Day will include a live Google Hangout with Jay Ingram, past host of the Discovery Channel’s, Daily Planet! View the schedule."
"The web is teeming with good places where your students and kids can get help with their homework. Sometimes it does take a lot of time to find such good resources, however, to save you time and to provide you with some excellent platforms to start with when recommending homework help websites, I compiled the list below featuring a variety of web resources for this purpose:"
Brain breaks are short mind-body challenges that offer students a reprieve from routine learning activities. Not only are brain breaks fun, they’re a simple way to refocus students’ energy and get them back on track!
"During one of my workshops last year in Boston, Brad Ovenell-Carter (@braddo) put his visual notetaking skills to action. I took his lovely summary drawing and used ThingLink to add layers of information and elaboration."
What data should be considered to ensure your course redesign efforts are successful? Course redesign can be a major undertaking, but utilizing the data derived from your existing course can inform your decisions on what areas need to be targeted.
"“Imagine a classroom where everyone started off an academic year with an “A” grade, and in order to keep the grade, a pupil had to show continuous improvement throughout the year. In this classroom, the teacher would have to dock points from a pupil’s assessment when his or her performance or achievement was inadequate, and pupils would work to maintain their high mark rather than to work up to it. How would this affect effort, expectations, performance, and assessment relative to current practice?”
This is one of the questions we pose in our report Everyone Starts with an A, which explores the application of behavioural insight to educational policy and practice.
Using research from behavioural science and our evolving understanding of human nature, we explore how effort, motivation, learning enjoyment, resilience, and overall performance at school can be influenced in ways not often traditionally recognised."
"ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopment disorders. People with ADHD find it hard to concentrate on a single chore at a time, however, though they are strong symptoms of ADHD, lack of inattention or focus alone is not enough to diagnose somebody as having ADHD.
To help teachers learn more about ADHD, here are two awesome infographics I want you to have a look at."
"Once it’s begun, you can’t fully separate the person from the task. When the artist is painting, the painter and the act of painting become a single "thing." The emerging artwork becomes a part of it all, too. As a teacher, your "self" is embedded within your teaching -- which is how it goes from a job to a craft. The learning results are yours. You probably call those young people in the classroom "your" students.
The same goes for students as well. There is a pleasing kind of string between the eight-year-old playing Minecraft and his or her digital creation. This is the magic of doing.