Erin Riley

About Erin Riley

Erin Riley

Greenwich Academy, United States - Erin is Visual Arts Department Chair and a Director of the Engineering and Design Lab at Greenwich Academy.

Posts by Erin Riley

What do people learn from using digital fabrication tools?

by on August 15, 2015 10:46 pm
In response to the question of what one actually learns from 3D printing, I thought more deeply about the work we do in our school. While I know conceiving an idea and shepherding it into a tangible form is significant, it is important to be able to articulate its value within an educational setting. It’s… Read more What do people learn from using digital fabrication tools?

Teaching rights

by on March 7, 2015 11:42 pm
Here’s an idea that can be larger in scope or can be used to manage your maker space. I was inspired last fall while visiting the Lighthouse Creativity Lab in Oakland, where Aaron Vanderwerff teaches, by their excellent punchcard system for designating users and granting teaching rights for tools and machines in their space. Another… Read more Teaching rights

What can these scraps reveal?

by on March 1, 2015 10:39 pm
Twice a week I coach an Odyssey of the Mind team.  All week I collect scraps, recyclables and cast away objects to bring to meetings for them to peruse.  The process of searching through these materials inspires the gadgets they create, the props they invent, and costumes they fashion.  Through the practice of re-purposing and… Read more What can these scraps reveal?

Sequencing activities to support discovery

by on January 2, 2015 9:01 pm
In the quest to create an authentic student-driven learning experience I find myself thinking a lot about the role of a maker educator as facilitator.  If I were to distill what that ideal is for me, it would be to provide an environment where students could find their own way creatively, all the while gaining… Read more Sequencing activities to support discovery

Where the circle overlaps, thinking about the "A" in STEAM

by on January 1, 2015 8:56 pm
I have been thinking about STEAM. STEAM supporters believe STEM should be updated to include creativity, innovation and aesthetics. Are we thinking of this like a Venn diagram, merging form (from the artistic side) to function (from the scientific side) or an extra component to add to the mix, enhancing work in STEM?  Either way, arts… Read more Where the circle overlaps, thinking about the "A" in STEAM

Drawing: a visual language for Makers

by on December 28, 2014 8:00 pm
Drawing is like writing, using pictures instead of words.  It is a form of communication that can be useful, expressive, descriptive and observational.  It provides form to visual ideas.  Including drawing as part of the process of making things is fun and provides a good framework for understanding 2D and 3D design. Enclosed is a… Read more Drawing: a visual language for Makers

The power of Making what you can Imagine

by on December 28, 2014 7:51 pm
Several years ago while while teaching an upper level drawing class I noticed that some of my students were struggling to understand 3D space on the 2D drawing plane.  In an effort to help these and future students, I reimagined a way of keeping track of studio projects based on where they might be organized… Read more The power of Making what you can Imagine

Hooray for group work!

by on July 13, 2014 10:22 pm
To an educator, summer brings much needed time for slowing down, reflection, and professional development. I had the opportunity to travel to NH to attend a most unusual, “minds-on” institute where you hang out with interesting maker educators and take the time to explore your ideas. Constructing Modern Knowledge began with a preview of the… Read more Hooray for group work!

It's all theirs

by on March 27, 2014 7:27 pm
It’s too easy in a creative work environment, to be overly concerned about the end product.  We may have a vision in our minds of what we would like students to produce and even how they might get there; however, when we predetermine what that project will become by restricting process and regimenting our environment… Read more It's all theirs

No mistakes

by on March 27, 2014 7:24 pm
Acting as a studio and lab teacher requires providing not only materials, inspiration, and a problem to tackle, but also a bit of redirecting student desire to focus on the end product. Conversely, the path of a creative thinker can be a non-linear one, resembling alphabet soup more than a direct path from A to… Read more No mistakes

Archived Blog Posts by Erin Riley