Documenting, connecting big ideas, and sharing – what makes “making” work

The 2014/2015 FabLearn Fellows cohort is a diverse group of 18 educators and makers. They represent eight states and five countries, and work with a wide range of ages at schools, museums, universities and non-profits. Throughout the course of the year, they will develop curriculum and resources, as well as contribute to current research projects. Their blogs represent their diverse experience and interests in creating better educational oportunities for all.

February 2015 blog highlights:

Documenting a project using a “failures box” – by Susanna Tesconi

Susanna writes about using a “failures box” not only as a way to keep iterations and prototypes of student work, but also as a support for documentation and reflection. Seeing these artifacts as chapters in a story, rather than trash creates an expectation that failure is part of the forward progress, not something shameful.


Making and the Reggio Emilia Approach: Making the Connection by Jaime Bartels via Christa Flores

In this guest post, Jaime responds to his participation in a workshop exploring connections between the Reggio Emilia movement and “making” in the classroom, and his reactions to a visit to the “Wonder of Learning” exhibition of Reggio Emilia work now showing in Brooklyn, NY. Jaime makes connections between the “..the role of teacher in a maker space and that of the traditional pedagogista and atelierista of the Reggio Emila philosophy of education.” He makes the case as well that “..the environment must exist in a didactic role, as a teacher itself,” and explores how the Montessori teaching philosophy of “teacher as observer” relates as well.


Overview – Lighthouse Creativity Lab by Aaron Vanderwerff

A common question is “how does making in the classroom work in real schools?” Towards this, Aaron contributes a useful overview of the Lighthouse Creativity Lab, a public charter school that embeds making into a standards based curriculum (Common Core and Next Generation Science).


Make the space speak to the kids: Experience from a visit at Bourn Idea Lab by Nalin Tutiyaphuengprasert

Nailin shares her observations from a visit to the Bourn Idea Lab at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. She documents her thoughts about the learning dynamics, thoughtful planning, and culture she witnessed. She concludes that there were “3 Ps” that stood out: people, platform, and process.


Global Space Balloon – Engaging Kids in Something Big by Mark Schreiber

Pics in Space! is the team name for Frontier Acadamy’s Global Space Balloon Challenge entry. The balloon will travel to near-space, taking photos of the earth and sky with contributed photos at the center of the action! Mark shares his project management tips for keeping a large project like this on track while still maintaining a student-driven, student-centered approach.