Maker Movement Isn’t For Everyone

In my EC&I class we had a guest speaker, Sylvia Libow Martinez, who wrote the book Invent To Learn.  She talked to us about the maker movement and shared many of her ideas with us.  To be perfectly honest, I had no clue what she was saying for most of her presentation.  She was excited about the topic and she used lots of fun words like Makey Makey.  My seven year daughter watched her presentation with me.  She was so excited and thought that we needed to get some of the materials that Sylvia had mentioned.   She showed us what a Makey Makey was and what it did.  I decided to order one even though I still really didn’t have a clue.   When our Makey Makey arrived my two daughters decided to explore and play with it.  My 9 year old is a thinker, she likes things to be just so, and she doesn’t like to take risks.  My 7 year old is a risk taker and a colour out of the line sort of kid.   They are complete opposites and both had different experiences with the Makey Makey.   My 9 year old was frustrated that it didn’t work exactly as she thought it should.  She got frustrated and walked away telling me that I had wasted my money.  My 7 year old was engaged and played with the Makey Makey for a long time using different materials.  Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of tinkering with the Makey Makey.  My 9 year old and I have similar personalities.  This experience has taught me to think more outside of the box and to find ways to engage my 7 year old with her tinkering projects.  I teach grade 2 and have many students who like to tinker.  I need to find ways to embrace their tinkering play.  My plan is to get my hands on Sylvia’s book and invest in some more materials.  I will provide tinker time and see what happens!  A classroom is filled with many different types of learners and tinkering is definitely one way to learn.

“Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.” 

Do you like to tinker?

Are there any materials that you think are a must have for my tinker box?

IMG_0575Look at her concentrate!

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2 thoughts on “Maker Movement Isn’t For Everyone

  1. Good for you, Shannon for making the effort to allow your children to try the Makey Makey, even though it wasn’t your cup-of-tea, it was for one of your daughters. My father had the ability to make something from nothing and passed that on to his sons, particularly my youngest (but older) brother, who is happiest when he is tinkering with something–he just loves figuring things out and what Sylvia’s talk made me realize is that I need to be willing to take risks, even if I fail, so this past weekend, I tinkered with iMovie, which freaked me out, but I found things out. It’s so much easier just to be shown and told how to do things, but I think our generation has lost that old-fashioned notion of fingering things out for ourselves, and it’s so important for the development of creativity. This is how new ideas are generated and invented.

  2. Very cool Shannon that you tried this at home with your kids! I think I would also relate to your 9 year old. I want the instructions that go with the Legos to tell me what to make and how to make it, I don’t just want the Legos. I did order Sylvia’s book, but haven’t got around to reading it.

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