“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
For my maker education project I was able to do two different things. First, I created a Snap Guide How to of how to make one of my favorite lunch sandwiches. Second, I was able to create a maker challenge for students in grades 4-8. I think that both of these projects were things that could easily be reciprocated in a classroom and help engage students in learning. Students love to engage in activities outside the traditional way of learning. Each of these projects have ways that they can be used in the classroom and it also provides students with what they want in a learning experience.
For the first project, I decided to use the app Snap guide to make a How to Make a Ham and Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Although this is a food item and not something that you create in a classroom, the idea of the app is something that could be extremely useful in the classroom. The way the app works is to allow you to make a how to tutorial of absolutely anything. It can either be a photo how to or a video how to whatever is easier for what you are wanting to do. I think this could be a fun weekly project for student to create whether it pertains to the lesson they are currently learning about in a class or if it is a how to guide for studying. It engages them in learning outside of the traditional classroom and allows for some creativity and fun in their learning.
The second project was a maker challenge for students that were in grades 4-8. This was a minute to win it challenge called “suck it up”. It is a fun game to play with anyone and is a good way to bond people together. I have played this with my team at team bonding retreats and it is a fast paced game that teaches you a lot about teamwork. Students have to divide up in teams and bring M&M’s across the room only using a straw. Getting them engaged and up out of their seats is extremely helpful especially in grades 4-8. Most of the students are in classes all day and are looking for anyway to get out of their seats and get moving. I would use this tool as a way for them to wake up and get excited about learning. There are endless ways to make this game competitive and give students rewards for winning only to increase their incentive to play and put forth effort.
When thinking about the Universal Design for Learning, each of these activates are in line with what engages students. It specifies each area of the brain that we gather information, perform tasks in order to display what we have learned, and how learners can stay more engaged and motivated to learn. This maker education project is a way for students to stay engaged and motivated to learn. It allows them to have a hands on experience with an app or a game and provides a great opportunity for teachers to use each small moment as a teaching moment or connect it back to their lesson plan. As a student, I enjoy having a hands on learning environment. It is nice to be able to participate in new things the help me understand a topic better. There are so many apps that are being made in order for you to engage in fun videos, draw, or play games. A lot of them are created for learning.
All of this ties in to the idea of student voice. It allows students to share their values, opinions, beliefs, and perspectives of what they like to do and why. It gets away from the traditional style of learning and let the student feel a part of their own learning environment. Technology is a an amazing way for teachers to let students have a voice. They are able to tailor their lessons in order to add technology in the mix. Nowadays, technology is given a bad reputation as far taking away the attention of students and having them focus on the wrong things. However, if looked at differently, technology can be used to change the way students learn. It can help them learn faster and more efficiently. It gives them the freedom to learn and search things on their own. Overall, technology has sped up the learning process and allowed for us to have access to things that we never would have without it. Students can stay engaged and be creative with the way they retain information. It allows them to do research in order to teach a lesson themselves, and gets them engaged in a different way other than just sitting in a desk and raising their hand. Technology continues to shape our world and it is our duty to embrace it instead of blame it.