Category Archives: Mechanical Applications of Technology EDET 677

EDET 677 Final Project Club Planning Document Rubric

Aleta May

EDET 677 Mechanics of Technology

August 2016 Final Project for Dr. Lee Graham

Club Planning Document Rubric

“The mission of the Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) is to ensure bilingual, culturally appropriate and effective education for all students, thereby providing them with the opportunity to be responsible, productive citizens.”

Technology has a 2016-2019 Technology Plan Timeline:

The section that draws my attention the most is B. Technology Integration. We need broadband width / speed, etc, but it is vital that we begin integrating technology into students’ everyday curriculum by learning, and bravely “jumping in” as teachers. The School district mission points out the words opportunity, responsible, and productive citizens. Technology Integration for self confidence in our 21st Century goals for careers and in our students’ confidence to make their place well in this world.

2016-2019 Technology Plan Timeline
A. Goals. Standards, and Strategies
Plan Element Task Responsible Party Funding Source Completion Date
Internet Access Evaluation of Network District Technology Needs (Bandwidth) Technology Coordinator TAI Department TAI Budget October 30, 2016
Continue E-rate Process (Contract Expires June 30, 2017) Technology Coordinator TAI Budget Pending E-rate Deadlines
VTC Evaluation of VTC Infrastructure VTC Equipment, Bandwidth Technology Coordinator TAI VTC Team TAI Budget August 28, 2015
Evaluation of VTC Instructor’s Needs Instructor Comments/Concerns Technology Coordinator TAI VTC Team
VTC Instructors
TAI Budget General Fund August 1, 2015- December 15, 2015
PD Technology Coordinator District PD Coordinator TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
B. Technology Integration
Readiness Ensure Completion of Above Task Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Collaboration Creation of the Technology Advisory Committee Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Needs Assessment Survey Technology Coordinator TAI Budget December 15, 2015
Collaboration With Content Experts Technology Coordinator DAPS Department TAI Budget General Fund December 15, 2015
Timeline Technology Plan Timeline Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Technology Integration Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Technology Standards Tied to Core Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
C. Access
Fund Use E-rate/NSLP Survey Data Collection Technology Coordinator
Site Administrators/ Site Staff
TAI Budget Site Budget October 1, 2015
E-rate/NSLP Survey Data Compilation Technology Coordinator TAI Budget October 31, 2015
Budget Inventory Analysis Technology Coordinator Assistant Superintendent Business Manager TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
Parental/Community Communication and Involvement Stakeholder Surveys Technology Coordinator TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Community VTC Technology Coordinator TAI VTC Team TAI Budget January 15, 2016
Social Networking Tools Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
Expenditures E-rate Funds BIA Analysis Technology Coordinator TAI Budget October 31, 2015
D. Professional Development
PD Plan Core Curriculum PD District PD Coordinator General Fund January 15, 2016
Technology PD Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
Technology Integration Across Content Areas Core Content/ Technology Integration Technology Coordinator Core Content Experts Technology Integration Specialist TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
E. Assessment
District Assessment District Report Card
Previous 3-years to Reflect Changes
Technology Coordinator Testing Coordinator TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
Maintenance of Evaluation of Network Technology Coordinator TAI Budget October 30, 2016
Equipment and Hardware District Technology Needs (Bandwidth), VTC Needs, Etc… TAI Department
E-Rate Compliance Social Networking Presence LKSD Website Presence Classroom Presence Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist
TAI Department
TAI Budget General Fund Site Budget January 15, 2016
Internet Safety Policy Internet Safety Policy Review Meeting #1 Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist
Technology Advisory Committee
TAI Budget General Fund September 30, 2015
Internet Safety Policy Review Meeting #2 Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist
Technology Advisory Committee
TAI Budget General Fund November 30, 2015
Internet Safety Policy Final Review Technology Coordinator Technology Integration Specialist
Technology Advisory Committee
TAI Budget General Fund January 15, 2016
Public Notice and Hearing Internet Safety Policy Public Hearing LKSD School Board LKSD Board Funds TAI Budget General Fund January Board Meeting
Submission to EED 2016-2019 Technology Plan Technology Coordinator TAI Budget Pending State Deadline

Evaluating the innovation of Technology Purchase, Equity and Integration

 One way to know some of these goals have been met is not by using a check off list, rather embedding the use of technology into instruction. Serena Pariser “wanted her middle school students to have deeper dialogues about literature. She tested two different tools to support small-group conversations: TodaysMeet and Padlet” (Pollock, p. 43). With TodaysMeet, students typed contributions about the novel they were reading rather than talking face to face. In Padlet, students brainstormed and typed their responses simultaneously onto the screen. This in particular encouraged students to talk about the comments in their small groups immediately. Students could also use iPads to see each other’s thinking. “Tech use supports what students are learning rather than usage being the end goal itself (2016, Pollock, p. 43). Equity does not mean an equivalent device in every student’s hand, it means smart use of technology.

“ 1. What’s your equity vision for students in your classroom?

2. What tech did you experiment with to see if it could help achieve that visio?

3.  What did you do with your students to test that use of technology and how did it go?     (Show the pros and cons for students.)

4.  What’s your conclusion about how ‘smart’ that tech use was for achieving your equity vision?” (Pollock, 2016, p. 42).

Asking myself and other educators, these questions is a quality template for evaluating our innovations.

To organize the beginning of our makerspace at Lewis Angapak Memorial School (LAMS), I am using questions from Jennifer Cooper, Sept. 30, 2013.

When will the space be used? and Where in the school would be ideal? What considerations are important?

The Makerspace will be during school, in the library, my small room, and in classrooms. More questions proposed by Cooper (2013) are questions I ask as I plan a during school club for our school:

What range of “subjects’ will be taught in the space? What types of activities and projects could be done there?

This needs to be left up to teachers’ imagination as to what is needed to make connections between making and the standards they are making in class.

Which tools are most needed? Will digital fabrication tools such as CNC routers, laser cutters or 3D printers be included? Which materials will be used?

I believe the priority is 3D printers and electronic kits. Woodworking routers sound great as well; we will need newer models to assure safety guards are in place.

Who are the kids that will be using the space? Will others use the space as well? Who is staffing and managing the space?—This question speaks volumes to me about keeping the makerspace student-centered:

Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab

Statements extracted, from Dr. Seymour Papert’s big ideas that support the atmosphere in the design of my makerspace:

  1. “We learn best of all when we use what we learn to make something we really want.”
  2. If you can use technology to make things, you can make a lot more interesting things.
  3. “…fun and enjoying doesn’t mean ‘easy.’ The best fun is hard fun.”
  4. “Many students get the idea that ‘the only way to learn is by being taught.’ . . . You have to take charge of your own learning.”
  5. “To do anything important you have to learn to manage time for yourself. This is the hardest lesson for many of our students.”
  6. “The only way to get it right is to look carefully at what happened when it went wrong.”
  7. “The best lesson we can give our students is to let them see us struggle to learn.”
  8. “. . . learning about computers is essential . . . BUT the most important purpose is using them NOW to learn about everything else” (Stager, 2006 in Martinez & Stager, 2013).

How will it be built? Is a new or separate structure needed, and if so what type? What is the budget? Will the design and construction team be a combination of contractor and volunteers, all-volunteer or fully contracted?

This will happen by work order with our maintenance staff. Although this is embedded in the school budget, they have many tasks to complete.

More items to budget for are based on these facts: In Spencer & Juliani, (2016), a great way of reasoning as to why students will not stay on the same projects; particularily as they get older and more diverse in interests, skills, abilities, mindset, etc.; was to ask, “Why have the same training when everyone is on different levels?” (p. 29). The Industrial Arts teacher who was quoted started developing a new class titled “Creative Design and Engineering” (p. 29). Because of this, I can visualize many tools and materials, organized into areas like electronics, but with a sewing machine (with heavy duty needles for metallic conductive threads) nearby for designing fabrication with LED lights.

Accessible to the fabric and sewing area, there would be a 3D copier corner that may require “borrowing” certain types of metal thread, from the electronics section, for binding together clothing pieces created on the 3D machine that used a plastic type of filament. Overlapping these areas will be materials used to create classy curtains, and a fabric steamer to watch the effects of steam as wrinkles are released—then ask, “Why does this work?” Next to this area is a “LilyPad Arduino, an electronic textile construction it” (Telhan, Kafai, & Litts, 2016, p. 232) that activates through sensors and human touch and can be used on felt fabric. Students could experiment by connecting circuits “by incorporating conductive patches into the sleeve’s end” (p.228) for a fun way to study how electricity conducts through different types of metal threads/tapes.

Another section would be set up with a variety of regular school supplies that are in easy reach. Items include scissors, a variety of tapes, markers of different types, colored and drawing pencils and sketch paper; brass fasteners, clips, clamps, staplers, and glue. Paints that include oils, watercolors, tempra, and a small spray-paint compressor for larger temporary displays. The point here is to include sections that inspire the artistic senses as students use their imaginations to represent their thinking that is usually tied to a classroom project, standard, or other goal.

Another area, likely upstairs, would be set up for repairing or remixing old bicycles around the village. There would be a water area for finding air leaks and figuring out why certain tire patch adhesives work better than others. Wood materials for building replicas of the boardwalk in tundra that depicts, shifting from the effects of temperature.

A science section would include an area for making models of the earth (including electronic population LED light representations), water samples from the river, clay for showing layers, and items for creating astronomy representations. With Arduino boards and computers, the options are endless.

Presently, we just found out this week that the Material Request Funds (MRFs) that were placed for this fall were not filled. The situation that was described to us was very unfortunate. I am sure this will slow down the original idea of starting out with 3D printers, since classroom books and supplies will have to be reordered now. But our Site Administrator still wants to clear space(s) for electronic makerspace activities and robotics. This is high on his budget list for this year.

Other funding strategies are to go to the school board and ask for Corporation money to purchase big ticket items like a 3D printer, or a set of electronic kits for middle school science. There are grants for technology and student populations who have a low income. Also, there are stores who will donate some funding or supplies at cost for the maker space. These avenues are all certainly worth looking into.

I did look up the Leapfrog Creatr 3D Printer, 200X270 X230 mm Maximum Build Dimensions 0.05-mm Maximum Resolution; ABS, Laybrick Nylon, PLA, and PVA Filament. What I noted is that this is a name brand, but also that the price range for a 3D printer that can last serve the elementary is wide: $813.79-$2,870.04. I not a range of comparable 3D printers on a chart in class, but not knowing what is best for our students living out in rural areas for long term maintenance, I would defer to discussion with out District Technology Director, Kevin McCalla.

Some Items beginning from youngest to older students; mostly taken from

Makey Makey – Invention Kit $49.95

LightUp Tesla Kit (Bluetooth Edition $70. to $100.)

Wearable electronics would have to include the purchase and or donation of fabrics if combined with the sewing projects of Kuspuks:

LilyPad Arduino 320 Main Board  21.95

Adafruit Gemma—Miniature Wearable Arduino-like Electronic Platform $10.34

Squishy Circuits Kit—25.00 + 5.49 shipping

The Official Arduino Starter Kit Deluxe Bundle with Make: Getting Started with Arduino: The Open Source Electronics Prototyping…by Arduino  $149.95

One good point about location is that it needs to be spaced properly to avoid being overcrowded, and it needs to be focused on visibility of students to facilitators.

I especially appreciate the word cross-pollination and that the activities might include:

  • Cardboard construction
  • Prototyping
  • Electronics
  • Robotics (like Arduino and Lego Robotics)
  • Digital fabrication
  • Building bicycles and kinec sensor machines (that may include Kinect for XBOX 360)
  • Textiles and sewing

Supplies and rules for safety:

Of course, no makerspace is complete without a well-marked and accessible first-aid kit. I believe one for smaller cuts or scrapes needs to be additional to one that is geared to more serious injuries. Thin gloves need to be available for prevention of the spread of blood borne pathogens. Kits like this need to be in makerspaces, and should be close by to each classroom. This is a point that cannot just be assumed. Also, a fire extinguisher needs to be within quick reach.

Clean up procedures posted and frequently referred to keeps the makerspace area organized and safe. In the Hublinka (2013) article, I see the chant on page 1; “Protect. Double-check. Aim away. Clamp it. Focus. Never play.” This is a good idea for avoiding accidents for younger students, but I think it needs to be accompanied by a chart with changeable pictorial examples.

Sustainability and Updating

 The initial investment will be to spend time and effort cleaning areas out; such as getting rid of encyclopedias and other reference books that have not been used in at least 10 years. Then I believe we need pegboard and tool cabinets with drawers to organize our space. Student ownership will include leaving time for students to put away tools, sweep, and clean up the space daily before the next group uses the makerspace.

Another way to sustain a space is to invite community participation; such as a maker day where parents / community are invited to attend (Martinex & Stager, 2013) and just keep them informed about what is going own at school. Here is a piktochart infographic I made as an example:

My own question is how to start organizing the strategies for getting our makerspace off to a great start?

The strategy below reminds me of a jigsaw strategy, but I am thinking it is more like a Reciprocal Teaching program that, while developed for reading can be applied to students in a Makerspace working in pairs or small groups and actually asks themselves “what does this mean?” Metacognition is thinking about what you are thinking—

Metacognition informs you when you encounter something interesting

or substantive; . . . when you reread a passage [in the case of a makerspace,

rethink a failed attempt] with frustration because meaning did not flow to

you at first (Carter, 1997).

Metacognition in reading reminds me of Fadel’s Curriculum Redesign that is named Meta-Learning. At the center is 21st Century Education (which really is student-centered), with knowledge, skills, and character overlapping to “Imagine deeper learning. . .”

Novice makers like novice readers, interact with items and books and experience these according to how “their prior experience is activated” (Carter, 1997). Flexibility in using a variety of strategies derived from the facilitator, peers, or other sources help students add to what they know with the current situation they are presently in.

Here is a strategy model that can create a framework for organizing my teaching which Dr. Pravin Bhatia (I added brackets) I have provided an analogy from Reciprocal Reading from Palenscar to Bhatia’s model provided in a YouTube link in references below:

  • Step 1 Divide students into groups of 6 (or fewer).
  • Step-2 Dividing the subject matter within those groups [or divide students according to their interests and perhaps get them going into different tasks toward a cause].
  • Step-3 Each group reads [discusses] the portion allotted to it (silently read [research online, interview others, draw]; better to read [watch video clips together with audio] than to listen so they get the ideas even when they cant get the words [which gives them visual ideas to go with the words].
  • Step-4 Each group discusses the topic (this discussion is the most important part). [Students bring together what they found out and get started together.] This is peer learning. The teacher goes from table to table group. The teacher clarifies difficulties.
  • Step –5 Each group then in turn, presents it’s portion to the whole class. (communication and analyze skills are learned by doing this)
  • Step-6 All students ask questions from the group. This is where the most analyzing come from..

I believe this model can be a framework for weaving in Makerspace activities, electronics, coding, explaining what worked and what did not work. Teachers and students reflect at the end of the day.

Student ownership of learning is major. Grant Lichtman at TEDxDenverTeachers noted this as well. “He also said schools need to be creative, dynamic, permeable, adaptive, relevant, and self-correcting.”

Environmental Atmosphere

Intellectual design space—a growth mindset that promotes a belief that, students can make and create; with both computer and resources around them; individually and together. The growth mindset simply means that students are encouraged to try, not to be concerned with perfection, yet to develop a mentality of trying again, a different way, and being willing to consult peers or experts for ideas and ways of trying a new direction. “Creation is the heart of creativity and is only meaningful when grounded in action – it’s not a feeling, a mindset, or an outcome (Martinez & Stager, p. 80)”

When students walk into my ideal Makerspace area, the room will be organized, inviting, and have areas that invite from a variety of interests. Seymour Paper strikes the balance well: “The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 157).

The areas will be set up to invite both young students and older students. A major area of focus will be incorporating technology into each project at some level. For younger students, they may use MaKey Makey Kickstarter There will be Arduino-based projects for middle school students and up. Some middle school students may start with other types of circuitry projects if they are overly frustrated with Arduino projects (Martinez & Stager).
I will need to model for my students, as well as, help students develop a “Growth Mindset: Positing that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence” (Fadel, p. 4).

To maintain a strong growth mindset, where students believe in themselves that they can do something new, we as teachers need to take on what it is like for beginners:

This same PDF from Stanford explains that it is important to take on a beginner’s mindset during the activities.

  • Don’t judge.  Observing makers does not include adding one’s own value judgments regarding “their actions, circumstances, decisions, or ‘issues’”
  • Question everything.  A four year old might repeatedly ask “why,” so one way to handle this is to ask “why” back. Look at things from the perspective of the maker.
  • Be truly curious.  Also be filled with wonder, even if the circumstance presents as uncomfortable or familiar.
  • Find patterns.  What are some themes or threads that seamless crossover in interactions between participants or their project making.
  • Really.  As leaders, we plan for events. This may become a deep-rooted and fixed mindset. Be open to what partcipants say—avoid jumping to advise. site

Additionally, I the students need to understand that teachers can be open about how they are learning along with the students on many projects. This is teaching by example. Hlubinka, et al. (2013), reminds us that we are all makers. It may be difficult to stay ahead of students, but it will get easier over time—with experience. The advice given on p. 22 is “Let it go. . . . “just be reassured that nobody expects you to be an expert in everything.”

The teaching learning process in the classroom is dynamic; “. . . it flows back and forth from students to teachers” (Barseghian, 2011). Teaching students is dynamic in that while we teach, we also learn.

An important role of the Makerspace Coordinator is that he/she “knows about the usage and safety of the tools in the shop” (Hlubinka, Dougherty, Thomas, Chang, et al., 2013, p. 19). This will need to be learned and practiced prior to running “safety training for all who use the Makerspace” (p. 19).

Learner-Centered Instruction

As far back as Jean Piaget (1896-1980), he reminded teachers to ground teaching in action, not rote memorization; and to begin “with real and material action” (Libow-Martinez & Stager, book, p. 14); and Piaget’s collegue, Seymour Papert, would later frame the educational establishment’s favoring of the former approach over the latter as a battle between instructionism and constructionism” (Libow-Martinez & Stager, book, p. 14).

John Dewey (1859-1952) promoted the interdisciplinary learning based in authentic projects; thus preparing children to observe, problem solve and create methodical procedures for expressing their reasoning. Dewey was concerned with viewing the process of learning from the point of view that children are more than intellectual beings! They are social, emotional, and physical. Modern making can be expressed in the words of John Dewey: “First, that the problem grows out of the conditions of the experience being had in the present, . . . the new facts and new ideas thus obtained become the ground for further experiences in which new problems are presented. The process is a continuous spiral” (Libow-Martinez & Stager, book, p. 14).

Is today’s maker movement based in such theories? In my view, yes! We have so much constructive technology available to us now. We can socially communicate our understanding and build our knowledge just from discussing our reasoning, ideas, and thoughts by way of hands-on technology. Considering this list alone, children and adults alike can communicate to create by using “3D printers, robotics, microprocessors, wearable computers, e-textiles, “smart” materials, and new programming languages” (Libow-Martinez & Stager, article, p. 13). Both formally and informally, any person can use sharing tools and find ideas with instructions online.

Born in 1928, in South Africa, Seymour Papert may inadvertently be the originator of the modern day term, metacognition. He was an advocate of “coercion-free learning environments that inspire children to construct powerful ideas through firsthand experience” (Martinez & Stager, book, p. 18).

The purpose of project-based learning, that includes constructionism as well as constructivism, is to develop learning within context. In one way, this is not new thinking. As the chapter opens up on page 11, it states: “Making things and then making those things better is at the core of humanity” (Martinez & Stager, book). The difference now can be that with the computer age and multi-devices, “New open source microcontrollers, sensors, and interfaces connect the physical world to the digital world” (Martinez & Stager, article, p. 13). We can program computer devices to use as controllers to make connections between the digital and physical worlds.

Constructionism definitely brings old ideas back into the schools in an age that has more opportunity than ever to bridge technology to making and creating for real purposes.

Constructive technology has received its heritage from tinkering! It is constructionism versus Instructionism; and the framework of making, creating, is built upon an interdisciplinary point of view (Martinez & Stager, book, 2013).

Instructionism has the teacher imparting knowledge to students with little consideration for how one subject (discipline) is related to another. The students are receivers of knowledge in this theory of teaching. What is often not considered is that the learner has an internal set of schemata (preformed ways of understanding based on what they already know from prior experiences).


We need to involve students in real making, real technology projects and problem solving for real needs in our world to bring them to an outside view of the world. As educators, Instructionism has ruled for so long, many of us have decided we cannot integrate creativity into our teaching. We can. Perhaps what we are learning from all of this now is that it is purposeful and we are already almost 17 years into the 21st Century. It is time to step off the instructionism ship, and take the necessary risks on the constructive technology and constructionism yacht and launch off into the new horizon with fearless optimism.


Barseghian, T. (5 Feb., 2011). Mind/Shift How we will learn. Three trends that define the future of teaching and learning, (pp. 1-8). KQED News, Retrieved on July 5, 2016.

Bhatia, P., Dr. (November 20, 2014). A teaching technique for the 21st Century. TEDxNagpur:

Carter, C. J. (1997). How children learn, 54(6), pp. 64-68¢.aspx

Cooper, J. (September 30, 2013). Designing a school makerspace. edutopia. J. Cooper, Designer, maker and gardening teacher in Oakland, CA. Cooper picture of construction makerspace retrieved on 7-4-16 at:

Fadel, C. (2016). 21ST century competencies. Independent School, 75(2), pp. 20-26. Here is a YouTube link to a 1 hour 18 minute webinar by

Charles Fadel, published on March 8, 2016:

Makerspace team: including Hlubinka, M., Dougherty, D., Thomas, P., Chang, S., Hoefer, S., Alexander, I., McGuire, D. Vanderwerff, A., Scott, B. and pilot school teachers (Spring 2013). Makerspace Playbook School Edition. Retrieved 7-5-16: Maker Media—Creative Commons license (pp. 17-31).

Martinez., S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. (Chapter 11) Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Pollock, M. (2016). Smart tech use for equity. Teaching Tolerance.

EDET677 Reflection–EQ: How have you, and will you, continue to “Learn the 21st Century” and allow your students this experience in your classroom?

Aleta May

Week 11 Reflection EDET677

Best practice strategy instruction is part of making, creating, and coding. Subjects are interdisciplinary. And known strategies that work for the teacher as the facilitator and mini-lesson explicit instructor may and should be combined with creative making (like art with LEDs; and building prototypes about what they are reading) to express learning.

Here is a video clip about a high school that has combined reading instruction with history and is using a strategy approach called reciprocal teaching in high school—this was posted only 3 months ago:

Through designated roles in the reading process, one student reads, another summarizes, other questions, while another predicts what’s going on next make sense of reading. They rotate through those roles. They benefit from the input of other students. Pre-reading with ideas, themes to build schema. The teacher rotates to each group. They usually need the most instruction in summarizing. They use sentence stems.

I had found a jigsaw strategy video clip for my initial post and thought about how this could apply to some of the ideas of the makerspace and working together in a group. As I now add into my reflection the strategy of reciprocal teaching, I can see many ways the structure of best practice protocols can and should be woven together with students working in small groups to help and learn from each other in small groups to begin structured working together in areas such as coding. One student may set up the Arduino, while another explains the instructions, and another adjust the code as needed and another takes notes on their findings. Then these roles could be summarized, and students could try on different roles.

Comments from classmates from my post:

josies677blog says:  July 31, 2016 at 1:58 pm (Edit)


Great information on your post. Using your students as a resource to say updated is a great avenue that I did not think of. I agree that we need to exercise our brains instead of using so many automated tools. Your strategy model from Dr. Pravin Bhatia did provide good in depth steps on how to organize teaching.

I loved it when the brain games became a trend. We use these games and other board games at our house for family bonding time. It is a great way to exercise our brains.


aletakmay says:  July 31, 2016 at 7:36 pm (Edit)


I love hearing about your family bonding time and how you use brain games. Today our daughter is getting married, and we will have 4 children living in our house here in Oregon; 2 from our daughter and 2 from our new son I am very inspired from what you said to think about following your lead when we come back here this winter. Our grandkids range from 8 (in Sept) through 13. We also have students who spend a lot of time in the resource room with husband at school. If you could give me the names of brain games or ideas, that would be much appreciated.


Sara Lucas says:  August 1, 2016 at 3:35 am (Edit)

You found some really great videos to add to your blog. I like how they address the topic that the world is changing and we need to evolve with it. We can’t stay stuck in the past. I like how in the video Andreas Schleicher makes the point that we don’t need to try to teach kids everything because Google already knows the answer. This made me chuckle. Rather trying to cram students brains full of information, we need to teach kids to apply their knowledge in new situations. The strategy by Dr. Pravin Bhatia is a great strategy. It sounds like what I have heard of as jigsaw. I didn’t think about using this in a makerspace, but it does sound like it would be perfect to wrap up students thoughts and share what they are learning.

Sara, I’m glad you enjoyed watching the video! It is so important that we teach kids how to access resources to teach themselves. It is amazing that we can speak into our phones or type a question into Internet/Google and find the answers! I believe there are good reasons to memorize, but to memorize names/dates/etc. In history, social studies and science seem irrelevant when we can simply access that information. It is much more important that we teach students about finding quality, reliable sources and comparing these to each other. It is also important to teach them to seek alternative perspectives.

My posts to classmates:


It is so true that technology spans a broad spectrum—from pencil to high-tech tablets. I still have a hard time thinking about a pencil as technology, yet it is a tool used for learning—thinking, drawing, problem-solving.

With so many options out there on the Internet for teachers, I just thought about how it may help us to take notes as to how we go through the process of narrowing down our choices for what is best for our students and selecting this. Then we may share this process with our students as they face the same issues. This reminds me of using think-alouds to allow students to learn from our processes we go through to comprehend text. We can think-aloud a recent process we went through to select an appropriate lesson for our students on a computer venue or lesson.



What a perfect list from Tsisana Palmer (2015). Thank you for sharing this.

I connected with the quote you placed in your blog from Dale Carnegie. Especially that “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.” This should be a motto on my emails.

When you stated that when students know more than we do, this allows us to shine, I thought to myself about how true this is. There seems to be a residual mindset among some students that if a teacher doesn’t know enough about a topic, they are no longer considered to be worthy of their time or respect. We need to change this. And like you said, there will “be times when we all struggle to figure something out.” Thank you for your insights!



It does seem to be very overwhelming to keep up with the enormity of the tasks and demands on instructional time; especially when we are asked to take on so many different things besides our position we actually contracted to do. Staying current through Twitter and Edutopia sound like a great idea.

Focusing on a Growth Mindset, especially in the fall, will set students up to your expectations; such as, they can and will do what is right.

The 5J approach you introduced is excellent advice! I especially like the one called just enough, the focus on gradually improving, becoming comfortable with new technologies and building confidence over practice sounds like a great focus that applies to the job-related, just in time, just in case, and just try it applications.

It seems to me that often we as professional educators are evaluated and rewarded in such ways as to compete, by convincing others and promoting ourselves as the most professional, confident educators; as if we are continually being interviewed. In reality, all of us need to be willing to grow, to help each other, and to just be willing to understand that we all have our own strengths—as well as all needing to grow. Educators need a Growth Mindset as well!



Reciprocal teaching in high school. WestEd iStudies 3 months ago. Retrieved on August 1st at:



EDET677 Initial Post: Essential Question: How have you, and will you, continue to “Learn the 21st Century” and allow your students this experience in your classroom?

Aleta May

Week 11 Initial Post

EDET678 Mechanic Applications of Technology

Essential Question: How have you, and will you, continue to “Learn the 21st Century” and allow your students this experience in your classroom?

To begin answering this question, I have kept up with education by not stopping at a M. S. in Special Education, but additionally completing a Reading Specialist M.A. in 2015 and continuing on with an Instructional Design and Technology, M.A. The courses I am taking now are building my understanding of Constructionist and Constructivist theories of learning. In this present post, I am challenged by my reading to do what I know is a best practice; thematic, relevant, and motivational education. This, (i.e., teaching each subject separately without an understanding of how one connects to the other) does not work:

To overcome the status quo of teaching traditional knowledge due to “the overwhelming amounts of prescribed content for each school year that allow little time to address skills” (Fadel, 2016, p. 3), I can have a primary subject area focus, while weaving in other content areas. While doing so, I will need to keep “Higher-order skills such as the ‘4 Cs’—creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration” (Fadel, p. 4) at the top of my list.

Additionally, at this siteI found a visual for what our students need. As an educator, I need to rise to the occasion and model integrating thematic/interdisciplinary instruction that leads us to “Imagine Deeper Learning.”

Imagine deeper learning in the 21st century.jpgSee slideshare link below and YouTube link for Curriculum Redesign.

As I challenge my students, I will focus on building character:

I will need to model for my students, as well as, help students develop a “Growth Mindset: Positing that talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence” (Fadel, p. 4).

Further, Dr Pravin Bhatia notes from (I took notes so you really do not need to watch this clip unless you want to.—I’ve seen this teaching strategy before recently and know it is a good one.

Become creative with good ideas. Draw ideas from students. Exercise our brain—stop using it mechanically only. Get away from long lecturing. What do we do then?

Here is a strategy model that can create a framework for organizing my teaching which Dr. Pravin Bhatia

  • Step 1 Divide students into groups of 6.
  • Step-2 Dividing the subject matter within those groups.
  • Step-3 Each group reads the portion allotted to it (silently read; better to read than to listen so they get the ideas even when they cant get the words.
  • Step-4 Each group discusses the topic (this discussion is the most important part). This is peer learning. The teacher goes from table to table group. The teacher clarifies difficulties.
  • Step –5 Each group then in turn, presents its portion to the whole class. (communication and analyze skills are learned by doing this)
  • Step-6 All students ask questions from the group. This is where the most analyzing come from..

I believe this model can be a framework for weaving in Makerspace activities, electronics, coding, explaining what worked and what did not work. Teachers and students reflect at the end of the day.

Student ownership of learning is major. Grant Lichtman at TEDxDenverTeachers noted this as well. “He also said schools need to be creative, dynamic, permeable, adaptive, relevant, and self-correcting.” Some schools are becoming adaptive and crossing subject boundaries. He found a student in Atlanta who is a 2nd Grader who told him, “we design, and build, and prototype, ideate, fail forward and fail upward.” As Lichtman said, and I agree, this child will never go back into the limited box of that industrial age model. I agree. My role is to push myself, so I will move even further away from that old model than I am now. Honestly, I have made somewhat of a pest of myself encouraging teachers to start using the blended learning model so that students get some part of their day growing from the level they are already at. So, I believe I can influence teachers further with what I have learned, and will continue to tinker with from this and the Emerging Technologies classes over this summer.


Bhatia, P., Dr. (November 20, 2014). A teaching technique for the 21st Century. TEDxNagpur:

Fadel, C. (2016). 21ST century competencies. Independent School, 75(2), pp. 20-26. Here is a YouTube link to a 1 hour 18 minute webinar by

Charles Fadel, published on March 8, 2016:

Lichtman, G. (2013).

Martinez, S. L. & Stager, G., Ph.D (2013). Invent to learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Storksdieck, M. (2016). Cultural Studies of Science Education, 11(1), pp. 167-182. -its-character-framework-complete-concise-clear-actionable-globally-relevant/

What should students learn for the 21st century? A four-dimensional education. ICenter for Curriculum Redesign. (February 1, 2016). Retrieved 7-27-16 at:

You Tube videos:

YouTube video for Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR): What should students learn for the 21st century? A four-dimensional education (January 18, 2016). and…

You Tube video: A teaching technique for the 2ast Century Dr. Pravin Bhatia TEDxNagpur

Initial Post Week 10, EDET677: Essential Question: Why does “Lewis Angapak Memorial School (LAMS)” need a Makerspace?

Aleta May

Initial blog week 10 EDET677

Essential Question: Why does “Lewis Angapak Memorial School (LAMS)” need a makerspace?

At Lewis Angapak Memorial School (LAMS), we serve a very, very high percentage of students who live in lower-income households. At the heart of a growth mindset is the students’ beliefs about whether “you can learn new things, but you can’t change a person’s intelligence” (Sparks, 2016, p. 2). Since “a growth mindset was a greater predictor of success for poor students than it was for their higher-income peers” (Sparks, 2016, p. 2), when persistence and grit were promoted, according to research completed by Claro, Dweck, and Paunesku in Chile with 168,000 10th Grade students. Students from poverty are more likely to have a fixed mindset, believing that they cannot change their skill sets or intelligence. I believe many students have this fixed mindset at LAMS.

For example, when new teachers come to our school to teach from an outside state, often I hear statements that reflect this fixed mindset. More specifically, the students have been taught overreliance on the teacher for help. Martinez & Stager (2013) have led me to realize that we are definitely not alone: “Kids have been taught through the years to expect teachers to spoon-feed them detailed recipes for success” (p. 190). What is even more eye opening is that “removing that safety net may cause some cognitive dissonance, especially for your most successful students” (Martinez & Stager, p. 190). We are on track in changing this at the elementary levels so that students have a growth mindset.

Furthermore, I believe incorporating technology and other creative making into the content areas will help students delve deeper into the meaning of what they are learning—in every content area. A Makerspace provides a place for creating with other students and can become a shared space that inspires students when they see other projects in the making.

At LAMS, we need two areas for Makerspaces. I have gone through this in more depth in another blog post; so in summary, one space would be for older students upstairs in our school with the more dangerous making tools while another would be in a portion of our library and in my room which is right next to the library.

To encourage a growth mindset across the grade levels this coming year, we need to begin with kits like the Arduino Circuits kits. For example, when students are taking physics this fall in 9th grade, there will be a section of the text devoted to learning about atoms, which fits exactly in with using kits to get started using hands on learning to build computational literacy. Students will learn programming and electronics (focusing on ‘how’) in the form of “material computational literacy” (Berland, 2016, p. 197) one of three components of computational literacy. Arduino Kits start students out with copy and paste code, and gradually build into adding code. Then our LAMS students need to discuss with each other and clearly articulate “to whom and for whom” through “social computational literacy.” The skills of explaining to others will build our students teaching and speaking skills along with technical skills. “Cognitive computational literacy” describes why (p. Berland, 197).

Specifically, students at LAMS may have a different way of viewing the world from the textbooks they encounter. “Schank argued that humans build up linked, recursive models (called scripts and schema) and learn when those models prove insufficient.” At LAMS, facilitated experimentation with “productive failure” in making and tinkering will guide our students toward how to analyze a problem through critique and evaluation. I appreciate how Berland states that “understanding the problem space—is a key move towards literacy rather than raw skill or knowledge” (p. 201).

Loertscher, Preddy, & Derry (2013) propose a model to describe a Maker, Using, Tinkering, Experimenting, and Creating (uTEC) Maker Model. This is how I visualize LAMS transitioning students from being teacher dependent to independent creating.

  • Beginning at the Using level, students “re-create something others have already created,” . . . follow “step-by-step instructions already developed by another to create . . . at the consuming level” (p. 3).
  • The Tinkering level, is a formative stage that involves “questioning the how  and why”; such as “altering code just to see what happens” (p. 3).
  • The Experimenting level, is where students leave behind things that others created and begin to design something new. This is the stage where “ideas begin to flow, trial and error are enacted as hour after hour slips by unnoticed” (p. 4). I want students at LAMS who are at this level to think critically and ask questions like: “I like this idea; not that. Does this work? What if? No, not right yet. . . . What if?” (p. 4).
  • At the highest level, Creating level, students will work to think independently and as a group to create “a novel product or design” p. 4). At this level, students share their intelligence as a collaborative group so that “what emerges is greater than the sum of the minds that created it.”

Here is an example of a young man in TED Talks developed through these stages from tinkering “In the Maasai community where Richard Turere lives with his family, cattle are all-important. But lion attacks were growing more frequent. In this short, inspiring talk, the young inventor shares the solar-powered solution he designed to safely scare the lions away.”

I agree with Berland who states that experimentation “requires prior understanding of the problem space . . . and with tinkering “learning what might happen through making semidirectedly and failing” . . . is “productive failure” (p. 201). The students at LAMS bring a perspective from their own environment that may require facilitating a bridge between what they know and understand within their own environment and what the textbook is teaching. Richard Turrere in the TED talks YouTube clip solved a problem with lions through an understanding of electronics he had built up over time. Being from different environments from the majority population does not equate a fixed mindset; rather it obliges the teacher (as well as administration’s responsibility to take responsibility for educating themselves on the importance of making at LAMS and the district level) to facilitate connecting that bridge.


Berland, M., Making, tinkering, and computational literacy (Chapter 12). In Makeology: Makers as learners (volume 2), (2016). Peppler, K., Halverson, E. R. and Kafai, Y. (Eds.). New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Loertscher, D.V., Preddy, L., & Derry, B. (2013). Makerspaces in the school library learning commons and the uTEC maker model. Teacher Librarian, 41(2), pp. 48-51.

Martinez, S. L. & Stager, G. (Ph.D.) (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Sparks, S.D. (July 20, 2016) . Growth mindset: How much can it counter poverty’s damage? Education Week’s Blogs

YouTube Video:

Turere, R. (Feb. 2013). My invention that made peace with lions. 7:20. TED. Retrieved 7-21-16.

Reflection Week 9, EDET677; Essential Question: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

Aleta May

Reflection Week 9

EDET677 Mechanical Applications of Technology

Essential Question: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

This week’s initial post was very productive for me! I learned about distinct/yet related elements that a Make Day consists of from readings.

Since the topic of advertising for a Maker Day came up, I created a piktochart infogram for an event at my school: I chose the design background to emphasize the design thinking and challenges that go with this.

I especially enjoyed reading from the site regarding how a facilitator of an event needs to participate—beginning with Don’t Judge—leaving out value judgments. Advice from also explains that although beginning a project with a prototype is beneficial, it should become a springboard for people to create their own ideas.

I was very excited to find a very up-to-date and just in time Maker Education: Reaching All Learners video clip to include in this post. It is an excellent overview of what making, using technology and ways to allow us to see students in action, safely using a variety of equipment.

Through the many resources listed in my reference section of this initial blog post, I can now refer back to ways to get making started and how it can look over time.

Below are responses I made to classmates, and replies I received back:


What an excellent idea to include other schools and the community at large. Even with our villages being separated from each other and the main district office. There is a budget for sports travel, Lego Robotics, and I’ve seen it come together at our school for students in our choir to fly to Dillingham and Nome. I wonder if we could set Maker Days in Bethel at the high school gym? I know it is not cost effective to send every school at once, or even reasonable, but I can visualize two things. One is to have Maker Days within our own school. Another is to bring perhaps bring in grade level groups to Bethel so they can see each other’s ideas and creations. Some adult chaperones (often a teacher and parents) from each community could attend.

Having committees “consider which locations in the school” to use and decorate, and another group planning the activities is a great way to organize the group. I had not thought of the pottery or the wide range of art in the list you made.

I noticed a sign at an Oregon Home Depot advertising for the vendors to come help people transplant a plant of their choice into a pot of their choice.

Also, I was not aware of culture camps supported by Native corporations. Maybe our students could be involved in these in grade level groups/ranges.



Mini maker faires sound like a good way for educators (like myself) who are new to setting up a multi-project event like this. Organizing the event into these 5 areas seems like a it would also lend itself well to delegating jobs to pairs or groups of staff members or community volunteers.

Thank you so much for sharing the Maker Challenges with 19 challenges list!

I think my favorite challenge, although it is difficult to narrow it down to one, is Musical Marshmallows


After reading your opening paragraph, I believe George Mason”s ideas merge well with Martinez and Stager. It seems that Martinez and Stager have a focus on using modern tools to solve problems; while George Mason is seeing a wide open door for makers in areas like carpentry, plumbing, etc. which for which there is a shortage of in Canada.

Collaborating multiple ages to me seems important because, in my view, we have divided students by certain ages and grade levels to an extreme. Our students do not all mature at the same time and they don’t all learn the same things at the same time either. Usually many older students will volunteer to help younger students on a project they solved in the past (or a similar one).   The groupings of grade levels in Sitka seem like natural ranges for starting Maker Spaces. Even these could be mixed up in future groups—especially toward the end of the school year, 1st Graders might move over to the 2nd – 4th Grade group while the 5th Graders move up to the middle school group (it is really awesome that you want to include younger students in your maker group), and 8th up to the high school group – so they can see and participate in what the older group ranges are working on.

Yes, planning for days to have Maker Space events would be different across Alaska! In our community, we don’t use school buses since we have boardwalks. But we would need to plan around times when students are helping out with subsistence food provisions on the weekends.

It is wonderful that you already have experience with a hands-on science day for Science Saturday. This would fold right over into organizing a Maker Day (different, but similar enough).



Week 9 Response

First of all, your Maker Day plan is very insightful and well organized. Reading your post inspired me to rethink what I can do for students at school by referring to my own family as an analogy.

As I read your opening statement, I thought about my own immediate family. First of all, my husband learned at home so many things about “how things work” just by being encouraged to go into the shop and take apart radios, old TVs; as well as, watching his dad work on motors and building his own house. His older brother invited him to come to Alaska to help wire his house, so Dan learned another new skill. He has taught shop class mechanics at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon, until this class was discontinued (along with art) for a focus on academic skills. This summer he has changed the brakes of our van, changed the hose of our 1998 Oldmobile, since it had overheated. My 29 year old-daughter helped him do this. Dan will not fix major issues without involving either our daughter or soon to be husband. This is what I would term family apprenticeship. Last summer, she and Dan replaced two door frames and door.

I am a seamstress, though I have not used this skill much lately. This week, I will be altering the shoulders and length of my granddaughter’s dress for the wedding on July 31st. My intention is to start teaching her how to sew when we come back home in the winter and next summer.

Dan built an amazing treehouse for our 2 grandkids, plus our 2 new grandkids who come on a 50/50 custody schedule. So far, they have learned how to put stain on the treehouse, name drill bits or screwdrivers properly, and watched a Treehouse Master at work. Our soon to be son-in-law helped as well when he and Dan were not outside wiring the shop, we put concrete in ourselves last summer.

We know that it is our role to pass the baton over to the next generation so that they know how to pull up a water pump, identify the problem (corroded wires) and replace these. Otherwise, they immediately go toward hiring people to do this for them and they cannot afford this. (We have many other demands on our monies, so we cannot either).

So to me, Maker Day is all about taking back our traditional ways of learning how to do things and helping others to learn what we know as we learn from them.


  • Just a few thoughts:
  • – Your Piktochart is excellent. What a great way to spread the word about Maker Day! You were able to include a lot information. Your design and colors are very positive and inviting.
  • – The video you embedded showed a school that is really into Making. It’s inspiring to see teachers, parents, the principal and superintendent all supportive of Making.
  • – The concept of a “beginner’s mindset” for Maker Day is interesting especially “don’t judge” and “question everything”. This all makes a lot of sense to me. Planning an event such as a Maker Day can make for a fixed mindset. But taking a step back once it’s up and running to take on a beginner’s mindset may be advantageous.




Thank you! I enjoyed making a Piktochart. It is getting easier for me with practice.

That video inspired me too—as how possible it is and why the kids would love it! I wonder it we could tie this to migrant education funding?

Yes, I think it is easy to forget to observe the overall picture when we get involved in individuals’ projects. It is good to have a balance of both.

It was so nice to hear from you Teresa. Your time is valuable to me—I know you are working very hard in several courses. You’re nearly there!




EDET 677 Robotics Week Nine: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

Aleta May

Initial Post for Week 9

EDET 677 Robotics

Week Nine: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

What is a Maker Day?

It is a pre-planned day of making. There may be some students showing projects they have completed, but unlike a traditional science fair, there is more making and a lot less show and tell (Libow & Stager, 2013). Participants create thoughtfully, they use design thinking and problem-solve. The event is supported by others who may have completed a similar project and attend to their needs to promote confidence. “There are four distinct yet related elements:

  • Design thinking
  • Design challenges or problem sketch
  • Collaborative prototyping of a design solution
  • Process to encourage group reflection”   (Crichton & Carter, 2014)

Piktochart Infographic & Opening Activity

For those who have access to internet emails on their phones or computers, this Piktochart Infographic I made can be sent to parents as an invitation to Maker Day:

Please visit this site—as it has many, many uses in the classroom for teaching students to create their own infographics across subject areas:

By upgrading in Piktochart, the school could pay for the feature that would allow this to be downloaded as a PDF handout or poster for advertisement at school, the store, post office and community center.

Participants work together or individually, learn about design thinking, questioning, and use kits that have been thought out purposefully for each material needed to complete a project. Along with kits, are extra commonly used materials that may be added in (Crichton & Carter). As I read in Libow & Stager, I really like their idea of setting the tone of the event by giving participants white stickers with decorative items like “ crayons, pencils, paint, glitter pens, feathers, googly eyes” (p. 180) to create their own name badges.

A Maker Day needs to be well planned before purchasing items to put together kits for participants. According to Crichton & Carter (2014), there are seven steps to consider in Design Thinking. In my opinion, these steps provide a planning structure for setting up a Maker Day event. Below, I will list each of the seven categories, but with only one or two courses of activity to take under each.

  • Define

After agreeing on the audience (including how preschool students will be supervised), and providing a glossary of terms that may be commonly used at school but not at home, the planner(s) need to research.

  • Research

Consider obstacles; such as planning ahead on orders, where the budget for this will come from, and having a presentation with planned handouts ready for the school board (though leaders’ opinions). Also, find out what corporation funding might be available and where to seek grants for supplies and more expensive equipment.

  • Ideation

Brainstorm ideas with a group on what making activities would motivate participants; additionally considering how to gain the interest of both men/women young/elders.

  • Prototype

While in the Makerspace, encourage people to make prototypes as part of the making process; encourage group members to give each other feedback for refining ideas, and as a facilitator try to stay as neutral as possible so participants will not be persuaded to just wait to be told what to do by the “professional.”

  • Choose

Keep the main objectives in mind, such as the ideas mentioned above in this list. Discourage ownership of ideas; rather sharing with each other without taking over.

  • Implement

“Make task descriptions.

Plan tasks

Determine resources.

Assign tasks.



  • Learn

Though many times we may forget this very important step, we need to ask for specific feedback from makers. This will need to be at different levels, such as for very young children, adults, and multi-lingual or with an interpreter to write for them. This information can be gathered in a google document to share with the planning team for the next event. Also, collect data on what was most popular, on most popular supplies utilized, and what supplies were missing.

It is also important to create a Checklist for Planning a Maker Day, according to Crichton & Carter (2014). Things to think about follow: start early; reserve the place (at our school this means secure the gym on a day that does not conflict with sports use); set up a budget and keep track of spending; make sure there is a plan for greeting and registering people who come (sign in for evidence of popularity when seeking out monies for future events), setting up coffee breaks and plans for people to make food/snacks at the event; create a list of volunteers and who will facilitate; make sure each helper knows their what their responsibilities will be (writing it out); decide who will open the session while referring to safety posters and general supervision expectations; and set aside a time near the end for feedback.

Further, it is important to group participants by interests ( maybe by having people take a brief gallery walk of kits, first ); kept small groups between 4 & 6 so that people may pair off to work together as well. To pre-plan projects, it involves developing problem sketches, training of facilitators, deciding who will make photocopies and making sure each group has enough of certain common materials.

Always, consider who will be responsible for the clean-up of the venue. Should all the participants be involved in this to a certain degree while facilitators take on the final organizing of equipment for future use (Crichton & Carter, p. 17)?

At the site, I found some good points to consider for Maker Day preparation. One thought is when planning space for making, leave some open for unexpected making. Once the Maker Day is underway, take pictures (with participant permission—or just focus the picture on the project) to capture stories, take notes of stressors or apprehensions people are having. To empathize with your maker participants, participate in activities at the site as well as prior to presenting a project for others to try..

This same PDF from Stanford explains that it is important to take on a beginner’s mindset during the activities.

  • Don’t judge.

Observing makers does not include adding one’s own value judgments regarding “their actions, circumstances, decisions, or ‘issues’”

  • Question everything

A four year old might repeatedly ask “why,” so one way to handle this is to ask “why” back. Look at things from the perspective of the maker.

  • Be truly curious.

Also, be filled with wonder, even if the circumstance presents as uncomfortable or familiar.

  • Find patterns.

What are some themes or threads that seamless crossover in interactions between participants or their project making.

  • Really.

As leaders, we plan for events. This may become a deep-rooted and fixed mindset. Be open to what partcipants say—avoid jumping to advise.


In this same article, there are tips for prototyping.

  • “Start building.”

Pick up materials and start creating; even if still deciding what to make, it helps the maker get started.

  • “Don’t spend too long on one prototype.” Sticking to one way may stop the potential creative process beyond the prototype.
  • “Build with the user in mind.”
  • “ID a variable.” Identify a specific, clear-cut question when it is found to be dependable, reliable and safe.

The reason it makes sense to just get started with prototyping is it awakens the problem-solving process started. Crichton and Carter (2014) referred to Mayer and Wittrock (2006) on page 26 as stating that “problem solving is cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver.” Five kinds of knowledge that our students need to build, and that are important to emphasize at a Maker Day event as what our students get out of making are: gathering facts, learning concepts (like “categories, principles, or models”), strategies (like learning how to break down problems into solvable parts), procedures (learning the steps to follow), and beliefs (such as a having a “can do” positive mindset).  This is a summary of why Maker Education is important; and how we can use something like this (made with our own students–with permission to film for the Maker Day event:

It is so important not to forget fun! In Libow & Stager (p. 184), my favorite Maker Day project ides to get things going in a positive and fun way is to provide kits (items purchased and put into bags) for LED throwies to create a show of lights. In our gym, we can dim down the lights for a few minutes to play with these. Another activity I think would be really fun for people who love colorful art (most people!), the Glow Doodle software that invites painting with light with a time lapse picture of a light source (p. 185). Why not use this for senior prom?


Crichton, S. (Dr.) & Carter, D. PhD (2014). Maker Day 2014–Final Maker Day Toolkit Erin Johnston, Industry Training Authority British Columbia. Faculty of Education, Okanagan Campus ita Your ticket.. The University of British Columbia.


Libow, M., S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. (Chapter 11) Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Marionvators YoungMaker Day Facebook Page for Science Technology Engineering Arts Math


Craft making:

Makers Day with Arduino:

Robotics making:

Piktochart Infographic I created as a brochure to send to parents:

Stanford’s d.School:

Retrieved July 11, 2016. (Link embedded in Crichton & Carter article).

Gear Up!: How to kick off a crash course: Retrieved July 11, 2016.


Reflections for EDET677–Essential Question: Can you teach more than you know?

Aleta May

July 10, 2016

Reflections for EDET677 Robotics

Essential Question: Can you teach more than you know?

There are so many things we can teach ourselves how to do. Students can teach themselves how to do things by watching others and trial and error. We cannot force students to learn what they don’t understand, what seems irrelevant to them, or because of reasons like fear or immaturity at the time for the concept(s) being taught.

One style of teaching that I do believe works well is to take what you do know about say working with wood and serve as a mentor to the intern. I am amazed at what students will do with only a small bit of guitar instruction that has to do with chording when they are already more skilled at I at playing lead guitar.

Sitting next to someone and talking to them in stories is another good way to teach; and as your own story unfolds, you learn from the storytelling yourself! Even going for a walk with a child and looking more closely at something you as an adult had not even noticed for such a long, long time causes the adult to reach deep into what they do know from prior learning and use their more experienced power of reasoning to teach that child—whether it is an insect or the root of a very large tree.

There is so much to learn from this one question! I do believe that we do have now at our fingertips the ability to make connections with so much information over the Internet (both reading, listening, and social networking) that it is more possible that could have been imagined when I was in High School or Community College to teach myself in a way that I could teach more than I knew about the topic I am being asked to teach. One very large point that has been made is that students need to learn how to think meta-cognitively so they may release the teacher to facilitate their learning. There simply is not enough time in a day for teachers to stay ahead of students in a multiplicity of subjects—for they too have lives beyond their jobs and need to refill their own cup before it is empty.

Comments I made to blog readings on this topic this week:


@adishnook Hi Anastasia. I posted a reply to your Week 8 blog post.

I tend to think of teaching more than I know as when I am a facilitator of learning. I am not really teaching more than I know, so much as I am teaching students how to learn on their own. If I can pick up a manual and teach myself, I am teaching students to pick up a set of instructions (such as graphic novel formatted instructions for how to do different activities in Minecraft).

Empowering students to learn reminds me of the ‘can do’ Mindset. If we model this in front of students, they may at first be surprised to find out that the teacher is learning as they go, or just barely ahead of the students. However, we are teaching them that our job is to really teach them how to learn.

I think my favorite in the key trends in your list is “Introverted students are finding ways to participate in class discussions online.”

I really enjoyed reading your post! Thank you for sharing.



After watching Middle School and High School teachers teach across wide subject content areas in our school. Also, at one point I taught a High School English class (my area of specialty then was K-12, mild – severe cognitive impairment; special education)with 14 students and 5 books, and no teacher guide as I waited for the new system to take place (which ended up taking longer than anticipated). Fortunately, I had purchased a book for English teachers that had blackline masters—and we took off on learning about writing using metaphors, analogies, etc.

It seems like there are many rural areas across the nation that have had a hard time filling (and retaining) positions with teachers who are highly qualified. Therefore, the Makerspace idea in my mind is part of connecting subject areas. Subject areas overlap in many ways. Also, teaching thematically, while using making to express something a student made from Minecraft into a physical model of a house with proportional measurements, using Arduino electronics with LED light switches and incorporating art would be a way to tie it all together.

Overly restricting internet access, then, creates a digital divide. Some districts find ways to manage student/teacher internet usage, while others just restrict it to the point that using video clips to teach students in a teachable moment is out of the question. How can we teach students research skills to answer their own questions if it is overly restricted?


Thank you for painting that beautiful picture for me about your daughters! The key is that relationship building is how young people (our own children or our students) let us in. The point you made says to me that if we are willing to learn from them; even look silly doing so; they will be much more likely to listen to our wisdom from experience(s) in our own lives.

Since we cannot be experts at everything, and our students need to learn how to learn, then, yes, we can teach what we do not know. Even what we do know, there are many facets and deeper levels to that thing we know.


I agree that our students desperately need to take more ownership of their own learning. We have in recent years taught them to sit quietly, receive information (whether it relates to their current schemata—visuals in their minds of what they think the teacher is talking about or not); then simply reproduce the knowledge imparted to them.

Somewhere I read about having students first individually and quietly write what they are interested in making; maybe from categories or a list of ideas before sharing with others. What I like about this method is that students are then divided off into similar interests for collaboration and project making. I recently heard a student tell me that what they do not like is to be grouped off with one or two people who just wait for her to do the work for all of them. I agree with her comment! This is not collaborative learning!.

I really do like the blended learning environment. As a special education teacher, having opportunities for students to work on skills on a computer allows me to work with another student one-on-one, and then to trade.