A couple hundred makers, teachers and parents gathered at the 2nd Maker Educator Convening, held May 17 – 18, 2016, at The Crucible in Oakland, CA. This was my first conference as a maker art teacher, and it was a great way to connect with other educators and learn from each other.
We started with a visit of The Crucible, an amazing arts school that offers youth and adult classes in glass blowing, woodworking, jewelry, welding and more — a great model for planning our own makerspaces ( thecrucible.org/ ) .
We then watched and discussed ‘Most Likely to Succeed’, an excellent documentary on education in the 21st century ( www.mltsfilm.org/ ). It shows examples of hands-on, project-based, student-driven and collaborative learning — and how this new approach can help students find a sense of purpose and develop invaluable ‘soft skills’, not just technical skills.
The morning keynote by Nichole Pinkard was also very inspiring, as she presented her findings from the Digital Youth Network in Chicago, and led a discussion about deepening the impact of maker education by bridging learning frameworks.
We then got our hands dirty to map our maker educator network, using blinking LEDs, post-it notes and pipe cleaners to represent our various schools and makerspaces on a U.S. map — which showed clearly that a majority of participants came from California.
We spent the rest of the day hearing lightning talks about maker ed, brainstorming ideas, sharing best practices and starting new collaborations. A very productive event!
Many thanks to the team at MakerEd.org for organizing this gathering. They do a fine job connecting teachers and resources, both at events like these and online: makered.org/
Tagged: , california , collaboration , convening , crucible , east bay , education , idea , learning , maker , maker ed , #makeredconvening , makerspace , map , network , oakland , parent , school , skills , soft skills , student , teacher , youth