Video – New Research Seeks to Find Out How Making Becomes Learning

One of the questions we consistently get in our sessions and workshops is about assessment. How do we know what kids are learning if there is no written test? Is this maker stuff more than just a new fad? While there are traditional ways that projects can be assessed (such as teacher observation techniques,) there is new research going on at Stanford in Dr. Paulo’s Blikstein’s Transformative Learning Technologies Lab that is starting to answer these questions. This video is a terrific overview of several new research studies, called Multi-modal Learning Analytics, on what is really going on when students do hands-on, maker activities.

There is so much in this video, I’m going to try to explore each of these studies separately in future posts.

  • Differences between students starting hands-on activities with detailed instructions vs. very little instruction. Do they get lost with no instruction? Or do they get “addicted” to the cookbook? Can students change from one type to another?
  • Are digital simulations the same as students doing real experiments?
  • Is video lecture or textbook reading preceding classroom projects (flipped classroom) better than exploration before instruction? Does flipped model work better with video over text? In other words, does the order or the media matter?
  • Do tutorials help with exploration activities?
  • Why different programming languages work better for learning.
  • Is it necessary for maker classrooms to be “sink or swim”?
  • Gender and other equity issues in “Maker Movement” culture
  • Differences in use of makerspaces in low-income schools vs. wealthier schools reflecting differences in school-wide pedagogy.
  • Observation and assessment tools for maker activities – maker tables and logic flows.
  • Looking at body position, gestures, and eye movements to try to understand the learner.

While this is all early research, it’s rich with potential for understanding more about how we learn, and how we can create optimal environments for learning for all students.

This post by Sylvia Martinez was originally published  on BAM!Radio. It is republished here from http://www.inventtolearn.com/podcast-what-are-the-basics-every-teacher-should-know-about-the-maker-movement/ with permission of the author. 

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Sylvia is co-author of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, often called the "bible" of the maker movement in classrooms. Sylvia works in schools around the world to bring the power of authentic learning into classrooms, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Sylvia speaks, writes, and advocates for student-centered, project-based learning, gender equity in technology, computer programming, and life-long learning. For the past ten years, Sylvia was President of Generation YES, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young people to improve their schools and communities with modern technology. Previous to Generation YES, Sylvia was in charge of product development at several software publishers, designing and creating video games and educational software. Sylvia also had a career in aerospace engineering as a senior scientist on the GPS navigational satellite system research and development. She holds a masters in educational technology and a bachelors in electrical engineering. Along with Gary Stager, Sylvia facilitates the Constructing Modern Knowledge Institute every summer. Constructing Modern Knowledge, July 8-11, 2014, is a minds-on institute for educators committed to creativity, collaboration and computing. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive computer-rich project development with peers and a world-class faculty. Inspirational guest speakers and social events round out the fantastic event. Pete Nelson, Edith Ackermann, Mitchel Resnick, and other expert visionaries (tba) are among this year’s guest speakers. Rather than spend days listening to a series of speakers, Constructing Modern Knowledge is about action. Attendees will work and interact with educational experts concerned with maximizing the potential of every learner. For more information, visit http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/.

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