Monday, March 21, 2016

The Educator with a Maker Mindset

Maker education and the concept of Makerspaces are popping up across the education field as more people are embracing the idea of learning by doing and creating. Tonight in #plearnchat we thought we’d discuss The Educator with a Maker Mindset with Jackie Gerstein, @jackiegerstein as our knowledgeable co-host on this subject.

Our big question at the heart of our theme was:

How can educators develop a maker mindset
that supports and reinforces personalized learning?

As usual in our chats, we used the Q1, A1 format with 6 pertinent questions under the umbrella of the big question:

  1. What do you believe are the skills, roles, characteristics of the educator with a maker educator mindset? 
  2. Which maker educator characteristics do you currently possess and use? Which would you like to further develop? 
  3. How will developing your skills as a maker educator help promote personalized learning for your learners? 
  4. What changes can you make to develop your own maker educator mindset which in turn will help you with personalizing learning? 
  5. What skills or strategies will you use to reflect on your own progress towards developing a Maker Educator mindset? 
  6. What are examples of making that can be done in school settings and promote personalized learning?

Thanks to Dr. Jackie Gerstein, @jackiegerstein for being the co-host for 3/21/16 #plearnchat on The Educator with a Maker Mindset.

Dr. Jackie Gerstein's byline is, "I don't do teaching for a living. I live teaching as my doing . . . and technology has amplified my passion for doing so." Gerstein has been teaching in-person and online for several decades. Currently she teaches master's-level online courses in educational technology for Boise State, American Intercontinental, and Western Governors' Universities.

She believes that one of the roles and responsibilities of the 21st century educator is to share resources, ideas, and instructional strategies with other educators.

Jackie actively blogs at and tweets at

Additional Resources referenced from Jackie's blog:
Student Voice Comes With Teachers as Listeners
Giving Students a Voice Models High-Quality Learning Processes
Today’s Education Should Be About Giving Learners Voice and Choice.
Show Learners The Possibilities and Get out of the Way

Latest post from Jackie for Personalize Learning
Really Seeing Each and Every Learner

Jackie created a Pearltrees for all the resources that were shared tonight > > >
Pearltrees: The Educator with a Maker Mindset

Being a maker educator often requires developing a new mindset; a new set of skills and roles. Our PLN jumped right into the conversation with their ideas and beliefs around the skills and characteristics of being an educator with a maker mindset included:

Jacie Maslyk @DrJacieMaslyk

"Teachers should embrace creativity and innovation, be flexible, and willing to fail. All must be modeled for students."

Shelly Vohra @raspberryberet3

"Allow learners to take ownership of their learning; Teachers should let go of control; allow learners to experiment & take risks, fail & try again."

Lauren Stout @HSNMediaCenter

"Making makes us self confident learners too! The more we make the more we are empowered to share this learning disposition."

Our conversation evolved to the concept that we are all makers. We must find the making that engages us and invests in our passions. Educators determined that making does involve personalized learning as teachers unleash control and allow learners to choose their projects based on their interests and giving them a voice in their learning. Matthew King, @Kingoflibrary. shared how "he began with maker education implementing design challenges and has a plan to move toward real problems within their school and community." It’s these types of conversations, the sharing of ideas; that make #plearnchat empowering to educators.

Here are some of the insightful tweets educators shared during this discussion:

GoGuardian @goguardian

"We'd argue that creating something = personalized = #makered. They all hold hands. One in the same."

Rola Tibshirani @rolat

"It is a transformation of a thinking process from problem solving. collaborative feedback, creativity & a learning community."

Gee Know Loo Ion @ginoloko

"Each student has a special way of learning. Knowing it is half the battle."

Congratulations to Sue Cusack @SueCusack for winning our book, Make Learning Personal

Sue Cusack is an Assistant Professor in the STEM Division in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University. Her area of expertise is the inclusive use of instructional and assistive technologies in support of student-centered learning. Sue is also a member of LeselySTEAM, a small team that has launched a Makerspace to provide a new way for Lesley students and our community partners to engage in learning and inquiry-based exploration.

"#makered is defined by its "human-centered" orientation, 
a natural fit for personalized learning"

Sue Cusack, Assistant Professor
Lesley University
Graduate School of Education
Cambridge, MA (email)
@suecusack @LesleSTEAM (Twitter)

Save the Date

Next #plearnchat is in 2 weeks Monday, April 4th, 2016
at 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT

Topic is "Voice, Choice, and Authentic Learning"
with co-host David Truss, @datruss

We would love to continue the Educator with the Maker Mindset conversations with you in our comments. We archived the entire chat below using #storify for you.

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