ISKME's Teachers as Makers Academy

ISKME’s Teachers as Makers Academy stimulates teachers’ creation of Open Educational Resources (OER), freely available online learning materials, in a collaborative format that covers the basics of finding and evaluating OER; and leads teachers through the design and remix of new projects to share. We view teachers as makers of learning and strive to support innovation in their teaching by leading them through a dynamic two-day Academy that stretches their creativity in terms of how and what they teach. Started in 2009, the Academy has been offered in San Mateo, California, Detroit, Michigan, and Queens, New York in conjunction with ISKME’s Design Lab at Maker Faire.

Day 1: During the first day of the Academy teachers explore OER associated with multi-disciplinary project-based learning; and they tag, rate, comment, evaluate, and share found OER lessons on ISKME’s open resource repository OER Commons. Examples of Teachers as Makers tagged OER. After exploring project-based activities online, teachers get a chance to experience these activities and hear directly from Makers (artists, inventors, designers, engineers) in their community. These Makers join the Academy to present their Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, share their expertise, and inspire teachers to integrate hands-on learning into their teaching. Past Makers included toy designers, piñata and paper makers, repurposed material artists, rocket scientists, robotics engineers, and inventors of aquaponic garden sculptures.

Get a glimpse of the Teachers as Makers Academy with this short video

Day 2: On the second day of the Academy, ISKME’s facilitator guides teachers through a design thinking activity that encourages collaboration through researching, brainstorming, prototyping, and presenting project design ideas for feedback. The design thinking experience reinforces the benefit of bringing an inventive DIY spirit into the classroom. Teachers document their projects online, align them to learning standards, and share them on OER Commons, DIY Design Challenge Activity.

Please contact Megan Simmons, Education Program Manager, for more information.

What teacher participants are saying about the Teachers as Makers Academy:

“[My most exciting learning was] OER Commons- open source education- very excited about the opportunity to make more connections to websites and resources for teaching my curriculum.  Sharing ideas with other teachers in a way that makes sense.”

“ Using the OER website is easy... and everything I have found has been useful and accessible...I am excited to work [these ideas] into so many different parts of my curriculum.”

“Presenters were terrific-balancing activities, sharing, information... and working collaboratively. Networking with the participants, who were a great group of teachers.”

“I loved the discussion and idea sharing with everyone. It was inspirational and motivating.”

“The facilitator is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, engaging, encouraging. The group was terrific to work with: smart, interesting, creative. Good sense of humor accompanied the 2 days which just added to the learning process. I learned a lot.”

“I think all educators, teachers, administrators, professional developers, coaches, would benefit from this workshop.”

“This workshop reminded me of the importance of thinking and teaching outside of the box, and how many great ideas, lessons, and resources are available.”


Teachers as Makers Academy Partners: