There are plenty of resources and discussion online about the maker movement: MakerFaire, Newsweek, Time and, of course, there is a #makered hashtag on Twitter for educators. We are even making a big push for a maker space at EdCampMagic in June. My question is, are we focusing too much on making?
None of us live in a vacuum. We learn constantly by consuming, whether it be through media or just listening and watching. Without consumption, we would have no real place to start making something. I believe that innovation is rare at best (I have even argued it doesn't exist in education at all) and it is more likely that we are not innovators but instead we are modifiers or tweakers of someone else's ideas. When did you see anyone create anything truly new and innovative?
Part of curriculum development is curating the content we want our students to consume. Here are a few questions I think we need to consider:
- Are we spending less time than necessary to really pick great content because of the amount of time we are spending trying to get kids to be creative?
- Are we giving our kids a pass on picking great content to use to create with?
Let's spend a little more time talking about how important it is to consume, and what content is best consumed by our students.
- Are we in love with making because it takes less mental capacity (and planning) on our part because the kids are the ones having to do the thinking?