Featured Resource: [VIDEO] Permission to Make: Adam Savage (KQED Education)

From classic cars to simple electronics, we have been making and tinkering with everyday objects for decades. The recent surge in DIY and Maker Culture has inspired educators to introduce garage creations to the classroom, bringing their curious students along for the ride.

Do Now

Do you learn better through a hands on making process? Share something that you have made recently. What have you always wanted to learn to make? #DoNowDIY 

How to Do Now

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or post your response on Twitter.Just be sure to include#DoNowDIY in your posts.


Over the past several years, the practice of making things has become a cultural phenomenon. Referred to as maker culture or the DIY movement — self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert (aka do it yourself) and usually involving technology and online sharing — has truly exploded, especially in the Bay Area.

Over the past couple of years though, DIY has been used more broadly to describe any activity that incorporates creative skills into making or designing something on your own. Using this definition, DIY can stand for everything from baking a cake, to decorating a bedroom, to creating handmade products like jewelry. Some also use DIY in a more technical context as it relates to making gadgets like robots, printers and other programmable devices hacked together using free software and tools found across the Web.

Maker culture is now shifting into the education arena, where instructors are implementing project-based and self-directed learning models for students to problem solve and discover learning moments throughout their inquiry process. Gever Tulley founded Tinkering School in 2005 to learn how children become competent and to explore the notion that kids can build anything, and through building, learn anything.

Dale Dougherty, founding editor and publisher of Make Magazine — and the de facto leader of the maker movement — has a vision to create a network of libraries, museums and schools with what he calls “makerspaces” that draw on common resources and experts in each community. Libraries and museums, he said, are easier places to incorporate makerspaces than schools, because they have more space flexibility and they’re creating programs to attract teens.

DIY Culture in the Classroom

As the influence of maker culture seeps into education and learning, there has been debate as to whether this cultural shift can become more prominent in formal educational institutions. Audrey Waters from Hack Education writes that “The maker movement also reflects the technological, political and economic zeitgeist: the need for a technologically skilled work force, hope for a revival of American manufacturing, concern about STEM education all the while cutting many of the programs in schools that foster these skills — arts, wood shop, metal shop, computer science — to make more room for more standardized testing.”

There is no doubt that maker is making headway, but the growing skepticism around its role in formal education, due to lack of resources and emphasis on testing, is called into question. Can schools embrace a maker movement?

More Resources

ARTICLE: Microsoft Is Giving Minecraft To Schools For Free-Here’s Why  (CNN Money)
Minecraft allows players to create their own two-dimensional worlds, and in this classroom, students are graded on their game design and development.  See how this class uses Microsoft’s new Minecraft: Education Edition.

DIY is a community for kids to share what they do, learn new skills and meet others with the same interests. Nyancat123, a DIY user, made this stop motion video to complete a challenge for the Animator skill.

ARTICLE: The Case For A Campus Makerspace (Hack Education)
Discover why writer Audrey Watters believes in making the classroom a makerspace.

Do Next

Do Next takes the online conversation to the next level: these are suggestions for ways to go out into your community and investigate how the topic featured in this Do Now impacts people’s lives. Use digital storytelling tools and social media to share your story and take action. Make sure to tag your creations with #DoNowDIY.

  • Create A Stop Motion Video: Use these stop motion entries featured on DIY.org for inspiration, and create your own simple video. Share your video on Instagram or Twitter.

For Educators

Go here for more tips for teaching with Do Now, using Twitter in the classroom, and digital tools tutorials.

  • DFinMA

    I’m very tactile and learn much better through doing/making.

  • there is lot of thinking learn from the better making..

  • Ben LI

    I do way better when it is a hand on process. When i get to touch something i can remember it way more. When I try to learn the DNA component to was so much easier to remember the part when you build it then just studying it. I always wanted to make music but that require lot of equipment that I can not afford.

  • starsfromabove

    Yes, I do learn better through a hands on making process. Recently, I made a poster for my English class and I learned more about the subject because I was writing the facts down. Writing makes me memorize the facts more easily, therefore I think it is better to learn through the hands on process. In conclusion, I have always wanted to learn how to make a wall art to hang on my walls as decoration.

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I’m the same way. I learn better by doing it instead of sitting there and watching how you do something. Since I’m a graphic design major and a lot of classes are more lecture-oriented in the classroom for my major, I’ve found that it’s easier to follow steps and navigate around the different Adobe products to get the product you want. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Julian Kirk

    I think hands on working helps the learning process a lot more in most cases especially if the student is interested in it but it is not always possible to do things hands on because the school is responsible for the safety of the kids. If schools get rid of classes where you make things because they don’t have enough funding and find them less important than other classes is really sad because I think those classes in a sense are just as important as any other class.

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I think it’s important to have more hands on classes too. I agree with your point as well about being careful which classes should be hands on if it’s hazardous to the student(s). It is really sad when the interesting programs get cut due to the budget. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Jodi DeMassa

    I agree a lot with this article. I’ve noticed a few more of my classes are more self-done and project based to get the information down. I think the whole DIY thing is getting more popular because there’s more people out there realizing that they learn faster by doing things hands on. I think that it’s a good idea that teachers realize this and integrate it into their cirriculum. Here’s a link explaining the difference between students that can endure long lectures and retain a lot of information versus those who can’t and suggests ways to help kinesthetic learners retain information they learn successfully. http://www.education.com/magazine/article/kinesthetic_learner/



Chanelle Ignant

Chanelle is the Youth Participation Coordinator for KQED Education. She has worked with various Bay Area youth media organizations and is an independent media maker.

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