During the 2016 National Week of Making, as a part of President Obama’s Nation of Makers initiative, Digital Promise and Maker Ed announced the Maker Promise. A commitment made by school leaders, in-school and out-of-school educators, and community advocates to bringing quality making experiences to all students. By signing the Promise, individuals commit to becoming champions of making, supporting spaces for making, and showcasing what students have made. As this year’s Week of Making comes to a close, we are excited to publish our first annual Maker Promise report, which shares what we have learned about the state of making in schools and how this is shaping our future efforts.
This year, our work focused on understanding how maker learning is being implemented at Maker Promise schools and identifying areas where the Maker Promise could offer support and resources. To develop our understanding, we interviewed K-12 school leaders who had signed the Maker Promise and surveyed the “maker champions” most responsible for integrating making into their school or district. Here are a few highlights from our findings:
- Maker learning is happening in schools at a grassroots level, and librarians are leading the charge.
Fifty-seven percent of surveyed maker champions were identified as teachers, librarians, and coaches, while thirty-five percent were school or district administrators. Twenty-three percent of maker champions were librarians or media specialists.
- There is a lack of models for sustainable academic integration.
School leaders expressed interest in integrating making into core academic subjects but noted that there are few examples of how to implement this into their schools. Without these models and evidence of their effectiveness, leaders have difficulty scaling up their programs.
- Project guides and curricular integration resources are in high demand.
Maker champions identified student project ideas and guides and curricular integration resources as two areas where additional support would be most useful. Professional development was also cited as a high need area.
As we make our way into year two of the Maker Promise, we are excited to continue expanding, building, and supporting this network of individuals committed to bringing maker learning into schools. We hope to create connections among signers by hosting meetups at major national conferences and events. In response to resources needed by signers, we will work to connect, curate, and share open educational resources related to making in a way that is more accessible for educators.
Inspired to become a part of the movement? Sign the Maker Promise here.