Maker Ed’s 2016 Holiday Reading List

With maker education becoming increasingly prevalent in schools and learning environments across the country, more and more research, books, and posts are discussing the impacts, benefits, and challenges of making-centered learning. The team at Maker Ed has put together a reading list to highlight some of these amazing maker education books, articles, and papers that have inspired us throughout the year. We hope these readings will inspire you as well, and encourage you to push your maker education practice even further in 2017.

If you have a favorite resource or reading from the past year, share it with us using by tagging @MakerEdOrg on social media and using #makered.


meaningfulmaking-coverMeaningful Making: Projects and Inspirations for FabLabs and Makerspaces

 In 2016, the amazing FabLearn network, based out of Stanford University, released Meaningful Making: Projects and Inspirations for FabLabs and Makerspaces, a book of inspirational ideas, assessment strategies, and recommended projects for maker educators. FabLearn is a network and research collaborative working to disseminate ideas, best practices and resources to support an international community of educators, researchers, and policy makers committed to integrating making into formal and informal K-12 education. This freely available resource was compiled by the FabLearn Fellows, an international cohort of educators who work to create open-source maker focused curriculum and to contribute research about making and digital fabrication in education.

A Maker Movement for a World Beyond Things

Throughout 2016, Edutopia published a huge collection of articles and reports exploring the impacts, challenges, and benefits of maker education. See, for example, this post by Edutopia’s Youki Terada on why making is essential to learning. One post that really stood out to us this year was Stacey Goodman’s “A Maker Movement for a World Beyond Things.” In this piece, Goodman explores the important value of making that goes well beyond technology, the simple creation of things. She discusses post-studio art practice and the ways in which it embraces “…the notion that art and the creative spirit of making is more than just making objects that are meant to be displayed, looked at, and bought and sold.” She argues that making needs to focus on more than exciting new technology because “beneath this celebration of new technology and making things, we discover that the true heart of the maker curricula is about discovering what it means to be engaged in the world in the most direct way and no longer be only passive consumers.”

IMG_5874Continuing the Making and Re-Making Traditions of My People

This year, Maker Ed launched Growing up Making, a community blog series, which highlights how maker educators have been influenced by family and their community. We’re excited to include Dorothy Jones-Davis’ wonderful piece “Continuing the Making and Re-Making Traditions of My People” in the Top 10 list. In her post, she describes the importance of making in her childhood, and the ways in which that making connected her to her people and her community’s history. “At a young age…,” she describes, “…my dad imparted that as countless generations of our people, black and brown, made—everything from quilts, to buildings, to inventions that changed our world – so we continued this honorable tradition.”

 A Practical Guide to Open Portfoliosopp-guide-small

This guide, the most recent publication from Maker Ed, draws on a year’s worth of inspiration and concrete insights from educators and researchers in K-12 and higher ed alike. The guide follows on the footsteps of the Open Portfolio Project’s Research Briefs and distills some of the best practices for documentation and portfolio creation uncovered in 3+ years of work in the field. Maker Ed’s Practical Guide draws from our research findings as well as practitioner workshops that we’ve run, and pulls the information into a guide that aims to assist educators and practitioners in getting started with portfolios, or developing their portfolio work further.

makercityMaker City: A Practical Guide to Reinventing American Cities

In Maker City: A Practical Guide to Reinventing American Cities, Peter Hirshberg, Dale Dougherty, and Marcia Kadanoff present a comprehensive set of case studies and how-to information designed to help cities understand the maker movement and the impact it is having on economic opportunity, ecosystem development, education, advanced manufacturing, workforce development, and real estate.The book is based on interviews completed with 50 thought leaders and practitioners who work at the forefront of the maker movement in around 20+ cities and is available for free on Medium.

The 2016 Maker Guide from EdSurge

In their 2016 guide to making and maker education, EdSurge put together an amazing collection of resources and advice for maker educators of all skill levels. As part of this guide, EdSurge explores questions such as: “How can we help making become more equitable and inclusive? How can maker ed embrace traditional technology, including computer science? What are the benefits of a maker education, and how do we measure them?” The guide also links to tons of amazing EdSurge posts from 2016, three of our favorites are linked below.

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