Making a Space for Teachers at Maker Faires

What does it take to turn a Maker Faire in to a professional development opportunity for Chicago teachers?  That’s the question behind the School-Hive Connections group pilot program.  We will create a professional development track at the upcoming Destination Chicago Maker Parties.

Our team will be tasked with important challenges:

  1. Planning for Effective Engagement: Using an asset-based model, we will identify learning resources for teachers in the Maker Party environment.  How can teachers become active participants in adapting maker activities to the classroom?  What perks do we create that will empower teachers to adopt new, potentially unfamiliar practices–CPDU credits, lesson planning guides, and a fun teacher lounge at the conference?  Planning and organizing a follow up session for participating teachers?
  2. Spreading the Word:  We want Chicago teachers to know that they are welcome at the Maker Parties, and that they can sign up to receive PD credits.  We’ll depend on the whole Hive Network to pass the news along to their networks of engaged teachers, and we’ll be looking for helfpul resources in CPS (e.g. CPS University) to help us invite educators to the Maker Faire.
  3. It’s in the Execution: How many teachers can we engage?  How many will use tools and ideas they learn in their own classrooms?  We will focus on our assets to provide teachers with a different kind of professional development opportunity. We’ll aim to meet their needs–both for fun and relevance–and we’ll encourage them to invite their colleagues to join our emergent network of opportunities.

Hive member organizations have been creating digital literacy activities that can be adapted for school use.  Check out a few model activities that teachers will participate in and modify for use in their classrooms:

Getting in to Pictures (a great activity for art and history classrooms). 

Yesterday I was, Today I am (making GIFs that tell a story).

Mini Mass Action Day (using the web to advocate for a point of view). 

Project Tags:
Moonshot Solutions, School-Hive Connection