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Invent to Learn

Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

By Sylvia Libow Martinez, Gary S. Stager

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Format: Hardcover, 254 pages
Published In: United States, 17 September 2016
Join the maker movement!

There's a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education. This book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement to every classroom.

Children are natural tinkerers

Their seminal learning experiences come through direct experience with materials. Digital fabrication, such as 3D printing and physical computing, including Arduino, MaKey MaKey, and Raspberry Pi, expands a child's toy and toolboxes with new ways to make things and new things to make. For the first time ever, childhood inventions may be printed, programmed or imbued with interactivity. Recycled materials can be brought back to life.

While school traditionally separates art and science, theory and practice, such divisions are artificial. The real world just doesn't work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game developers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable. The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians. The maker community brings children, hobbyists and professionals together in a glorious celebration of personal expression with a modern flare.

When 3-D printing, precision cutting, microcomputer control, robotics and computer programming become integral to the art studio, auto shop or physics lab, every student needs access to tools, knowledge and problem solving skills. The maker movement not only blurs the artificial boundaries between subject areas, it erases distinctions between art and science while most importantly obliterating the crippling practice of tracking students in academic pursuits or vocational training. There are now multiple pathways to learning what we have always taught and things to do that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Making for every classroom budget

Even if you don't have access to expensive (but increasingly affordable) hardware, every classroom can become a makerspace where kids and teachers learn together through direct experience with an assortment of high and low-tech materials. The potential range, breadth, power, complexity and beauty of projects has never been greater thanks to the amazing new tools, materials, ingenuity and playfulness you will encounter in this book.

In this practical guide, Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager provide K-12 educators with the how, why, and cool stuff that supports classroom making.

Reviews

"The Maker Movement in schools now has a bible." - Larry Magid, Technology Columnist, Huffington Post "Learning is often confused with education. Martinez and Stager clearly describe 'learning learning' through engagement, design and building. The best way to understand circles is to reinvent the wheel." - Nicholas Negroponte, Founder MIT Media Lab & One Laptop Per Child "Educators will be hard pressed to find a more essential, important book for making sense of not just the exciting, game-changing "maker" technologies that are currently exploding around us, but of the absolutely powerful learning opportunities they present for our students as well. Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager are a teacher's perfect guides into this fast growing, innovative world of creative problem solving and construction using an array of new, innovative computing devices, many of which fit in our pockets. Even more, Invent To Learn creates a required new context for modern learning, and it offers an accessible roadmap for re-imagining schools, classrooms, and personal practice. It's a must read for those wanting to remain relevant in their student's learning lives." - Will Richardson, Author of Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere "Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering is the most important book of the 21st century for anyone interested in children and learning. The title says it all. Children learn best by making things whether physical or virtual. The authors highlight antecedents to this burgeoning new movement. Martinez and Stager describe making and tinkering as part of a long intellectual tradition and mention contributions of diverse luminaries such as Leonardo, Piaget, and Papert. This guidebook offers insights and suggestions as to how to bring making, tinkering, and engineering into learners' lives through classroom and out-of-school settings. Ideas and resources for implementing the ideas are clearly articulated. This beautifully written book opens up an exciting and stimulating educational adventure." - Cynthia Solomon, Ed.D. Co-inventor of the Logo programming language and author of Computer Environments for Children: A Reflection on Theories of Learning and Education "Sylvia and Gary have created a dynamic masterwork that engages readers from the opening sentence to the last. The craft of making things becomes a philosophical cornerstone to a true education, as this book makes abundantly clear. Rather than rant against the status quo, this book shows both why the transformation of education is essential, and presents specific strategies to make these changes. In many parts of the world, education has lost its way, and this book provides a map back to the educational experiences that are both tremendously effective and a great deal of fun as well." - David Thornburg, Ph.D., Director, Thornburg Center "Invent to Learn is filled with inspiration and practical ideas that I cannot wait to share with colleagues. Gary and Sylvia have provided not only the rational and history, but also practical how-tos in a thoughtful book perfect for teachers, parents and administrators. I expect the number of maker spaces to grow as this book makes them feel much more accessible to all teachers and schools. You will finish the book inspired to make programming, invention and making a reality." - Shelly Luke-Willie, Elementary School Principal, Chadwick International School - Songdo, South Korea. "A lucid guide to create and shape new and exciting learning environments for all, where digital devices are the learners' technology, the constructing tools to make, to invent, to understand... The maker movement flows gracefully to the classroom." - Leda Milena Munoz Garcia, Ph.D., Director of Fundacion Omar Dengo (Costa Rica's Computers in Schools NGO)"

EAN: 9780997554328
ISBN: 0997554320
Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press
Dimensions: 25.4 x 17.78 x 1.6 centimetres (0.66 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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