I learned a valuable lesson Thursday during the MVIFI Dine and Design event. I hate to publicly admit it but I was not looking forward to the event. As a participant in maker sessions in the past I just haven’t enjoyed them that much. It’s not that I haven’t tried to get hooked on the movement. Several years ago I read Silvia Martinez and Gary Stager’s book Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom and I attended their session at the American School of Bombay’s Unplugged Conference. In 2013, as the High
School Principal at Graded I helped get our Makerspace up and running. I’ve built scribble bots and used conductive paint to create light-up cards and seen kids tinker with circuits, magnets, 3D printing and programming. I’m also fascinated how drones can be used in learning.
At Mount Vernon our Hive is about to open and TJ Edwards has been working with Parker Thomas to develop a Maker curriculum that all of our students will take advantage of in the near future. TJ has also written about making a maker community.
Sadly I have enjoyed watching others tinker and make more that actually doing it myself. I have also been questioning how the Maker Movement fits in with subjects other than math and science. Well, on Thursday night I was actually hooked, engaged and fired up about creating a personal brand. Wait, how does a personal brand fit with the maker movement? The design exercise incorporated a tool that allows you to make vinyl stickers. Now I had seen kids creating stickers around campus but I had no idea how COOL it actually would be.
Here’s how the two hour session, including dinner, was organized.
- We answered the following questions on sticky notes and these answers would later be used to help us develop our personal brand.
- How would a friend describe you?
- How would you most want to be remembered?
- Who is a person you most admire?
- We then watched a short clip of the TED Talk from John Maeda: How art, technology and design inform creative leaders
- To create these stickers we needed to develop a basic understanding of how to use Inkscape.
- Trey Boden then provided us a mini lessons on three types of logos, with examples.
- We then learned about the Noun Project as a tool for searching for images that represent nouns.
- It then came time to design and create our personal logo. With assistance we were all able to come up with our first prototype.
My personal brand came from a nickname that some of my friends have given me over the years and I’m proudly displaying it on my laptop.
- There are such a wide variety of maker activities that can allow students to find a niche.
- Thinking about design was the most important task in this activity. Learning the technology was simple for our initial task.
- I can see more possibilities for makers in humanities and art classes.