1. Shelly Rodriguez
  2. Associate Clinical Professor
  3. UTeach Maker
  4. https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/
  5. University of Texas- UTeach Natural Sciences
  1. Jason Harron
  2. http://www.jasonharron.com
  3. Graduate Research Assistant
  4. UTeach Maker
  5. https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/
  6. University of Texas- UTeach Natural Sciences
  1. Jill Marshall
  2. Associate Professor
  3. UTeach Maker
  4. https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/
  5. University of Texas- UTeach Natural Sciences
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 01:11 p.m.

    All of us at UTeach Maker would like to thank you for taking the time to view our video. This video provides a snapshot of our current efforts to engage preservice STEM teachers in meaningful, authentic, and relevant maker centered learning activities as they explore how making can improve education. We are particularly interested in your views on the following questions:

     

    1. What does "making" mean to you?

    2. What is something that you have made that was important to you and why?

    3. What are your thoughts about incorporating making into STEM education?

     

    Additional information about UTeach Maker can be found on our website, https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu and see the recent article on  Elements of Making in The Science Teacher. Thank you again for taking time to contribute your thoughts. 

     
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    Sean Justice
  • Icon for: Sean Justice

    Sean Justice

    Researcher
    May 14, 2018 | 10:39 a.m.

    Hi Shelly -- Nicely phrased all the way through. The variety of voices resonates powerfully for me. The diversity that your team showcases speaks to why I think material engagement (aka: making) matters to learning (not only STEM learning). Hands-on = minds-in, but more than that, based on what we're learning at Texas State, it seems that "incorporating making" is fundamental to the basic embodiment of knowing in practice, as engagement in and with the world (both formally and, crucially, in-formally). In other words, without 'making', there is no learning/knowing. Thanks for the ongoing conversation — let's keep it going! 

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 11:04 a.m.

    Thank you Sean. It is exciting to see the inroads that this kinds of learning is making in the K-16 environment. Hopefully these combined efforts will help to maker centered learning become a staple in formal and informal learning spaces.  Thanks for the work you do and your dedication to this community! #centraltexasmakers

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    Steven Fletcher

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 03:58 p.m.

    This is a really great introduction to your Maker program. The micro-credentialing element is a wonderful idea, and the inclusion of opportunities for challenging yet creative moments throughout the learning process for students models the act of making in itself. Giving them the chance to fail, become more confident, and reflect on their learning blends elements of the makers mindset with the qualities of a teacher's mindset. Both are crucial as early career educators take on the rigors of the classroom. Well done! 

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 04:25 p.m.

    Thank you Steve. It is exciting to support new teachers in this work! They pre-service teachers bring thoughtful perspectives. The hope is that these students will become champions for maker centered learning in their schools and districts as well as model how to integrate making with secondary STEM content.

  • May 14, 2018 | 07:18 p.m.

    This is such a delightful video, as I think integrating the maker learning approach into pre-service teacher programs is so important. I like the micro-credentialing element, too. I’ve been teaching making in pre-service librarian education, and I can totally see a synergistic collaboration between teachers and librarians who are well equipped with making skills and knowledge during their pre-service education.

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 07:48 p.m.

    Thanks for posting Kyungwon. What a great idea. We are starting a partnership with the fine arts library on campus but I had not thought of connecting with the librarian certification program. I will certainly look into that. The more maker fans we can get on a campus the better. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your projects.

  • Icon for: Babette Moeller

    Babette Moeller

    Principal Investigator, Math for All
    May 15, 2018 | 06:00 a.m.

    Great video and so good to know that there are efforts underway to incorporate maker education into pre-service teacher education! Can you share a little more about your approach to teaching teachers about making? I am particularly interested in how you help teachers think about integrating making into formal and informal STEM programs and how to use making with different student populations. The IDEAS project, which I am contributing to, is investigating how making can be used to help foster the development of STEM career interests and social skills among middle school students on the autism spectrum. The program has been quite successful and our next step will be to figure out how to help pre-service and in-service teachers learn about this approach and how to implement it. Any suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 09:17 a.m.

    Hi Babette, thanks for you question. Our primary approach is learning through doing. We follow a cohort model where the preservice and inservice teachers work together over the course of a year or more. We meet monthly to engage in maker PD and we also have optional weekend workshops. In terms of integrating into the classroom, this was one of our largest challenges initially. Thus, we developed a set of tools to help. First of all, we developed an Elements of Making matrix to help unpack various ways to scaffold for student populations with different levels of expertise. We also developed a lesson planning guide and we do one on one and collaborative planning conferences. You can check out some of the lesson that have been developed in our maker lesson bank. We will be adding more at the end of this semester.

    We have recently started working with colleagues at St. Edwards University here in Austin to discuss differentiation of maker spaces and activities for students with special needs.  We hope to continue our learning in this area so any resources you have to share would be very welcome.

     
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    Kelsey Lipsitz
  • Icon for: Babette Moeller

    Babette Moeller

    Principal Investigator, Math for All
    May 15, 2018 | 02:16 p.m.

    Thank you so much for sharing these resources!  They look very useful. I will share them with my colleagues.  The IDEAS maker curriculum is currently being refined, so it's not publically available yet, but I will add your email address to our mailing list and we will send it to you once it's ready.  Good luck with your work!!!

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Rebecca Teasdale

    Rebecca Teasdale

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 12:07 p.m.

    I agree with the other posters - what an important approach to training pre-service teachers! I love the idea of micro-credentialing and would love to hear how you have structured that and what lessons you've learned along the way. Thanks!

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 03:16 p.m.

    HI Rebecca,

    Thanks for your post. You can read about the structure of the UTeach Maker micro-credentialing program at:

    Rodriguez, S. R., Harron, J. R., & DeGraff, M. W. (2018). UTeach Maker: A micro-credentialing program for preservice teachers. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 34(1), 6-17. doi:10.1080/21532974.2017.1387830

    In this article we identify our key success elements as: 1) having a clear framework for the micro-credential, 2) community building and the formation of strong relationships, and 3) the public review and presentation of work.

    We use an open portfolio, outward facing website model for the certification. Makers post and document their work in four areas: maker philosophy, maker community, a maker project, and maker education. Each of these comes with specific criteria. You can find more at: https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/maker-showcase/...

    We also have a tight knit community with 20-25 makers divided into teams of 4-5 each with a maker mentor.  We do most activities as a whole group but the mentors meet with their teams during the cohort meetings, check in with them between meetings, and serve as their personal advisor and helper on their maker project. 

    Currently, I do most of the heavy lifting in helping them with lesson design for the maker education part but as more makers go through the program, I am hoping to bring them into a leadership role with that. I also work to keep things together through periodic social events and through social media.  This summer we are having a challenge for makers to post work to social media and participate in our summer reading club. 

    I hope this information is helpful. Check out our complete website for more. https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/

     

     
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    Kelsey Lipsitz
    Rebecca Teasdale
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    monique capanelli

    May 15, 2018 | 01:13 p.m.

    As a Artrenpreneur and Maker in Austin, and UT Alum, so happy the next generations are being given the tools and opportunities to forge their way as Maker's. Great job Dr. Rodriguez and Maker teams! 

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 03:18 p.m.

    Thank you for your post. You work at Articulture Designs continues to be an inspiration for this program.

  • Icon for: Andee Rubin

    Andee Rubin

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 01:28 p.m.

    As a showcase facilitator, I've looked at and commented on a variety of videos - and I have to say that this discussion is one of the best I've seen so far.  I like the way the probing questions have led the presenter to describe progressively more details about the UTeach Maker program and to share additional resources.  There is no question that working with pre-service teachers is important, as they are the future of education.  Have you been able to observe teachers who have been through the UTeach Maker program use the resources you have developed to help them move their making practice into the classroom?  Do you (or they) find that process is more challenging for particular subject areas or age groups?

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
    Jason Harron
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 03:26 p.m.

    Great question Andee. You have hit on one of our next steps. As of this semester, we have 14 graduates from the program and nine who are teaching locally. We hope to start exploring their classroom practices this coming year.  We will be looking for elements of making as well as their approach to the classroom more generally. As important as making itself are the elements of a maker mindset (risk taking, playfulness, creativity, persistence, agency) that we hope infuses throughout their instructional practice.  We will be determining specific methods for capturing this over the summer so any suggestions would be useful. 

    This summer we are also working on an analysis of their Maker Showcases within the domains of their maker philosophy and their maker education section.  What elements of their philosophy manifest in their education submission and which are absent. We are interested to see if there are themes among the makers and what insights/questions arise from this analysis.

    In terms of the subject area and groups, here in Austin, there is more making going on in the lower grades. We are passionate about showing that making can be relevant in secondary classrooms as well. The isolated nature of the disciplines in secondary make this a particular challenge. However, as with anything, the new teachers will be the ones to work it out.  They will be problem solvers and change agents for their schools. Our role is to facilitate, listen, and provide real time support when needed. Their good work will be a model for what innovative STEM education can look like. 

  • Icon for: Kelsey Lipsitz

    Kelsey Lipsitz

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:46 p.m.

    I'm so glad you're able to follow-up with some of your pre-service teachers! It sounds like you've developed several really great tools for your teachers. I'll be interested to hear what tools and resources your teachers are drawing on in the classroom and what further supports are needed.

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Naomi Thompson

    Naomi Thompson

    Graduate Student
    May 15, 2018 | 03:50 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this video! I love seeing integrations here of high- and low-tech maker practices and materials (sewing and computing, for example). I can imagine that while teachers may want to incorporate making into their classrooms, class time and cost of materials could be major hurdles. What are some suggestions you give your UTeach Maker pre-service teachers for handling this in their future practice? Perhaps some of your strategies would be useful for those who want to bring making activities to in-service teachers as well!

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 04:05 p.m.

    These are great questions Naomi. You are correct in thinking that time, materials, and cost are hurdles. We are still working to take on these challenges as our makers head into classrooms as inservice teachers. A few things we are trying:

    1. community, community, community. We try to stay plugged in with the grads and keep them coming to the cohort meetings. I am not sure how long this will be sustainable due to the size of the group but we have had good response to that so far. Keeping them plugged in to their maker teams and mentors seems to provide inspiration to take on the hurdles you mentioned.  We also plug them into Austin's vibrant maker community through maker meet ups, the Austin Maker Faire, and other local events.

    2. Induction support.  Thanks to the Noyce grant we have a small pool of funds to purchase lesson supplies. One of the great pieces of placing the preservice teachers with a maker mentor is that all of our mentors have access to or run makerspaces and they continue to help students with resources and tech support.  Our grads can also check out materials from our inventory and use our equipment.

    3. Maker Lesson Bank - We are slowly but surely developing a maker lesson bank to help give our grads and other in service teachers some models for things that they can accomplish in their classrooms. We hope to continue building these resources as more students contribute.

    4. Maker Leadership - We are working to help each graduate develop a maker leadership trajectory. Our hope is that keeping them moving forward with making through leadership (mentoring, conference presentations, writing lessons for practitioner journals etc) will motivate them to continue these innovative practices. Hopefully, one day, they will become the campus and district leaders that can then facilitate this process for others.

    5. ???? We are a work in progress so suggestions are always welcome.  Thanks again Naomi.

     
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    Naomi Thompson
  • Icon for: Erica Halverson

    Erica Halverson

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 08:37 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing your great video!  I liked how you highlighted the voice and experiences of students as participants in making. I had a couple of questions about your project:

    1) Is it a single maker space, or are you working with a collection of spaces? Is (are) the space(s) connected with a school? How are students recruited to participate in the spaces? Is it in the context of a UT course? 

    2) I liked the connection to micro-credentialing as a way of thinking about both achievement and assessment. Can you talk a little about how the micro-credentialing process works for these students? Does it measure their making process? Their products? Both? Does it capture collaboration?

    Thanks again for sharing your cool work!

    - Erica 

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 09:05 a.m.

    Hi Erica, thank you for your post. I am always inspired by the voices of the participants.

    We do not have our own makerspace though we do have a laser cutter, access to hand tools, and a suite a electronics. Our students use a variety of spaces to complete their projects and create the materials needed to support lessons. The spaces range from UT spaces such as the Longhorn Makerstudio in Engineering and the Fine Arts Library makerspace to public school makerspaces and private makerspaces in the city.  Location and use of these resources is typically facilitated by their mentor. The benefit of this model is that it encourages our students to search for and utilize resources available in their community. Unlike spaces connected directly with a university, many of these spaces will continue to be available to them after graduation.

    UTeach Maker is a stand alone micro-credentialing program open to students in the UTeach Natural Sciences program. It is not connected to a formal course. However, it does connect nicely to themes of inquiry and equity which run through the UTeach program.

    In terms of the credentialing process, we use the Maker Showcase. This is an an open portfolio, outward facing website. Makers post and document their work in four areas: maker philosophy, maker community, a maker project, and maker education. Each of these comes with specific criteria. You can find more at: https://maker.uteach.utexas.edu/maker-showcase/...  National reviewers from organizations like MakerED and The Exploratorium serve as reviewers of our students work. Ideally, the Showcase serves not only as a repository but also as a tool for ongoing reflection.

    Thanks again for your interest in the program. 

  • Icon for: Edna Tan

    Edna Tan

    Researcher
    May 17, 2018 | 11:24 a.m.

    Hi Shelly,

    What a great project and a very inspiring video, thank you for sharing! At my university's school of education we have a makerspace that pre-service and in-service teachers participate in, both to learn about making itself and to think about bringing making to classrooms. I notice sophisticated wood-working tools in your video --what is the range of making experiences you have the UTEACH makers go through and how did you decide on these particular experiences? Did the makers have input in what (and the reasons for) they wanted to do?

    Thanks!

    Edna

  • Icon for: Jill Marshall

    Jill Marshall

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 12:35 p.m.

    Hi, Edna!

     

    Thanks for your post. This is Jill Marshall, Co-PI on our Noyce grant, taking over for Shelly.

    The makers absolutely have input into what they want to make, as well as how they might use making in their pre-service and in-service classrooms. The targeted assignments in our pre-service classes give very broad constraints be do not mandate the use of any particular tools. For example, in my Physics by Inquiry class, students have an assignment to "Make something that they could use or would like to have that involves electric circuits or optics, in some way." Those are the two topics for the fall course. Students have made everything from Christmas sweaters, electric New Years cards and a Hanukah menorah to a cell phone charger, a mirror with programmable lighting run by a Raspberry Pi, and a stuffed toy with an embedded audio module which played my student's heartbeat for her baby boy. Since circuits was one of the topics, the equipment tended in that direction, but one student also sculpted a tree-stump lamp with LED-lit mushrooms, that involved woodworking tools.

    In Shelly's Step 1 class (first course in the UTeach (uteach.utexas.edu) preservice secondary STEM teacher preparation sequence, students make something to represent their journey as a teacher for the final project. Some digital tools (Makey Makey) are modeled and made available, but they make everything from cakes to weavings.

    Shelly orchestrates events for the students in the micro-credential program to learn to use particular tools, such as a laser cutter, based on common technologies that might be of use in the classroom, but the projects for our makers are generally very open-ended.

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    Oren Connell

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2018 | 01:23 p.m.

    The questions coming through this discussion board are excellent! It's been such a fun experience working with this program and I love that this discussion board is asking good questions. The UTeach Maker program, from my perspective, includes the Maker mindset at its core by continuing to evolve, take risks, and foster a culture Making and drive towards greater innovation in education. To that, I wonder how we can push a little further to break down more of the silos across STEM and into the humanities? 

    I'm excited to see how the leadership components can be used to grow making on campuses where UTeach Makers are placed. It can be a huge challenge to re-create the culture that this program has created, so I'm very excited they will have support! 

    Oren Connell

    UTeach Maker Mentor

    Maker Technology Coach, Austin TX

  • Icon for: Jill Marshall

    Jill Marshall

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 04:02 p.m.

    Thank you for your post, Oren, and THANK YOU for your constant support of our UTeach Makers!  You ask a great question about breaking down the silos between disciplines. UTeach is  committed to interdisciplinary STEM education, manifest in its commitment to project based instruction. UTeach Maker is a strong step toward bringing the arts into our work; in a recent paper I argue that making is situated at the intersection of Art, Crafts, Engineering, and Math/Science, but uniquely characterized by its community. How to build a connection to the humanities more broadly without becoming 'generic' (losing our strong focus on STEM content) is a challenge as we evolve. But, as you say, that accepting challenges and continuing to evolve are at the core of the Maker mindset!

  • Icon for: Patrick Benfield

    Patrick Benfield

    Informal Educator
    May 20, 2018 | 02:48 p.m.

    Just wanted to echo what Oren and others have mentioned: the questions and responses in this discussion board have been both insightful and thought provoking.

    For this year's cohort, all of my mentees were graduates of the UTeach program who were  also practicing teachers that returned to earn their Maker credentials. The fact that they took on this extra commitment - on top of their regular teaching load - speaks volumes, both in terms of the benefit they see in integrating maker education into their practice, as well as the recognition of the value the UTeach Maker provides. 

    It was inspiring to see each Maker face and overcome the inherent challenges when making in the classroom, (especially in this age of high-stakes testing) like integrating new technologies, access to resources, planning with teachers from other content areas, and assessment. 

    With regards to the silo mentality of STEM and the Humanities: from my perspective, part of the success of the UTeach Maker approach is that it makes a deliberate effort to encourage Makers to connect her or his own creative interests with constructivist/constructionist methods. 

    For example, this year one the Makers turned her passion of video gaming into an incredible "cosplay" maker project that exemplified the idea of "meaningful making." 

    While fun and lighthearted in nature, the project gave her the confidence to identify as a "maker" since throughout her own iterative process she worked with a variety of new tools, materials, and techniques while also facing setbacks and successes. During her showcase, it was remarkable to hear how the experiences during the project directly influenced how she worked with students in the classroom.

    Patrick
    UTeach Maker Mentor

     
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    Shelly Rodriguez
  • Icon for: Jason Harron

    Jason Harron

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 04:16 p.m.

    Patrick, thank you for your thoughtful response and the contributions that you have made as a Maker Mentor in this program. Your mentorship, support, and use of the makerspace at your school have really shown your commitment to the community of maker-centered educators.

    I like how you identified that UTeach Maker is a place where our students are able to bring their own interests, such as gaming and cosplay while developing their own identities as a maker and as an educator. 

    UTeach Maker wouldn't be possible without dedicated educators such as yourself who are willing to commit the time to help mentor our students. Thank you for everything you bring to the program, as well your active efforts to connect the Austin Maker community with the Maker Ed Meet-up and Austin Maker Faire Regional Education Summit.

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    Glenda Ballard

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 21, 2018 | 11:10 a.m.

    Shelly,

    Your leadership in education is both inspirational and effective!  Thank you for everything you do for students who plan to be educators!

  • Icon for: Jason Harron

    Jason Harron

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 11:22 a.m.

    Hi Glenda,

    On behalf of Shelly, I would like to say thank you for the kind words. She has definitely been the driving force behind UTeach Maker and has done an amazing job of developing and leading this program. 

  • Icon for: Jill Marshall

    Jill Marshall

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 11:32 a.m.

    Glenda- I will second Jason's comments. Shelly is on travel right now- out representing us and drumming up more support for UTeach Maker. The program had its genesis when she introduced the Maker project into Step 1, our recruitment and intro course for UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation. She has worked tirelessly, with Jason's phenomenal support. She often says that she never thought of herself as a "Maker", but she has certainly made this program!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.