Learning By Making: An Introduction to Constructionism

September 05, 2017
04:00 pm - 5:00 pm PDT
By Educator Innovator

This webinar originally aired on May 4, 2015.

This webinar introduces the utility of Seymour Papert’s theory of “constructionism” to a broader audience. Constructionism builds on Piaget’s earlier notions of constructivism to clarify that learning is most powerful when we create and share any kind of artifact, whether that’s a new robot, a videogame, a hand-knitted scarf, or a theory of the universe. This guiding pedagogy and theory of learning is particularly useful for educators working in FabLabs, makerspaces, and studio settings and helps us to think about better designing and understanding 21st-century learning spaces. This panel of cutting-edge researchers and practitioners will explain how the theory of learning can give you a new language for articulating the kinds of learning that is likely already happening in your setting!

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Kylie Peppler, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University (IU) and Director of the Creativity Labs @ IU—Kylie is the lead of the MacArthur Foundation’s Make-to-Learn initiative and has been working collaboratively with members of the National Writing Project (NWP) for a number of years to co-design new curriculum ideas rooted in making, constructionist theory, and well aligned to the standards. This work resulted in the new Interconnections book series currently offered through MIT Press. Learn more at kpeppler.com.
  • Naomi Thompson, pursuing a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences and Graduate Research Assistant in the Creativity Labs @ IU—Naomi received her BA in psychology and educational studies from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She is exploring the role a creative community plays in education, in both formal and informal contexts, and is specializing in designing for learning experiences for regional science centers. Learn more at creativitylabs.com.
  • Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation at South Fayette School District—Aileen is an experienced Instructional Technologist, with an extensive 15-year history and diverse experiences, building partnerships and integrating technology in K-12 and higher education. Aileen joined South Fayette in July 2010 and has focused on integrating hands-on learning and computational thinking, both within the curriculum and in after-school initiatives. Currently, Aileen is testing the sustainability of the district’s STEAM Studio Model of Innovation by providing outreach, training and classroom support to educators, parents, and emerging student leaders in the Pittsburgh region and beyond.
  • Christa Flores, is the coordinator of the iLab for Making, a classroom designed for analog and digital making, at the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California—Christa teaches 5th graders Problem-Based Science in the iLab with an emphasis on material science, design thinking, working in collaborative teams, and sharing work. She is also a Stanford FabLearn Fellow studying making in education through an NSF grant with a focus on how to assess student learning in a maker classroom. She is passionate about making and research and design in the PreK-8 learning environment.

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