Thursday, April 17, 2014

Invent to Learn Book Club Winners Announced

After 9 weeks of thought-provoking conversations, our Spring eLearning Book Club has come to an end. Thanks to all of you for participating and sharing your ideas on adding making to your classroom. Three book club participants who shared every week of the book club were selected at random to receive a $1000 mini professional development grant. The spring book club winners are Rosa Sparling, Alison Kent, and Michelle Sparling. Three winners were also selected from the Fall eLearning Book Club. They are Ingrid Saxman, Jamie Guillaume, and Julie Myers. Details about our Summer eLearning Book Club will be announced soon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 9: The Final Week

Thank you all for participating in this book club. Hopefully you each have learned something and are ready to implement some making in your classroom or school. As we end our spring book club, please share with the group what your next steps on the road to making will be. As you think about your future plans, be sure to check out some of the resources listed in chapter 14.

All book club participants who have made a meaningful contribution each week of the book club will be eligible for a prize. Winners will be selected and notified early next week. Be sure to have all of your comments posted by Friday afternoon, March 28th. PGP documentation will be sent to book club participants in the next few weeks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 8: Making the Case and Do Unto Ourselves

"The design of professional development, especially efforts involving technology, is too often predicated on a presumption of adult inferiority. We are told that teachers are digital immigrants, that they need more professional development, and that our expectations need to be modest." What do you think of this quote? Have you been given or have you sought out opportunities to learn by making? After reading chapter 12, do you have thoughts on how you would "make the case" for the maker movement to members of your school community?

Next week we will celebrate the first full week of spring with the end of the Spring eLearning Book Club. We'll finish up our conversation about the book next week.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 7: Student Leadership and Make Your Own Maker Day

I was glad to get to chapter 10 because I feel like the focus of our discussions has been on the teachers. How do you see students being leaders in your classroom and, ideally, in your maker classroom? After reading chapter 11, I want to go to a Maker Day! I can see a Maker Day as being a great way to introduce parents (and community members) to a move to making in your classroom or school. What do you think of sharing this with your school community? If you hear of any Maker Days or maker activities, please let this group know.

For next week, read chapters 12 and 13, "Making the Case" and "Do Unto Others."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 6: Stuff and Shaping the Learning Environment

These two chapters were all about setting up your learning environment. What kind of "stuff" do you have in your classroom? Are you encouraging making in your classroom simply by offering supplies to your students? And after reading chapter 9, what ideas or plans do you have for your new or improved making learning environment?

Next week we will discuss chapters 10 and 11. We only have 3 weeks left in our spring book club. (Will it even be spring by then?) If you haven't been keeping up with the readings and commenting to the posts, be sure you take some time to do that. We will award PGPs at the end of the book club and those who have participated in every weeks' conversation will be eligible for a prize. All the more reason to participate!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 5: Making Today and The Game Changers

This week we read chapters 6 and 7 in Invent to Learn. Chapter 6 helps us dip our toes in this new/old idea, sharing lots of ideas of no- or low-tech ways of making. What about the boy who created a video game out of boxes? What amazing creativity! After reading chapter 7, who else wants a 3D printer...or a robot? Chapter 7 discussed fabrication, physical computing, and programming. Do you have ideas on how you can use any of these things in your classroom? What kind of ideas do you have for a student project?

Note: Indiana has a statewide grant from SketchUp Pro, giving all Indiana public schools free access to the pro product. If you are interested in utilizing SketchUp Pro, please contact your school or district technology support person or your school industrial technology or graphic design teacher and see if your school is already using SketchUp Pro. If they are interested in more information about the grant, have them contact Meri Carnahan at

For next week, we'll read chapter 8, "Stuff," and chapter 9, "Shaping and Learning." We're now halfway through the book. Make sure you're keeping up on your reading and commenting on each week's post if you would like to receive PGPs for participating in the book club.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Invent to Learn Week 4: What Makes a Good Project? and Teaching

There is so much great stuff in this week's chapters. What project(s) do your students do that they talk about when you run into them at the grocery store or mall years later? What do you think of the matra "Less Us, More Them"? What is your biggest concern about moving to a making and tinkering classroom? For next week, read chapters 6 and 7, "Making Today" and "The Game Changers."