Production-centered classrooms facilitate the use of “[d]igital tools [to] provide opportunities for producing and creating a wide variety of media, knowledge, and cultural content in experimental and active ways” (Ito et al. 2013:8).
Leah Buechley, in her video, makes us readers aware of the issues surrounding equity in the maker movement. We don’t just want our students DIY-ing in the maker movement we want the maker movement to be about education, and we want the opportunity to make to be accessible. Buechley points out that publications in the maker movement, places like Make Magazine have not become spaces with a wide variety of participation where equity is present. As a teacher in a district with less money than other districts in the county, we are constantly seeking equity among our students. And at the same time, differentiating and scaffolding, considering our special education population continues to grow.
In chapter 4, of Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, Clifford Lee (2014) emphasizes the importance of not making production-centered and production synonymous in the classroom, but rather creating an environment where students see meaning and purpose behind what they create (56). Jason Sellers, of the Bay Area Writing Project, also is quoted in Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, stating, “Remember: Check with a classmate and/or check the IF guides before asking me for help. You learn by making mistakes and troubleshooting. Your brains stop working when I give you the answer!” (69). This is something I reiterate to my students all the time! There is so much power present in making mistakes, which leads me to my inquiry question of the semester, which has also led me to my make for the week…
Once again, I focus on this question:
I am really drawn to the science department in the junior high, if you haven’t noticed I have mentioned in a couple of my #F5F. They are constantly creating/producing/making, but with a purpose. The students are so engaged, making connections and memories as well as challenged. Their students are “tinkering,” exploring creativity, failing and then using resources to problem solve. Right now, in Spanish 1, we are discussing the house, la casa, and differences between the verb, which mean to be, ser and estar. This chapter actually fits so nicely in the world of production, but more importantly production with meaning! This week, not only was I inspired to make because of my inquiry question, my students and I were inspired to make because of Caine’s Arcade and the Global Cardboard Challenge. Here is my make for the week: Mi casa ideal (My ideal house)/ Mi apartamento ideal (My ideal apartment). **I always wanted to live in a studio apartment in a city.**
The purpose behind this creation? Students, next week, will present their ideal house and utilize chapter vocabulary to discuss what it includes, while describing the house and its inclusions using differences between ser and estar. The project has been presented to the students. And I must say, the reaction was 50/50…half thinking this is great, I cannot wait to create, while others went into complete panic requiring very specific guidelines, and then some even requesting to take a chapter test. Some even expressed major concerns over constructing with cardboard, therefore I used the app Planner 5D, to create another make as an example for students. They are free to design their ideal house/apartment on this app, on their school-issued iPad. Check out the examples below. So, we are giving this production a try. I told them we might fail, but we will use each other to pick ourselves up! I cannot wait to see and hear the results!