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Wednesday, August 1 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Research Paper Panel: The State of Maker Ed

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Sites of Collision for Arts Education, the Maker Movement, and Neoliberal Agendas in Education
Alisa Reith

In recent years, the concept “making” has been claimed by “The Maker
Movement.” While making offers great potential (and resources) for art integration,
maker discourse is often intertwined with a neoliberal mission. For example,
movement leaders glorify Steve Jobs and hark on the myth that hobbies can be
transformed into wealth-­generating endeavors. As art-­making activities across the
U.S. intersect with the maker movement, prominent learning theories that contradict
this neoliberal philosophy may be repurposed or disremembered. This article
examines research from a multi-­year empirical study. It provides a rich example of
how discourse around making fits into learning in arts education, showcasing
instances when neoliberal ideology collides with contradictory theories regarding how
and why people learn and make.

I Had The Slime Of My Life: No I Never Felt This Way Before
Anna Jordan-Douglass, Jessie Nixon

Since its release in 2010, Ito et. al’s Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out framework has been widely used to describe youth digital production from a variety of platforms from Facebook to YouTube. However, the recent influx of slime tutorials demands a new framework that incorporates maker practices, as through video production youth simultaneously make and document making. Our paper lays the groundwork towards a framework which accurately reflects the practices youth engage in while creating and producing slime videos; examines slime creators as a community of practice; and provides insight into the intersection between media production and maker practices.

Is Making all about Tinkering? A Case Study of High School Students’ Activities in Biomaker Workshops
Emma Anderson, Yasmin Kafai

Most research on making has focused on tinkering with tangible and digital materials and processes in STEM disciplines like computing and engineering. Few studies have explored making with living organisms. In biomaking, students design new materials and artifacts by genetically manipulating microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria that require particular conditions for growth and survival. In this study, we examined 34 high school students’ experiences and reflections on making biologos by growing color pigments and making biosensors by creating fluorescent reactions. Through observations of workshop interactions and interviews with focus groups, we found that biomaking primarily engages students with assembly, or step-by-step, processes rather than tinkering with materials. In the discussion we address the potential of assembly practices to promote rich learning experiences not just in biomaking, but also in other maker activities.


Emma Anderson

Scheller Teacher Ed Program
avatar for Anna Jordan-Douglass

Anna Jordan-Douglass

Chief Creative Officer, Makefully
avatar for Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai

Chair, Teaching Learning & Leadership Division, University of Pennsylvania
Yasmin Kafai is Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a researcher, designer, and developer of online communities and tools (ecrafting.org, stitchtfest.org, and scratch.mit.edu) to promote computational participation, crafting, and creativity across K-16. Book publications include Connected Code, Connected Play, The Computer Clubhouse, Textile Messages, and Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat. Kafai earned a doctorate from Harvard University while working wit... Read More →
avatar for Jessie Nixon

Jessie Nixon

UW Madison

Wednesday August 1, 2018 3:15pm - 4:15pm
MIT Tang Center, E51-145 - Lecture Hall, Building E51 2 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Attendees (32)