Episode 30: Manhattan Make-A-Thon

Wed May 30 2018 (01:14:47)

This episode is about Maker Education, but also about the high stakes of designing high quality professional experiences for educators. There are still too many professional experiences meant to hone craft, build skills, and excite that are way too dull.

Manhattan Make-A-Thon is something different. And for that, it deserves a lot of credit. Earlier in the year, Lori Stahl Van-Brackle, Director of Instructional Technology for the Manhattan Field Support Center at the NYC DOE, challenged 20 schools in a special cohort to design maker-driven learning experiences that they would test with young people at school, and then lead experiential training at the make-a-thon: rooms upon rooms full of educators sewing, hammering, hot-glueing away while they discuss pedagogy alongside their peers. Many of them brought students, too. Which, where it worked, was an exciting glimpse at what it looks like when learning isn't something bestowed upon us, but is constructed through experience and interaction, and can most certainly be shared at the same time between teacher and student.

My thanks to the talented team who made it possible. The following is a series of interviews with participants as the day unfolded.


Casey, Kenya, Carol, Mr. Deepak Kapoor

Amanda Solarsh, and Caitlyn from MS 104

PS 191 in Manhattan

Amy Sachs from Roberto Clemente, PS 15

Jessica Wenke from Teq

and David Wells from NYSCI