Maker as a movement is now well-established. Libraries are setting up with 3D printers and schools are welcoming after-school clubs that get kids inventing with technology through hands-on maker using the likes of arduino, makey makey and littleBits or coding classes. But for busy parents or teachers, sourcing kid-friendly resources for those classes is a challenge.
The maker movement is inspiring because it belongs to amateur makers, people who spend hours tinkering to make things work. Knowing whether those projects will work in a class of 10-year-olds is a time-consuming business as the only way to find out is to buy all the kit and try it yourself. So what do you do? Splash out on a whole bunch of kit not knowing if it’s going to be a hit with your students or children? Or do you go straight to the source and look to the technology companies that are creating the software that you think you might be using?
The answer is a mix of both and lots more besides. To help teachers wanting to set up classes or parents who want to just have fun making projects with their kids at home, I am setting up rafia – a new, easy-to-use online resource full of reviews of products that I have tried and tested with my class at Kent Middle School in northern California. Each week, we’ll be using the latest educational tools, kits and products, from littleBits to the latest robots that help children learn programming. In the pipeline, a rafiakids website and newsletter. Make a note to join us, it’ll be fun!
Rafia coding and making Club starts January 2016Booking is via Larkspur Recreation website