The Maker Navigator Model has 3 core and interdependent components build around these beliefs:
SYNCHRONIZE FORMAL & INFORMAL EDUCATION: The time educators must allocate to meet increasing academic demands, driven by high-stakes testing, makes it very difficult to find time to prepare, seek, acquire, and prepare the support and instructional materials needed to engage kids in the type of interest-driven experiential learning opportunities that deepen understanding while building the skills and confidence to be knowledge and solution seekers – innovators.
Offering workshops in informal spaces, such as public libraries, and synchronizing in-school-programs (ISP), afterschool programs (ASP), and camp programs (CP) maximizes resources, fosters collaboration, and increases experiential learning opportunities for k-12 youth and all the adults who serve them.
Maker Navigator provides the venue for collaboration, professional development, training, and curricular & instructional resources to support both formal and informal educators in the iterative development of scaffolding and sustainable maker education programs and the learning spaces that supports it.
FACILITY & INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN for INNOVATION: An educational maker space is simply a hands-on and mind-on experiential learning environment designed and outfitted with the materials, tools, equipment, and technology to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and innovation. Maker Education and Maker Spaces may be the trending buzz words; but, it’s an old idea with supporting evidence – The constructivist approach! The physical space and open access to the tools & materials are important to engage and encourage kids to find their passion and share their knowledge and skills; however, the true educational value comes from collaboration with mentors and peers that is stimulated by Interest-driven programming & curriculum that scaffolds to build skills and confidence to engage and guide young makers through the learning and innovation process. The big question is how do I let them go without mass chaos erupting… burns from hot glue guns … sharp objects and power tools? really? It’s not easy and it takes time and resources!
With a systematic approach to instructional design for an experiential learning environment, Maker Navigator provides the additional support and resources needed to “set the stage” where kids have the autonomy and gain the ability to be self-managed and self-directed learners – own it! The training program is designed to assist Maker Coaches with active learning techniques to avoid crossing the line that confuses setting kids up for success with not allowing them to fail. The training & framework serves as a guide for program providers to maximize time and resources to manage an interest-driven learning environment that is a safe place to learn, share, build confidence, and be intrinsically motivation to generate new ideas, build & test prototypes, and grow to be design thinkers that solve real world problems.
LEARNING COMMUNITY: Creating a center for knowledge, skills, ideas, and resources to enhance long-term educational value of maker education, Maker Navigator coordinates and manages the venue and logistics to compile and distribute the resources. Given more opportunities to work together, educators, parents, and program providers will empower and support each other. The Maker Navigator Curriculum & Programming Development team of educators, parents, students, and STEAM experts provide new organizations with the support needed to set the stage and get started! In addition to community driven workshops and collaboration events, Maker Navigator organizations will have access to on-line resource bank featuring Maker Projects aligned with Indiana Content & Process Standards and instructional materials that have been piloted with success. Pooling and sharing resources will reduce cost and time challenges often association with Maker Education and Experiential Learning.