Today, Digital Promise is publishing the Maker Learning Leadership Framework, a toolkit for education leaders as they work towards ensuring all students have opportunities to make.

The Framework offers resources, strategies, and models to help school and district leaders establish their vision, build their culture, and make their program.

The Framework was created through a year-long collaborative process with school districts from around the country. Each element is grounded in the work of pioneering educators and researchers, and has been vetted by a cohort of teachers and administrators from six school districts who have used tools from the Framework in crafting their own programs.

Looking for a place to start? Check out some of these tools inside the Framework:

  • Superintendents: draw inspiration from other schools to help you chart the right course for your district.

  • Principals: use our worksheet for envisioning culturally relevant maker learning in your school.

  • Tech directors: use our scatterplot to help you identify appropriate tools as your program evolves over time.

  • Instructional coaches: support teachers with our instructional guides and conversation starters.


Spotlight on the Maker Learning Leadership Pilot Cohort

In July, a cohort of teachers and administrators gathered at Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia to take on the challenge of integrating maker learning in their school districts. Teams of educators — teachers, instructional coaches, librarians, principals, and superintendents — from six different school districts engaged in three days of collaboration, inquiry, and hands-on professional learning. Since then, this cohort has reconvened in monthly online meetings as they have continued building their maker learning programs.

The leadership of these educators has been crucial in the development of the Maker Learning Leadership Framework. They have vetted the Framework by using its resources and by documenting their approaches to key challenges.

The section in the Framework entitled “Develop a Maker Mindset” features case studies about building a maker culture in schools. Cohort district Mentor Public Schools shared how they engage their students and educators in making with Advisory Design Challenges. During MPS faculty meetings, instructional coaches lead the staff through hands-on design challenges, such as building a freestanding tower using spaghetti or making a bridge of straws that can hold the most weight.  The teachers then take on these same challenges with their students during advisory periods.  At the end of the month, teachers and students face off in a design challenge where the winner’s project is showcased in the main corridor of the school.

When using the Framework, keep an eye out for work from these participants too:

  • Baltimore County Public Schools (Maryland)

  • Compton Unified School District (California)

  • East Noble School Corporation (Indiana)

  • Rock Hill Schools (South Carolina)

  • Vancouver Public Schools (Washington)