As the maker movement has grown in schools across the country, we have seen how important a strong regional ecosystem of support and partnership can be in accelerating and maintaining this work. These ecosystems that gather educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, funders, and others exponentially increase the potential to create maker learning environments that are sustainable and equitable. By working together, networks can do more to engage diverse stakeholders; share limited resources; equitably diffuse social capital; and develop empathy, connections, and trust across racial, geographic, linguistic, and socioeconomic divides. As you work to create opportunities to learn through making, we encourage you to seek out growing networks or work to start one in your city or region.

Spotlight on Remake Learning 

A prominent example of the power of a strong regional network can be found in Western Pennsylvania. Remake Learning is a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change. It is an open group of interconnected, creative, and innovative people and organizations in the greater Pittsburgh region. The purpose of the Remake Learning network is to spark and share best practices and new ideas, make it easier for neighbors and colleagues to help each other, reduce duplicative efforts in the region, and leverage resources collectively for greater impact.

Remake Learning encompasses a broad array of interests including next generation professional development for educators and expanding access to high-quality STEM, STEAM, and computer science learning opportunities for youth. Maker education has been one of the deepest areas of focus for the network and many of its members.

Learn more about how Remake Learning and this network of schools and organizations support maker education across the Pittsburgh region.

Are you ready to build a maker learning network in your own region? The Remake Learning Playbook covers the theory and practice of building learning innovation networks, the resources and strategies required to put networks into action, and the impact of the network in schools, museums, libraries, communities, and more. Digital Promise’s Education Innovation Clusters initiative works to study and support these networks across the country.

Looking for some inspiring classroom projects? These Connected Learning Lesson plans, created by Remake Learning member schools and organizations, exemplify some of the best connected learning practices that have developed in Pittsburgh over the last several years. This collection of resources was designed to be used, shared, remixed, and reused. Use the hashtag #RemakeLearning to share how  you adapt these lessons for your own students.

Convene your network with a Maker Meetup! Gather representatives from local schools, organizations, and businesses to share experiences and ideas, and to form new partnerships. Maker Ed has resources to help you plan and a stipend may be available to support your local meetup.