What do you use to make things:

  • Pencil and paper?
  • Needle and thread?
  • Cardboard and duct tape?
  • Circuits and code?
  • Some combination of these and others?

In the end, no set of materials is “better” than any other. It all depends on what you’re trying to make.

As maker educators, the same applies for the tools we introduce into projects and lessons — the key is to select the tools that align with our learning objectives.



Researchers tend to study tools, activities, and learning outcomes as interacting parts of the same equation. By considering these elements together, we can keep a careful eye on how we are supporting students and enhancing learning in our classrooms.

Dive into the research and apply these lessons to your own practice: identify the learning that you hope to support, and use the tools that deepen those activities.

Adopting new tools at the appropriate time

Using the right tools in a project or lesson is one challenge; making sure that your program has access to those tools can be another challenge entirely. Try using the tools scatterplot from the Maker Learning Leadership Framework to identify which tools may be the best investment for your program at any given time.

Keeping you connected to research

In the coming months, Maker Promise will be publishing new resources to help maker educators put research into practice. Keep an eye out for a collection of infographics and a series of webinars here in the Maker Promise blog.