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Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom [Paperback]

Sylvia Libow Martinez , Gary S. Stager Ph.D.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 May 2013 0989151107 978-0989151108
Join the maker movement!
There’s a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education. This book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement to every classroom.

Children are natural tinkerers
Their seminal learning experiences come through direct experience with materials. Digital fabrication, such as 3D printing and physical computing, including Arduino, MaKey MaKey and Raspberry Pi, expands a child’s toy and toolboxes with new ways to make things and new things to make. For the first time ever, childhood inventions may be printed, programmed or imbued with interactivity. Recycled materials can be brought back to life.

While school traditionally separates art and science, theory and practice, such divisions are artificial. The real world just doesn’t work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game developers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable. The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians. The maker community brings children, hobbyists and professionals together in a glorious celebration of personal expression with a modern flare.

When 3-D printing, precision cutting, microcomputer control, robotics and computer programming become integral to the art studio, auto shop or physics lab, every student needs access to tools, knowledge and problem solving skills. The maker movement not only blurs the artificial boundaries between subject areas, it erases distinctions between art and science while most importantly obliterating the crippling practice of tracking students in academic pursuits or vocational training. There are now multiple pathways to learning what we have always taught and things to do that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Making for every classroom budget
Even if you don’t have access to expensive (but increasingly affordable) hardware, every classroom can become a makerspace where kids and teachers learn together through direct experience with an assortment of high and low-tech materials. The potential range, breadth, power, complexity and beauty of projects has never been greater thanks to the amazing new tools, materials, ingenuity and playfulness you will encounter in this book.

In this practical guide, Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager provide K-12 educators with the how, why, and cool stuff that supports classroom making.

Frequently Bought Together

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom + The Art of Tinkering: Meet 150 Makers Working at the Intersection of Art, Science & Technology + Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators
Price For All Three: 58.49

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press (7 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989151107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989151108
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Sylvia Martinez is President of Generation YES, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young people to improve their schools and communities with modern technology. Sylvia works in schools around the world to bring the power of authentic learning into classrooms, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Sylvia speaks, writes, and advocates for student-centered, project-based learning, gender equity in technology, computer programming, and life-long learning. Previous to Generation YES, Sylvia was in charge of product development at several software publishers, designing and creating video games and educational software. Sylvia also had a career in aerospace engineering as a senior scientist on the GPS navigational satellite system research and development. She holds a masters in educational technology and a bachelors in electrical engineering.

Gary S. Stager, Ph.D. is one of the world's leading experts and advocates for computer programming, robotics and learning-by-doing in classrooms. In 1990, Dr. Stager led professional development in the world's first laptop schools and played a major role in the early days of online education. In addition to being a popular keynote speaker at some of the world's most prestigious education conferences, Gary is a journalist, teacher educator, consultant, professor, software developer, and school STEM. Director. An elementary teacher by training, he has taught students from preschool through doctoral studies. Gary is the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute for educators.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting book 7 Oct 2013
By Korou
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For the price - free - it's certainly a bargain! Lots of interesting ideas, and clear passion. Not enough, sadly, to make me finish the book yet, but I certainly intend to. I'm afraid I got more ideas from my own thinking about the message than from the book itself, at least so far.
Still. I do believe that encouraging teachers and pupils to move towards a more creative, child-initiaited and constructivist approach is a wonderful thing, and that this book has an important message.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic
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5.0 out of 5 stars Turn your creative practice on its head 18 April 2014
By DonnaC
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I received a recommendation for this book during a Maker Faire. I bought it, dip in and out, apply it in my teaching and reflect. I've recommended it more times than I can remember. It should be part of every educators essential kit. Don't keep reading reviews - buy the book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and practical guide for educators! 13 May 2013
By Karen Blumberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Want to start "making" but don't know where to begin or what to buy? This book is a great and practical resource for educators who are looking to incorporate meaningful play, tinkering, and STEAM initiatives into the classroom experience. (STEAM = Science Technology Engineering Art Math) Full of information, examples, and anecdotes from makers and teachers, this book will help you take the plunge and set up a mini or full-fledged Fab Lab.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have used less history and more suggestions 18 Oct 2013
By Alexander Schuh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For a book that asks you to jump right into a great mode of teaching and learning, it takes a while in the book to get there. Presumably, if you have picked up the book, you don't need to know the philosophy and history of the movement- you already are a believer! Other than that, a good, useful book with good connections to a lot of online resources.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From history to how-to for serious change-makers 10 May 2013
By Maryann Molishus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Invent to Learn is the perfect book for educators, administrators and community leaders who are invested in real educational changes in their schools. Gary and Sylvia seamlessly connect the ideas of progressive education to the current maker movement. Children crave creative, interesting and challenging projects, and the pressure is on for schools to develop a more STEM-centered learning environment. If you are ready for change, there's no need to start from scratch. Invent to Learn is an invaluable collection of ideas and resources to help both new and experienced educators grow professionally. Once you read this book, you will discover there is no end to the exciting things you can do with your students!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broad overview, but not very useful 29 Nov 2013
By Mark J. Welch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Invent to Learn" provides an overview with lots of examples of how "making" can be incorporated into the classroom, but it's written by two education technology experts who don't seem to have much experience in K-12 classrooms with students, and doesn't provide the kind of useful information I'd expect in a book written for an audience of classroom teachers.

Don't judge the book by the introduction or first chapter, which are much less useful and interesting than the later chapters. This book is a great example of how misleading Amazon's free preview feature can be; for this book, it includes only the Introduction, which is frankly not as interesting and engaging (and certainly not as useful) as some of the later chapters. Chapter One is a dry, unhelpful history of "making." You must grind forward to find the content that's actually insightful and useful.

This book provides a broad overview and could certainly be useful to some teachers who believe their knowledge of technology is weak. Some of the later chapters might be useful to more teachers who already incorporate technology and "making" in their classrooms.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, computer use in schools becomes more worthwhile for kids... 23 May 2013
By Bruce Dixon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Invent to Learn is a book long overdue, as it will serve to refocus so much of the distracting triviality that has overtaken much of our use of computers in schools in recent times.

This a game-changing book through which Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez will reshape the conversation around our expectations of what computers truly make possible for young people. They have grasped the essence of what really matters and what our students should really be doing with computers.

They have taken some of the best ideas of people like Piaget and Papert and turned them into practical, tangible opportunities for young people to be inspired learners. I believe Invent to Learn will become a foundation textbook in undergraduate teaching courses in Colleges around the world, and should be a core reference for any teacher who sees computing as way of creating hard fun with their students.
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