READING, Pa. — Penn State Berks will offer CREATEiT Learning By Making, a weekly professional development course for educators, from 5-8 p.m. every Wednesday, Sept. 28 to Nov. 30, in the Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building. In this course, educators will learn how to use Maker tools to stimulate design thinking in students and how to develop a design culture in which exploration and problem-solving are seen as valuable aspects of the classroom community. There is a $225 registration fee, which includes instruction and materials.
The course includes in-class sessions supplemented by online activities. The hands-on sessions provide participants with the opportunity to use Maker technologies and will focus not only on understanding the technologies but also on using them to teach design thinking, so participants with varying levels of experience will benefit. Online modules will help participants to reflect on learning outcomes and strategies for effectively implementing the technologies in their classrooms. Participants will have an opportunity to earn “digital badges” documenting the skills and knowledge they gain through participation. The course also provides participants an opportunity to fulfill 24 hours toward Act 48 requirements.
The first session will provide the structure for the course and will introduce the concept of design thinking. After the introductory session, participants will deepen their understanding of design thinking and how to instill it by participating in hands-on technology workshops. A detailed schedule is provided below.
Learning By Making: An Introduction, Sept. 28
In this session participants will be introduced to the concept of Maker Spaces as Thinker Spaces. In addition, participants will learn about design thinking and begin to develop strategies for implementing design thinking in the classroom.
Using TinkerCAD: Revolutionizing the Classroom, Oct. 5, 12
3D modeling and printing in the classroom is a creative and interactive way to engage a students. This workshop will teach 3D design with TinkerCAD, a simple-to-learn solid modeling program, through numerous hands-on activities. TinkerCAD requires no prior experience with design but is robust enough to create 3D models for printing.
Case Study: The Discovery Program at the Wilson School District, Oct. 19
The Discovery Program was implemented in the Wilson School District during the 2015-2016 school year to better develop critical thinking skills in elementary students through project-based learning. A team of educators from Wilson will provide an overview of the program, highlighting its successes and lessons learned.
Using littleBits: Tinkering is Learning, Oct. 26, Nov. 2
Learning and prototyping with electronics is used by educators as a cross-curricular, multisensory approach to reach students. littleBits makes a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks to create inventions. The tool is used to supplement and enhance existing curriculum in a creative and interactive manner. Participants will learn the basic modules while completing sample circuits and predetermined projects and will then employ the design process to produce products of their choice.
Using Lego Robotics: The Future is Here, Nov. 9, 15
Robotics is another tool used to teach often difficult or abstract concepts in science, math, technology and engineering. Participants will build robots and manipulate how they operate by creating a simple program using Lego Mindstorms. In the process, educators will gain a deeper understanding of how problem solving and critical thinking skills are developed through creativity and how to demonstrate the application of math and science principles to real-world situations.
Learning By Making: A Conclusion, Nov. 30
This session will allow participants to develop strategies from using Maker technologies to teach design thinking in the classroom. Participants will learn from the instructors and each other. The final session will conclude with a description of the opportunities to earn additional digital badges by continuing implementation activities after the course has ended.