56 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
that the role of the facilitators of this session was to ask questions and nudge, and that they, the
students, were responsible for their own hands-on learning. This shift in their thinking turned into a
substantial finding for our team. We realized that technology wasn’t exactly what they needed just yet.
What they needed more of was an outlet for their creative energies. They needed classroom
environments where teachers and staff incorporated a constructivist mindset. Our team started to
wonder, question, and connect ‘making’ to their learning. The question we were now asking was:
Could developing a maker mindset make a difference to students’ education at GBMH?
We decided to prototype a model: empower the teachers, help grow their understanding, and they in
turn can empower the students. We believed that at the end of the day, the school’s teachers have to
own the making process, believe in the constructivist mindset, and integrate it into daily learning.
Maker PD 101
The Indian curriculum places great emphasis on math and science. Our challenge for the GBMH teachers
was to find a way for them to see the value that Art could bring to teaching these subjects in the
classroom. We organized a morning Maker PD session for 14 elementary school teachers to give them a
hands-on experience in learning through making themselves.
Scribble Bots - Perfection in the Imperfect
Their first activity was to create a scribble bot,
a drawing machine created out of recycled
materials and a motor. We showed them an
example, provided them with a variety of
materials - pens, recycled yogurt cups, tape,
batteries, and motors - and let them run free
from there. Making a scribble bot wasn’t
difficult. However, the secret to creating the
perfect one was to offset the weight of the bot
just enough to make it move when the motor
was on. We were curious to see how many
teachers would figure out this concept and
apply it to their prototype. Through trial and
error, teachers started to catch on, and found
this to be amusing but clever, and ultimately,
critical to learning.
Turtle Art - Program Your Art
The teachers had a chance to integrate Art with programming using Turtle Art, a software that allows
one to use blocks and create art through coding. This achieved two goals for us: they had a chance to
tinker with the laptops, and they also saw a clear link between art and math. Our main insight from this
activity was that while a few teachers struggled with just using the laptops, most others learned Turtle
Art easily and saw those connections. These insights will be helpful in the future when we are ready to
move into integrating technology into their classrooms.
GBMH Teachers Creating Scribble Bots