Today I hosted and presented an eXtension webinar based on my article entitled, "Extension and The Maker Movement" published in the Journal of Extension. My co-author and co-presenter was my colleague Dave Francis. In case you missed it, you can get the recording here.
Here are my presentation resources:
Slide 1 Extension & The Maker Movement
Slide 2 Presenters
Slide 3 The Maker Movement is the next BIG thing.
The last big things were the computer revolution and the explosion of the Internet.
Slide 4 The Internet of Things
The next advance on the rise is the Internet of Things (where smart, physical objects are connected with sensors, attached to the Internet and programmed to make decisions as well as collect small/big data), but for it to work, there must be things to be attached to.
The tools of innovation are now open to everyone, not just large corporations. We are living through a time of the democratization of the tools of innovation.
Slide 5 Explosion of creativity and innovation
We are at the beginning of the largest explosion of creativity and innovation the world has ever seen. The nature of making things is changing. Technology has begun to make creating easy enough that everyone can make. Easier access to knowledge, capital and markets is expanding the Maker Movement. Cheap, powerful, and easy-to-use tools play an important role.
Slide 6 Learning is fundamental to making.
Making brings a natural interest in learning, for learning is fundamental to making. With the Maker Movement comes a renewed focus on community and local resources and a desire for more authentic and quality things, along with a renewed interest in how to make things and contribute to the movement.
Slide 7 A makerspace is a center or workspace where like-minded people get together to make things.
Makerspaces are unleashing this creativity and innovation because they are democratizing access to the tools of the next industrial revolution.
Slide 8 Anyone can innovate, anyone can make, anyone can change the world.
Now, anyone can innovate, anyone can make, anyone can change the world.
Through the Maker Movement we can collectively use our creativity to attack the world’s greatest problems and meet people’s most urgent needs.
Slide 9 The Maker Movement needs Extension’s leadership and expertise.
It is our opportunity to connect people and work to establish makerspaces.
Slide 10 Extension: The Original Makers
On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, providing each state with public lands to create universities specializing in home economics, mechanical arts, and other professions that were practical at the time (Comer, Campbell, Edwards, & Hillison, 2006). The Smith–Lever Act of 1914 established a system of Cooperative Extension Services, connected to the land-grant universities, in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, leadership, economic development, and many other related subjects (Gould, Steele, & Woodrum, 2014). 4-H was developed as a strategy to disseminate information to youth, because they were more willing to try new ideas.
As society advanced, many of the skills taught by Extension, such as sewing, resources, and blueprints for farm buildings (Farm Building Plans, 2014), were considered less relevant and not taught as frequently. In addition to Extension reducing efforts in home economics and industrial arts, public schools have also lessened their efforts to teach "Shop and Home Ec" (Brown, 2012; Graham, 2013).
Slide 11 The Maker Movement provides Extension an opportunity to engage with a new audience interested in many of the resource-rich topics Extension has already developed.
Today, however, a growing Maker Movement provides Extension an opportunity to engage with a new audience interested in many of the resource-rich topics Extension has already developed.
Slide 12 A New Category of Builders
People around the world are using the technology of online social networks to connect and share their projects, they call themselves "Makers" (Hagel, Brown, & Kulasooriya, 2014). A Maker is someone who makes stuff: apparel, robots, crafts, food, furniture, art, or electronic gadgets. This term, "Maker," is described by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine, as "a new category of builders who are using open-source methods and the latest technology to bring manufacturing out of its traditional factory context, and into the realm of the personal desktop computer" (Gustin, 2012).
Slide 13 Invention, prototyping, and applying practical skills in new creative ways.
The Maker Movement is a subculture that pushes innovation to the limit, encouraging new applications of technologies. Within the culture there's an enthusiasm for invention, prototyping, and applying practical skills in new creative ways. Makers want to figure out how to make or do stuff on their own. They have a passion for creating, building, and sharing in a gamut of topics including recipes, gardening, sewing, mechanics, and many more. Enter the opportunity for Extension: We have the ability to apply a century of experience in these topics and connect with a thriving grassroots movement that is growing by leaps and bounds. A quick glimpse into the social networks of these Makers reveals that they are driven simply by their curiosity for creating and learning new things—they also generously share their handiwork and techniques with others online and face-to-face (Thomas, 2012).
Side 14 Makers gather to show off their ideas at “Fairs.”
A growing trend is for Makers to gather to show off their ideas at a "Maker Faire." Extension and the land-grant system have been providing information to individuals and encouraging them to share their efforts at county and state fairs for over 100 years. Extension has a chance to engage with the Maker Movement to disseminate research-based information and practical skills to better support Maker efforts.
Slide 15 Extension’s New Clients
Understanding and engaging with the growing Maker Movement is vitally important to Extension programs. The Maker Movement provides a new audience, especially in urban locations, for Extension to rebrand existing materials to provide quality; research-based content Makers need to be safe and successful in a variety of Maker projects from food preservation to electricity.
In the early days of Extension, educators began connecting youth with the work of the land-grant university. This proved successful because, in the early 1900s, corn clubs were established and educators found youth to be more receptive than their parents in adopting new corn planting techniques. Through young people's involvement and accomplishments in the corn clubs, the parents were exposed to new farming methods and convinced to adopt new practices (Rasmussen, 1989; Reyburn, 1980).
Slide 16 4-H & The Maker Movement
4-H involvement in the Maker Movement embraces the idea of igniting the spark in young people to create, collaborate, and develop science abilities. In the same way early corn and canning clubs created positive impacts on parents and communities, involvement with the Maker Movement is doing the same today (Van Horn, Flanagan, & Thomson, 1998).
Utah 4-H secured a pilot Maker grant and resources from Google and Maker Media to supply two Makerspaces in Cache and Washington Counties with equipment needed to host regular Maker Club activities and summer Maker Camps. The Discover 4-H curriculum used for these activities was all developed and rebranded using research–based information by USU Extension professionals from every domain of expertise (Discover 4-H Clubs, 2014). This work led to funding from Utah’s Department of Workforce Services in the amount of $1 million that funded a makerspace in the city of Logan with paid staff to run afterschool 4-H Maker Clubs.
Slide 17 Extension’s Opportunity & Challenge
The Maker Movement is expanding from basements and garages to a global community. In fact, the White House even hosted its first Maker Faire in 2014 to raise awareness of the Maker Movement, and the President proclaimed June 18, 2014 a National Day of Making (White House, 2014). In the spirit of belonging, building, and sharing the things they're passionate about, the Maker Movement has emerged, giving voice and encouragement to all who seek to express themselves through the things they create (Denmead, 2013). Extension has an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge of the land-grant educator and volunteer network to participate in a meaningful way. Doing so will increase the visibility of Extension and deliver content to a new audience. This effort will assist Extension in staying relevant in the 21st century.
Brown, T. T. (2012, May 30). The death of shop class and America's skilled workforce. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarabrown/2012/05/30/the-death-of-shop-class-and-americas-high-skilled-workforce/
Comer, M., Campbell, T., Edwards, K., & Hillison, J. (2006). Cooperative Extension and the 1890 land-grant institution: The real story. Journal of Extension [On-line], 44(3) Article 3FEA4. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2006june/a4.php
Denmead, K. (2013, June 3). Why the Maker Movement is here to stay. Retrieved from: http://makezine.com/2013/06/03/why-the-maker-movement-is-here-to-stay/
Discover 4-H Clubs. (January 1, 2014). Utah 4-H. Retrieved from: http://utah4h.org/htm/discover4hclubs
Farm Building Plans. (2014, January 8) retrieved from: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/blueprints/farmbuildings.html
Gould, F. I., Steele, D., & Woodrum, W. J. (2014). Cooperative Extension: A century of innovation. Journal of Extension [On-line], 52(1) Article 1COM1. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/2014february/comm1.php
Graham, R. (2013, October 13). Bring back home ec! The case for a revival of the most retro class in school. Retrieved from: http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/10/12/bring-back-home/EJJi9yzjgJfNMqxWUIEDgO/story.html?s_campaign=sm_tw
Gustin, S. (2012, October 1). How the 'Maker' Movement plans to transform the U.S. economy. Retrieved from: http://business.time.com/2012/10/01/how-the-maker-movement-plans-to-transform-the-u-s-economy/
Hagel, J., Brown, J.S., & Kulasooriya, D. (2014, January 24). A movement in the making: What makes "making"—the next generation of inventing and do-it-yourself—worth paying attention to?Retrieved from: http://dupress.com/articles/a-movement-in-the-making/?id=us%3Asm%3Atw%3Adup689%3Atmt%3Aawa%3A013014%3ADeloitteTMT
Hatch, M (2014). The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.
Rasmussen, W. D. (1989). Taking the university to the people: Seventy-five years of cooperative extension. Purdue University Press.
Reyburn, J. H. (1980). 4-H in Pennsylvania. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Thomas, A. (2012, September 7). Engaging students in the STEM classroom through "Making." Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/stem-engagement-maker-movement-annmarie-thomas
Van Horn, B. E., Flanagan, C. A., & Thomson, J. S. (1998). The first fifty years of the 4-H program. Journal of Extension [On-line], 36(6) Article 6COM2. Available at: http://www.joe.org/joe/1998december/comm2.php
White House Maker Faire. (2014, June 17). The White House: President Barack Obama. Retrieved from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/maker-faire
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Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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