Becoming Makers: Examining "Making" Literacy in the Elementary School Science Classroom

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Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

IDC ’17: Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children



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This paper extends the concept of digital literacy and applies it to Making. Through case descriptions, we contribute an understanding of how children can become or fail to become individuals literate in Making within a formal learning context. Our analysis draws from video recordings and other data sources of two 4th grade classrooms in which the students, who had already participated in 1.5 years of more structured 'makified activities', engaged in an open-ended, exploration-based, and playful task that was more in line with the spirit of Making. Student teams were classified as 'high in Making literacy' and 'low in Making literacy', revealing how Making literacy was expressed at the level of skills, mental models, and practices in various ways for different students. Our qualitative analysis demonstrates what burgeoning Making literacy may mean in a public elementary school classroom, paving the way for a vision of a time when Making becomes generalized practice.

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