Challenge Accepted!

Maker Project Challenge: To compose a project using the maker ideology to teach content to students.

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 8.32.51 PMWhat is maker ideology? According to the Design Thinking for Educators Tool Kit, “Design thinking…” or maker ideology, “… is about believing we can make a difference, and having an intentional process in order to get to new, relevant solutions that create positive impact” (IDEO LLC, 2012, p. 10). The projects are person centered, collaborative, positive and experimental giving the students and teachers tenacity to do and try new things. Sounds simple right? Well it can be, but like most great challenges there is a learning curve and the more you do it, use maker ideology to put together  content related projects the easier it will become. I’ve put together a project for you to use in your classes around coding. This project was designed with high school students who have moderate to severe intellectual abilities. So take it and tweak it for your students as you see fit.

For a Google Doc of this Coding project with picture how to guide click here.

At the age of 16 students on an IEP must have a transition plan in place. This transition plan is student centered and will have three areas to focus. These areas of focus will help determine the IEP goals for the next several years while the student is still in public schooling, for my students this is until that age of 22. The three areas of focus are post-secondary education, post-secondary employment and post-secondary independent living skills.

Most of my students would really like to work in the video game industry. Some say at a video game store like GameStop and a few have said that they would like to create their own games. (I have one student who has some really good ideas on remixing of some games) Coding will help these students determine if this is a skill that they want to continue to learn to make a life long career out of coding/gaming. This will also allow other students who may have never thought about gaming as a job to see if they will enjoy doing something like the everyday.

Social Skills: Connecting positively to your community

Empathy is difficult skill for my students to transfer. So when we go out into the community and take a tour of any kind I like to have them send thank you cards. A thank you card will connect my students positively to their community, help them remember where they went and why they went there.

Materials Needed: Computer with internet and an account to (free)

Coding a Digital Thank You CardScreen Shot 2014-07-13 at 8.46.41 PM

I DID IT! I coded something! What can you code? Share your ideas and projects in the comments below so that I can try them with my kiddos 😉


IDEO: Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit: Version 2. Retrieved from


One thought on “Challenge Accepted!

  1. Great project Alicia! I am very impressed with how many valuable skills you have in your lesson. Empathy is such an important skill for students to learn and with your students’ interest in video games I am sure they would love this lesson! It is very engaging. I used the Makey Makey, so it was interesting to read about another makers kit. Great job, I look forward to hearing how this lesson goes with you students. 🙂

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