Teaching rights


by Erin Riley -

Here’s an idea that can be larger in scope or can be used to manage your maker space.

I was inspired last fall while visiting the Lighthouse Creativity Lab in Oakland, where Aaron Vanderwerff teaches, by their excellent punchcard system for designating users and granting teaching rights for tools and machines in their space. Another example of student teaching in action is at Susan Klimczak's site where teaching is built into the programming and reaches the larger community through Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn.

At Greenwich Academy we have instituted a punchcard system for our machines.  The bulk of our trained machine users are Upper School students but the list is growing with students and faculty alike.  During training sessions, students take notes, and these are serving as the step-by-steps instruction sheets for each machine.

When students teach they: solidify their own learning, share their knowledge with peers, and gain confidence.  When the teaching pool widens to include students, the heirarchy breaks down and our makerspaces become a place for students, including us.

Our punchcard here.




Christa Flores's picture

I love this post. I have been using student mentors in my class for as long as I turned the drivers wheel over to my students in terms of new techonologies. I couldn't stand in their way by waiting to learn everything myself first (an impossible if not just ego-maniacle task). I hosted a teacher maker session at a faculty meeting in January and one of my 5th graders hosted a table workshop on Scratch. He had the head of school and our 7th and 8th grade math teacher in his audience!