I have a great PLN (Personal Learning Network) pipeline that alerts me to great resources, especially in the maker arena. The resources I find this way always leave me scratching my head and thinking, “HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?” If you are a student, teacher, librarian, or an educator involved in making, you probably have heard about Instructables. If you are already familiar with this great tool, then jump down to The Big News section below. If not, read on.
What Is Instructables?
Instructables is a website where people from all the around the globe share what they do and how they do it. Users provide step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos, diagrams, video, and animation. Visitors to the site can comment on and rate the Instructables for quality. It is truly maker heaven!
Instructables was created in August 2005 by MIT’s Media Lab graduates, Eric Wilhelm and Saul Griffith. Their original platform focused on building electronic or mechanical devices to solve common problems around the home. Since August 2005, Instructables has morphed into so much more that just great how-tos. For example, you can now take a free class on:
- 3D printing
- Raspberry Pi
- LEDS and lighting
- Wearable electronics
- CNC (computer numerical control machining)
You can enter a contest on:
The Big Maker News
A $35.40 per year premium membership is on the wish list of many students and teachers. This type of membership provides access to in-depth classes, no advertisements to deal with, and the ability to download any project as a PDF. In the educational world, the 35 dollar price can be a little steep, but now you can sign up for a free premium Instructables membership right here.
If you need someplace to start, check out The Oakland Toy Lab’s 100 STEAM Projects created for teachers. “Each project encourages exploration, modification, and students to pursue their own ideas and curiosities. They are also meant to be accessible, both in approach and availability and cost of materials. Feel encouraged to adapt them to your local learning space.” I want to stop working right now, go home and check out Strobe Goggles, Dissecting a Chicken Foot, and finish my day off with making a Sponge Motorboat. What will you make today?
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