About

Education Makers develop learning communities around maker culture with schools, community organizations, colleges and universities. Maker culture embodies do-it-yourself tinkering using tiny, affordable open-source computers, electronics and recycled items to further sustainability, equity, social innovation, democratization of innovation and community building.

Over the past centuries, education institutions have favoured individual work to learn encapsulated knowledge to prepare learners for the real world. Education Makers are turning this model on its head and engage learners in self-directed experiential learning through risk-tolerant, persistent problem-solving in interdependent communities tackling complex, socially-relevant problems.

Education Makers are grounding their work in research scholarship and community relevance. We create partnerships to engage learners from 9 to 99 years-old into maker-led adventures where almost everything is possible. We are interested in the development of 21st century skills through a community of makers that are becoming the “peopleware” necessary to foster risk-tolerant social innovation in educational communities. We are pioneering inclusive, intergenerational, and collaborative communities to develop world-class expertise in fostering maker-led social innovations grounded in educational theory.

Critical making - 10x10 sheet with generative ideas

Our Approach

The Maker Movement has become a buzzword in schools, colleges, universities, libraries and community centers across the world. If you want to know more about it, see below for a few descriptions and links.

Education Makers work in a collaborative action-research approach with the objective of doing research socially and making research socially relevant. We use a variety of tools, inspired by SAS2 Dialogue (https://www.participatoryactionresearch.net/) to structure dialogue and document learning on-the-fly in a manner that helps participants identify their skills and competencies, solve problems, reach out to stakeholders, and grow together.

Maker Culture is defined as “a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture that intersects with hacker culture (which is less concerned with physical objects as it focuses on software) and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maker_culture). The Maker Movement has largely been enabled by open-source hardware and software.

Makers thrive in physical spaces such as Makerspaces and Fablabs.  Makerspaces are collaborative work spaces in schools, libraries and community centers where people of all ages can learn to code, use 3D printers, laser cutters, solder, play with circuits, and microcontrollers such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, use robotics, learn sewing, woodworking, etc (https://www.makerspaces.com/what-is-a-makerspace/). Fablabs, which are spaces equipped for creation, innovation and invention, are proliferating across the world (https://www.fablabs.io/labs/map).

As Education Makers, we work in the Maker Movement framework with partners (schools, colleges, universities, libraries and community centers in the Montreal area and beyond) to build communities of makers and develop 21st century competencies.

Our Story

Education Makers started tinkering and innovating informally in 2015, when Dr. Ann-Louise Davidson invited some students to build an arcade table (https://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-80946/l/pik3a-the-raspberry-pi-3-ikea-retro-gaming-table) using Retropie (https://retropie.org.uk/download/), a videogame emulation station for retro-gaming that builds on Raspian, an operating system for Raspberry Pi (https://www.raspberrypi.org/).

We had to create a prototype, program the emulation station and install ROMs, dismantle an LCD monitor and speakers, solder wires, connect the control interface (buttons and joystick), cut open the table and mount the components, then fit all the wires inside. This looked like a fairly easy task, but it turned out that there were many unforseen problems. Building the arcade table was a multi-level and multifaceted 20-hours+ challenge! None of us had all the skills necessary to build the table on our own. We realized that the sum of our collective skills was bigger than all the individual skills that we had. We used this table as a demo piece to start building partnerships with education institutions and community centers.

Since then, we have built 3D printers, given workshops on 3D modelling, built arcade tables, modded gamepads and established several partnerships.

Check out our projects page to see what we’re currently working on!

Ann-Louise with Kossel printer

Meet Our Team

Researchers

Ann-Louise Davidson

Ann-Louise Davidson

Co-Researcher

Dr. Ann-Louise Davidson is an Associate Professor of Education, Graduate Program Director for the MA in Educational Technology and the Graduate Diploma in Instructional Technology at Concordia University, and holds a Concordia University Research Chair in Maker Culture. She is Associate Director of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology and Director of the Milieux makerspace initiative.

Giuliana Cucinelli

Giuliana Cucinelli

Co-Researcher

Giuliana Cucinelli is an assistant professor in the Educational Technology program within the Department of Education. She is co-director of the Communities and Differential Mobilities research cluster of Concordia's Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology. Cucinelli's research-creation program focuses on the social, cultural and educational impacts of technology.

Margarida Romero

Margarida Romero

Co-Researcher

Margarida Romero is research director of the Laboratoire d’Innovation et Numérique pour l’Éducation (LINE), a research lab in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). Professor at Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (France) and research associate at Université Laval (Canada). Her research is oriented towards the inclusive, humanistic and creative uses of technologies (co-design, game design and robotics) for the development of creativity, problem solving, collaboration and computational thinking.

Nadia Naffi

Nadia Naffi

Full-Time Faculty Member in Educational Technology

Dr. Nadia Naffi is a full-time Faculty Member in Educational Technology at Concordia University. She is one of the inaugural Concordia Public Scholars, a winner of the SSHRC Storytellers competition (2017), a “Ma Thèse en 180 secondes” laureate, a Concordia University Newsmaker of the Week. Because of her involvement with the national and international media, she obtained the Graduate Research Communicator of the Year Award (2017). She is interested in the empowering and liberating aspects of disruptive pedagogies afforded by maker culture. She is an expert in social inclusion, social integration and social media and specializes in the design of online and offline synchronous and asynchronous training, as well as in interactive learning in a problem-based learning approach.

Students

Nathalie Duponsel

Nathalie Duponsel

PhD student in Education (Education Technologies specialization) at Concordia University
Nathalie is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Technology at Concordia University. She is a teacher interested in the benefits of incorporating DIY and maker activities, as well as more diverse technology, into the classroom to develop STEM concepts and 21st century skills in students. Her focus is on K-8 in-school and out-of-school learning and developing programs to get girls more interested and involved in STEM related activities.
Ivan Ruby

Ivan Ruby

PhD student in Education (Education Technologies specialization) at Concordia University
Ivan is a full-time dreamer and Ph.D student in Educational Technology, concerned with how technology can enable us to build a better, fair and sustainable future. His current research interests are in Computer Science Education, Communities of Practice and Collaborative Learning. He is also passionate about Web Development. [http://www.ivanruby.com]
Bojana Krsmanovic

Bojana Krsmanovic

PhD student in Education (Education Technologies specialization) at Concordia University
Bojana graduated from the University of Novi Sad (Serbia) with both BA and MA in English Language and Literature. During my undergraduate studies I started teaching English and began to notice the significant impact of new technologies on ESL instructors and learners, as well as second language acquisition process. Having an interest in researching technology integration in language-learning classrooms and being a DIY enthusiast, I recently moved to Montreal to pursue my PhD in Educational Technology.
Bora Bodur

Bora Bodur

Student / Educational Technologies (M.A.)
Bora Bodur is an MA student in Educational Technology at Concordia. He has a BA in Philology and over 15 years of experience as an instructor of English as a Foreign Language at different education and research institutions. He is a lover of fine arts, a maker of things, and a sailor in his spare time. Un membre fier de Education Makers.
Tristan Matheson

Tristan Matheson

Masters student in Education (Education Technologies specialization) at Concordia University
Tristan Matheson received his MA in Media Studies from Concordia University in 2016 and is currently enrolled in the Educational Technology Program at Concordia University (Montreal, QC). He acts as coordinator of the Community Differential Mobility Research Space at the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology and coordinator for the Critical Disability Studies Working Group at Concordia University. His research interests focus on culture, social inter-connectivity and interdisciplinary studies. [http://www.trifektionart.net/]
Rhondda Chung

Rhonda Chung

PhD student, Education (Applied Linguistics)
I am a sociophonologist in training who is interested in understanding: 1) how language learners perceive and acquire different dialects in their second language; 2) how categories of sound emerge and develop in the mind; and, 3) how gamification might play a role in facilitating learners’ dialectal perceptions and emergent sound categories. De plus, j’aime bien lire en buvant un thé et bricoler, autant avec les mots que les objets. [https://www.rhondachung.com/]
Geoffroi Garon Épaule

Geoffroi Garon-Épaule

PhD Student at UQAM-Concordia University
Geoffroi Garon-Épaule is a doctoral candidate (UQAM-Concordia) specializing in Organizational Communication and Educational Technology. His focus on the use of digital badges (#Openbadges) to digitize skills, recognizes non-formal learning and structure learning pathways in the maker's movement. He is a researcher in open innovation strategies (communities of practice, Living Lab, Fab Lab) and lifelong learning. He’s also a practitioner in digital badge system project across many organizations. [www.geoffroigaron.com]

Partners and Collaborators

Sylvain Durocher

Sylvain Durocher

Techno-Artistic Fabrication Professional
Sylvain Durocher is a teacher and a skilled trades person. He works with a variety of materials, ranging from wood, to cement and metal, which he re-mixes with electromechanic and other mechanical harmonies. He mixes the process of creation and design to give shape, character and usability to material.
Karl-André St-Victor

Karl-André St-Victor

Community partner
Karl-André St-Victor is the Director of Chalet Kent, a non-for-profit organization where youth members and adults can actively work on creating a safer-space for youth between ages 11 and 18. He writes: Our raison d’être is to create an inclusive environment built on the foundation of respect, critical thinking, and open communication. Chalet Kent is an extension of our diverse support system, located in the neighbourhood Côte-des-Neiges. Most notably, I am what I stand for, in my career as well as in my life as an individual, a father, a son, a partner and a friend.