ISKME's Design Lab 2012: Make an OER - Remix

Participants collaborate in ISKME's OER Design Lab at  Maker Faire to brainstorm, prototype, and present new ideas for teaching and learning. Each participant creates an Open Educational Resource (OER) that will be shared on OER Commons and with teachers during the Maker Faire follow up Teachers as Makers Academy. 

Download: STEM Teachers as Makers flyer

Photos from the OER Design Lab

ISKME's OER Design Lab at Maker Faire

Design Lab Process

Design Lab Process Video OER from WGBH on OER Commons

Step 1: Identify the Challenge

Make an OER Overview: Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials (lesson plans, courses, assignments, simulations, etc.) that are freely available to use, adapt, reuse, or share. Our goal with OER is to help transform teaching and learning by creating equitable access and sharing among educators and learners. Participants at Maker Faire will contribute to the OER movement by designing and sharing OER that interests them. Each participant will choose two things that they love to do and know a lot about, for example playing baseball and doing math or playing piano and building things. They will brainstorm a way to combine the two things by drawing and labeling a sketch. They will also brainstorm how they might teach someone about their design idea, for example studying the geometry of a baseball field or building sculptures that play music from piano pieces. Once they have an idea they would like to move forward with, they will get prototyping materials to create a 3-D model of their idea. When their design prototype is complete, they will give it a title and description and present it in the Media Lab. Then they will hang their sketches on the share out boards with the title and description of their OER.  

Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas

Divide participants up into groups of two to four and give them markers and paper.

Directions for participants:

  • Think of two things that interest you
  • Combine them
  • How might you teach someone about your new design idea?

Give each group an easel pad and markers to document their design ideas using words and drawings.

Once participants have an idea or ideas they would like to prototype (create a model of) they are ready to select prototyping materials.

Design Brainstorming Guiding Questions:

  • What are two subjects and/or activities that you love to do and know a lot about?
  • How might you teach someone to do these two subjects/activities together?
  • What materials and resources would you to teach this OER?
  • What would your design for the OER look like?
  • What would the OER structure look like?
  • Where would you teach this OER?
  • What subjects would your OER teach, and how would they be taught?
  • How would your OER work?
  • Who would teach this OER?
  • Who would the students be?
  • How would they learn/experience this OER?
  • What would you name your OER design?'

Step 3: Select Prototyping Materials

Prototyping materials include: pipecleaners, popsicle sticks, papertowel rolls, cardboard, foam pieces, corks, plastic containers, fabric, tape, glue, bottle caps, lids, and various salvaged materials from RAFT 

Step 4: Build a Prototype

Once each group has the materials they need to build their prototypes, they can work together to make their idea come to life with a 3-D model representation of their idea. Once their design prototype is complete, give it a title and description. 

Step 5: Present the Prototype Design Idea

Present the OER in the Media Lab and then hang your sketch on the share out board along with your OER title and description.

Maker Faire prototype presentations:

Dancing+Videography Prototypes

Exploding Fruitcake Prototype

Math Pottery Wheel and Solar Basketball Calculator

Flower Power Palette Prototype

Robotic Dress Maker

Art Cat Prototype

Swimming/Running + Art Prototypes

Anti-gravity Flashlight and Bicycle Camera Prototypes

Floating Ball Machine Prototype

Map Robot Prototype


Balloon Diving Board Prototype

Butterfly Cookies Prototype

Robot Prototypes

Science CD Prototype

Mechanical Tail

Teachers as Makers Academy

ISKME's Professional Development Summer Academy is an opportunity for teachers to create, share, collaborate and be inspired by experiencing DIY Projects that they can easily adapt to their teaching. If you are interested in participating in ISKME's Teachers as Makers Academy, please contact Megan Simmons at

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