From admissions to jobs post-graduation, showcasing maker skills provides an edge in the competition—and now, there are apps for that.
From colleges’ and universities’ decisions to allow student “maker” portfolios in admissions, to companies eager to hire talent that can demonstrate creative, problem-solving skill, the maker movement is gaining traction in education…and in the app store.
The “maker movement”— the push to have individuals construct functional products that are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or virtually any raw material and/or product from a computer-related device—has considerable traction in the K-12 arena, and is gaining momentum in higher education (e.g. MIT’s maker admissions) as demonstrable skills are becoming critical in a world grown tired of SAT scores and all-too-common bachelor degrees. Even the White House held a Maker Faire in 2015.
MIT’s video on incorporating “maker” portfolios in admissions:
“The 21st century is going to see the integration of these tools into every college major and career choice,” said Gary Stager, keynote speaker and former Pepperdine University professor, in an article for Scholastic Administrator. “Making demonstrates not only technical knowledge and creativity but also habits such as perseverance and resourcefulness…Engineering and art are interrelated; computer programming is mandatory for biologists, musicians, and historians. We can do our [students] no better service than to introduce them to the powerful ideas that will shape the rest of their lives.”
Thanks to the growing maturity of mobile technology, specifically within the app economy, practicing and demonstrating “maker” skills is becoming a viable option for students and faculty eager to showcase these skills and projects on a compact device for 24/7 accessibility.
And though some of these apps are self-sufficient, in that they are platforms for virtual creations, many also are reference guides specifically for maker projects, as well as online communities for makers. (Android availability where noted.)
(Next page: 5 maker apps for students)