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MakerDadsTV - a new series aimed to support classroom teachers

Exciting news from our family start-up, MakerDads, is entering its sixth month in existence. This week, we launched MakerDadsTV, our brand-new YouTube Channel that is designed, filmed and produced for teachers and parents to watch alongside kids. Below is the first episode from Frank's Pizza in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. 

You will notice, fairly quickly, that the video editing isn't done by a professional, and we are certainly working to make that part better engaging the help of some local high school students. But I encourage you to hone in on how we are leaning on the community to deepen our understanding of making during the 5 minute. There are several opportunities for learning and reflection, that I want to bring attention to in this post. Let's take a quick look at the show's (initial) structure:

Opening Credits 
You will see my kids unloading our filming briefcase full of cameras, cords and other things we need to go out on the road. You might notice that I reversed the video, so it looks like Mark and Molly are actually loading the briefcase to head out to the community and MAKE TV!

Quick video of me introducing myself and announcing where we're headed to MAKE TV. 

Using Google Earth we "fly" to the maker's address. I'd like to use 3D printing to give a Mr. Roger's Neighborhood feel on this segment down the road. But for now, we're using the latest version of Google Earth - which has never been better.

Video of the Maker 
We captured a few minutes of Dan making pizza, talking to Mark, answering all of his 5 year-old questions!

Quiz Time: 'Ask the Maker' Segment

Virtual Reality Segment - Grab your headset 

When you see this slide pop up on the video, hit PAUSE and READ - especially if you have never dropped your phone into a virtual reality headset or Google Cardboard before. 

Now, click the add'l 2 minute video (below) with or without the headset. You will see Dan MAKING PIZZA from his perspective via the 360 headcam, you are exactly where we want you to be. Now you can see what the white camera above his head was capturing. This is the part of the MakerDadsTV episode that is "immersive" and probably the thing that makes what we're doing unique. If you have questions about how to use the headset, ask your kids!

VR Safety
As a parent and educator, everywhere I've read cautions us NOT TO ALLOW KIDS TO WATCH LONGER THAN 30 MINUTES through a virtual reality headset. As parents of 4 kids under 6 years-old, we take what doctors says about technology and screen time very seriously. (MakerDads virtual reality videos are always around 2 minutes long, well below the 30 minute warning.)

When the visit is over, we head to the cash register to ring up our pizza. Now it's time for students to get their own learning and reflecting going. The episode moves from watch, to experience (VR) to reflect and engage across STREAM through a pizza context.

6 STREAM Discussion Starters
We've tried to make it easy for teachers and parents to take the video to the next level with these slides that fade in and out to close out the episode. 

2 Ideas for Teacher Use

  • Create a VR station in your classroom and/or makerspace. Students watch the (5min) Eye of the Maker episode, complete the (2min) VR immersive experience then reflect on 1 or more questions posed in the STREAM 6.
  • Use the video to introduce yourself to virtual reality, so that you can see what concepts would be best for your curriculum. Kids loves this stuff. The headset might remind you of the red viewfinder that as kids ourselves we held up to our faces and while clicking through still photos of our favorite cartoons, books, animals, etc.

That's it. We're gotten our first draft is out there. It's not perfect but that's not the point. We want it to be an invaluable part of every classroom in helping teachers teach STREAM while collaborating with the community. Our students and families have relationships with community partners. When schools can work alongside them, and supplement the curriculum, it makes for powerful, empathy-driven experiences. 

We can't wait to hear your feedback, and how you and your class think we can make MakerDadsTV better. Please use the comment section here, on YouTube or Facebook to give us your throughts, and thanks for watching our very first MakerDadsTV. This and all other blogs, videos and related resources are being curated at our new website,


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