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Salisbury University Seidel School of Education to Receive AACTE Award for Integrating Maker Mentality in Teacher Education

Salisbury University - Seidel School of Education

AACTE is delighted to announce the Salisbury University School of Education as the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology for integrating maker education throughout its educator preparation program. Diallo Sessoms, associate professor, Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education, Salisbury University, will be recognized formally with the award at the AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting, February 28 – March 1, in Atlanta, GA.

Salisbury University is pioneering the idea of “classrooms” as makerspaces, which will push future educators to inspire their students to be makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. The official makerspace, a physical space for faculty and students to generate visceral experiences, opened in fall 2018. Both faculty and students are learning to infuse the maker mindset into their teaching philosophies by applying a combination of programming, design thinking, 3D modeling, and physical computing experiences. While the university’s educator preparation program has a stand-alone technology course, it is also emphasizing the integration of concepts across all instructional methods courses. To build capacity for in-service educators, the School of Education is also offering professional development in invention literacy for practicing teachers to increase play-based learning and makerspace access.

Salisbury University’s School of Education is receiving the AACTE award for implementing the emerging pedagogical approach to teaching faculty and teacher candidates to be “maker educators” who are focused on hands-on, learner-driven, maker-centered education, which provides a learning context for students to become independent and collaborative thinkers as they experience deep, conceptual learning. 

This award is given annually by AACTE to recognize the successful infusion of technology in a school, college, or department of education. Along with a description of their program’s context, objectives, and duration, applicants must address the program’s outcomes and sustainability. The AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology reviews the applications and selects the winning entry.

“As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE represents educators throughout the U.S. who advance our profession through innovation, high standards, and leadership. For 24 years, AACTE has honored its member institutions, leaders, and individuals who make bold, exceptional, and revolutionary contributions to our field,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “The Seidel School of Education at Salisbury University’s makerspace initiative educates and empowers teacher education faculty and teacher candidates to use and infuse technology throughout the curriculum, instill an entrepreneurial mindset in all candidates, as well as introduce practicing teachers to invention literacy. As the recipient of the 2020 AACTE Award, the Salisbury University program exemplifies innovation and revolutionary thinking in teacher preparation.”  

AACTE issued a press release today announcing all of its 2020 award winners. For more information on AACTE’s awards program, visit aacte.org. Nominations for the 2021 Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology will open in April.


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Katrina Norfleet

Editor, AACTE

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