Playful India: Maker to Changemaker

India is home to 1/6th of the world’s population. It is a growing technology powerhouse and the largest democracy ever. At the cusp of a technological revolution, India brings with it unique problems of scale and inequity. To address the beautiful complexity that this country is, there is a growing movement to bring maker education to millions of children and youth across thousands of schools and colleges. Nurturing these young minds is a challenge because this rapidly transforming economy not only requires technology aficionados but also individuals with a holistic skillset and a well- informed maker mindset that will enable a generation of ‘Changemakers’. 

Assessment is an important tool for building those skills and fostering the maker mindset, and this project is an extension of the lab’s Beyond Rubrics work designing an assessment toolkit alongside maker educators in the US. It is also a continuation of the previous year’s work investigating Thrifty Makerspaces in India. Through the Playful India program we implement self and peer assessment methods based on Beyond Rubrics, at makerspaces running in schools and other communities in Bangalore. We are, currently, running the pilot phase of the program at Government of India initiated Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), in schools. The ATLs are a widespread network of makerspaces in India. We plan to use these spaces to instill a habit of continuous reflection and enable students to articulate their learnings, document their playful learning journey and build a strong sense of agency, community and design process

Tomorrow, these students will serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement to the greater education ecosystem in India. There will be a strong precedent to inspire systemic understanding on the importance of reflection, articulation and documentation. Students will go from being learners to makers to changemakers, who have an eye for identifying local problems and a knack for developing customised solutions.