This DIY Skills map was originally designed as a roadmap for selecting the first 50 skills we wanted to teach kids. The Skills were arranged on the map in a gradient of relatedness, extending out towards certain subject poles – scientist, farmer, engineer, hacker, builder, and artist. We soon realized that these Skills would be ever-evolving. There are now over 90 Skills, and we're adding new ones each week. It's wonderful to see how teachers are blending this into their curriculum, and although we're fortunate to not be bound by certain standards, I recognize that many teachers are.
Of the standards they're up against, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and The Common Core State Standards seem to be dominating conversations in the education community. Both NGSS and Common Core seek to provide a clear understanding of what all K-12 students are expected to learn, and by doing so these students should be equipped with the skills that they'll need for college and careers. Sounds like a great plan for achieving education equity, right? The problem is that teachers still lack a clear roadmap for how to get from standards to achievement.
The Skills on DIY have the potential to help. As it turns out, our Skills are already meeting many of these standards. Over the next few weeks I'll be working with other folks eager to answer a call for curriculum. We'll be specifying the content within each Skill as it aligns with specific standards, and just generally highlighting their educational value.
Skills will continue to grow, and as they do, so will the educational resources for them. Of course, we'll be writing Skills for the same reason we always have (to teach kids the stuff we're passionate about), but by creating this roadmap we hope to provide teachers with options for how to teach to these standards. We're planing to release this revised Skills roadmap by the end of October, and I can't wait to see how teachers will use it.