7 Ways Makers Empire Supports Neuro Affirming Learning for Students With Varying Support Needs

Over the years, Makers Empire has received feedback from teachers in Australia and the USA telling us that their students with varying support needs respond extremely well to Makers Empire.

“Winning a prize in the showcase and having seen our students (who have an intellectual disability) confidently present and share their project was a MAJOR success. Our students love using it and we will continue to (use) Makers Empire in all aspects of our learning.”
Phillip Haig and Sean Gales
Jackson School, Melbourne
"For kids that have special needs or are on ILPs (Individual Learning Plans), Makers Empire is perfect for them. For kids who have learning disabilities or who are cognitively delayed, who are several years behind, it works really well for those kids, too… 3D printing allows kids to be so creative and to think outside the box. They get into that Growth Mindset – this is what they have to do but how they get there is completely up to them. And the kids love that.”
Robin McGinnis
North/South/Jr. High Lead Teacher-STEAM, Mt Healthy School LDistrict

From observing students using Makers Empire in hundreds of classrooms in Australia and the USA, we believe that students with varying support needs respond well to Makers Empire for a number of reasons, including:

  • Many neurodiverse students have excellent spatial reasoning skills so they excel at learning using Makers Empire;
  • Makers Empire provides an alternative way for students to express their ideas without relying heavily on traditional forms of literacy and numeracy and verbal communication skills; and
  • Many young autistic people are experienced and capable gamers so they have an affinity for game-based EdTech.

Makers Empire supports neuro-affirming, rich and engaging learning experiences for students in seven ways:

1. Visual and Interactive Learning

Makers Empire operates primarily through visual and interactive content, which is beneficial for students who may struggle with traditional text-based learning. The use of 3D design and visual aids helps make abstract concepts more concrete and understandable.

2. Customizable Learning Pace

The platform allows students to learn at their own pace. For those with special needs, this means they can take the time they need to fully engage with the material without feeling rushed or pressured by the pace of their peers. See Curriculum-Aligned, In-App Challenge Courses.

3. Differentiated Instruction

Makers Empire supports differentiated instruction, where teaching is tailored to meet the diverse needs of students. Teachers can modify content, processes, and products based on individual learning styles and abilities, ensuring that all students can engage meaningfully with the curriculum. See 9 Ways Teachers Can Differentiate Design Tasks for Students and Set Your Own Design Missions in Makers Empire.

4. Empowerment Through Creativity

The creative aspect of Makers Empire is particularly empowering. Designing in 3D helps students with special needs express themselves creatively, which can be highly motivational and enhance their self-esteem. Completing a design provides a tangible sense of accomplishment that reinforces their ability to influence and create in their world. See 10 ways to generate creative ideas with Makers Empire.

5. Engagement & Motivation

Makers Empire is designed to be fun and engaging, which can be a significant advantage for students with special needs who might find traditional learning environments challenging or disengaging. The gamified elements keep students interested and eager to participate. See 8 Ways Teachers and Students Can Benefit From Gamification in the Classroom.

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D design app speech feature

6. Inclusivity & Accessibility

The app includes accessibility features such as text-to-speech, customizable avatars, and interface adaptability, which help accommodate a wide range of physical, cognitive, and learning disabilities. This inclusivity ensures that students with special needs can navigate and use the app effectively. See Equity and Accessibility. 

7. Collaboration Opportunities

Makers Empire encourages collaboration among students, which is beneficial for social learning and communication. See 12 ways to help students develop 21st Century Skills with Makers Empire.

We hope you enjoyed this post. Are you using Makers Empire in the classroom? Tell us about your experience!

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