- following directions
- reading comprehension
- making new creations
- achieving goals
- applying information
- asking questions
- part-whole relationships
- thinking critically
ProsUnique ideas appeal to a wide range of interests.
ConsSome projects deal with iffy topics or are otherwise inappropriate for students to attempt.
Bottom LineCool project ideas and let tweens and teens showcase their creativity and instruction-writing skills; supervision required.
Graphite Expert Review
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
With a wide range of interesting projects, the app is sure to engage. Graphics and design are top notch, and plentiful photos enhance the experience greatly. Contests add interest.
Projects are well-described, empowering kids to be successful with their own attempts. The comments function lets users ask questions, give support, and add info. Teens can also learn from the experience of adding their own projects.
Links to reference and background info would improve learning significantly.
Instructables is a slick DIY and how-to share site intended primarily for adults, but it has lots of projects middle and high school students could do. Instructables is super easy to use with large fonts, icons, easy edit and delete functions, and the ability to take photos in-app. Projects range from a giant sun jar (made with a clear glass cookie jar, solar lights, LEDs, and frosting spray) to maple bacon cheddar garlic biscuits to a homemade arc welder. Contest topics include jewelry, puppets, and bikes; registered users can vote for their favorites.
The app opens in Explore mode with large photo-based panels in eight categories. The main menu includes a search function, contests, followed contributors, and a profile page. You can vote for contest entries, comment on instructables, or create your own instructable (to create a new instructable, you'll need to register with username, email, and password). Users tap on instructable panels (title, photo, and contributor) to bring up step-by-step instructions and photo illustrations. Video links don't always work, and contest instructions display nonsense symbols in some versions of the app.Read More Read Less
Attempting an instructable means applying information, testing meaning with real-world objects, making inferences about part-whole relationships, and thinking critically. Kids must combine previous knowledge with some research or adult assistance. If attempting to create an instructable, kids will test their imaginations, push the limits of innovation, and set goals like winning votes in contests. Because engineering is a trial-and-error process, kids will have to move beyond obstacles and persevere when things go wrong.Read More Read Less
While some instructables, like the "Arc Welder," would only be appropriate for shop class, many, like "Polymer Clay Dragon Pendant," "Puffy Dimensional Paint Jewelry," and "Tape Painting," are quite doable as classroom art or integrated unit studies projects. Although instructables listed in Explore mode categories avoid most sophisticated content, potentially inappropriate topics can be found in searches (recipes for alcoholic beverages, "How to Put on a Condom," etc.), so you'll want to carefully structure access to the app. You'll also want to model reading through all the instructions before starting to determine needs like background knowledge, equipment, materials, cost, and safety.Read More Read Less
See how teachers are using Instructables
Field Notes Field Notes are reviews by teachers for teachers. In Field Notes, teachers rate products as well as share their hands-on experience with using the products in the classroom.
Teacher ReviewsWrite Your Own Review
- Excellent source for inspiring student innovation around project possibilities.2Jim T.
The Harley School
Rochester, NY3February 23, 2014
- This is a fantastic place to find step-by-step instructions for DIY projects!4February 28, 2014
- A great resource for anyone who wants to learn by making things and sharing their work with others.Philip M.
Challenger Middle School
Colorado Springs, CO4February 26, 2014