“Creating is becoming a new digital competency, and libraries are building and expanding their programs and services to meet these changing community needs.” Ann Joslin, president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
Some of you are already immersed in creating maker programs in your schools. Others may be what this is all about and why it’s important? Or maybe you want to figure out how this concept would fit in with your school’s programs. The resources this week will give you the opportunity to explore these ideas and think about what this is all about.
“Tinkering is about hands-on experiences, learning from failures, and unstructured time to explore and invent. And through the processes of exploration and invention lies the potential for innovation.” From Tinkerlab: What is Tinkering
Whether you call this the Maker Movement, Tinkering, Hacking, Fabricating, DIY or whatever… t’s all about creating, exploring, encouraging curiosity and creative problem-solving. It’s about building confidence and skills, and help students learn to think differently while they explore and create the world around them.
Why is this important? Why do this in libraries? Hilda Weisberg sums it up nicely:
“Why should you commit time and effort to a Maker Club or Makerspace? Unlike a craft activity, kids aren’t following a specific set of directions to create a set product. They are experimenting, imagining, making mistakes and adjustments to plans, and discovering where their imagination can take them. They develop resiliency, do out-of the-box thinking, engage in authentic learning, do problem solving, work in collaboration, exhibit leadership, and in the process become lifelong learners. These are goals for you library program. They are what Common Core is seeking to achieve. Makerspaces are a natural connection to STEM programs and help produce innovators, and producers of new knowledge. And all the while the kids are having fun.” From Stop, hey, what’s that sound… Maker Spaces are Going Round
Take 3 minutes to watch this video: GSES SPARQ Maker Space and Innovation Center
Many K12 makerspace programs are run as after-school club projects. Some are run collaboratively with other school departments or in cooperation with local public libraries. Some involve lots of equipment and large investments, others are created on a shoestring. There is no “one size fits all” definition of what makes a creating, tinkering, making, inventing space. Explore the articles and resources below and think about the value of creating a space where students can explore and create their own learning agendas.
- Making inside the space and outside the box
Joyce Valenza on the value of creating spaces where students create their own learning agendas. “Makerspaces need not be one-size-fits-all kind of spaces. There are all kinds of idiosyncratic ways to make and meet local needs and interests. There’s something a little icky to me about imposing informal learning and not considering choice. If the agenda comes from outside, it may not be as engaging or as easily embraced and it’s almost antithetical to the culture of libraries.”
- Stop, hey, what’s that sound… Maker Spaces are Going Round
Hilda Weisberg shares this important point (and more!) “Unlike a craft activity, kids aren’t following a specific set of directions to create a set product. They are experimenting, imagining, making mistakes and adjustments to plans, and discovering where their imagination can take them.”
- A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources
Some slightly older articles about makerspaces in libraries.
- Makerspaces in the School Library Learning Commons and the uTEC Maker Model
David v. Loertscher, Leslie Preddy, and Bill Derry Discusses the uTEC Maker Model of Using, Tinkering, Experimenting, Creating (great poster summarizing this).
- Albemarle Schools’ Maker Spaces Program Gets National Attention
- 3D Printing to Raspberry Pi’s: How a Quiet Florida School Library Got Transformed by a Makerspace
- Hands on Learning: The Power of Interactive Learning in the Library
Recording of a free webinar on a Makerspaces presented by Michelle Luhtala via EdWeb.
- 6 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Makerspace
Libraries and Makerspaces – Some examples of what school libraries are doing with makerspaces.
- TinkerSpace: Library Learning Commons – Lots of practical tips in this interview with Shannon Hyman of the Kaechele Elementary School in Virginia about their makerspace.
- MakerSpace Begins – Deb Collins at Scotia-Glenville Middle School talks about getting an afterschool makerspace started.
- Pioneer Middle School Library: Maker Club Begins – tips on getting a project started from Maria Muhlbauer (@muhlbs83)
- GENIUS – Kristina Holzweiss shares information about the Bay Shore Middle School GENIUS Hour project.
- Library Makerspace @ New Milford H.S. – News piece on the Makerspace at New Milford (NJ) High School Makerspace. More on the New Milford project.
- Berwick Innovation Center – Learn about the innovation program at the Berwick Academy.
- Opening Creativity: MakerSpaces for Youth Libraries – Resource sheet and Presentation slides from the 2014 NYLA SSL presentation by Gail Brisson, Rebecca Buerkett, and Ana Canino-Fluit.
- Teen Makerspaces: School Library Implementation, Programming, and Resources – Free recording of a 1 hour webinar that discusses implementing and sustaining a makerspace in a school with any type of budget.
- #makered #tlchat – Twitter search for tweets tagge with both of these hashtags. This will help you find great resources and also connect with others K12 librarians.
Lots of Creative Ideas
- Invent To Learn – A book and a website full of resources, tips, ideas. A treasure trove for K12 makerspaces.
- Mesa County Libraries Crafts & Hobbies Great resource pages with ideas for all sorts of crafty things, including: Steampunk, Alternative Crafts and more.
- Tinkerlab – A wonderful blog with lots of “creative experiments for makers and rule breakers.”
- Make Magazine & Makezine Make magazine launched in 2005 and has driven much of the interest in the maker movement. The website includes all sorts of project ideas, news and resources.
- DIY – Fun site with challenges and projects for kids. Kids complete interesting projects and earn badges.
- Apps & More for Makerspaces | Mix It Up – “free or low-cost apps, websites, and tools for engaging kids and teens in creative maker projects”
- Maker & Coder Apps – An EdShelf collection of apps.
- Iolani’s Kdg-6 S.T.E.M. Lab – Great examples of high and low tech projects in a K-6 school.
- List of some K12 Makerspaces – This is a list of folks who you could contact to find out more. Add your makerspace if you are willing to answer questions or have visitors.
- K12 Makers – A Google group with over 650 members. Discussions and resources.
- The Maker Map – Find maker/hacker spaces around the world.
- Makerspaces and Hackerspaces – Directories from Invent To Learn. Includes ways to connect with other educators.
- #makered – Follow the #makered hashtag on twitter for resources.
- #makered #tlchat – To narrow that down a bit more, search twitter for both: #makered and #tlchat
Found some fabulous resources? Share them on our makerspaces padlet.
For this week’s activities, take time to read and explore the makerspace resources noted above and other materials you run across. Also, connect with your own community of colleagues and explore ideas about makerspaces.
- Just starting to wrap your head around these ideas? Try to find a makerspace to visit. See if there’s another school or public library in your community and visit. Or is there a maker faire coming up soon in your area? How might you collaborate?
- Eager to get a makerspace program of some sort going in your school? Do some reading, talk to others who are running them already, get together with your colleagues, start planning how you might get started.
- Already deep into maker land? Share with us what you’re doing. Think about what worked and what didn’t. What new directions and ideas did you gather from the resources this week?
Your blog post: After reading and exploring the ideas around makerspaces and the maker movement, share your thoughts, ideas, plans. Some questions you might consider are:
- How do makerspaces connect with learning? How do the fit in schools and libraries?
- What do students gain from making?
- What sort of makerspace might you create in your school?
- How would you justify your plans to your school administration?
LOG YOUR LESSON: Don’t forget to log your blog post when you’re done! When you finish this lesson by fill out the log form. You’ll need the URL of your first blog post to complete the form.