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Maker's Imagination The Beauty of Homemade Fun. By Kristina Holzweiss, School Library Journal Librarian of the Year, 2015 In my next life I will come back as an archaeologist, a female Indiana Jones on the quest for the lost relic of an ancient civilization.

Maker's Imagination The Beauty of Homemade Fun

For now, I am on the hunt for recyclable materials that my students can transform into works of art and engineering in our library makerspace. My own three young children (Tyler, 7; Riley, 5; and Lexy, 3) always know to ask Mommy before they toss anything into the trash. Soda cans, water bottles, cardboard, and packing materials are all resources that have the potential to become jewelry, flowers, cars, and forts. Some see trash, but I see treasure! I grew up in a home where my grandfather used duct tape to mend his belt and my grandmother collected enough buttons to fill jars and enough zippers to fill a suitcase! Children today, for the most part, don’t know what it’s like to rummage in the attic, basement, or garage for raw materials to create with. Don’t misunderstand.

How to Turn Your School Into a Maker Haven. One of the best ways for frustrated parents, students and teachers to convince school leaders that it’s time for a reboot is with amazing student work.

How to Turn Your School Into a Maker Haven

An unconventional learning community of “makers” — people who like to figure out and fix problems with their hands — stands ready to demonstrate a hands-on learning style in which students engage problems that matter to them, taking agency and displaying creativity along the way. The Maker Movement is slowly infiltrating schools across the country with the help of dedicated educators and inspirational students proving with their creations that they can do incredible things when given a chance. “People are seeing through the eyes and the hands and the screens of children what’s possible, and it’s re-energizing progressive views of education,” said Gary Stager, co-author with Sylvia Libow Martinez of “Invent to Learn,” a book about the Maker Movement. “School is a big system,” Martinez said. “When you push it one way, it pushes back.” School Libraries and Makerspaces: Can They Coexist? More and more schools are coming to value maker education and exploring ways to create makerspaces in their schools.

School Libraries and Makerspaces: Can They Coexist?

Many schools are discussing how they might utilize their library to facilitate this. As my school has increased our commitment to constructionist learning and maker education over the last few years, we have done so in close collaboration with our school library. In exploring the relationship between the school library and school makerspace, it's not difficult to see why conversations about the growth of makerspaces are often tied to the conversation about the future of libraries.

Both makerspaces and libraries are constructivist learning spaces that share a number of common goals, while approaching them in different ways and through very different material resources. Similar Yet Distinct Makerspaces and libraries are sites of informal learning. When Kids Engage In “Making,” Are They Learning Anything? Tuesday, May 12, 2015 A note to Brilliant readers: The following essay appears in the May issue of School Library Journal.

When Kids Engage In “Making,” Are They Learning Anything?

The issue is devoted to making and maker spaces, and includes many interesting articles on the subject—I encourage you to check it out. My own contribution looks at how librarians, teachers, and parents can make sure that kids are learning while they make stuff. —Annie There’s no doubt that students find making to be a creative and engaging activity. Making is too young a phenomenon to have generated a broad research base to answer this question. The first line of research is called cognitive load theory, developed by John Sweller, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and others.

This argument has relevance for student makers in two ways. Second, cognitive load researchers caution that learning and creating are distinct undertakings, each of which competes with the other for limited mental reserves. ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space. Maker station at the ISTE Librarians Digital Age Playground at the 2015 ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space

The maker movement was front and center at the 2015 ISTE conference—and that’s a good thing for me. After following maker initiatives with great interest for some time now, I have the opportunity to design a maker space this year for 6th–12th grade students at my school, Worcester (MA) Academy. Lego in libraries. This page aims to bring together a whole ton of information on lego in libraries in one place.

Lego in libraries

Why? Because I love lego. I remember playing with it as a child so it was particularly thrilling to see so many references to lego in public libraries in so many countries. There’s active clubs in the USA, England, Wales (special shout out to Newport, my home town, which is taking its Lego Robotics club out into local primary schools) and Australia. Closer to my home in Cheshire there’s clubs in Northwich, Crewe and Alsager to name just a few, with others starting. Not yet sold on the life-changing power of lego? Through the wonder of Twitter, I was put in contact with the award-winning (for lego, naturally) Jo Beazley in Australia who kindly sent me a ton of information.

ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space. Maker station at the ISTE Librarians Digital Age Playground at the 2015 ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space

The maker movement was front and center at the 2015 ISTE conference—and that’s a good thing for me.