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How a School Library Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent

How a School Library Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent
Listen to the full interview: Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 51:45 — 71.4MB) Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Read Transcript Last year at Big Walnut Middle School in Sunbury, Ohio, there were some days when fewer than ten students passed through the library doors. Just like in so many other schools, students and teachers had a growing number of resources available to them through tablets, Chromebooks, e-readers and interactive whiteboards, so they no longer needed to visit the library like they once did. Some schools have addressed this problem by converting their libraries to makerspaces. But Big Walnut principal Penny Sturtevant had a vision that was a bit different from the makerspaces she was seeing. As she began the process of reimagining the space, Sturtevant asked me to serve as a consultant. So how did it all turn out? To begin redesigning the space, Kitchen did a clean sweep. “You can’t have things that are in one spot,” Kitchen says. Related:  Articles on Makerspaces

How to Start a Makerspace When You're Broke Everyone’s Favorite Excuse I’ve had the honor and privilege of sharing with hundreds of librarians and educators about our makerspace. Unfortunately, I see many educators hold back on starting a makerspace because of funds. I’m always hearing excuses like: “I’d love to do (insert cool Maker activity) at my school, but we don’t have a budget for that.” What many people don’t realize is that the idea that you need a lot of money to start a Makerspace is a myth. Share Your Vision with ALL THE PEOPLE You want to start a makerspace. Recycled materials can make for awesome projects Seek out Donations Never discount the value of donated materials. Consider putting out a bin for donations of recycled materials. We first started our makerspace with bins of K’nex found in a storage room Work with What You’ve Got Since you’ve started sharing your vision, you might have found out that your school already has some maker supplies lying around. Our Epic LEGO Wall was funded through DonorsChoose Like this:

(Rethinking) Makerspaces Kids have always made in my library. We encouraged digital and visual and dramatic and rhetorical creativity before, during, and after school. But for a while, I’ve questioned the value of using already heavily used real estate to randomly carve out space for a 3D printer, electronics stations and sewing machines. I had my doubts about the makerspace movement in school libraries. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to chat with Amos Blanton, project manager of the Scratch online community, and a member of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab. Amos makes the case for makerspaces as powerful, authentic, relevant learning experiences, and for when and why library may be the very right space to create a makerspace. Here’s the video of our chat and a few of key points to consider before adopting a maker culture for libraries Amos’ key points: School pressures make it challenging to make space for interest-driven learning.

Launching a Makerspace: Lessons Learned From a Transformed School Library | MindShift | KQED News Excitement about school makerspaces has been in the air, but many educators eager to create hands-on learning spaces in their schools still aren’t sure how to get started or why it’s worth the effort. New Canaan High School librarian Michelle Luhtala recently jumped headfirst into creating a makerspace in her library and documented what she learned, how her space changed and how it affected students along the way. Her experience was very different from elementary school librarian Andy Plemmons, whose makerspace started with a 3-D printer obtained through a grant and blossomed into a core teaching resource at his school. Luhtala is blessed with a big library, but for most of her career it has been dominated by large bookshelves. Over time, Luhtala has pared down her collection as she increased the digital reading material the library offers, but in order to make room for a makerspace she cleared out 7,000 books. A floor plan of shelving in Luhtala’s library in 2011.

Evolution of a Maker Space, From “Monstie Stuffie” Projects to a Giant Catapult littleBits activities at the circulation desk in Colleen Graves’s school library. Two years ago, I was asked to write an article for Knowledge Quest about how I created a maker space at Lamar Middle School in Flower Mound, TX. That first year of programming is so different from what I do now that I thought it pertinent to chart how our maker programming (#Makered) has evolved. During my first year as a librarian in 2012–13 my Teen Advisory Board (TAB) helped me redecorate a small office located behind our circulation desk. My director bought us some reading rockers, chalkboard paint, rain gutters, and 25 licenses for Minecraft. Starting off: “Take and Make” wall and workshops At the time, I wanted to make this room a collaborative room that housed our maker space. How the Lamar Middle School maker space evolved. In late April 2013, my TAB members helped me pick out some maker workshop ideas from the collaborative Google doc started by librarian P.C. Arduino, Magic 8 Balls, and a Theremin

The Maker Space Difference: Amazing Inquiry, Shared Learning | Tech Tidbits Students work with the new 3-D printer. “Is it true? Do we have a 3-D printer?” When I put our new 3-D printer in the window of the school library, not only were my own maker space students interested, but the rest of the school seemed to take note. The library unofficially opened our maker space in January after receiving all kinds of goodies from a DonorsChoose fundraiser and other grants. The purchases tumbled out of boxes and students explored each item. Thingiverse nameplate The students and I decided to meet after school every Wednesday to learn all we could together. The students have programmed and raced the two Sphero Robotic Balls, even trying them under water! Collectively, our goal was to learn as much as we could so that students and staff would be ready to explain how each thing worked at our Makerspace Open House during our parent-teacher conferences in February. Moss Zombonitron kit I’m so proud that our library can serve as such a great resource and learning center.

Librarians on the Fly: Baby Steps to creating a Makerspace in the Library Makerspaces in Your Library When I entered Fields Elementary Library, it was traditional in every way. Slowly, I have worked to make it a learning space, one where I can share technology and create a community of shared learning. Gone are the days that the library is just a place to check in and check out books. Since McAllen ISD is a 1:1 district, I am thrilled to see the potential every student has in this space. When I interviewed a month ago for this library position, my principal asked what my vision was for the library. make that 3D printer materialize along with other tech gadgets. The exciting part of this whole concept is that the library holds the potential for collaboration between students in other parts of the country or world. For now, our small maker space (Fields Fab Lab) has tools for students to build or experiment with simple materials.

Makerspace in the Library! Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries – The Unquiet Librarian The concept of libraries as makerspaces first hit my radar last November when I read about the Fayetteville Free Library’s FabLab. As I began hearing more buzz about libraries and makerspaces the first few months of this year, I decided that learning more about this concept and exploring how I might apply the elements of makerspaces to my library program would be a personal learning project for the summer. So what is a makerspace? Modeled after hackerspaces, a makerspace is a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. The Library as Incubator Project describes makerspaces as: Makerspaces are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and learn new skills… makerspaces are not necessarily born out of a specific set of materials or spaces, but rather a mindset of community partnership, collaboration, and creation. Like this: Like Loading...

Making Space for a No-Frills Maker Space Volume 3, Issue 4, Number 4 Driving Question: No Frills Maker Spaces: What? How? Why? I have long been aware that students are often bored or frustrated with conventional classes taught from textbooks. Worse, they seldom understand the relationship between their subjects and real-world applications. WHAT IS A MAKER SPACE? WHY MAKE A MAKER SPACE? HOW START? Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.Pursue personal and aesthetic growth. The maker space also supports our school curriculum as a STEAM school and naturally incorporates our school engineering design process as students think critically about world problems in a non-threatening environment. YOUR FIRST MAKER SPACETo make our maker space, I did not have to build Rome. 1.Start small 2. A List of Starter Resources: 3.

The Role Making Can Play in Education and Future Work “American kids should be building rockets and robots, not taking standardized tests.” — By Dale Dougherty Learning by Making In this post “Learning by Making” published on Slate Magazine site, Dale elaborated: “Learning by doing” was the distillation of the learning philosophy of John Dewey. Document for the role making can play in education In January 2012, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) hosted Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators. The following document has been produced 2012 report: “Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators” The Future of Work Like the advocacy on learning coding came from the foreseen shortage of programming human resources in future. This report uncovers major themes, key trends and opportunities to help you grow your business and progress your career into the future. [slideshare id=15878109&doc=future-of-work-summary-presentation-psfk-130106150423-phpapp02] Resources of maker education Maker Education Initiative

A Thematic Approach to Planning Your Maker Space When schools talk about the Maker Movement and creating maker spaces, they often focus their initial thinking on purchasing the tools and materials. This resource-driven approach can create a buzz in your school for some time; however, that excitement will inevitably fade. While resources are an important part of any maker space, taking a thematic planning approach is much more effective. No two maker spaces are alike or should be alike. Developing appropriate and relevant themes for your space will ensure that your maker space is unique to the needs, wants, and interests of your students, and unique to your school community as well. While maker spaces often have a STEM orientation, they most certainly do not have to be limited to just those disciplines. To select themes for your maker space, it is important first to understand your learners. The next thing you should do is take time to evaluate the programs, offerings, and curricula within your school.

Why the 'Maker Movement' is Popular in Schools The maker movement is a global, DIY movement of people who take charge of their lives, solve their own problems and share how they solved them. And it's growing in schools that are searching for more authentic learning experiences for their students. Since the beginning of time, people have made things to solve problems and otherwise improve their quality of life. But previously, the amount of exposure individual projects received was limited. "These things that used to be isolated are now shared widely," said Sylvia Libow Martinez, president of nonprofit education technology organization Generation YES and co-author of the book Invent to Learn. She shared an example of how this global movement works. From kindergarten to second grade, students traditionally make things with playdough, legos and other objects. "It's easy to blame the focus on tests, it's easy to blame the focus on accountability and that sort of thing," she explained. What schools are doing with maker education