Situating Makerspaces in Schools - Hybrid Pedagogy America’s obsession with STEM is dangerous, Fareed Zakaria warns us, and our hunch is that most readers of Hybrid Pedagogy would tend to agree. We, Colin and Josh, certainly do. But the conversation that typically follows that headline rarely seems productive: a turf war for institutional priority and students’ time drawn on traditional disciplinary lines. Even when STEM advocates throw a bone to the value of creativity by adding “A” for Arts (making “STEAM”), the pendulum still swings, and the conversation never seems to advance. At the same time, “making” has turned into a “movement” and makerspaces are popping up in communities all around the US. Makerspaces don’t fit our traditional expectations of school, but here they come. Perhaps Zakaria has laid the groundwork for a cultural shift back towards the liberal arts, perhaps not. In our school community, we have situated learning through making by emphasizing an inclusive, values-based approach. Agency, authenticity, and audience
Low Tech, High Gains: Starting a Maker Program Is Easier Than You Think A busy day at Darien (CT) Public Library’s LEGO Club. Has the maker movement taken hold in your library yet? Would you like it to? Take your pick: Anything from building with LEGOs to arts and crafts, gardening, cooking, astronomy, knitting, weaving, crochet, jewelry-making, sewing wood working, metal working, bike repair, button making, and even paper airplane construction can be offered in a maker space. These low-tech experiences are an ideal way for youth services librarians to get their feet wet in the maker arena—and usually with very little investment in supplies, overhead, and outside technical expertise compared with their high-tech counterparts. In fact, most youth services librarians already offer quite a bit of hands-on programming that could qualify as “maker” even if it is not being marketed as such, Kane says. Says Kane, “Library staff in any department have special skills and hobbies, even past careers, that the library may know nothing about. Where to start?
A Librarian's Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources "There were more than 135 million adult makers, more than half of the total adult population in America, in 2015." What is a makerspace? You’ve no doubt been hearing that word more than a few times over the past several years. Makerspaces, also called hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs, are collaborative spaces where people gather to get creative with DIY projects, invent new ones, and share ideas. Since the first official makerspace convened six years ago in a library in upstate New York, libraries have remained an ideal setting for makerspace events across the country. There were more than 135 million adult makers, more than half of the total adult population in America, in 2015. Articles & Blog Posts on Makerspaces 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.) 8.) 9.) 12.) Maker Faire Makerspaces Directories 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) Revitalizing Community Spaces One could argue that the phenomenon of makerspaces has led to a revitalization and reimagining of libraries in a digital world.
Color-Coded Clean Up: Organizing Your Makerspace | Making in School During the holiday break the Creativity Lab decided to take advantage of the student-free time by transforming the already awesome makerspace we’ve built, to an even more student-friendly place. The golden rule in organization is this: in the end everything has a place, within the place it functions. To break this down a little, here are a few things to ponder when organizing your space: (1) Everything should have a place. What do we have? (2) Try to arrange things by process or within in a place where it functions. Are stations necessary? (3) Adjust as you go. Are things working? Draft a little plan, do a sketch, talk to other teachers that use the space and go for it. Excellent things to have on hand during the process: Plastic Storage Bins – Large and SmallLabels (I love and swear by Post-it Label Rolls, 1” wide) OR Tape and Index Cards, anything to help you sortMulticolored Duct Tape (see our pictures, I found Duck Brand to be the brand with the most variety)Measuring Tape Mr. Like this:
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. 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. Libraries and makerspaces are inherently interdisciplinary spaces. Makerspaces and libraries are more than just resource closets.
Creating School Library Makerspaces While there is no clear, single definition to the term makerspaces (Burke, 2013; Fontichiaro, as cited in Bell, 2015), there are commonalities existing in terms of features, functions, goals and activities that makerspaces provide. A makerspace is a place where people gather as communities to be innovative, create and collaborate, to share knowledge, tools and resources (Britton, 2012). Makerspaces have transpired from the maker movement which has been popularised by Make magazine and Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty. These creative spaces emphasise the ‘do-it-yourself’ philosophy while promoting a richer engagement and curiosity within the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) disciplines (Dougherty, 2013) and encourages students to pursue careers in these fields, but also to create their own jobs and industries (Peppler and Bender, 2013) that may not exist yet in a rapidly changing information and technological world.
Makerspaces in the Media Center For most people when they hear the words location, location, location they think real estate. I think of school library media centers. In almost all schools the media center occupies the largest amount of real estate on the campus. It Starts With the Look and Feel of the Space Today’s patrons are looking for a space that is inviting, contemporary, and comfortable. Design With Your Product in Mind What is your product? Create a Makerspace Librarians are the leaders in exploring and trying out the latest trends in digital tools, resources, and training. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons by informatique. Makerspaces need to be created around several key concepts. Originally an avenue for promoting and providing STEM activities, makerspaces have helped to draw attention to the creative side of the student population. In Short Media centers today have a lot to offer in terms of space, products, services, activities, and value.
ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space | ISTE 2015 Maker station at the ISTE Librarians Digital Age Playground at the 2015 ISTE conference in Philadelphia. 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. A search of this year’s program at ISTE, held June 28 to July 1 in Philadelphia, using the term “constructivist learning/maker movement” resulted in 67 related sessions. The ISTE Librarians Network hosted a maker station at their Digital Age Playground and convened a panel on library maker spaces, featuring elementary and middle school librarians, a school administrator, and the coordinator of a public library maker initiative. Vendors and exhibitors demonstrated tools, lessons, and ideas for maker spaces. Problem solving, problem solving, problem solving A big budget is not necessary
Starting a School Makerspace from Scratch With the National Week of Making behind us, you might be ready to start a makerspace in your school -- but not know where to start. Will purchasing a costly 3D printer and the latest robotics kit ensure learning and maker success? What are some steps to starting a successful makerspace from scratch? Step 1: Immerse Yourself in Maker Education Before you can build your own community of makers, you need to join one! Immerse yourself in makerspaces by joining a summer maker camp like Exploratorium's Tinkering Fundamentals or the virtual Camp Google for cheap and easy STEM ideas, but most importantly: make stuff! Step 2: Get Others Involved Start a steering committee for your makerspace by involving interested teachers and students. If you can, reach out to the community and get parents and community members involved. Step 3: Purchasing Makerspace Resources Here are three guidelines: What purchases will give you the most bang for your buck? Step 4: Building a Community of Makers
Designing a School Makerspace Makerspaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. Cardboard construction Prototyping Woodworking Electronics Robotics Digital fabrication Building bicycles and kinetic machines Textiles and sewing Designing a space to accommodate such a wide range of activities is a challenging process. Some schools have chosen to incorporate makerspaces within multiple classroom spaces. Ask the Right Questions Because of the constantly evolving activities that a makerspace accommodates, a flexible design is critical from the outset. WHAT range of "subjects" will be taught in the space? WHICH tools are most needed? WHO are the kids that will be using the space?