This past week, I participated in a webinar on Makerspaces entitled Makerspaces: The Now Revolution in School Libraries with Leslie Preddy, school librarian in Indianapolis, Indiana. She’s also the author of the book, School Library Makerspaces, Grades 6 – 12. If you are a member of edweb (anyone can register for free), here is the link to the archived recording: Makerspaces: The Now Revolution in School Libraries
I really liked her top 10 of makerspaces so here they are with my notes as she was talking:
10. Begin with what you know – Find someone who is an expert to help with things you don’t know how to do: . i.e. the librarian can’t knit but she has a teacher who is keen ton guiding kids who want to start a knitting club. Consider what’s of interest to your community and go from there.
9. Start small and sustainable – 3D printers break down a lot (get a maintenance contract) so start small. Consider your schedule. Consider what your school allows, (i.e.looms as opposed to knitting needles).
8. Think hands-on creativity – Let students work with their hands. Not everything needs a technology basis to be meaningful. LittleBits (Self contained electronics) is a great electronics gateway so you don’t need soldering irons.
7. Let failure be an option. Learn how to fail without giving up. Kids shouldn’t give up just because it’s hard. They can give up because they have no interest, but failing should be considered part of the process till the student finds more successful means of solving problems.
6. Make something old new again – Sewing machines are so tech now! Amp up photography to use green screen and work with 3D photography. Cheap cameras and software are available.
5. You are a maker too – There are no must-have tools or equipment. Don’t let anyone tell you what you must have. Meet the needs of your community.
4. Think creative funding – Sources of materials and money can come from donations, recycle centres, business funding, community centres.
3. Choose make-themes carefully – Survey and consult your community. Align with the school’s focus and consult others in the school.
2. Don’t try to learn and do it all yourself – Use this as an opportunity to expand your professional learning network. For example, in Preddy’s area, 4-H is a great resource for finding people to assist with certain make-projects
1. Embrace the moment – It’s exciting to have that much fun with students. Again, failure is an important part of the process, but you can still have fun.