Maker-Spacing Your School via @sguditus

WOW - I just participated in a super-charged #satchat about maker spaces.  Folks came to the table with varying readiness levels about what a maker space is, can be, should be, could be.  After 90 minutes of engaging in conversation, expanding my own background knowledge and hearing about different models of maker spaces, I've created a conglomerate definition of maker space characteristics.  Maker spaces:

  • Are both physical space and a philosophy;
  • Are embedded into classrooms, clubs, in school and out of school;
  • Provide authentic problems;
  • Can contain materials of any size, shape and dimension;
  • Encourage Innovation;
  • Build constructivist learning and thinking;
  • Are interest-based;
  • Are collaborative;
  • Are fun!
  • Help students discover passions;
  • Focus on creation;
  • Encourage risk-taking, being wrong and failing;
  • Develop problem-solvers;
  • Promote collaboration.

There was a lot of talk about having a Maker Team to guide vision and philosophy in one's school (thanks to Lisa Meade of Corinth MS for the idea), revamping classrooms to allow maker space philosophy and ideas, and having administrator support to allow maker space to be a priority.

For me, it's about creating the vision, encouraging risk taking on all levels - students, teachers, administrators and parents/guardians.  One ah-ha moment I had was about maker spaces being about thinking, creating and problem-solving - not necessarily about using high-tech, high-end technology.  It could include high-tech products - but there is a reason that legos have been so popular for so long (and why I still have mine in the basement...speaking of, maybe I should break them out?!): it's about creating and building, imagining and taking risks - with authentic problems.  Learning is messy - that is ok.

If we want to create our schools to be places that prepare students to be the future leaders of our world, to have jobs that do not yet exist, we must create spaces - maker spaces - in our schools that allow tinkering, mucking around, building and creating - and taking risks.  We owe this to our students.

A few resources that were shared during the 11/1/14 #SatChat:

#edtech #edtechchat #maker #makerspace #collaboration #21stcskills #21stedchat #satchat #makered


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