03 Aug Redefining the Learning Experience
I first heard of makerspaces back in April while visiting the Virco Manufacturing plant in Torrance California. Since then I have been wanting to know a lot more about 1) what even is a makerspace 2) how can I incorporate the knowledge I now know into an informational post for all the other people out there who may not fully understand the Maker Movement.
What is the Maker Movement?
The maker movement is not necessary a new thing in today’s society since the desire to work with our hands has always been around since the beginning. Now in today’s age we are seeing the collide of the technology era and the DIY & Pinterest culture that is playing a major role in they way we choose to learn.
Diana Redina, a teacher librarian out of the US has defined a makerspace as stated below.
“A makerspace is a place where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discovery using a variety of tools and materials”
When you look at makerspaces you could see anything from a small cart with craft supplies, to shop classrooms, to the very new “Brain Labs” with laser cutters and 3d printers. The beauty of makerspaces is that you will probably never see two makerspaces the exact same, as they should be as unique as the school community itself. When you think of makers you will think of builders, designers, engineers, bakers, inventors, business men, tinkerers, mechanics, programmers, ect.
A makerspace is not, and cannot be defined by the tools used in it, but it is defined as a meeting and gathering point of learning similar to learning commons and brain labs. It is defined but what it enables students to do, which is to make and build. Such activities build the very important sense of community in a school, but that’s a topic for another time.
“What do you do in a makerspace? The simple answer I you make things. Things that you are curious about. Things that spring from your imagination. Things that inspire you and things that you admire. The informal, play atmosphere allows learning to unfold, rather than conform to a rigid agenda. Making, rather than consuming is the focus. It is a craft, engineering, technology and wonder-driver.” – Thinkers and Tinkerers
When I researched this topic, I was amazed at all the resources out there for teachers, principals, librarians, and parents regarding the creation of your makerspaces. One of my favorite places to look was on the Renovated Learning site. Diana Redina has done an amazing job at leading the makerspace movement and has a tone of resources for teachers out there wanting to change their cluttered libraries into amazing educational hubs. My favourite is the presentation on how to transform your library!