The Maker Movement



"There is no innovation or creativity without failure. Period." ~ Brene Brown


I'm intrigued by the whole idea of the maker movement. It reminds me of my childhood where we had a room full of Lego and my dad's workbench that my brother and I used to make things on during our downtime. Now as our school moves from a traditional library to a learning commons, with a makerspace, my focus has shifted to how to support our teachers and students. I want to create the conditions that will best support a makerspace in our school. But how do that when I really have no background knowledge of what effective makerspaces look and sound like or how they are utilized to meet the needs of young learners. My professional learning plan over the summer will consist of a lot of reading and research.

I came across the book "The Maker Movement Manifesto" when I was at EdCamp Leadership last summer. I had every intention of reading it during the school year but things just didn't work out. Reading this book will be my first step in learning more about the the maker movement and how it is supports innovation and creativity. The author, Mark Hatch, has been at the forefront of the maker movement since it began. He founded the TechShop, the first, largest, and most popular makerspace where for a small fee people get access to all sorts of advanced tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. I'm sure this book will fire up my imagination.

Second on my professional reading list will be Worlds of Making - Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School by Laura Fleming. I also came across Laura's name at EdCamp Leadership from Eric Sheninger, her principal. After implementing a makerspace, and learning a lot along the way, Laura has put her learning and expertise in a book for the rest of the educational world to learn from. I'm sure this will have lots of practical ideas and strategies to make the most out of a makerspace. 

Along with reading these two books I'll also be asking questions on Twitter of my PLN, about what they have learned from makerspaces in their schools. This is something I'm really excited about for our students. I can see so many benefits that I'm sure the students will dive right in. We have a new teacher-librarian starting next year who is just as eager as I am about the makerspace and who will be great in the role.

Do you have any experience with starting a makerspace at a school? I'd love to hear about any ideas or strategies you've used that may help us grow our library commons.




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Tweets of the Week - June 14th, 2015

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  • Dawn Telfer

    We too, are just beginning a Makerspace. Our first thoughts are to use it for projects that already happen in the classroom, that could move to the Learning Commons instead. For example, our grade 1 classes all build a community out of recycled materials. Next year, we are hoping to have all of the grade 1 classes work collaboratively in the Makerspace to big one larger community. Another idea is for our junior classes to use the space as they create solar ovens. These are just a couple of thoughts. As the staff become more comfortable with the space and the idea of moving outside of the classroom, we hope to expand to other ideas.

    Thanks for the suggestions of professional reading materials. I may have to add one, or both, to my summer reading list.

  • David

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and plans for your makerspace. It's such as new concept for everyone I'm sure we'll be better off learning from each others experiences.

    Thanks again

  • Hi David,
    I spent last summer doing what you are doing...reading books, blogs, and websites about MakerSpaces. I started following #makerspace and #makered on Twitter and followed other librarians with MakerSpaces. I also visited other MakerSpaces around my area (I am a very visual learner). I spent last summer and this school year creating and using the MakerSpace in my library that is a result of grants, donations, PTA support, and Donor's Choose projects. I would love to help you get started, as so many other people helped me. Here is a link to a quick S'more I put together to answer people's questions, my MakerSpace webpage for my students, and my blog that shows visually what we have worked on this year.
    Best of luck to you, you will be amazed at the learning and inquiry you will see from your students!

  • David

    Wow Angela!

    Thanks so much for the links and ideas. It's great to see that that time you spent learning was put to good use and that you are so willing to share. I'll be sure to post our progress and seek your help as we move forward!