Technology | Brandi Young, B.S., M.L.I.S.| May 05, 2016
A MakerSpace is a dedicated area in a library where people can think, invent, build and more. Brandi Young, Integration Librarian at INFOhio, shares ways to implement a MakerSpace in your school library.
MakerSpace. DIYLab. FabLab. CreationStation. TinkerLab. ThinkLab. HackerSpace. No matter what you call it, they all mean the same thing: Making is going on!
A MakerSpace is a space in which you use physical or digital tools to encourage students to think, design, create, experiment, build and invent. A MakerSpace can take place in any venue —a school library, a classroom, a public library, a museum or in your home.
In a MakerSpace, it’s okay to fail. MakerSpaces teach people dedication, creativity and collaboration — all skills needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. I’ve seen the MakerSpace movement build confidence in students and adults alike.
A MakerSpace can be as high-tech or low-tech as you want it. Your space can have high-tech resources like LittleBits, Arduino, Lego robotics, 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, Hummingbird kits, or Sphero. Or it can be low-tech with Makedo kits, Sugru, Duct tape crafts, cardboard guitar making, scrapbooking, or making items from old books. Or you can tear apart old/broken technology like computers or printers to have a deconstruction day to learn how these items work. (But be sure to keep the spare parts for other maker projects like Frankentoys).
Starting a MakerSpace can seem like a daunting task, but INFOhio’s MakerSpace kit (a MaKit) helps you through the whole process, whether your budget is $0 or $5,000. The MaKit has four primary areas: Advocacy, Planning, Maker Lessons & Activities and Marketing:
And if you would like support from colleagues — whether or not you’ve already created a MakerSpace — you’re invited to join INFOhio’s IMaker community on Google Groups. We are a community of makers from a variety of backgrounds who are in various points along our MakerSpace journey.
So, are you ready to take the plunge? What’s stopping you? Everyone’s a maker. All you have to do is create the environment in which makers feel safe to explore. And I hope these tools from INFOhio help you take the first step.
Want to learn more? View our one-hour webinar, “Making the Most out of MakerSpaces,” held May 19, 2016.
Brandi Young, B.S., M.L.I.S., is an Integration Librarian (ILibrarian) at INFOhio, Ohio’s PreK-12 digital library. Brandi has also worked as a high school English teacher, middle school library media specialist and elementary school library media specialist. When she’s not working, Brandi enjoys spending time with her six-month-old son, Asher, and her husband, Jay. She also loves reading and always carries a book with her.
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