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Makerspaces and the School Library
Transcript of Makerspaces and the School Library
Makerspaces reflect the interests of the community they serve and can include activities of varying complexity.
Building a website
Creating video games
Making and editing films
Benefits of Making
Provides space and time to support STEM activities. (Hertz 2012)
Encourages the play, exploration, creativity, and imagination that can be overlooked and undervalued in our standards-based education system. (Abram 2013)
Develops critical thinking and problem solving skills. (Hertz 2012)
Promotes deep learning. (Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming 2014)
Encourages collaborative learning and interaction. (Wong 2013)
Transfers ownership of learning to the learner. (Loertscher, Preddy, and Derry 2013)
Fosters independence and autonomy. (Hertz 2012)
"In short, an educational makerspace is less of a classroom and more of a motivational speech without words." (Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming 2014, p. 11)
A Makerspace is a place where patrons control their own:
On the surface, it seems that the maker movement and the CCSS would be mutually exclusive. However, if we remember that the CCSS are benchmarks rather than actual curriculum, it becomes clear that there is a great deal of overlap in terms of foundational principals. (Hall 2014)
Design software Electronic tools
"Making is an inquiry-driven social activity that allows students to develop the very same skills, dispositions, responsibilities, and strategies touted in the AASL's 21st Century Standards."
How to start a school makerspace
1. Ask students what they want to learn and plan accordingly. (Canino-Fluit 2014)
2. Start small. (Abram 2015)
3. Consider space. Some makerspaces are permanent and others are implemented as special events or brought out of storage as needed.
4. Consider budget. Some tools are very pricey, but a great makerspace can be created on a limited budget. (Canino-Fluit 2014)
5. Recruit volunteers. There may be many experts in your school community.
6. Solicit donations for materials or funding.
7. Choose materials and tools.
8. Establish guiding principles. (Kurti, Kurti, Fleming 2014)
Photos by Gayle Laird
© Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu
History of makerspaces
Makerspaces have their origins in Europe where they were originally called hackerspaces. A hackerspace is a group of computer programmers gathered together in one physical space. The first independent hackerspace opened in 1995 in Germany. In 2007, a group of hackers visited Germany and brought the idea back to North America. In addition to the computer programming, the North American branch of hackers added classes and circuit design and manufacturing as well as creating and building objects.
The term 'makerpsace' was coined by Dale Dougherty and MAKE magazine in 2011 in an effort to separate the movement from the somewhat negative connotation of hacking. A makerspace became defined as a space where the public had access to tools and materials needed to create and design.
Today, the maker movement is becoming widespread with makerspaces found in libraries, schools, museums, camps, and community centers. Businesses offering makerspaces are springing up nationwide. While the term makerspace often refers to child-centered programs, there are many community makerspaces designed for all ages. Makers of all ages converge yearly to share their creations at Maker Faires all over the world in addition to countless, regional, mini fairs. (Cavalcanti 2013)
Abram, Stephen. "Makerspaces in Libraries, Education, and Beyond.(the Pipeline)." Internet@Schools 20.2 (2013): 18. Web. 11 May 2015.
Abram, Stephen. "Real Makerspaces in School Libraries." Internet@Schools 22.1 (2015): 10. Web. 11.May 2015.
Agency by Design. "MAKER-CENTERED LEARNING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF." Agency by Design. N.p., Jan. 2015. Web. 9 May 2015. <http://www.agencybydesign.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Maker-Centered-Learning-and-the-Development-of-Self_AbD_Jan-2015.pdf>.
Balas, Janet L. "Do Makerspaces Add Value to Libraries?(online Treasures)." Computers in Libraries 32.9 (2012): 33. Web. 11 May 2015,
Canino-Fluit, Ana. "School Library Makerspaces: Making It up as I Go." Teacher Librarian 41.5 (2014): 21. Web. 11 May 2015
Cavalcanti, Gui. "Is It a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab? | Make:." Make. N.p., 22 May 2013. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://makezine.com/2013/05/22/the-difference-between-hackerspaces-makerspaces-techshops-and-fablabs/>.
Costanza, Kathleen. "The Common Core Meets the Maker Movement – Remake Learning." The Common Core Meets the Maker Movement – Remake Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://remakelearning.org/blog/2014/09/22/the-common-core-meets-the-maker-movement/>.
"CREATING MAKERSPACES IN SCHOOLS." States News Service 6 Nov. 2012. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 11 May 2015.
Fontichiaro, Kristin. "Makerspaces: Inquiry and CCSS." School Library Monthly 30.6 (2014): 48. Web. 11 May 2015.
Foote, Carolyn. "Making Space for Makerspaces.(idea Watch)." Internet@Schools 20.4 (2013): 26. Web. 11 May 2015.
Hall, Mollie. "Using Makerspaces to Teach English Language Arts Common Core State Standards." Library Media Connection 33.3 (2014): 32. Web. 11 May 2015.
Kurti, R. Steven, Kurti, Deborah, and Fleming, Laura. "The Environment and Tools of Great Educational Makerspaces: Part 2 of Making an Educational Makerspace." Teacher Librarian 42.1 (2014): 8. Web. 11 May 2015.
Kurti, R. Steven, Kurti, Debby L., and Fleming, Laura. "The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces: Part 1 of Making an Educational Makerspace." Teacher Librarian 41.5 (2014): 8. Web. 11 May 2015.
Kurti, R. Steven, Kurti, Deborah, and Fleming, Laura. "Practical Implementation of an Educational Makerspace: Part 3 of Making an Educational Makerspace." Teacher Librarian 42.2 (2014): 20. Web. 11 May 2015.
Loertscher, David V., Preddy, Leslie, and Derry, Bill. "Makerspaces in the School Library Learning Commons and the UTEC Maker Model.(WHAT WORKS)(Report)." Teacher Librarian 41.2 (2013): 48. Web. 11 May 2015.
Maker Spaces. Dir. Trevor Przysuki. YouTube. N.p., 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 1 May 2015. <
Sheridan, Kimberly M., Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, Breanne K. Litts, Lisa Brahms, Lynette Jacobs-Priebe, and Trevor Owens. "Learning in the Making: A Comparative Case Study of Three Makerspaces." 84.4 (2014): 505-31. Web. 11 May 2015
Wong, Tracey. "Makerspaces Take Libraries by Storm." Library Media Connection 31.6 (2013): 34. Web. 11 May 2015.
Hands-on learning through building. (Kurti, Kurti, Fleming 2014)
Learning is highly personal.
Learning is initiated by the student.
Teacher acts as facilitator.
Autonomy of student
Development into a creator of things rather than simply a consumer or user. (Canino-Fluit 2014)
Makerspaces are not
Glorified craft corners (Canino-Fluit 2014)
All the same.
By adding the 'A' or 'Art' to the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math, creativity becomes a vital addition to the success of the maker movement. The creation of new knowledge occurs when both methodical and creative processes are applied. (Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming 2014)
Life long learning
Conducting original research in order to solve problems or answer questions.
Why School Libraries?
Compliment and support the AASL's Standards for 21st Century Learners of inquiry, questioning, problem solving, collaborative social learning. (Foote 2013)
Provide reading motivation.
Support the success of all learners. (Abram 2015)
Provide open access and a level playing field for all users. (Wong 2013)
Encourage informal learning outside of curricular requirements. (Loertscher, Preddy, Derry 2013)
Connect users to relevant and meaningful information and experiences.
It's ok to fail.
Breaking things is not the end of the world.
Collaborate and share knowledge.
(Kurti, Kurti, and Fleming 2014)
When choosing tools, it is important that they meet the needs and interests of the users and provide flexibility. The following list represents small, inexpensive, beginner tools to consider. Once your makerspace is thriving, you might want to consider more advanced and expensive tools.
For a relatively new educational movement, there is a surprising amount of information and resources available online. Here are some that I found most helpful and inspiring when considering adding a makerspace to the library at my school.
The skills that students learn and develop from participating in a vibrant makerspace community is more than just exploring, tinkering, and creating and meeting STEAM goals. Students learn resilience and persistence. They are able to work in community and become empowered in their understandings of themselves, the world, and how the two intersect. (Agency by Design 2015)