Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Baby Steps to creating a Makerspace in the Library
Makerspaces in Your Library
When I entered Fields Elementary Library, it was traditional in every way. Slowly, I have worked to make it a learning space, one where I can share technology and create a community of shared learning. Gone are the days that the library is just a place to check in and check out books. Since McAllen ISD is a 1:1 district, I am thrilled to see the potential every student has in this space.
When I interviewed a month ago for this library position, my principal asked what my vision was for the library. I told her I envisioned a makerspace, one with a 3D printer, Lego Mind Storm sets, robots, and the opportunity for student's imagination to unfold. That is a tall order when you have a small budget, but she had access to some grant funds that may
make that 3D printer materialize along with other tech gadgets. So, until then, I am starting out small. It begins with creating a designated space with the potential to grow.
The exciting part of this whole concept is that the library holds the potential for collaboration between students in other parts of the country or world. Imagine students from one makerspace to another makerspace via Skype in Education or Google Connected Classrooms. What if students worked with other students to solve problems together or create models together within their respective maker spaces? The video below shows how one public library group is doing in their makerspaces via Google Hangouts.
For now, our small maker space (Fields Fab Lab) has tools for students to build or experiment with simple materials. When that 3D printer comes in or the Lego Mind Storm kits, the possibilities are endless. Who else out there has a maker space or is trying to set one up? Please share your comments below!