I wasn't sure anyone would really be ThAt interested, but I have missed blogging. So, I am jumping back in doing the only thing I know how to do...telling you about my latest venture.
So, what am I doing? I am in the very beginnings of creating a Makerspace at my school. Makerspaces have been around for a few years. I first saw a video featuring a Makerspace designed by the one and only, Laura Fleming, media specialist at New Milford High, last year.
Why now? As soon as I saw it, I shared the video and additional links with hopes that it would capture the interest of others. It did, but while my co-workers thought it was awesome, they were like me, stumped about how to make it happen. I mean, which of us could show a student how to turn a banana into a space bar or an orange into the "enter" key? No one...not a single one. Much less make play-doh into a joystick:
Why? It is for the students. It is time to allow them to become creators, not just consumers. It is time to empower them with knowledge about how stuff works and foster skills that will allow them to re-imagine their world.
- I ordered my first "kit" within hours of hearing Eric Sheninger's presentation. I chose the Makey Makey - the kit that turns the banana into the space bar, the stairs into a piano, and playdoh into a joystick - because it just looked fun!
- I arrived home from the conference at 1 AM on Monday morning and spent Snow Day #1 writing 2 grants for more stuff for the Makerspace (3-D printer, Little Bits, Smart Home kit, and more).
- On Snow Day #2, the Makey Makey arrived. I opened it, looked at it, and put it back in the box :)
- Snow Day #3, I finished a video application for another project and still avoided the Makey Makey.
- Day #4, back at work. I collaborated with the IT department (who got really excited about putting practical technology into students hands - and then admitted that they didn't know how to make a banana space bar either).
- Day #5, found out that Radio Shack near our school is closing. Hopped in the car and headed out to shop! I ended up purchasing way too much and have absolutely no idea what any of it does, but I am certain that when I figure it out that it will be really cool.
- Day #6, found Tinker, Make & Learn, a MOOC related to creating a Makerspace and promptly enrolled.
- Day #7, I have completed my first assignment in the MOOC and decided to blog about my journey so that if anyone else out there is like me...having no idea how any of this works, but knowing that it would be engaging for students...you can learn about available resources as I document my progress toward Making a Makerspace.