You’ve probably heard the word thrown around in certain circles. People casually dropping the catchy word, MakerSpace, like it’s no big deal. You smile and nod but don’t really know what they’re talking about. It sounds fun and STEM-like but it sounds a little intimidating.
So what IS all this buzz about a MakerSpace?
A MakerSpace is just what it sounds like...a SPACE to MAKE! Makerspaces provide students with the opportunity to create, learn, invent and make, using a variety of different resources. From Legos to robots, straws to 3D printers, the sky's the limit when it comes to innovation. And even with tight budgets - scrappy DTLs and teachers have found great ways to include some incredible resources.
So you might be wondering, “How does that work in a school?”
Keri Douglas is the DTL at Deane Elementary School located in Lakewood, CO. She got her MakerSpace up and running in the library this year. She’s a rookie, too, so hopefully her journey can inspire you, as you embark down the MakerSpace road.
2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the Colorado Summit featuring Google Apps for Education at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado. Google summits are presented by Ed Tech Team Inc. and feature sessions from leaders in educational technology from across the globe. These summits "... are high intensity two-day events that focus on deploying, integrating, and using G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) and other Google Tools to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education." - Edtechteam.com/summits
This year's summit took place on November 5th and 6th. More than 400 educators were in attendance, with Jeffco representing over 90 of those attendees. These educators spent their weekend collaborating and learning about new and innovating ways to integrate technology into their work with students.
what is a PLN?
According to TeachHub, a resource in my PLN "In the education world, PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. What it means is that an individual has developed their own personalized "network" of fellow educators and resources who are designed to make them a better teacher".
For me, it is a way to further my learning and understanding of educational concepts that I am passionate about and support my work. My PLN allows me to easily connect with like minded educators from all over the world at my leisure. Learning and professional development can happen anywhere, even if I am at home in my pajamas or working out at the gym.
The following video describe in just over a minute, what a PLN is and how it can be beneficial for teachers to build their own network.
How do you integrate technology into an author visit? Take the author on a trip to his own setting. Fifth graders at West Woods Elementary not only met author Roland Smith but invited him to climb Mt. Everest with them. Students in Ms. Bachman's class were reading "Peak", one of Smith's many novels when the author himself came for an assembly to talk about the writing process. Armed with Google Cardboards and the Expeditions app, fifth graders were able to take a tour of Mt. Everest through virtual reality as the author narrated. Students were amazed at the details and facts Mr. Smith shared with them about Mt. Everest as he was looking through the Google Cardboard. They asked him several follow-up questions about how he acquires so much information and the research that goes into his writing process.
Later in class, students participated in a full expedition to Everest with Digital Teacher Librarian, Kristen McCann. "Watching students engage in their learning and the connections that students were able to make to the text because of the experience was phenomenal," stated Kristen.