I’ve been reading the Makerspace Playbook (request your free ebook here) and thinking about the possibility that makerspaces could transform our schools.
What if we raise a generation of successful bubble-test-takers? What kind of jobs will they be prepared for? What kind of world will they create?
What if our elementary schools looked like this instead?
What if our schools were filled with tinkerers and dreamers and artists and builders? Can we, as school librarians, be the leaders of this revolution?
Let’s think about the kind of students we REALLY want to have working in our society when they graduate. We want engaged, creative, innovative thinkers! A child in our elementary school today will be in the prime of his or her career in the 2040’s. What will our world be like then? Will today’s bubble answers help them to succeed in that world? Not likely!
But what if our students are able to learn on their own, and are passionate about the pursuit of answers. Would that help them to succeed in the middle of our twenty-first century? You bet!
I’m more motivated than ever after reading this resource. I want to do my part to push back against the tidal wave of standardized testing. And I think some tables, chairs, building and art supplies are a great start!
Here are some concrete ideas I gained from the Makerspace playbook:
-A makerspace can include arts, crafts, engineering, food, green design, music, science, and/or technology.
-Include an “idea rummage box,” where one student’s scraps become another student’s inspiration.
-Be sure to have wall and shelf space to showcase completed projects, to help others generate ideas.
-Design your space to allow social interaction as well as solo tinkering.
-Help your students to generate rules for using the Makerspace, related to safety and teamwork.
Whether it’s big or small, think about including a makerspace in your school library next year. You don’t have to be an expert, just willing to experiment. And add a comment, sharing your thoughts and plans with us!
p.s.–Here’s another Makerspace-related resource to check out: Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul by Dr. Stuart Brown.