Makerspaces for Innovative Teaching

One of the most interesting new learning philosophies I have been investigating is a makerspace.  Haven’t heard of it? You are not alone but I think this sort of learning space is one of the most interesting ideas for inquiry learning that you will come across.  Makerspaces contain technology, materials and tools to make, invent, and design things.  What better way to learn than hands-on experiences, trial and error, problem-solving?  And they are not limited to schools.  Many public libraries and university libraries are creating makerspaces within their buildings.  A Calgary High School was designed with a makerspace in mind.

Sylvia Martinez’s book, “Invent to Learn” is in the Doucette Library.  She is a wonderful resource, capturing the essence of what a good makerspace looks like and includes.  I am developing a Lib Guide for students that contains makerspace philosophy and some practical material reviews.

The movement towards the experience of learning mimics what many students will encounter in the work force later in life.  It is easy to “google” an answer but how do you design, make or invent something to do the task you need to do? This is learning at its best.  The creativity among students can be celebrated and cultivated in such a space and the inventors of tomorrow will have an outlet today.

There are many tools that can be part of a makerspace but some essentials seem to be a 3D printer, Raspberry Pi or Arduino computer components and various other “found” objects.  Sounds like fun! If engagement is the name of the game, makerspaces may be a big part of the answer.

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