Thanks Nanowrimo!

wonthearitYou have my fellow colleagues and Nanowrimo to thank for this post, as I’m on a two-day streak here.  That inner voice will often attempt to persuade me to abandon my writing efforts… Shame on you Ms. Inner Voice!

In the spirit of Nanowrimo and for those who have no clue as to what Nanowrimo is, here goes…

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, usually held during the month of November, originated in the San Francisco Bay area in 1999.  During the month, writers from all over are encouraged to sign up to work towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month.

Don’t even go there… I know, I know, this is a blog, not a novel… Well, who cares?!  The point is to get writing and guess what?!  She did that!  You like my 3rd person reference don’t ya?  Anyway, back to business here…IMG_1903

As I return to my discussion on developing a Makerspace, I came across another interesting read from ISTE by Laura Fleming, Worlds of Making, Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School. In this best-selling work, Fleming begins with an introduction to the history of Makerspaces, beginning in the mid 1990’s, with the first Hackspaces in Germany, eventually spreading throughout the rest of Europe into North America in the early 2000s. During the early years, Makerspaces were also known as “Hackerspaces” or “Fablabs“, many of which can still be found today.

The FabLab Foundation describes the concept in this way, “A Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. A Fab Lab is also a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent. To be a Fab Lab means connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators- -a knowledge sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Because all Fab Labs share common tools and processes, the program is building a global network, a distributed laboratory for research and invention.”

It is with this in mind, I set about to create a space where students and adults, young and old, from diverse backgrounds, explore their creative talents, play, learn and share with one another.  I like to think of it as an incubator of sorts.  I’ve heard that “diversity = innovation”.  Such a space that hosts a broad and varied network can help level the playing field for underrepresented groups by providing access to knowledge, information and resources to improve one’s life and that of their community.  How fitting for libraries and public community gathering places to provide spaces like these for anyone to grow and better their quality of life.  Now how freaking cool is that?!

til next time,
– theberknologist has spoken

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The Berknologist Speaks by Dawn Berkeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.theberknologistspeaks.wordpress.com.

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My second post…

Man! What a streak! It’s been little less than a year since my first post.  Huffington Post watch out!

I digress… Well anyway, in this post, I plan to share what I’ve been working on for the past few months or so… And since I’ve been working on a variety of things, it would be best to focus in on one thing.  Today, that one thing will be my plans to collaborate with our school’s library experts on the development of a MakerSpace in my school’s library.  Think of this as part of my MakerSpace diary.

Before delving into what this space should be and look like, one must ask, “Why?”.  “Why have this space?”, “Why is this important?” and perhaps most important of these, “Who cares?”.  While unable to fully answer these questions, I thought it would be great to start with building my understanding of the latest in the educational movement.  I referenced the following resources for this task:  Invent to Learn Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager.

inventAs a former secondary science teacher, I often relied upon materials and the environment to explain and teach scientific concepts.  In Invent to Learn, Martinez and Stager say, “Children’s seminal learning experiences come through direct experience with materials.”  I have witnessed this first hand with children who are schooled under the Montessori philosophy. Students who learn under this philosophy are encouraged to make sense of the natural world and beyond through their respect and interactions with the physical environment.  As children manipulate and interact with materials, they are able to contextualize the new knowledge and  use it to synthesize and create new meaning.

While eager to begin the planning for this new space where students can create meaning from materials and the environment, I want to continue exploring various approaches in an effort to develop a sound rationale for having this space.

til next time,
– theberknologist has spoken

Creative Commons License
The Berknologist Speaks by Dawn Berkeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.theberknologistspeaks.wordpress.com.