The question we often hear is “what do I get for my #MakerSpace ?”
I think because it is an easier question to ask than “how do I change people’s pedagogy/philosophy about learning?” or “how do I change the culture of learning to be what the kids need?” or …
Lists of stuff (tools and materials) are easy and we all love to make them.
Shopping is fun, at least for most people, when you have some funds.
Though #Maker and #Makerspace and #MakerCenteredLearning are really about culture and mindset, we will leave those til another time…they are long conversations (and they should be). And they are a longer process than “buying stuff”.
You want some stuff. You want the right stuff. You (kids) need stuff.
I can’t tell you what that is because I don’t know you, I don’t know your kids, I don’t know your school, your community. I don’t know what you already have. Interestingly, I have found that most teachers do not know what is available in their building — so take an inventory and promote it.
But I can help you work through some ideas.
Isn’t it always best to talk through things with someone??
After taking the building/district inventory…
As a famous book says “Start with your Why”.
-What is the purpose/vision of the “Makerspace”?
Is it for a club?
Is it for special classes?
Is it for any/all classes?
Make to learn or learn to make?
Just to make some stuff?
Social & emotional learning?
Taking the #Maker to other classrooms?
-When can kids/teachers use it and how long will they have?
Do you need stuff that can be made in 30 minutes or 4 sessions?
-What is the style of the school?
Traditional book based learning?
Project/Problem based learning?
-What do the kids want?
For vision and/or stuff.
It is their “space”, their learning.
Find those kids that are already #Makers.
-What kind of #Maker are you?
It is always nice to start with something in your wheelhouse.
You never know what kids might gravitate towards that kind of making.
And you never know where it may lead, where the kids will take it.
There are so many modalities of making, which is great, because every kid should be able to find “their place”
-What do the teachers want?
Everybody is a #Maker.
What other expertise is in the building?
-What will the community support?
And you need support….and maybe some local experts to help.
Find them, bring them in.
You can’t know everything, there are too many modalities of making (a thought both terrifying and exciting )
Of course all of these also deal with what you want the #Maker culture and #MakerMindset to be, we can't avoid that...culture and stuff are intertwined. But the answers should also help you with the tools and materials.
Keep in mind, spaces evolve, daily, weekly, yearly. So the answers today will be different than a few months from now.
Something else to remember, “Makerspace” is not just a room.
The whole campus is the “space for making” when your brain is the “Makerspace”.
How can you foster curiosity, creativity and innovation around the campus?