What’s Wrong with a Makerspace in a Box

What's Wrong with a Makerspace in a Box - There is a trend in education of selling "makerspace in a box" programs that are meant to handle the planning of a makerspace for you. The problem with these kits is that they don't involve students in the design process of creating a makerspace.

Today, a vendor tried to sell me a Makerspace in a Box.  I’m not going to say who, because I am not about bashing companies and organizations.  It’s my own personal policy to only mention names of companies or products that I actually support.  And besides, there are a lot of companies out there right … Read more

AASL Post: How to Create a Physical Instagram Display

How to Create an Instagram Display in the Physical World | Instagram is a great way to share and promote your program, but it doesn't have to just stay in the cloud. Create a physical Instagram display to promote both your social media account and your library programs.

I love the power of social media in libraries. It’s an amazing way to share what you’re doing, promote your programs, and reach out to students and community members. Being a visual learner, Instagram is definitely one of my favorite platforms. It makes it easy to share striking visual images with as much or as little text … Read more

Be Intentional: Why Slow Change is Good for You

Be Intentional: Why Slow Change is Good for You | When changing something (your library space, your classroom, your life) quick, sudden change can be jarring. Being slow, deliberate and intentional can have power and make changes longer lasting.

I was a media specialist at my previous school for seven years.  A TON of things changed there during that time.  But they didn’t happen overnight.  I built things up piece by piece.  I experimented and tried new things.  There were plenty of failures, to be sure.  But there were also great successes that my … Read more

AASL Post: How to Weed by the Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection

How to Weed By the Numbers and Clean Up Your Collection | Weeding can be emotional and hard sometimes. We attach so much to books. But if you focus on the data, it can be so much easier to clean out your collection.

I love weeding. A well-curated library collection makes me happy. But weeding can be difficult. We attach a lot of emotion to books. Others don’t understand why anyone would ever want to get rid of books. We have to hide our weeded books for fear of misunderstanding from teachers, parents, students, and administrators. Weeding can … Read more

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace | To create a culture of positivity in the maker movement, we need to focus less on the stuff and more on the spirit of MakerEd.

With a changing and growing movement, many are declaring that there are right and wrong ways of doing things. We are getting so hung up on the specifics and our own ideas of what a makerspace SHOULD be, that we’re losing the sight of the big picture. We worry far too much about the stuff. … Read more

AASL Post: How to Get Ready for a New Year at Your New School

How to Get Ready for a New Year at Your New School | Starting off a new year at a new-to-you school can be daunting, but it's also an exciting opportunity. Here's five tips to help you prepare.

Starting at a new school can be overwhelming, so it’s good to have a plan. I’ve shared this on social media, but not in an official blog post here.  This year, I will be the new media specialist at Tampa Preparatory, an independent 6-12 school.  It’s my first time at a new-to-me school since I started … Read more

Read this Book: The Space: A Guide for Educators

Read this Book: The Space: A Guide for Educators | The Space is an amazing resource on learning space design. It helps educators to learn to think as designers, to co-design their spaces with their students and to create learning spaces that are inclusive of ALL their students.

When educators and designers get together to write a book on learning spaces, amazing things happen.  Many books on learning space design focus on lots of gorgeous photos of expensively renovated school environments, language to use with architects or projects that are amazing, but not always easy to replicate.  The Space takes a different approach. … Read more

The Power of Slowing Down: Do I Really Need More?

The POWER of Slowing Down: Do I really need more? | It's so tempting in life to keep adding more and more. More responsibilities. More commitments. More speaking engagements and writing commitments and webinars and articles. But it's okay to slow down.

This summer has been one of a lot of reflecting for me.  For the first time in seven years, I’ll be at a new school next year.  This coming school year, I’ll have two books published under my name.  So much is going on and so much has happened so fast.  This summer, I’ve slowed … Read more