AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all For Your Problems

AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all for Your Problems | Starting a makerspace can be a wonderful thing for your school library. But sometimes, there are problems in place that need to be dealt with first.

I realize that this title is going so upset some people. That some might accuse me of click-bait. But I think this is a topic that is often being left out in the discussion about makerspaces. Many school librarians have beautiful visions of putting out some arts and crafts supplies or LEGOs or robots and … Read more

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why You Need to Attend Your State Conference

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why You Need to Attend Your State Conference | It's easy to get caught up in the hype and glamour of national conferences. But there's many vital reasons for us to be attending our state conferences as well.

The very first conference I ever attended was my state conference, FAME (Florida Association for Media in Education) back in 2010. I was a brand new librarian and soaked up all the new information, ideas, and connections. It only took one conference to get me hooked. Since then, I’ve attended and presented at conferences all … Read more

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Awesome Young (and Old) Makers

The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Awesome Young (and Old) Makers | It's the time of year for gift giving, and what better gift to give to a child (or adult) than something that encourages creativity? Here's some of my top picks for gifts for young (and not so young) makers

I normally tend to stay away from “stuff” lists when it comes to talking about makerspaces.  I believe that the stuff that goes into a makerspace should be based around the needs of the students and the school, not on a checklist of items to get.  But this list is different.  The holiday season is … Read more

Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects

Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects | Colleen and Aaron's new book is a fantastic resource for teacher, students, parents or anyone else interested in learning some new skills through some fun, hands-on maker projects.

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects is definitely the next book you should add to both your school and personal library.  Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves offer up 51 awesome makerspace projects in this book that are fun and doable no matter what level you’re at. Why The Big Book of Makerspace Projects should be … Read more

3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries

3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries | At SLJ Leadership Summit 2016, the future of libraries was an issue that was front and center. Here are my three takeaways from the event.

The future of school libraries is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about.  In October, I had the honor and privilege of attending School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.  As I looked back over my notes from the event, I realized that our future was front and center in all … Read more

AASL Post: How to Connect Students to the World with the Cardboard Challenge

How to Connect Students to the World With the Cardboard Challenge | In my AASL post, I talk about how maker projects and makerspaces are fantastic for connecting your students globally. Here's how you can use the Global Cardboard Challenge and Skype.

Connecting Students to the World Through the Cardboard Challenge Makerspaces and maker projects can be amazing catalysts for connecting your students with others. The Imagination Foundation’s Global Cardboard Challenge is one of my favorite maker activities to help my students feel connected to the world and see the power of making. Combine that with a Skype … Read more

Cardboard Challenge 2016: More Awesome Than Ever

Cardboard Challenge 2016: More Awesome than Ever | For our 2016 Cardboard Challenge, my students went all out. Our cardboard cutters were buzzing, the hot glue guns were all in use. There were all sorts of amazing creations being built all around.

Our 2016 Cardboard Challenge We’ve been doing the Cardboard Challenge at Stewart every year since we first started our makerspace in 2014.  See our 2014 challenge here and our 2015 challenge here.  Our challenge is inspired by the YouTube video, Caine’s Arcade and the Global Cardboard Challenge.  Every year we start the challenge by watching … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Organization that Actually Works

Figuring out how to get (and keep) your makerspace organized can be a daunting task.  I don’t claim to have a magical organization system that works perfectly 100% of the time.  But I have learned a few things about keeping our space organized over the last three years.  Here’s my advice: How to Create Makerspace … Read more

AASL Post: The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library

The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library : Like our homes, our libraries need tidying up as well. This post offers suggestions and advice for how you can tidy up your library and make it awesome.

Just as our lives need tidying up from time to time, so do our libraries.  Decluttering the library can be daunting at first, but it’s totally worth it.  Here’s some more on why we should tidy up: The Magic of Tidying Up Your Library: An AASL Post I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying … Read more