Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17

Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17 | I led a Make Your Own Creature workshop at AASL and it was a blast. Here's how to host one.

(Note: Post contains affiliate links.  Actions taken may result in commissions for Renovated Learning) A Creature Workshop Towards the end of last school year, one of my students came up with one of my favorite design challenges:  Make a creature that does something.  That’s it.  This prompt wins for simplicity and the designs that people come up … Read more

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: 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

Demco Post: 3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace

3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace : Check out my Demco post to read up on three different design challenges you can do with your students in a low-tech/no-tech makerspace. All are budget friendly and easy to do.

Check out my post on Demco to learn more about design challenges in low tech makerspaces! Many educators have the misconception that makerspace activities always need to involve expensive technology like 3-D printers and circuit kits. But this isn’t true. Students can have amazing learning experiences in makerspaces with low-tech and no-tech tools. Design challenges … Read more

AASL Post: How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library

AASL Post: How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library: A positive maker culture is the foundation of a successful maker program. Here are some ways that you can build and grow a maker culture in your library.

School libraries are starting makerspaces all over the world. It’s an exciting time in education as we rediscover the power of creativity. But many schools rush to start makerspaces so quickly that they neglect building the maker culture. Developing a maker culture is a lot like developing a love of reading, it takes time and … Read more

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage | A quick, easy tutorial on getting your MaKeyMaKeys organized.

When I first started the Stewart Makerspace back in 2014, one of the earliest tools that I purchased was a MaKeyMaKey.  My students loved it, and because they are so affordable (only $50 each) I was able to get a set of 10 of them through a DonorsChoose project, allowing students to work on longer … Read more

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why Making and Literacy Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why Making and Literacy Aren't Mutually Exclusive: Starting a makerspace in a school library does not mean abandoning literacy. Here are three ways that making supports literacy in a school library

My post last month on Why a Makerspace isn’t a Magic Cure-all for Your Problems gained a lot of notice.  I’ve seen a vibrant social media conversation take off since then.  I have heard many people say in the conversation about making and libraries that they have reservations.  Many are worried about sacrificing literacy or reading when they … Read more

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

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