I’ve been sitting on a few ideas now for a couple of years. In the area of the Maker Movement, I’ve researched, I’ve listened, and I’ve learned a lot from various sources of knowledgeable and inspiring networks – but I’ve really done nothing about it. I’ve watched other Districts pick it up and take off with it. But for me, there are always excuses; timing, opportunity, obligations & priorities, fear – a number of stumbling blocks that hold me back. It’s not a great feeling.
My vision for all educational facilities is to have a Maker model approach to learning – a place to support, facilitate & celebrate inquiry, design and innovation through STEAM opportunities, while simultaneously fostering a culture of citizenship, perseverance and grit. A place where teachers and students can share their passions by creating and innovating along side one another in a culture that celebrates risk taking, and where professional development can be embedded into the school day. The vision is for all students with unique learning needs – those who are curious, creative, disengaged, or gifted – find a place that allows them to bring STEAM principles to the forefront. As said by Seymour Papert, “Children learn best when they are actively engaged in constructing something that has personal meaning to them – be it a poem, a robot, a sandcastle or a computer program”. Providing opportunities that highlight the 21st Century Competencies will help our students gain confidence and skills while solving authentic and meaningful problems. The goal is to go bigger than a ‘thinking classroom’ but to foster a “thinking school”.
About a month ago, I was working with a group of Vice-Principal colleagues who shared with me some of the same visions that I had, as well as a few of their own. It was invigorating to hear their ideas and we quickly began to cook up a collaborative project that would benefit students in four school communities. We outlined our goals and objectives, considered all of our stakeholders in each unique site, planned for student voice and teacher leadership teams, considered current resources as well as those needed, partnerships, physical space, sustainability, and money. We got this train moving! We are currently using a collaborative OneNote book to document our learning and share our ideas, resources, photos and journey.
Some key questions we considered in planning:
- What is the experience we are trying to create?
- Who will lead the experiences?
- How will learning be shared?
- How will experts, partners, mentors be utilized in learning?
- What funding is available to us? What other sources can we seek out?
- How will we ensure this is a student owned space (student voice?)
- How can this tie to curriculum expectations and deep learning experiences?
- How can we promote STEAM principals?
- How can we best create a culture of risk taking, respect, inclusivity, and pride?
- How can we ensure this becomes a hub for deep learning?
I have always known that collaboration is the key to learning and am so thankful for my colleagues who will be with me on this MakerSpace journey. Stay tuned as the learning unfolds! Because really, “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” ~Simon Sinek
#KidsDeserveIt #MakerSpace #Makered #OneNote #LDSB