Makerspaces: Repurposing School and Community Spaces for Creation and Collaboration

Makerspaces are on the move, in schools and communities, both nationally and internationally, K-12 and beyond.

Our love for creation and collaboration through technology are at the core of the makerspace movement.

In some schools, storage closets and wings of libraries and other underutilized spaces are being repurposed as makerspaces to support 21st Century skills.

They are hands-on environments where students can gather to work on engineering or media projects. Beyond schools, they can be found in community centers and public libraries. There is even a small chain of commercial makerspaces. The “newish” crowdfunding phenomenon is making some of this possible.

With 3D printers becoming more affordable, students carrying their own (video)cameras in their pockets, and hands-on, project-based learning fully in vogue, the possibilities for maker spaces are practically limitless.

Davidson Logo

The best way to begin envisioning your own makerspace is to take a look at what others are already doing, and the best resource I have found thus far on the subject is available at http://makerspace.com/makerspace-directory.

Beyond the relatively straightforward question of whether a suitable physical space is available on your campus for a makerspace, the more difficult question arises of what kind of creation you hope to inspire in your makerspace. That, in turn, will determine the tools you will need in your makerspace.

Take a look at what Davidson College is doing with their maker space by clicking HERE.

BYOD: Vision, Rationale, Rollout

The work world is increasingly moving toward Bring Your Own Device models. Success in college and life beyond will be determined to no small degree by a student’s ability to adapt to different (technology infused) environments, and to use the technology in his/her hands to efficiently collaborate, communicate, create, and think critically and analytically. Schools are increasingly moving in this direction, as well. Here are some reasons why BYOD makes sense, and the steps and considerations schools should consider as they contemplate a move in the BYOD direction.