Friday, March 01, 2019

Day 1: Framing the Conversation Around Makerspaces

This March we're going to kick off  our third annual  30 posts in 30 days series around Creating, Making, and Learning.  This  2019  March Madness Maker Series will be focused on some of the questions that I've been using to frame the conversation around making  over the past few years.




The earlier conversations are usually focused around the WHAT questions.     Just exactly WHAT is a maker space?  I was once sitting across the desk from a principal who shared that she  had just googled "makerspaces' during our conversation so she would know what we are talking about.    The term Makerspaces conjures up different images in almost everybody who uses it.  Personally I like to use Space for Creating and Making  as a way to shake preconceptions that come with the term Makerspace.   A makerspace can be many different things to each of us.  It can have all types of tools, supplies, and equipment.   We've traveled to many makerspaces across the country and have yet to find any two alike. 

We have visited many different Makerspaces in our bus, and each of them have different tools and take on different formats.  This month I hope to introduce you to a few different configurations of makerspaces,  each with their own unique sets of tools and supplies.   
We have visited many different Makerspaces in our bus, and each of them have different tools and take on different formats.  This month I hope to introduce you to a few different configurations of makerspaces, each with their own unique sets of tools and supplies. 


Another area that many want to talk about is HOW do people MAKE?  There are so many different ways to approach making.  In this series we will explore different types of makes that you might see in a makerspace. This could range from a skill building make to a quirky expression of self.  I look forward to introducing you to some of the comments types of makes as we share projects from different schools. 



Probably one of the most important questions is the WHY question.  Simon Sinek encourages us to KNOW OUR WHY! And while I agree that knowing your why is one of the most important things you can talk about in the conversation about makerspaces,  it is NOT necessarily the first question you need to find the answers to.  Sometimes you just need to start Making!  And the more you make the more you will be able to articulate your why.  Too many people think that you have to know your why BEFORE you move forward.  I think knowing your why is a process and sometimes you just have to LAUNCH and the clarity about WHY will happen as you reflect on your process. 



 The WHO questions are not always obvious.  But they are important ones.  Without explicit attention to the WHO questions, you might accidentally end up creating a space that is not inclusive.  Unfortunately that is a challenging condition to remedy.  There are several ways to talk about WHO is making in your makerspace, and making sure that you have someone on your team who wears an equity lens in your conversations about making is helpful.


These conversations are not linear or hierarchal.  So don't expect a recipe or a step by step guide. We'll interview various members of the CREATE MAKE LEARN community and come at this conversation from many different perspectives, each meant to to get the gears turning helping to  frame your own conversations around making in education.


and of course we'll invite you to join the conversations already happening in our CREATE MAKE LEARN community. 







1 comment:

Ms. Witt said...

Thank you for sharing this information. You have addressed the differences I see in different schools and realize that each maker-space fits its own community. I look forward to this month's posts.