Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School by Laura Fleming

Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School (Corwin Connected Educators Series)Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School by Laura Fleming

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Corwin Connected Educators Series is a set of powerful little books covering specific topics in ways that educators can read a book one day and implement ideas the next. In this edition on makerspaces for school libraries, Fleming explains the necessary pieces of setting up a school makerspace (planning, aligning activities to standards, showcasing student work, and involving community experts) without bogging the reader down in details that could frequently change, such as equipment costs and suppliers. The focus stays on creating a maker culture in the school and starting at whatever level budget and administration allows. This book will be especially beneficial to librarians and educators interested in starting a makerspace but need to make the case and justify the value the space will bring. Fleming connects the dots between the learning that takes place in a makerspace and the initiatives so many are pushing for in education right now –increasing interest in STEM majors, fulfilling the goals of Common Core Standards, and connecting learning to the Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards and the Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

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The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch

The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and TinkerersThe Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers by Mark Hatch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The word “makerspace” has existed for several years with a wide array of meanings. Mark Hatch starts this inspiring book with a manifesto centering on these concepts: make, share, give, learn, tool up, play, participate, support, and change. Each reader is encouraged to take this manifesto and change, adapt, and use it accordingly. This spirit of personalized innovation is what makes this book such a pleasure to read, as each chapter shares stories of individuals who have taken the idea of making to new levels with incredible results. Hatch makes a compelling case—similar to business gurus such as Seth Godin—that people should develop themselves and their talents on an individual basis rather than solely relying on the education system or corporations for validation. The book ends with a call to action—and it shouldn’t be a spoiler to share that the charge is to make! This exhilarating read will leave you excited about the possibilities that abound and also secretly wishing you lived in a city with a TechShop nearby.

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Quiet by Susan Cain

Sometimes a book’s message stays with you days or weeks after you have finished reading it. That is what has happened to me and Quiet.

I resisted reading this book for quite a while. For most of my life, I have disliked many of my introverted tendencies. I was always shy and “tested” as an introvert on the tests I took in school, but when I went away to school and then started working the job of my dreams a few years later I found that I needed to develop a few extroverted tendencies in order to succeed in the environment that surrounded me. When I first heard of the book Quiet a few years ago, I assumed it would be a celebration of the introvert and I doubted I could get excited about dismissing the progress I feel I’ve made throughout my adult life. The book fascinated me from the get-go, however. It is a celebration of the qualities which make introverts special, but it also acknowledged a need for both introverts and extroverts to adapt and reach outside of what feels comfortable in order to get along and work well with those around us. It also strives to get everyone to understand that people are different and need different things in order to be their best. I really like that message.

Quiet uses research studies, interviews, and the author’s personal perspective to bring about a greater understanding of the introverted qualities which makes half our population special.

If you are interested in hearing more from Susan Cain about this interesting topic, watch her TED video: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts 

Creativity, Innovation, and Change Project Exploration Statement

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Understanding the challenges facing the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River through STEM

Mission Statement:

By completing STEM based learning modules, students of all ages will gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing the Florida Treasure Coast waterways.

Project Goals:

  • Complete a literature review and complete a bibliography covering the issues facing the Indian River Lagoon. Compile bibliography in age-based, annotated format.
  • Seek out correlations between prominent issues and the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.
  • Identify experts to collaborate with the design of learning modules.
  • Create lesson plans including activities and assessment components.
  • Develop marketing plan.
  • Develop budget.
  • Implement project with local student groups.

Starting Point:

I will start with research, both of the issues and of what similar programs are already being implemented locally.

Challenges:

  • This issue is emotionally charged on both sides – finding unbiased information and sharing it in an unbiased way will be difficult.
  • I don’t currently know if a similar program exists – I believe environmental education is strong in this area, but it focuses on an ecology perspective, but may not be balanced in its scope.
  • I will need funding to implement this project with students. I currently do not have any funders or any partners.

This exploration statement is an assignment for the MOOC I am participating in titled Creativity, Innovation, and Change. If you are interested in learning more please visit: https://www.coursera.org/course/cic