To: Geoff, Joergen and Rena From: Jeri Hurd PROPOSAL: To improve student learning and contentcreation by adding a HS Makerspace. What’s a Makerspace? While there are different types of Makerspaces, they all have the same purpose: To provide an environment (space, tools and people) that fosters hands-on, student-driven learning, creation and exploration. It promotes the joys of informal, experiential learning through technology. Purpose/Objectives: a) b) c) d) e) To provide the space, resources and tools to empower student creation and learning To promote self-directed learning To strengthen the WAB culture of creation and innovation To foster a spirit of experimental play To create a knowledge network of mentors and trainers (both student and adult) that allows students to work and learn beyond the classroom.
It feels good to figure out
how something works and how you can make it; it’s empowering. It doesn’t matter what you Make, it matters that you Make.
--David Wells NY Hall of Science
Why the Library? While we will work closely with the Tech Integrator and the Geek Force, it makes sense to run the Makerspace through the library for both philosophical and practical reasons. ✓ The library supports learning by a) promoting conversation, collaboration and creation, b) by providing access to a variety of resources, c) and by teaching the process of inquiry. The Makerspace is an extension of this. ✓ The Makerspace should be available to all students and faculty; associating it with one speciﬁc course (e.g. ITGS) may limit that in people’s perception.
Makerspaces at WAB (Phase 1) While all the DT labs in the HUB might seem to make this space redundant, when we created the studio for the iBooks Author history project and non-history students suddenly appeared out of the woodwork to use the space, we realized there was a deﬁnite need. I met with Madeleine, Joergen, Don Jepson and Jim Pojman to discuss what a Makerspace at WAB might look like. We will convert the current HS training room into the Makerspace and utilize the Library Study and Conference rooms for formal IT training sessions, as well as areas in the library and department spaces for more informal sessions. Madeleine will move upstairs into the library back ofﬁce to further facilitate collaboration and develop our library/integration team here in the HS.
I. Equipment/Room The back part of the training room will be a ﬁlm studio, complete with: Multiple backdrops Sound and lighting equipment Light box for stop-motion animations Table dollies and other camera equipment.
Learn by doing. Learn by making. Not learn by clicking.
We’ll also purchase 2-3 more high end entry-level cameras, and one medium range video camera. The front part of the room will hold 2-3 computers loaded with the necessary software for video/audio editing, computer coding/programming, and anything else necessary for “creation.” We will paint the walls for better lighting, and one wall will have a large piece of glass for brainstorming sessions (whiteboard wall paint would have the same issues as whiteboards, apparently, in that you can never really clean them). II. Usage With basic training on the equipment, students and teachers can book the space for projects, or just drop in if it’s free. This will be an excellent resource for the Personal Project (and student-led assemblies!), a place for students to receive training in creating documentaries, multi-touch books, and more, improving both their learning and the quality of their product. “if I were to drop you off in the bush with nothing but the clothes on your back, an axe and some matches, how long would it be until you could send me an email?”
We will offer a series of quick, drop-in workshops on topics of interest to students/faculty. We seek to build a program of student-led training sessions and to train Geek Force members to be part of the “Knowledge Network.”
III. Impact on Learning In her book Ingenius, Tina Seelig describes the essential tools for developing individual creativity and innovation. While the inner triangle describes personal traits, there are also external requirements: Physical resources, habitat (space) and a community that values exploration and experimentation. The Makerspace would enhance the program WAB already offers. In addition, it will beneﬁt students and improve learning by • Engaging them in participatory learning • Increasing motivation through meaningful play and experimentation • Providing learning that is relevant to their goals and interests • Giving them opportunities to create using a variety of media and tools • Connecting them with peer-experts and other educators • Improving skills and knowledge in content creation • Reinforcing transliteracies and multiple learning modalities • Encouraging connections among home, the school and the world. IV. Beneﬁts to WAB • Our research trials show that publishing to a world audience engages students at a higher level, and creating the semi-professional environment would everyone’s performance. • The space is in line with our technology integration mission. • It will be a showcase for touring parents and students. • Library Makerspaces are cutting edge; this will demonstrate WAB’s commitment to technology innovation. V. COST This will come out of the library budget, either next year’s, or, preferably, the RMB 60,000 unspent from this year’s budget, which should more than cover what we need. I am currently sourcing and pricing the equipment.