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Makerspaces: On Scanning the Road & Gently Easing the Brakes

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As school librarians, we are driven by our mission and our vision, by our national standards, by the needs and interests of our communities, and to some degree, by our own talents, passions and dispositions. We are all about inspiring learners to think, create, share and grow.  We are all about becoming empowered leaders who […]

Untethering the blocks: Building beyond walls and tables

Remember the scene in Singing in the Rain where Donald O’Connor magically dances on the walls?  Remember Fred Astaire’s famous ceiling dance in Royal Wedding?  Till now kids’ work with interlocking blocks has been bound to tables and floors and a few installations of LEGO walls. (See Diana Rendina’s epic instructions.) Till now blocks kinda […]

On “poetical science” and making beyond the “space” (Updated with Sarah’s input)

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In his history of the digital revolution, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson reveals Ada Lovelace’s significant legacy–that the humanities and technology could happily coexist as a poetical science. This particular coexistence, he notes, does not usually exist in our schools. Many people who celebrate the arts and the humanities, who applaud vigorously the tributes to their […]

The DOE, the Makerspace Challenge and you (if you act now!)

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For those of you secondary school folks planning, or planning to enhance, makerspaces in your libraries, check out the news from the White House and act before the April 1st deadline! A press release shared that Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. asked that Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and […]

Making inside the space and outside the box

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AASL’s new mission: empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.  I keep thinking about how this mission also applies to learning that is is informal and interest-driven. A couple of days back, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller and I brainstormed informally about informal learning, and makerspaces, and where we are all going. Michelle was preparing for […]

“Get out there and make something!”: Sylvia’s super awesome new book

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Sometimes I wonder what my girlfriends and I would be like today if more models like the super-awesome Sylvia were around when we were kids.  I kinda want every kid to meet her. I first heard of Sylvia from my friend Gary Stager who often shares her story and segments from Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show […]

(Rethinking) Makerspaces

Kids have always made in my library. We encouraged digital and visual and dramatic and rhetorical creativity before, during, and after school.  But for a while, I’ve questioned the value of using already heavily used real estate to randomly carve out space for a 3D printer, electronics stations and sewing machines. I had my doubts […]

TLNews Night: On student voice

Last night I attended the Special Spring Break Edition of TL News Night featuring some of the amazing men of libraryland: Andy Plemmons, Shannon Thompson Stacy Ford and Dhaivyd Hilgendorf.  Sherry Gick and Nikki Robertson moderated. The conversation focused on student voice. And it was pretty darn special, with practical, engaging, inexpensive and sticky learning […]