Tuesday, December 1, 2015


My latest assignment in this Flat Connections course was to make a digital 'artifact' that explained and shared a story and some information about 'Maker Spaces'., in particular the impact they had on society and globally.

It seemed far too serendipitous that only the week before I had lunch with another very creative and passionate teacher friend of mine (yeah you Sarah!) and she had begun talking to me about all the amazing work she and another colleague had started doing at their school whilst she was acting teacher librarian for a term. Words like 'making', 'arudino', 'makey makey' started getting thrown around and whilst at the time I had not much idea what she was talking about, the excitement on her face made me think 'I HAVE to get in on this!'

So began the research (total Nerd Alert here, but I don't even care!)

I pored over the web and made myself familiar with terms and what this 'Makerspace' phenomenon was that was taking the world (especially in USA) by storm. When Julie Lindsay gave me my topic to research on 'Makerspaces' I could not believe my luck!

Because I am a really controlled and moderate type of person, I decided that I NEEDED ALL THE MAKING STUFF IN MY CLASSROOM NOW!!!
I moved furniture (much to my students delight!), I ummed and ahhhed, I spent (too) much money with the constant thought of 'Oh well, if it doesn't work then at least I have a 2 YO at home who would love this', and I begged and borrowed from colleagues at school. No comment on the Steal.

And what did I end up with?

Amazingness. That's what.

At the moment the Makerspace is just a bit of free-play, but I hope next year to use it more in the curriculum and with more 'purpose' of problem-solving, thus teaching kids and making them aware of the real benefits 'making' actually has.

Plus, I get to play with Lego yay!

But back to the artifact and the assignment. Part of this assignment was that I needed to include an 'outsourced' piece in my video. Where from? Well, wherever I could find someone to give me one.
So I began with my new favourite PLN platform, twitter (you can follow me at @jolantastephens just FYI :D). I started with asking those I knew were in the making business, and then those who were established educational networks:

Luckily, someone answered my plea for help...

And everyone was so happy (well, at least Tina and I were!)

On a side note, I can't stress ENOUGH how important it is and how beneficial to your teaching it is to have a PLN set up, and twitter is an amazing space. I use mine ONLY for teaching related things and it has opened my eyes to whole new world...

(Disney-fix aside... have a look at the links in my blog reel to find a start for your PLNs -->)

Have a look at my Makerspace Artifact if you want to know more about what Makerspaces are and our journey so far.

So as Mister Maker says...

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