We kicked off our first quarterly Headlight Series Webinar this past week where we covered makerspaces. Our goal for this series is to keep you informed about emerging technologies and provide helpful tips for engaging your customers. Makerspaces are bringing a new way of teaching into the classroom. We want to make sure you are prepared to talk to your customers so they have the right tools to implement.
A makerspace is an environment where students can explore, invent, build and collaborate. The beauty of makerspaces is that no two are alike. One might consist of robotics and coding and another might consist of building blocks and arts and crafts. One thing they do have in common is hands-on learning.
Through makerspaces, students gain the four skills that are crucial in the 21st century – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. It is important for you to learn how your customers are focusing on the ‘Four C’s’ in the classroom. Classrooms aren’t the only place makerspaces are being utilized. Libraries are becoming more of a collaboration space instead of independent study. This means there are more opportunities for you beyond schools.
Beth from Madison Metropolitan School District joined our webinar to help you better understand makerspaces from an end user’s point of view. MMSD is implementing what they call the Ignite Plan. This involves a 1:1 digital implementation plan, learning spaces, the maker mindset, and professional learning. They based their plan on the Future Ready Framework. When schools are new to makerspace, a mobile makerspace cart is a good option because teachers can share the resources and turn their traditional classroom into a makerspace.
We all know implementing something new can be challenging. Some challenges MMSD faced when they implemented makerspaces were finding funding and time to implement it. Some advice you can give your end users when they are thinking about starting a makerspace is to start small, find educators who are whiling to take a risk, make funding a priority, and find partnerships in the community.
If makerspace hasn’t come up in conversation with your customer yet, it will be. Be prepared to talk to your customers about how they are focusing on the ‘Four C’s’, what they are currently doing in their district, and the options they have for implementing makerspaces. We hope that you feel more confident about discussing makerspaces with your customer. If you have any questions, you can reach out to your Douglas Stewart Account Manager.
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