#SXSWedu Makerspace Core Conversation and Takeaways

Screenshot 2015-02-20 15.50.21

The SXSWedu conference was transformational! I was only able to attend a couple of days, but those two days have me buzzing with ideas! I met so many great and talented people I hope to collaborate with in the future.

My colleague, Leah Mann and I led a Core Conversation regarding Makerspaces and STEAM labs early Wednesday morning. We were worried no one would come, but instead we packed the house and learned so much from everyone who attended! I’m hoping SXSW recorded the convo and if so, I’ll upload it here later.

For now, check out all the #SXSWedu links regarding my session with Leah Mann:

Vendors, Playground, oh my!

Check out all of the awesome companies and people I met while at SXSWedu. I found LOTS of companies wanting to get more girls involved in STEM! Plus, some cool maker kits that I haven’t seen available before.

SXSWedu Pinterest Board

SXSWedu Pinterest Board

Follow Colleen’s board SXSWedu on Pinterest.

My Takeaways

  • Getting girls involved in STEM is the next big thing! This topic infiltrated our core convo right from the start! We discussed a lot of way to get girls into our makerspaces and KEEP them there. Please add your own ideas to our Shared Gdoc from our session. Plus, I found lots of great STEM lessons and programming ideas for girls at the SXSW edu expo AND the playground! (see Pinterest board above)
  • We discussed different ideas around Design Challenges and which was more guided, a challenge? or a workshop? I’d love to spend another whole conversation discussing this! I see workshops as guided and challenges as open, but a few of our participants had other ideas.  It just goes to show that we are paving the way with this maker movement!
  • I mentioned that during my summer Maker Camp, Anne  from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History mentioned that one is either a  “Maker or a Tinkerer.”  After our session a man asked me, “Is a Tinkerer a Maker on a random walk?” I loved this metaphor, and it got me thinking that this is another great discussion waiting to happen.  What is the difference between these two? And what is our end goal? To create makers or tinkerers? I see making as following instructions, and tinkering as a precursor to innovation. My goal is to create tinkerers who will become the Steve Jobs or Jay Silver. I also love this idea from Matt Wallaert on Twitter:
  • Lots of our discussion focused on workshops, guided making, and free time to work.
  • One thing we all agreed on was that Maker Education NEEDs to be integrated into the core curriculum.  Afterwards, we even had a few participants ask us about adding this movement to textbooks?
  • Another focus that seemed to be a thread through the whole conference is that educators and developers need to get together and discuss what it is we need from these companies.  I think SXSWedu is a great venue for exploring this avenue.
  • A few sessions I attended mentioned that our students are going to have no jobs when they graduate, and they will need to learn the art of creating a job – in other words, we need to prepare our students to become self starter entrepreneurs.
  • I had a great convo with Kathy Ishizuka from SLJ and I can’t say much, but LOOK for something awesome regarding MAKERS and LIBRARIES THIS SUMMER!
  • Last but not least, be open to all possibilities if you attend SXSWedu.  I missed out on this #ideadrop on Schools and Libraries and STEAM labs, and I’m so sad about that.
  • My brain is still trying to synthesize this whirlwind of learning! So check back for updates!

2 thoughts on “#SXSWedu Makerspace Core Conversation and Takeaways

  1. Pingback: Maker Librarians Bring It to SXSWEdu 2015 | School Library Journal

  2. Pingback: 2015 Wrap-Up | Create, Collaborate, Innovate

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