#LTCMaker Workshop / #BookfaceFriday / New Makerspace Lesson Page

Presenting and Sharing Makerspace Knowledge and Tech Education

It may be summertime, but I’ve been busy. My ELA teachers asked me to present our All Songs PBL Podcast projects at the Texas Ignite conference.  It was great to share with Texas teachers how our collaboration led to authentic learning for students.  Visit the presentation here:

Today, I was able to present ideas on starting your own makerspace to librarians on a national level with Makey Makey creator Jay Silver.  I had a great time discussing how to start, where to get money, and suggestions for programming and design challenges.  If you didn’t sign up for the workshop, I think they might do another in the fall. Plus, I have an article coming out soon about “How to Start Your own Makerspace from Scratch.” (Just a few weeks actually- so stay tuned!) Here is more information on the Lead the Change- Maker Workshop

Exciting National Publications

I’ve also had a pretty great month as far as publications go! My “Evolution of a Makerspace” article was published in School Library Journal. I was mentioned in the New York Times for my #bookfacefriday Instagramming: “Oh Those Clever Librarians, and their #Bookface”  (I changed the name of my Instagram so here is my current profile.) Plus, I was a contributor to the School Library Journal (Maker Issue) article: “Maker Bookshelf: A Starting Collection for Current and Aspiring Librarians” Plus, I finally got to collaborate with my NWP buddies, Donalyn Miller and Kerri Harris, on a Nerdy Book Club post.

Finally, a local paper came to Lamar Library the last day of school and did this great write up about winning the Scholastic/School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year Finalist award.  Journalist Sarah Bays even made a great Youtube video of me (and some of my aides) geeking out!

New Page up for Makerspace Curriculum

Last but definitely not least…. I’ve made a new page specifically on lessons created by me for your Makerspace! When I spoke today for Library Journal’s Maker Workshop, I mentioned that a year ago I played my first Makey Makey banana piano.  Now, I’ve got lessons published on their site! This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t tinkered alongside my students and worked at getting my brain “beyond the banana.” I suggested to #LTCMaker participants to start making and creating and writing their own lesson plans.  We can change education together. Let’s get Maker Education integrated with the curriculum! Start writing and start sharing. Here are some lessons I’ve written so you can collaborate with your teachers: https://colleengraves.org/maker-ed-lessons-by-resource/

(Now you go tinker, learn, and write your own to share with me!)


TLA Takeaways

Tech Camp Presentation

I was honored to present with my #superlibrarianhubs, Aaron Graves, at TLA’s Tech Camp! We had a fast and frenzied presentation on the library as a makerspace at this awesome preconference to the epic Texas Librarian Association conference.  We were able to present our ideas on research and makerspaces to almost 600 librarians through four dynamic sessions! Click this thumbnail to visit our Tackk:

See on Tackk.com
My biggest takeaways from Tech Camp:

(These are my thoughts from presenting all day and then hearing our ideas reiterated in Matthew Winner’s Keynote)

  • When we let our kids fail, we teach them perseverance.
  • We need to teach students how to use social media by modeling effective use.
  • Our research instruction methods need an update so we can reach all students (including the 50% of Texas HS graduates that do not go to college.)
  • A library makerspace allows us to teach our students authentic research skills.
  • Through challenge based learning we can teach students crowdsourcing research methods by:
    1. Incorporating keyword searches
    2. Advanced Google searching with operators
    3. Authenticating sources (including on Youtube and social media)
    4. Sharing learning through social media (See my lamar_library How to Vines)

Thanks to Sparkfun and the awesome Bev, we had a mobile makerspace set up outside of our day long session.  Check out the pics below! Ardusat even came out to share info on their cubesats! Plus, Mod Robotics sent us a Cubelets set to demo and Chibitronics even donated a circuit notebook as a giveaway!

On top of all the learning, I met so many awesome authors and I can’t wait to see the collaboration that will unfold from this epic TLA!

TLA Sessions and Authors

TLA is an amazing place to chat with superstar librarians, book bloggers, and great authors.  I was able to meet up with my National Writing Project buddies Kerri Harris and Donalyn Miller (Whom I realized I’ve known for almost a DECADE! We all ordered the same lunch and realized we are all reading the same book! Look for a collaborative post on The Nerdy Book Club blog in May.)

As we sat down to wait for a lunch table, we ran into Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame, John Rocco Caldecott winner for Blackout and Percy Jackson Illustrator, and Chris Barton picture book author extraordinaire. Our casual conversation about the ease of connecting students with authors through social media got me thinking about how great TLA is for making connections and how inspiring the 21st century has become!  I’m hoping to find out more about John Rocco’s research when creating mythology illustrations to tie in with my 8th grade student mythology research project. Plus, I’d love to learn more from Chris Barton about his research methods for his entertaining and informative picture books. I think my students could learn a lot from these great writers’ authentic research processes!

I even stumbled upon YA author Lindsay Cummings at TT4L ! We’ve been chatting about a dystopian author panel to meet with my 7th grade students in the next few weeks. Our History students are working on a PBL (Project Based Learning) about the next civil war and we are wanting to discuss Dystopian and political aspects that could change the future of America.

Lastly, I spent my final day of TLA running a makerspace for teens at TT4L. They loved learning simple circuits with the Makey Makeys, driving the Sparkfun Redbot with Arduino libraries, and of course racing Sphero and Ollie.  (Note, if you haven’t bought Makey Makeys or Spheros yet, YOU NEED TO! Get a class set of both!)

Now it’s time to get back to reading graphic novels for the School Library Month #shelfchallenge! What are you reading?