At the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, cool tech was largely absent — unless you were interested in the Maker Movement.
The Monday of the conference was dubbed Maker Monday, and while I’m old enough to remember metal shop and wood shop classes in junior high, and the excitement of building (and occasionally destroying) Heathkits and Estes rockets, there are two important differences between Making now and my childhood activities. Making almost always incorporates a high-tech element. And it can be on a huge scale, like a human-sized, mobile robotic cupcake with embedded LEDs. (Yes. They showed a photo of one such project at ALA.)
Over at the NPR/KQED education site MindShift, I cull together seven lessons schools and other wanna-be makerspaces can learn from the experience of libraries in Illinois, Michigan, California and Kansas which have already taken the Maker plunge. As Carla Avitabile of the Marin County Free Library observed, “It’s not that hard to pull off some of these programs.”
Read, “Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started,” over at MindShift.