Category : Research and Readings

Curriculum Makerspace Research and Readings

The Maker Workshop Online course


This is a 4 week course I am currently attending. It requires me to lock myself away for 1.5 hours of my school day each Thursday morning (and 2 holiday mornings), to listen to an amazing array of speakers, and join the ongoing chat that emanates from the keynotes. With 250 attendees from across the globe, it is intense learning! Twitter flies, chat rolls by with many fragments of conversations, and the hyperlinks buzz down the list.

My homework assessed task is to plan and put together a proposal to create a Maker Space for our Senior library in 2016. The Lunchbox Club is growing up!


Ready, set, go!

In order to revisit the links that flow from the chat, I am putting them here, and hope they might make sense to others as well.

Week 1: Getting started with Making – Big picture

Keynotes Tim Carrigan (Institute of Museum and Library Services) and Peter Wardrip (Children’s Museum, Pittsburg) Making and Learning in Museums and libraries

Thought Partners:

Exploratorium – the art of Tinkering, and especially Scott Weavers page! Let’s get going on those toothpicks and glue.

Maker Ed

NCSU Libraries

Instructables many guides on toy hacking


Making in the Library toolkit pdf – Resource lists of materials for Young Adult/Teen Maker Spaces

New book: The Participatory Museum by Nina Simon

Makerbook – A “hand picked directory of the best free resources for creatives”

Keynote: Mark Takano, Congressman “How the maker movement can drive the economy“, and Tim’s IMLS links

“This is the IMLS language – Museum and libraries have long been recognized as community leaders in providing engaging participatory learning experiences.  Many museums and libraries have developed makerspaces, places where people can gather to create, invent, and learn, empowering them to become creators, not just consumers. They provide access to a diverse range of tools and technologies, along with knowledgeable staff and mentors. Museums and libraries are leveraging their content expertise and role as trusted community organizations to support the development of 21st century skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are essential for the development of a competitive workforce and engaged citizenry..- See more at:

A key quote from Newsweek article: THE MAKER MOVEMENT is a global community of inventors, designers, engineers, artists, programmers, hackers, tinkerers, craftsmen and DIY’ers—the kind of people who share a quality that Rosenstock says “leads to learning [and]…to innovation,” a perennial curiosity “about how they could do it better the next time.” The design cycle is all about reiteration, trying something again and again until it works, and then, once it works, making it better. As manufacturing tools continue to become better, cheaper and more accessible, the Maker Movement is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate. Over the past few years, so-called “makerspaces” have cropped up in cities and small towns worldwide—often in affiliation with libraries, museums and other community centers, as well as in public and independent schools—giving more people of all ages access to mentorship, programs and tools like 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutters, microcontrollers and design software

The MakerLab is open to all audiences, not just teens.  The YouMedia Space is the teen lab.  I would recommend the Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums report to see more what they are doing specifically for teens.” Thank you Peter Carrigan!

Week 2: Projects to get you started


Endless ideas in a context from Mark Frauenfelder, and Alexandra Welsman McDowell: Spoons Across America

Links from the chat:

Lots of talk about personal favourites, and 3D printers. I like this website of 3D printing ideas for kids

Arduino website, and a good explanation guide to understanding the code here.

RaspberryPi website for kids

Spoons Across America are creating amazing programs for kids to cook in the classroom:

Edible Schoolyard

Farm to School Network

Centre for Ecoliteracy







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Curriculum Makerspace Research and Readings

High Possibility classrooms

Look at this short video they showed at the opening of EduTECH – the rate of change is quite mind blowing … are you keeping up? (From Dr Jane Hunter’s newsletter here)

Optimized-V2_High-Possibility-Classrooms_Dr-Jane-HunterOne of my favourite sessions at the recent EduTECH 2015 conference held here in Brisbane was a workshop by Dr Jane Hunter, titled High Possibility classrooms: What do teachers focus on when they integrate technology in teaching and learning?

Based on her research paper with a book recently published, Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms, she had examined the new research through the question: ‘What’s happening in school right now”, through case studies of 4 teachers over 2 years, evidencing occasions of Deep Play, intellectual play, time for deep flow of ideas and much more!

Across the 4 teachers, coding activities were showcased, QUEST Inquiry process was demonstrated, and several pedagogical theories were compared: TPACK, Productive Pedagogies, SAMR, model. Overall the focus was on the ‘sweet spot’ that occurs when Content, Pedagogy and Technology combine.

All my favourite educator theories were embedded in this session: Papert, Vygotsky, Dewey, Gartner, Alan November and with mention to the more recent work of Anna Craft.

The learning looks different.. and needs to keep looking different in the classroom.

To close: Dr Jane Hunter’s blog is here
The High Possibilities Website is here

Latest newsletter is here, and includes some great summaries of EduTech2015 presentations.

Contact Dr. Jane Hunter through the School of Education at the University of Western Sydney for more information.

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Curriculum Research and Readings

QUT STEM high school

A Twilight PD for teachers at QUT STEM High School

Every now and again an email appears in your Inbox that gets your attention. It’s not directly about Teacher Librarianship, or libraries, but it looks interesting.

Such was the case with the QUT Twilight teacher PD event “Learning with Technologies”, held on 12 May at QUT and hosted by the STEM High School Engagement team.

The program consisted of a panel of presenters form both schools and University faculties. Each presenter had 30 minutes to talk about what they were currently creating, or researching, teaching and asking questions about. Maybe they just wanted to share an idea from their areas of specialty in Learning with Technologies.

The program was diverse! Using Social technologies in the learning environment: exploring the ways that social media can contribute to meeting students in their own space to create a learning environment that fosters engagement in blended, online and flexible learning situations.

A demonstration of a flipped classroom in action, examples of Crowdsourcing in the classroom to gather information for problem based learning tasks, and the recent research in setting Multiple Choice questions, and how to enhance the learning with this method of questioning.

A wearable technology demonstration led to a keen discussion on classroom practice from both the panel and forum group. How to implement this practical and hand’s on learning? What is the relevance today?

An event such as this serves to remind me why we are doing Maker Spaces in our library. It is the unending enthusiasm and collegiality of a group such as this!

To offer a meeting place that feeds the thinking behind the mission of QUT STEM school workshops makes sense. To “seek to bridge the secondary-tertiary interface and provide students with an opportunity to understand the relevance of STEM skills in their learning and future” is a vital role school libraries can own, manage and drive from their library.

Quick links from QUT STEM:

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Curriculum Makerspace Research and Readings

I have a few ideas… but I want to hear yours too

“Lunchbox Club is really fun!” “Can we use the white cloth..” (for our Club Wall hanging) “How is this NOT awesome?” “..loved it- great opportunity to build awesome dragons!” “OMG! Yes!” (about 3D Doodler pens) ..and so on!

Starting something new

Starting an Inquiry task can be stressful!   but the final result is always satisfying!

Today is the first session of The Lunchbox Club for a new term. It will be a planning meeting from our Club website.

In keeping with my Maker Space thinking, I want to revisit the projects from last term. This will allow the boys to talk, share and reflect on the projects we began, and didn’t always finish last term. That’s OK.

I have spent this week revisiting my colleagues around the school to consolidate my ideas and thinking from last term activities, and continue to look forward. I need to connect with the feedback from others.
And today its time to hear from the boys. I love surveying this creative bunch! Pictures, ticks and words. How can I say that? Anything goes.

Love surveying this creative bunch!

Takeaways: A conversation with my ICT colleague, and coordinator of the Mecatronics Club for year 9 students is affirming. My introductions to Squishy Circuits and Makey Makey kits at the end of term 4 have allowed the boys in his new year to accomplish the program expected for 3 terms in one! That’s great feedback. I’m encouraged.

My thinking and pedagogy revisited: Working within the constraints of timing, library business and staffing, I continue to strive for Maker elements. Learning by doing, freedom to create freely and not within a specific time-frame. To allow students to explore, experiment, and learn from each other. To read about things and think projects through for themselves. To take risks and fail occasionally!
During this conversation with a colleague, the comment “That’s right.. Of course.. I must try more to let the kids go and create their own pathways. But I just like to see things get finished.”

Getting started in Inquiry learning

Inquiry Learning: As I work with teachers across the curriculum in their research tasks, I try to understand the requirements of each department, and their priorities for an Inquiry Learning approach. I am affirmed that Teacher Librarians have a good grasp of Inquiry Learning that is not always evident in these tasks. It would seem we have several ‘models’ operating in our school. This is important information as I focus on connecting the Club activities with supporting and strengthening Thinking and Design skills in our tasks.

In my interviews with teacher Joh Gordon, we try to identify some of the differences. 4 key questions are addressed.

(Video clips coming of these questions discussed)

“What is the Signature Program?”
“How does this program sit across our more traditional classes at BGS”
What are the great moments you have experienced in the program?”
“How might a Maker Space in the library enrich the Signature program in Curriculum?”

No Tosh model:

Kulthau model

Anecdotal model

Kate Murdoch reflection sheets

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Curriculum Makerspace Research and Readings Tinkering

Compare notes: Let’s write about it

February, 2014

GC Tech Space meetings are important.

Meetings like these are important and fun!


Ahh! The power of networking with colleagues and sharing ideas.

From one colleague managing a large library in a  girls’ school in Sydney, the response: “I am thinking trolleys.” Oohh.. and of course that might work too.

From another colleague: “I just give them stuff at lunchtime and let them work it out between themselves. I don’t have to know more than them.. they can do it all”

As the 2014 editor of the NSW School Library Association magazine, Words., I am keen to hear from others in my field. How are they working towards their maker models for their libraries?
The Feature section in Issue 1, 2014, is the result of my collaborated conversation with 3 different school libraries and professional groups on the potential of a Maker Space in a school library.

In writing and coordinating this series of articles, I have realised how important it has become to read widely, and widen the professional network well beyond the school environment to remian updated, current and empowered to make well informed decisions for our libraries.

Where else can we continue the conversation?

My favourite local bloggers who are exploring Maker Spaces too and are worth following:

Kay Oddone: Resource Link Blog for Brisbane Catholic Education. (@KayC28)

Anne Weaver: In her Learning post blog Anne gets the conversation started! (@Anneticipation)

Hacker Meet Ups: The Gold Coast Tech Space and Brisbane Hacker groups are a valuable network of skills and ideas.

March, 2015

My presentation to the Brisbane SLAQ AGM, 2014 sharing the progress and thinking.

So… let’s keep talking to each other!

June, 2014 EduTech2014 event

Lucky to attend the Masterclass of Gary Stager, (author of Invent to Learn) and a taste of Joyce Valenza, our respected Library guru, to put gadgets and gizmos in my hands for the first time. Working with a range of abilities and groups, we built and demonstrated how much fun it can be to build your own circuit, sew your own flashy fabrics, and make things happen with a Makey Makey kit. We just had to have some of all this in our school library!

Masterclass with Gary Stager. My first hands-on!


Makey and water play


Learning together





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Makerspace Research and Readings Tinkering

Raspberry Pi event

December 13, 2013: An evening with the Makers

My first contact with a Raspberry Pi, Maker Space conversations and teachers with the same questions as me.

I am at the EngineRoom in Surrey Hills, Sydney. I am sitting at a table of computers and wires, among people ready to learn about what Makers really do. We are 3 teacher librarians, and their assistants to question how we can develop this tinker technology into our library day and space.

We have been given a kit of our own. And this is hands on! There are 4 expert helpers to assist if we need it. And we do.

Making sense of a Raspberry Pi

One of my favourite bloggers, Darcy Moore also attended. He describes the evening here, on his blog.

My takeaway from the evening?

Maker Spaces deserve to be taken seriously. They challenge the way we teach, learn, and where and how we do it.

That’s a bundle of questions! Design thinking, thinking minds. An exploration across many curricular areas at once.
How can we support these activities into an already very full day?

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