Creating Spaces for Students to Make | Connected Learning

Personal Story compiled by: Howard Rheingold

Key Takeaways

Start with the learners! Find out what they are doing in other classes, at home, or in after-school and weekend workshops. Speak with others in the school and community who are engaged in making. Find out what learners want to do. Then order tools and materials.
Begin with theme projects derived from what learners are already interested in. Set up both fixed and flexible stations – fixed stations with very low barriers to entry where anyone can sit down and get started, flexible stations for specific projects as they grow.
Encourage peer learning – know when to step back and let the learners teach each other. Encourage learners to ask each other “what are you making?”
Encourage tinkering and play, and emphasize that failure – and debugging of failure – is part of the process.
Connect with other maker-teacher-librarians – the #tlchat hashtag is a place to start cultivating a personal learning network (PLN).