Monday, January 25, 2016

How Libraries Fit in the Future of Learning

More schools are transforming their traditional libraries into innovative makerspaces, giving students the chance to experiment and grow in new and exciting ways says Amy Brown, a Certified Google Educator as well as a Microsoft Innovative Educator. 
Here is an excerpt from her article in www.edtechmagazine.com.


Back when I was in school, libraries were all about books — books, books and more books.
During my frequent visits to the library, I would pore through encyclopedias and fill out countless checkout cards before heading home with a backpack full of reading material. Of course, teachers also scheduled regular media time so students could use the library’s computer pod, but technology wasn’t nearly as integral to the library experience as it is today.
The advent of the digital age had a profound impact on school libraries. Expanding Internet use gave students access to academic texts from their home computers and, later, from mobile devices.
That change has forced the school library to shrug off its title of knowledge gatekeeper and embrace its role as a steward of collaboration and innovation.

Libraries and the Makerspace Movement

According to the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, schools all over the nation have begun promoting content creation over content consumption. Educators feel that through investigation, storytelling and production, students gain a more enriching learning experience.
As part of this growing trend, school libraries are stepping up to the plate to offer students unprecedented access to tools and technology. Across districts, resources include everything from the parts and equipment necessary to build electrical circuits to the hardware and software that would enable students to print their own 3D prototypes. Some makerspaces even include traditional woodworking and crafting tools.
While the value of time spent tinkering may not be immediately apparent to some, makerspace proponents say hands-on work helps students hone their critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities, all while encouraging them to collaborate with peers. With those competencies in their toolkit, students can more easily navigate the STEM education network and, eventually, the workplace.
To read the full article, click here