A group of 5th graders and I have been working closely on diving into Makerspace type learning and thinking. Students have explored the concept of thinking differently in a variety of ways.
But, before we jump into how we learned and our podcast, it is important to discuss the meaning behind our reasoning. Although the new and shiny Makerspace gadgets are pretty cool, what is more important is the thinking behind it. You can have all the robots and gadgets that Amazon has to offer, but if the focus is misguided and focused solely on the tool, we can hinder the growth of our students. But, when done with intention, Makerspace type learning allows for students to be curious inventors and creators, rather than being static and rote problem solvers.
In the blog, Curiosity Commons, there is a fantastic post that highlights the benefits of Makerspaces called, “Makerspaces: The Benefits.” One of my favorite quotes within this post is:
“Maker education fosters curiosity, tinkering, and iterative learning, which in turn leads to better thinking through better questioning. I believe firmly that this learning environment fosters enthusiasm for learning, student confidence, and natural collaboration. Ultimately the outcome of maker education and educational makerspaces leads to determination, independent and creative problem solving, and an authentic preparation for real world by simulating real-world challenges.”
Needless to say, Makerspace learning is incredible, and our kids agree!
While working with the 5th-grade students, we glanced over at our new Snowball Ice Microphone and we thought to ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be neat if we shared our learning of Makerspaces with the world?” After we had this initial thought, students started saying things like, “Every student should get a chance to learn like this. Let’s create a podcast about Makerspaces and send it out to as many teachers and students as we can” and “I hope our podcast can make another kids life better!”
Remarkably enough, within a couple of minutes, we plugged the microphone in and started recording the podcast on the spot. Students asked if I could host and they could give the insight! So, here is our organic podcast that we created in 10 minutes with zero editing, just pure excitement for learning and sharing; Click the orange “play” button below to listen.
Highlights from the Podcast
Students discussed the power of Makerspaces and how it helps with:
problem-solving “real” problems that can change the world
creating new things
the “important kind” of teamwork
Our 5th graders also discussed the power of using YouTube to foster learning, so I challenge you to ask this question in your classroom:
The question to ask students tomorrow: "What is the last thing you learned by watching YouTube?"
— Kara Welty (@kara_welty) April 25, 2017
I was in awe by the way our students eloquently stated their thoughts with such a candid and authentic approach. I love seeking out opportunities to hear their perspectives to help me learn and grow. As one of our students said during the recording:
“When we work in groups we are just solving problems, like math problems. Whoever solves it then solves it, and that’s it! It’s over. But, with Makerspace learning you just can’t do everything on your own, you have to work together.”
Beautifully stated and powerful. Give Makerspace learning a try and even share this podcast with your students or teachers. If you are looking for Makerspace resources, give this website MakerEd a try.
Also, our students would LOVE some positive feedback or questions about the podcast. Please comment below!