Last summer at a rented house in Evert, Michigan some #michED folks had an “Unplugg’d” weekend. We talked about how to help make the MACUL conference more of a place for people to interact, connect, and reflect rather than just sit and listen to presentations. The idea of a makerspace was thrown out as an inviting way to get people to connect and reflect. Kit Hard, Jeff Bush, and I decided to make it happen.
After months of Google Hangout sessions, a trial run at NovaNow, and the addition of Ben Rimes to our wolfpack it came to fruition last Friday. With the help of many volunteers (huge shoutout to our #michED friends) including both teachers and students, we hosted the MACUL MakerSpace. We felt like it was a huge success as attendees spent time “playing,” creating, designing, and connecting.
My friend Dan Spencer summarized it best:
I would like to share one story that exemplifies what happened in the space. My friend Rachelle met Aron, a Hebrew teacher, as he visited the MakerSpace. She explained to him about QR Codes so he could access our resources. Aron started playing with Wikkistix and making Hebrew letters on foam board.
I talked to Aron and he explained that he was going to have students who struggled with Hebrew make these letters and then take pictures of them. Then he is going to post them digitally along with a recording of himself pronouncing the letters correctly. He was so excited by the combination of the tactile making with digital curation to help students. Aron ended up staying in the Maker Space all afternoon and kept plugging away until he finished the whole alphabet!
Aron was so excited and so passionate about learning while doing! Aron definitely will bring back an exciting change to his students. At the same time Aron was able to process and reflect on his time at MACUL. He also connected with Rachelle and I. We are glad to have met Aron and look forward to learning with him in the future! Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that this would be a result of creating a MakerSpace. It is a great example of how people can creatively explore and learn when given the space and opportunity.