Thursday, November 19, 2015

A New School Year, A New Role: Bring on the Media, Makerspace, and Tech

As the title indicates, I have started a new position in my district. After teaching kindergarten for 14 years, I decided to apply for the Media and Tech Integration position that opened for the 2015-2016 school year. With this position, I have responsibilities to work with students in our media center, coordinate the media center resources, and work with teachers and students in the area of media/tech integration. I am thankful that I saw the signs and understood it was time for a change.

I began my summer with the need to create goals so I had a focused beginning to the year. After some research of other media/tech specialist's blogs, sites, and Twitter pages, I was able to formulate a mission for our building's media center.

I knew that I wanted our media center to be more than a place to check out books and learn about the Dewey Decimal system. That is not a life skill that will help my students learn and grow in our world today. The media center is truly a hub of media and tech that can empower learners, build enthusiasm, and provide much more than a two-dimensional education. This belief brought me to research the makerspace movement. There is a lot of information available and I had more than enough to get me started in this new venture. 

I have a limited amount of direct time with each grade level on a weekly basis. This created a situation where I had to be flexible and a bit creative with how I accomplish our media/tech goals in our media center. I am able to combine media/tech skills and standards with the creative atmosphere of a makerspace to meet multiple goals in one session. The ISTE standards were a useful guide as well as the experiences of other media/tech specialists on Twitter. 
We are only one quarter into the school year and I am receiving a lot of feedback from students, teachers, and parents. I am exhilarated to move forward and build a making program that meets the needs of our school. Some of our favorite projects/experiences thus far have been:
3D Printing
Sphero's and iPads

In the upcoming months, we will be starting some inquiry and media literacy projects. I am also hoping to create a permanent makerspace area (as of now we set-up and clean-up after each session in our media center) that will be available for open-use by students and classrooms. The next few months should be an exciting opportunity! 

Favorite Resources: 

Favorite Twitter Peeps: