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LifeSpace Twist on MakerSpaces
09/26/2017

Julius Pañares

My vision is to continue to facilitate the transformation of the Hiland Library Learning Commons into an active space that is a vital extension of the classroom, a collaborative learning space that ensures our students are future-ready innovators. Our Hiland Learning Commons is embracing a LifeSpace twist on the MakerSpace movement. A MakerSpace is a hands-on space with tools and resources to encourage students to design, experiment, build, and invent as they engage in engineering, tinkering, and creating. This is a space in which makers (students) can envision a project, find an expert, collaborate, engage in critical thinking, and use problem-solving skills while creating something. A MakerSpace is based on the concept of using STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) ideas to encourage students to develop the real-world skills they will need to become future-ready students for their careers.

Our Hiland Library LifeSpace takes the MakerSpace concept to a unique level. Last year, Hiland students experienced sewing, computer coding, and knitting LifeSpace experiences. I strive to align our Hiland Library LifeSpace experiences to academic content areas and Ohio’s Learning Standards, as well as help, meet the void of life skills our students no longer have access to due to the elimination of family and consumer science electives. Student and staff input will continue to drive the LifeSpace experiences we offer. This fall, our students, and staff completed a survey (https://goo.gl/forms/3iZ0IfIU5H1pFw9z1) to help determine upcoming LifeSpace experiences (feel free to copy and adapt this survey to your library needs). Survey responses favored breakout challenges, cooking, photography, video production, coding, and sign making. We look forward to offering such experiences this school year. As classroom learning evolves through innovation and one-to-one technologies, the Hiland Library Learning Commons will continue to transform into an integral learning space that extends classroom discovery 24/7. Our Hiland LifeSpace experiences are an exciting component of our Hiland Library Learning Commons.