Participants viewed our library makerspaces at all grade levels through visits that started at the high school and continued at one of our elementary schools followed by our middle school. Along the way, students shared, demonstrated their learning about makerspaces and answered questions. Members of our Digital Literacy Team of instructional technology and library media specialists also shared about the development of our makerspace resources, scheduling, organization and steps toward creating a schoolwide maker culture.
In the words of one participant, Chris Allen, MS/HS library media specialist from Duxbury, “I attended the MassCUE Library MakerSpace Learning Tour this week and it was certainly time well spent. We learned how Sharon Public Schools is approaching the Maker Movement through discussions facilitated by co-hosts for the day, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Information Services, Dr. John Marcus and SHS Library Media Specialist, Cathy Collins. We were also able to see the physical MakerSpaces of schools at various levels. In addition, we brainstormed Maker ideas for our own schools and districts. It was a fantastic way to see and hear what is happening in other districts.”
The visit would not have been complete without a lunch break at Sharon’s popular “Coriander Bistro,” which allowed for more informal sharing, brainstorming and the ambiance of a delicious Indian buffet enjoyed with beautiful Indian music and décor in the background to further creatively inspire us.
Julia Cameron’s wonderful book, The Artist’s Way, encouraged us to feed our naturally artistic spirits through the forming of “creative clusters,” a spiritual version of PLN’s. So, too, Learning Tours allow us as educators valuable opportunities to share and in doing so, spark each other’s innate creativity.
I wholeheartedly agree with Cameron, who said, “It is my belief and my experience as a teacher that all of us are healthy enough to practice creativity. It is not a dangerous endeavor requiring trained facilitators. It is our human birthright and something we can do gently and collectively. Creativity is like breathing – pointers may help, but we do the process ourselves. Creative clusters, where we gather as peers to develop our strength, are best regarded as tribal gatherings, where creative beings raise, celebrate, and actualize the creative power which runs through us all.”
School librarians interested in learning more about MassCUE and our creative cluster are encouraged to contact me for more information.