Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TL Chat

"Some Geek Tribe members" by dmcordell

Last night on Twitter, a passion of librarians - and other interested parties - participated in the first ever TL Chat.

The theme was collaboration, and suggestions ranged from distributing teacher orientation materials on flash drives to maintaining a staff diigo account to utilizing "bathroom ads".

In my network, TL generally signifies a Teacher Librarian. When considering collaboration, this might also be interpreted as Teachers AND Librarians, working in tandem to enrich understanding and, yes, address CCSS. Our other natural collaborators are students, parents, administrators, and the community at large. There were numerous suggestions for including this diverse group of stakeholders. At least one principal joined in the chat; hopefully, other non-librarians will participate in future discussions.

The next TL Chat will be taking place on Monday, October 8 at 8pm ET. For those who missed the inaugural event, #tlchat tweets are archived here.

*It can be difficult to follow a chat on the Twitter site. I used TweetChat to keep up with the conversation.

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." 
 -Ryunosuke Satoro

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making It

“One of the strangest things is the act of creation.

You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.

You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.

And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.

It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.

You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.

You have glimpsed the divine.” -Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Put simply, a Makerspace is "a place where you can make your ideas come to life." Although some associate the concept with hackerspaces, creations can range from robotics to fabric stenciling  to math manipulatives - and even a makerspace itself!

These tinkering labs might appear in pop-up spaces, social clubs, museums, or, increasingly, public, university and school libraries.

 My passion for photography led me to start some Pinterest boards:
With the third of these Boards, I hope to demonstrate that, beyond the beauty of the images themselves, it is possible to create interesting and useful products that incorporate photographs. I've begun (trying) to duplicate the crafts I've bookmarked for sharing with teachers and students. As the Pinstrosity blog demonstrates, projects are not always as simple as they might seem at first glance, so trial runs are necessary prior to recommending classroom activities.

The Facebook group, MakerSpaces and the Participatory Library, is full of wonderful examples and suggestions, appropriate to all types of libraries, and schools, as well.

 "Making Something" by dmcordell
"Personalized water bottle" by dmcordell