Week 6: Learning Journal Assignment

Dominique Burns, INFO 233-10, Professors Buchanan and Harlan, Learning Journal Assignment Week 6

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connected learningMy emerging trend project is on high school library makerspaces, which means I have been reading about makerspaces for weeks now. With that in mind I feel like makerspaces fit right in with this week’s topics. In lecture and in the readings we learn about connected learning and participatory culture. According to Dr. Harlan (n.d.) connected learning in the library “Connects learning in different contexts through networks, interests, and production” (Online Lecture). While authors Hamilton and Cox (2012) define participatory culture as “Long-term sustained learning experiences that integrate writing, reading, speaking, and listening” (p. 7). The question is how can you incorporate connected learning with a participatory culture in today’s school library? I think the answer is makerspaces, as they allow for student to learn through many different platforms. Makerspaces are defined as “Centers of collaboration, experimentation, critical thinking, engineering, and creation” (Gustafson, 2013, p. 35). There are so many different types of makerspaces out there and many of them can meet common core requirements while engaging students in connected learning.

For example a virtual makersapce can promote literacy, writing, reading, and student collaboration in the library. This meets common core standards and allows for students to expand their knowledge and skills sets in a digital environment. One type of virtual makerspace that you can incorporate in your library is a writing program. This can be done through online communities or websites where students could write book reviews.

Another idea that I just recently learned about from a librarian at a near by charter school is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo takes place in November and is a month long initiative that encourages individuals to write 50,000 words. She implements her program in a few different ways. First she encourages students to make an online NaNoWriMo profile, so they connect with their peers online. Students can track what they are writing and collaborate with their peers on the website. Second she works with staff at her school to have library writing workshops in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I advertised for NaNoWriMo at my own high school library this past year, but I didn’t take full advantage of the online writing community. I love how she has created a virtual makerspace for students in the library. Students could use the library computers or bring their own to work. There were teachers there to help them all month long during lunch and recess.

After talking to her I can already envision implementing this program in my own high school library. I think it would be great to make a virtual/temporary makerspace for the month of November. We have Chromebooks that I could set up in one area of the library for students to write on. I loved her idea to include staff in on the project and would definitely do the same!


Gustafson, E. (2013). Meeting needs: Makerspaces and school libraries. School Library

     Monthly, 29(8), 35-36.

Categories: 2016, Personal Learning Network Learning Journal, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Week 6: Learning Journal Assignment

  1. There are some great ideas here. I think you’ll find in the makerspace module I push back a little bit in regards to how libraries are thinking about makerspaces. Mainly because I worry that they aren’t as reflective in terms of how it might work and practice as you demonstrate here. My message would be – don’t jump on the bandwagon until you answer – what need does this serve in my community? Thinking in terms of virtual makerspace has a lot of potential in this area, and it can build connected learning.


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