What Did I Learn?

This class on makerspaces and hands on learning has easily been one of the most fun and informative classes I have taken in graduate school. The material in this class is increasingly important as libraries around the world add makerspaces as an important part of their institutions. This class also touched on learning through untraditional media such as video games that are blossoming into artistic forms of art and story telling.

Through interaction with other students in the class I am having trouble pinpointing a specific thing I learned from discussion posts. I think the most important lesson I learned is that creativity and hands on learning is possible in any library no matter how big or how small.

I expected this course to cover a lot of material on the importance of makerspaces and how to use one in a library or museum setting. This class did that and more. I did not expect to learn so much about Pokémon in this class, but I think that is a sign of how this class was driven in part by the students. I have noticed in classes where the students direct learning popular culture inevitable seeps into the curriculum. I think it is great when that happens because it means the students are passionate about their projects. There isn’t a single project I would want to spend less time on, however if a cut had to be made it would be the game paper. The game paper didn’t fit into the theme of the class as well as the other papers. That said, DON’T CUT THE GAME PAPER! Not only was the paper fun but I learned a lot from it.

I actually think the game project was my favorite project. Oddly enough I have already written several papers on video games and learning in the MLIS program, mainly because I’m a gamer and I find ways to write about gaming. This paper was different because it wasn’t focused on the culture of gaming, or the effects of gaming, but instead focused on the learning of gaming through actually playing a game. This was the first hands on paper I have written in undergrad and I wish there were more like it!





Pokémon Going to Work

For my Maker Faire project I decided to hit two birds with one stone. I am on the Take5 Committee at the Kennedy Library where I help plan stress relief activities for college students. Our first activity this fall will be a Pokémon Go event where we place “lures” in the Pokestops outside our library for 8 hours straight to lure rare Pokémon and incoming freshmen. We thought it would be cool if we had a real Pokestop at the event, which is the second bird hit by this stone of a project.

To make the Pokestop I decided to try using the same foam board architecture students use to make models. I did this because a) architecture is one of the most popular programs at our university and b) I had never worked with this material before. Either I got the wrong kind of foam board, the wrong tools, or architecture students are gluttons for punishment because it was the hardest material I have ever worked with. I tried using a razor to cut the shapes out and eventually resorted to kitchen sheers which left my hands red and raw.

I cut out the shapes, glued them to a dowel and filled the gaps between layers with sheetrock putty because it was what I had on hand. Once the putty and glue dried I spray painted the project with blue spray paint.

The biggest lesson I learned with this project is to not assume a project will be easy. I thought I was going to be making a fun and laid back project, but it was extremely difficult and didn’t turn out as cool as I had hoped. At least I know that next time I make a display for work I should use materials I am comfortable with.  0731161347.jpg