Makerspaces Blast Off!

Young, Christina

This article focuses on a school in Melbourne, Florida that set up a makerspace with the help of a $10,000 grant from a local telecommunications company. The makerspace is in the corner of the library and consists of countertops, stools, and a whiteboard, a Makey Makey kit, a 3D printer, a Raspberry Pi, Littlebits electronic circuit modules, and a few other simple tools.

There is also a train table where students create Rube Goldberg type machines. Students were initially reluctant to use the makerspace, but after being introduced to youtube videos and peer teaching the makerspace became used. It has been transformative in a social sense as a student who was viewed as “quirky” became a peer makerspace leader.

It was interesting to me that students were initially reluctant to use the space. It was also that makerspaces allow students who may not always feel valued in school to become peer leaders.

Beyond The Bird Unit

Robins article is a stellar demonstration of how to complete thorough and strong collaboration between teachers and teacher librarians. While she initiates the article with a detailed examination of constructivist theory and its umbrella topics, she uses the theories to support her advice on collaboration. Robins notes that teachers are the spearhead of the operation, and teacher librarians must realize that it is the teacher lesson plan that is the ultimate goal and journey of the activity and research. The librarian must facilitate and enhance it in order to maximize learning goals. She warns, however, that the amount of work can be of high demand, so she recommends using “asynchronous collaboration” using online tools, messaging apps and the like to bolster communication and combined effort. Robins strongest point, though, lies in her admission that students must have motivation to learn. They must recognize the importance of their work, their research and understand how much is demanded of them. In addition, students must find legitimacy or “rationality” in their work, knowing everything is supported by factual evidence.

The importance of this article, I believe, is supported by the notion that collaboration is key but is rooted in the idea that librarians must encourage students to truly embark on an informational journey. They must accept the prescribed methods that the teacher and teacher librarian have set up for them in order to succeed. But because the librarian is important to this process, just as Rush details, the need to guide and provide the necessary tools for effective self-instruction must be available and provided.

Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Social constructivism

Panneck, Brook


Hung, D. (2001). Theories of Learning and Computer-Mediated Instructional Technologies. Educational Media International, 38(4), 281-287. doi:10.1080/09523980110105114

This article describes the major schools of thought in educational theory, namely- Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, and Social Constructivism. The paper proposes a framework for using these theories in online instruction and lists technologies for supporting the different theory implementations. I proposes that all of these theories have a place in the classroom.

Not only does it provide explanations for these theories, but it has a table that shows each of the theories, and explains the instructional design/delivery respectively. It has a table outlining, the processes of learning, type of learning, instructional strategies, and key concepts. Additionally, it has a table showing the different types of learning tools and technologies to support each of these technologies. Lastly it illustrates tools used to support active learning among groups and individualize learning.

This is a great paper for those that want to get a basic foundational understanding of what these theories are, how they can be taught and the technologies that support the teaching. It is also a great jumping off point to learn more about these theories individually. I recommend checking out the references at the bottom of the article to find more great articles that this author used.

The Relationship Between Constructivism, Discovery and Experiential Learning

Marlonsson, Snow

Splan, R. K., Porr, C. S., & Broyles, T. W. (2011). Undergraduate Research in Agriculture: Constructivism and the Scholarship of Discovery. Journal Of Agricultural Education52(4), 56-64.
Splan, Porr & Broyles (2011) describe experiential learning and constructivism as aligned. Their relationship is that constructivism is concerned with the underlying epidemiological aspect of knowing/ discovering. Experiential learning is the process by which minds engage in constructionism. Further, discovery is the link between these two ideas; experiences spark discoveries that provide the information for knowledge construction. The authors convey the importance of authentic, student led learning that is active and led by social facilitation. This article investigates the role of experiential learning prevalent in University-level agriculture programs to the mind’s ability to construct knowledge through discovery. Specifically, the article explores ways to use constructionism in undergraduate research.