What can you do with makerspace Chromebooks?
Can you use Chromebooks in a makerspace? What do you do with makerspace Chromebooks? In this episode of the Chromebook Classroom podcast you will hear from Nick Provenazno, middle school technology integrator and makerspace director at University Liggett School in Grosse Point, Michigan. Nick writes over at TheNerdyTeacher.com and is the author of Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces.
Why is making important?
Nick taught high school English for 10 years and is not your “typical” makerspace proponent. During the first part of our conversation Nick explains why making is important, even in the arts. He also shares how he incoporated making in his 9th grade project on To Kill and Mockingbird. If you are an ELA or social studies teacher, Nick will challenge you to consider incorporating making into your classroom.
In education we have a lot of “movements” and instructional methods. Things like STEM, STEAM, PBL, genius hour, Inquiry Learning, hands-on learning, experiential learning, etc. What’s the deal? Are these things the same, different? Nick breaks down some of these differences and explains how the fit and overlap with the makerspace movement.
“The makerspace movement is about using the tools of this generation to communicate and express ideas.” – Nick Provenzano
Design a makerspace in your school
Finally, we get into the details of creating a makerspace in your school. Nick outlines the three things that you need: a space, a shared culture, and stuff. Culture and space end up being far more important that the actual elements that you put into your makerspace.
In an effort to build a makerspace culture in his school, Nick is integrating a student badge program that recognizes individuals who become experts in using various tools. Nick’s middle school students are super excited about earning badges and are eager to build new skills to unlock higher level badges.
Nick was kind enough to share his LittleBits badge checklist. Even if you don’t use LittleBits in your classroom, you can use this as a helpful template to identify skill levels for virtually any tool or skill that you want to emphasize in your makerspace or classroom. Download link at the bottom of this page.
And yes, we do touch on makerspace Chromebooks! Nick is a huge proponent of Chromebooks because of how well they integrate with web-based tools and their cost, which frees up money to purchase other items.
If you are interested in creating a makerspace in your school, Nick is a great resource. After you listen to this episode on makerspace Chromebooks, make sure you pick up a copy of Nick’s book, Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces which contains a practical guide to creating a makerspace in your school!