Reflection on New Models: Playful Learning, Makerspaces, and “Making It”

As a side note in relation to the New Horizons lecture about smart homes, does anyone else remember the old Disney movie Smart House? I remember being completely blown away by it as a kid. I thought it was the coolest and craziest concept.

On to the actual topic- what I most enjoyed in the New Models module was Pam Sandlian’s TED Talk. I loved her story about the little boy creating his own puppet show in the library. It made me both happy and sad at the same time and I thought it was a great way to explain how libraries can help people. Programming and providing access to information is great, but sometimes simply providing a safe space for people to create is equally impactful.

What stood out most to me in Sandlian’s TED Talk, however, was this sentence: “You can learn anything if you make it playful.” This phrase stood out to me because to me it seems to capture a lot of what hyperlinked libraries and Library 2.0 are all about: engaging patrons and encouraging them to create. Many libraries have offered play areas for children to engage and encourage learning. However, Makerspaces are one of the major things in libraries that I believe do this as well by teaching new skills. Makerspaces are great because they provide a place to not only learn how to create something and enjoy themselves, but in many cases, create skills that can help them in life and in their careers.

I liked the sound of Park Ridge Public Library’s new Makerspace and its emphasis on crafting. It may not be a STEM-focused Makerspace, but it is something that allows for creativity and connection within the community- which is one of the core goals of modern libraries. Along these same lines, a few months back I binged both seasons of Making It. If you haven’t seen it, it is hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman and is the most positive competition show I have ever seen. The whole point of the show is to meet other makers and go out of your comfort zone to create things you wouldn’t have otherwise, or use challenging materials you’ve never used before. I highly recommend if you’re a fan of Amy and Nick and enjoy crafting puns and Pinterest-worthy creations.

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One thought on “Reflection on New Models: Playful Learning, Makerspaces, and “Making It”

  1. I was not aware of “Smart House.” Very cool Disney was playing with those themes back then.

    “You can learn anything if you make it playful.” – oh yes – so on target. It’s amazing to see so many examples of this in the last few years, and now with more and more playful learning opportunities online.

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