So I’m a huge fan of technology. I’ll take any excuse to get my hands on a new video game system when it’s funded on Kickstarter. Actually, I have a huge weakness for Kickstarter projects in general. One that I seriously considered getting when it was suggested was the Makey Makey.
I waffled back and forth about whether to get this and in the end decided against buying it. What’s really neat is that it’s now a feature in Edmonton Public Library’s Makerspace (under the tab ‘other stuff’).
Now, I have never had the chance to really check out a library’s Maker Space. Winnipeg doesn’t have one, and to the best of my knowledge, neither does London. I can see it being a really neat space to interact with new technologies and learn without the huge costs of buying those new tech toys. Plus, people who actually know how to use the technology are nearby to help and instruct! I would have loved to have one of these available near me when I was growing up.
Evidence has shown that when the materials and mentorship are made available to teens, they’ll take those chances–the Chicago Public Library created a space for teens called YouMedia Chicago, and teens used it in great numbers, some for homework, some for socializing, some floated between activities and approximately 33% used the materials provided to create and experiment (though 11% of them rarely interacted with the adults in the space).
I’d love the chance to play in a Maker Space, even now. Even better, I think enabling teens’ curiosity and creativity through Maker Spaces is an excellent way to engage them in the skills and interests that might just make them their futures.