In the past few years, makerspaces have become much more common in educational settings. No longer just a part of hackerspaces and fablabs, makerspaces can now be found in a variety of learning environments, from classrooms in preschools to STEM labs in elementary schools and art studios on college campuses.
A growing number of educators and school administrators are beginning to realize that makerspaces can make a huge impact on student learning and school culture. As a result, many schools have added makerspaces to their library. This kind of mentality is in itself revolutionary, since school libraries are traditionally thought of as being quiet, tidy spaces for individual learning. However, more and more, research is showing that students learn best when they can work in a collaborative environment and participate in hands-on activities.
A Response to “Challenging Traditional Assumptions and Rethinking Learning Spaces” from the Book Learning Spaces
The idea that environments themselves significantly impact learning is a relatively new concept. Previously, discussions on how to improve classroom activity focused primarily on methods of teaching. The book Learning Spaces by Diana B. Oblinger challenges these old ideas and ways of thinking by shifting the focus away from simply what teachers and students are doing in the classroom and stepping back and examining the classroom as a whole. We are encouraged to consider how the design and composition of learning environments impact students, classroom culture, and the learning process.
Evolutions in technology and pedagogy have created a demand for new types of learning spaces. Educators are finding that students work and learn best in environments that are fun, engaging, and collaborative. For this reason, school libraries are beginning to change and evolve to include more flexible seating options.