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Case
studies

Find out what other schools are doing

Learning digital technologies outside of the traditional classroom

Girls on the computer

Introduction

While some aspects of the Digital Technologies curriculum can be delivered independently, we also understand the power of integrating it into curriculum and treating it like another literacy. The lesson ideas cover both specific and integrated approaches, while this case study highlights a third approach: building aspects of the Digital Technologies curriculum into the library, and specifically into the library Makerspace.

Background

  • St Aidan’s Anglican Girls' School is an independent Anglican day school for girls, located in Corinda, a western suburb of Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Teacher librarians Jackie Child and Megan Daley implemented a Makerspace as part of the library offer to engage girls in problem-solving, making, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based learning.

For a detailed overview of the work of Jackie and Megan, see this article (4 minute read).

Summary of St Aidan’s Makerspace

  • started with a code club and then, inspired by Dale Dougherty, founder of Makezine, started developing a Makerspace
  • founded on the values of hands-on learning, problem-solving, making and upcycling
  • no formal assessment but links made to Australian Curriculum outcomes and general capabilities
  • idea of making through reading and resources based around the concept of invention and inventors – also use books as springboards for creativity and making projects
  • started small and grew organically – upcycling of discarded materials is low cost. The Makerspace has invested in some more-specific resources like LEGO Mindstorms, 3D doodler pens and 3D printing
  • involves other teachers and curriculum areas as well as bringing in the whole school community
  • aims to bring making back into timetabled curriculum.

This case study looks at some key questions aimed at understanding how to implement a Makerspace, and the impact it can have on learners. Jackie, Megan and two learners, Alyse and Amy, share their insights through a Google Hangout.

Grandparents Makerspace

Parents and grandparents have been drawn into the Makerspace activities along with the students.