Fusing a Makerspace with the English Language Arts
Starting in September students from a local elementary school began attending the STEAM 3D lab at UOIT where they started a program to help them establish who they are as individuals through digital making. They embarked on the creation of an “I Am Me” book, which allowed them to explore a variety of digital and physical-making tools to create various projects. They were able to create with Chibitronics, linographs, infographics, comic makers, and many more tools. Students began to embrace new technologies and developed new literacy skills that helped them in the creation of their books.
In addition to making these books, students began to develop meta-cognitive skills based around reflection. They were required to use text, visuals, pictures, audio and emojis to express how they felt the making process went each day for them. The students were able to work through their frustrations and attempted to verbalize these through the reflections. This gave students the opportunity to grow and develop on a more personal level, establishing goals and criteria that they worked to meet over the semester.
This semester the students will be continuing to explore and work on developing their evolving identities. The students will be using a variety of digital tools to create a chapter in a collaborative book. The book will encourage students to explore a significant past struggle, a current reflection on how that struggle still affects them today, and finally, how the students believe the struggle will impact their future. Each student will complete his or her own 3-page chapter, which will be brought together into one class iBook. The student-made chapters will contain no personal information of the students and they will create characters that are representative of the author. Additionally, students will be working with video- making software to create a trailer for their new book. This trailer will be a way for them to take their work and make it relatable to those who may read it. In short, by the end of this project, the students will collaboratively create both an iBook and a video.