2017 MOE Launch
This week marked the beginning of the MOE project for 9 new Ontario school boards. As many of you know, the MOE project that UOIT participated in during the 2016/2017 year was extended for the 2017/2018 year, with 9 new school boards being welcomed onto the project! When we found out that the Ministry wanted to continue with the project, we were absolutely thrilled and began our planning right away (we were that excited).
The days of September 26&27, the 2nd year cohort (2017/2018) teachers/schools were brought into the UOIT Faculty of Education building, to begin their Makerspace journey. Day 1 consisted of various breakout sessions where different Makerspace tools, technologies and pedagogies were highlighted for the participating teachers. The teachers were given the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience with these tools and technologies before bringing them back to their own schools and classrooms. Throughout the breakout sessions, the teachers were supported by the STAEM 3D Maker Lab researchers and leaders, who offered insight as to how to best incorporate the tools and technologies into learning, and to field any questions the teachers had. It is great to see the teachers dive right into experimenting with the tools and technologies before them!
Day 2 saw our 1st year cohort (2016/2017) teachers/schools welcomed back into the building to share their knowledge, experiences, challenges and expertise on creating a Makerspace/Maker culture in their schools, with our 2nd year cohort teachers. We started our day off by gathering as a large group in our lounge, to listen to the original 11 schools present on their Makerspace journeys. Listening to the 11 schools discuss how Makerspace practices changed their school atmosphere and community, was inspiring. These schools shed light on how to go about starting a Makerspace from the ground up, and shared the obstacles they had to overcome when establishing such a community in their schools.
As we have said before (and we will say again), the teachers involved in the MOE project are teachers that clearly have a passion for innovation and for allowing their students to take control of their learning. The 2 days were filled with excitement for Makerspace culture/practices and a willingness to try new way of learning in the classroom. We are so excited that the MOE project has been extended for another year, and look forward to learning along with the teachers involved, and supporting them through their Makerspace journey. As one of our amazing schools said, “if you build it, they will learn” – Makerspace gives students the ability to take their learning in a direction that they have never gone in before, thus creating new experiences and new passions for students. Check out our @UOIT_makerlab on Facebook for even more pictures!