This week we interviewed Laura Fleming, a Library Media Specialist who has created a bustling makerspace in her school’s library. If you missed our recent feature on littleBits in libraries you can check it out here. Read more of Laura’s story below:
Tell us about your current teaching experience.
I currently am a Library Media Specialist at New Milford High School, in New Milford, New Jersey. I have been both a classroom teacher and a library specialist in K-12 and am in my 16th year as an educator.
How did you discover littleBits? What drew you to our product/company?
During the summer, I represented Inanimate Alice at a Mozilla Maker Party at the Brooklyn Public Library. While at my table, I kept hearing curious beeps and saw a crowd on the other side of the room. I went to see what all the fuss was about and immediately I was in love with littleBits! It was thrilling to see the excitement on the children’s faces as they discovered the power of making and doing. I just loved the ease of use and the size of the modules and how they fit perfectly into kid-sized hands.
How do you use littleBits as a 21st century STEM/STEAM teaching and learning tool?
I have recently established a makerspace as a part of our Library Media Center at New Milford High School. As a part of this space, we built a littleBits bar in which students have the opportunity to use the modular electronics to bring STEM/STEAM related concepts to life. Our makerspace is about creating a genuine and committed culture of innovation at our high school, encouraging tinkering, play and open-ended exploration for all students. You can read more about Laura’s makerspace through this article from the Center for Digital Education.
What is your favorite littleBits project?
Any project in which the students create something is my favorite! I just love seeing high schoolers playing and creating and how those opportunities help to contribute to the culture of innovation we try to foster.
Describe littleBits in your own 3 words:
Innovative, immersive and inspiring
If you could challenge your students to make anything with any amount of littleBits, what would you have them create?
Something I want my students to understand is that living in this digital age means that the world is their platform. They can create anything or do anything they set their mind to. I would also encourage them to take a learn-as-they-go collective approach to bring their ideas to life. Ultimately, I would love to see their creations make an impact on humanity and to use their innovations to create change and to make the world a better place.
What advice can you offer teachers who are new to littleBits?
I think particularly in the age of the Common Core, teachers should remember that there is still room for exploration, play, and creativity. Because of their size, their affordability, and ease of use, littleBits are the perfect entry point into providing those experiences.