“Makerspaces” are popping up all over the United States, sometimes in libraries, sometimes not. Sometimes with 3D printers, sometimes with scissors and construction paper. In this MediaLit Moment, your middle grade students will have the chance to explore the motivations of the people who come to makerspaces. Why do they go to them? What makes them want to share their projects online?
Ask students why they think makers post on makerspace sites, and ask them to respond to posts as well.
AHA! Makers want to find an audience. They want to share, be recognized and discovered!
Grade Level: 6-8
Key Question #5: Why was this message sent?
Core Concept #5: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.
Key Question #3: How might people understand this message differently?
Core Concept #3: Different people experience the same media message differently.
Materials: Access to computer lab with high speed Internet access, or permission to “Bring Your Own Device.”
Activity: Refresh students on the purposes, and perhaps the techniques of advertising. Why do advertisers create ads? How do they hope audiences will respond?
Display the Makerspace Resources page for Miami University in Ohio.
Ask students to find maker sites where users have commented, posted projects they’ve completed, or shared directions. If you wish, direct students to a particular page with projects for them to browse.
Ask students: Why are makers motivated to post their work? How are you responding to it? Why? Would you consider posting your creative work? Why? Why not?
Assign students to small groups to discuss their responses.
The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit KitTM and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)TM framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com.
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