Do Games Have a Place in Makerspaces? It Depends…

Pieces on a game board

I see students playing board games in makerspaces pretty frequently. Personally, I love board games. In fact, my husband and I have such an extensive collection that we’ve run out of places to store them. Board games foster critical thinking and are a great way to interact with other human beings face-to-face. Not only that, but they’re fun!

The question is…are they really appropriate makerspace activities? The whole point of a makerspace is for students to explore and create, and they’re not necessarily doing that if they’re just playing board games for fun. 

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URL Shorteners and QR Codes

At some point, you’ve probably had a website that you’ve needed to share with your students, but it was way too long to have them type it in. Let’s face it–it’s hard enough getting kids to type in Google.com, let alone something that’s 100 characters long. You’d blow your entire lesson just waiting for them to type it in! That’s where a URL shortener comes in. It takes that long, ugly address and reduces it to something short and memorable.

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“I’m bad at technology”

As an Edtech, it’s my job to work with educators to help them learn to integrate technology into their classrooms and curriculum.

More often than I’d like, one of the first things a teacher or administrator will tell me when they meet me is “I’m bad at technology” or “I’m tech illiterate” or “I don’t do computers.” There’s a genuine fear of using technology, and I suspect also that they’ll be embarrassed by what they don’t know and that I’ll end up judging them.

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