Concurrent Sessions: Research Talks / Panels
These 45-minute sessions allow presenters to share more detailed work on the topic of making. These may be research-based sessions by academic departments or a panel of people covering similar topics. There will be two rounds of these concurrent sessions during the day.
Concurrent Sessions II – 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
I. Changing K-12 Education Through the Maker Mindset: a Public School System Experience – Chad Ratliff & Ira Socol, Albemarle County Public Schools
What happens when a public school system embraces “Making” and student creative engineering as the pathway to contemporary relevance and student success?
The Albemarle County Public Schools are a median size public school system with median funding. The system, with 26 schools, spreads over 746 square miles at the edge of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Its schools serve urban poverty, suburban wealth, and rural poverty. The students speak over 60 languages.
Here Making has become the driving force for change. Not in one school or at one level. Not in a charter experiment, but throughout the system. Libraries are MakerSpaces, cafeterias are MakerSpaces, classrooms and corridors are too. Students hack everything from cardboard to wood, arduinos to websites, music to books, Android Apps to lasers to 3D prints. As part of a reimagination of education, Making, authentic work based in student interest, has driven engagement up and the drop out rate down.
Come share what we’ve learned.
Ira David Socol is Assistant Director of Educational Technology and Innovation for Albemarle County Public Schools in Central Virginia where he helps support and lead space, technology, and pedagogical innovation efforts as well as the system’s move toward universal design for learning. His diverse background includes PhD study at Michigan State University on both the history of American education and universal design technologies, the joining of architecture and learning, a stint as a New York City Police Officer, and many years working in education in public schools, colleges of education, vocational rehabilitation, and education for homeless populations. He has also worked with school and public libraries and developed significant educational technology systems at every level. As a writer he has published a novel-in-stories, The Drool Room, and a microfiction collection, A Certain Place of Dreams. He blogs both microfiction and educational theory.
Chad Ratliff is Director of Instructional Programs for Albemarle County Public Schools and leads the division’s work on STEM and its maker curriculum, part of the district’s emphasis on inquiry and project-based learning for all students. He co-chairs the district’s cross-functional Innovation Team and heads up strategic partnerships, including collaborations with MIT, Smithsonian, Battelle, University of Virginia, and the Maker Education Initiative. Also active in the entrepreneurial community, Ratliff has been profiled as one of the top leaders under the age of 40 in both the Blue Ridge Business Journal and C-ville Weekly; served as a StartupWeekend coach, and was a facilitator for the High School of the Future Startup event at the Governor’s 2013 STEM Summit. He also developed and teaches courses in entrepreneurship at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is a Virginia Board of Education appointee to the State Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education; is Vice President of the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association and Chair of the Virginia Career Education Foundation, a nonprofit established by then-Governor Mark Warner. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Virginia Tech.
II. Mobile Maker: An Experiment with a Pop-Up Makerspace – Dan Reis, Dana Gierdowski, Sean Rollolazo, Kaylin Hunter, Dan Zangmeister, Elon University
There was interest at Elon in creating a space for students to tinker with new technologies, but space was not available. Instead of dedicating a room for a makerspace, we\u2019ve created a portable Mobile Maker (MM). The MM was funded through a grant from the Writing Excellence Initiative (WEI), which is a 5-year QEP, designed to enhance the teaching & learning of writing. A WEI coordinator will discuss the tie to writing and how the Writing Center supports the MM. Writing center consultants learned to use this technology and worked with users, providing consultations on writing assignments and reflections related to the use of the MM. An instructional technologist will discuss the equipment in the MM, which includes tools to introduce the basics of 3D modeling and electronics. Undergraduate members on the MM training team will share their experiences developing the program and working with student users. All panelists will discuss the challenges and compromises of this type of makerspace.
Dan Reis is an Instructional Technologist, Teaching and Learning Technologies, at Elon University, where he works with faculty and staff to use technology in meaningful and productive ways. When he’s not trying to find a location for a makerspace at Elon, he’s helping faculty recover in-class time by pushing course content out-of-class (flipped instruction), thinking about incorporating gaming elements into learning (game-based learning) and managing Elon’s Technology blog (blogs.elon.edu/technology). He was also a fellow at the Collaborative Online International Learning Institute for Globally Networked Learning in the Humanities from 2011-2013. The fellowship was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science.
Dana C. Gierdowski
Dana C. Gierdowski is the Senior Program Coordinator for the Writing Excellence Initiative at Elon University, where she manages projects for the Writing Center and the Writing Across the University program. Prior to this position, she served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition and Rhetoric at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her scholarly work she explores how innovative, technology-rich learning spaces impact student writers and instructors. Her research interests stem from her twelve-plus years of experience as an instructor of writing in higher education. She earned her PhD in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media from North Carolina State University, where she gained research and administrative experience in Writing-Across-the-Curriculum and First-Year Writing programming. She has authored the book chapter “Studying Learning Spaces: A Review of Selected Empirical Studies” in the edited collection Cases on Higher Education Spaces (IGI Global, 2012) and is co-author with Susan Miller-Cochran of the article “Making Peace with the Rising Costs of Writing Technologies: Flexible Classroom Design as a Sustainable Solution” in the March 2013 issue ofComputers and Composition.
Sean is a new Assistant Director within Residence Life at Elon University. He received his M.S.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs in May 2014 from Baylor University, and his B.S. in Marketing at Azusa Pacific University. He currently oversees the Oaks Neighborhood—an upper-division, apartment-style campus living area—home of the first residential Mobile Maker on Elon’s campus.
Kaylin Hunter, Student, Elon University
Dan Zangmeister, Student and Writing Center Consultant, Elon University
III. So You Are Starting a Maker Space – Bob Price and Beth Martin, UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte will discuss the people, processes and tools involved in the decision to create a Maker’s Space. The Talk/Panel will encourage audience participation as we explore from the perspective of Technology, Circulation, and Curriculum Support.
Bob Price is AUL Technology and Digital Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Beth Martin is Head of Access Services & Assessment Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.