School Librarian Maker Course
Rogowski presenting her research at the 2019 ULA conference
Aubrey Rogowski, graduate student in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department at Utah State University, has developed two canvas modules to teach school librarians about making and maker activities.
Making is a cultural movement and a hands-on learning tool that involves creating new devices and modifying, reimagining, or recombining existing ones. Rogowski’s program is designed for school librarians who are seeking to add Making and Maker activities to their programs, with a special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts. Including Making activities in a school library’s program provides students with opportunities to experiment, tinker, create, and have fun with their peers while learning new STEM skills.
Rogowski stated that she would like to help the community be more aware of the important role that modern-day librarians play. She has observed that many people don’t recognize the impact that librarians can have on their students. According to the American Association of School Librarians, effective school librarians can “guide organizational and personal change, as well as model, promote, and foster inquiry learning in adequately staffed and resourced school libraries.”
Having previously worked as a fifth and sixth grade teacher in Utah County, Rogowski strived to provide her students with hands-on learning activities. In 2017, Rogowski began working with Drs. Victor Lee and Mimi Recker on a grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support school librarians in implementing maker activities in their libraries. . “When I was in elementary and middle school,” Rogowski said, “libraries were simple places where students would come in to check books in and out, study, and that's it. Today's libraries are evolving and are becoming more of a place of learning and exploration.”
As part of the grant, Rogowski worked with ITLS Professor Mimi Recker and her team to create modules to help librarians learn how to implement STEM-rich Making in school libraries. Rogowski recruited ITLS MEd student Lisa Hopkins to assist with the development and design of the course. In the final stages of the project, Rogowski gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and took a break from her work, so the modules were handed over to ITLS graduate student Umar Shezhad, who finished the publishing process. The course is now accessible on Canvas to all those interested throughout the state of Utah.