The Kean University Writing Project is a non-profit organization, a site of the National Writing Project, the largest professional development provider for teachers across the U.S. and the longest lasting PD provider of all organizations existing in the world. Since 1974 the NWP has directly impacted the writing instruction of over 1,000,000 students. The Kean University Writing Project has garnered national attention due to it’s particular commitment to digital literacy and 21st century writing skills in the state of New Jersey. The natural progression of this commitment is our MakerSpace. Our work in writing process and pedagogy will be enhanced with “Maker” & “Do-It-Yourself” methodology through the use of computers, technology, science, digital and electronic art. The mission of the KUWP MakerSpace is to ensure every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world.
The KUWP MakerSpace will provide a home to all Kean University students and professors who are interested in transforming the art of writing and designing. The space will inspire interdisciplinary and project-based learning (i.e. We will collaborate with colleagues in the Education Department, Computer Science, STEM, Art & Design, Theater, Environmental Sciences). The KUWP MakerSpace will also serve as an important outreach hub for the University. We will continue to work with our diverse partnerships which include many school districts throughout the state of NJ (i.e. Jersey City, Rahway, Carteret, Passaic, Elizabeth, Hillside). Since the KUWP works with teachers and students in the K-16 population all year round, the MakerSpace will be both a university and community resource.
Our makerspace will be a physical location where people can gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. This Spring we are redesigning our traditional KUWP office. We will transform this office space into a collaborative studio space for creative endeavors – an informal combination of lab, shop, and conference room. Our redesign of our traditional office space will result in a dynamic studio environment that supports member projects where teachers & students can code, embroider, solder, sculpt, or otherwise design and manufacture creative projects. Makerspaces are zones of self-directed learning. Their hands-on character, coupled with the tools and raw materials that support invention, provide the ultimate workshop for the tinkerer.
The KUWP MakerSpace will be an inspired educational space for individuals who learn best by doing. We are thrilled to engage in this iteration of our on-going work and hope to share our activities though our open networks. In particular, watch for The Summer of Making & Connecting and the #CLMOOC (Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration) coming up in June. The KUWP will be leading a “Make Cycle” on “Hacking Your Writing”. …Join us online to tinker!