Today’s blog entry on using the AASL Best Websites in your schools and libraries focuses on DIY.Org (https://diy.org/). The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee categorized this dynamic site in Social Networking & Communications in 2015. This site was chosen for recognition because of makerspace popularity in libraries and kid friendliness of the site. DIY is an exciting space for kids to learn and share new skills online. Similar to a virtual scouting troop, kids can complete challenges and post their projects on the site to earn badges like Bike Mechanic, Darkness Engineer, and Instrument Maker. It’s user friendly and easy to set up an account if desired and student/children’s accounts are linked to an adult account so parents and teachers can easily monitor their students’ progress and posts.
DIY.org is not a one stop shop. This site offers many different options for those who are interested in making and do it yourself. First there is the app, which is a creative community for kids. Users can build, take pictures, share videos, chat, and explore making. Second are the products, all of the items created by the users. Looking for something to make, something to create with your students in your library? Simply use the search bar and see what’s been made by previous makers. DIY users can see what others have created, ask questions, and interact. There is a portfolio for every member where they can store all of their products and projects. Students also earn digital badges when they post and share projects with DIY. These are all of the free items.
Then there are the options at the premium level. DIY offers courses in making and creating. For a flat rate of $15.00 a month students, teachers, and librarians can access online courses on topics ranging from cooking to comic book writing and everything in between. If the flat rate seems a bit pricey courses can be purchased one or three at a time as well.
DIY.org is a fun site full of ideas for making. The portfolios give students a place to store and share their projects while the badges offer a selection of goals in which to attain. Even if you have no desire to set up an account with DIY this is a great site to browse and peruse. There are so many great ideas, pictures, and projects. If you were at a loss for maker ideas before, you will have treasure trove of plans once you leave DIY.org.
Author: Heather Moorefield-Lang
Heather Moorefield-Lang is an associate professor at The University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science. To see more of Heather’s work visit her website at www.techfifteen.com, email her at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.