We’re excited to announce that the PLIX (Public Library Innovation Exchange) team is launching a four-week online course starting April 26th on the topic of Facilitating Creative Learning. This is a chance to delve into the facilitation side of creative learning, exploring some big ideas as well as practical tips around leadership and implementation of STEAM activities.

PLIX connects public library professionals and MIT Media Lab researchers to co-design learning experiences, develop and share facilitation practices, and integrate creative learning into public library programming. PLIX strives to increase equitable access to and broaden participation in STEAM programming. 

Recently, STAR Net met with the PLIX team, housed in the Digital Learning and Collaboration Studio (DLCS) at the MIT Media Lab, and we discovered many overlapping interests, particularly around the importance of the arts in STEM → STEAM learning, and how we like to position ourselves as guides on the side (rather than the sage on the stage). Back to its co-founding by Seymour Papert and through the ongoing development of Scratch by Mitchel Resnick, the MIT Media Lab has promoted important ideas of constructionist learning. Through PLIX they are bringing these ideas to public libraries in particular.

Every week the Facilitating Creative Learning course will have recommended activities and readings, a live coursewide discussion, asynchronous chats on the PLIX Forum, and an informal tinkering time to work on the featured activity together. 

These four weeks of interactive professional development will help you gain the practical skills and confidence to start facilitating creative STEAM programming for your public library patrons. The core of the course will be a deep dive into the design choices creative learning facilitators make when running hands-on STEAM workshops. Along the way librarians will develop their own facilitation practice with peers nationwide. You’ll leave feeling prepared to offer patrons PLIX activities—and other creative learning activities of your own design. Librarians are increasingly asked to lead educational programs with emerging technologies. PLIX feels it’s important not just to get new tools into the hands of patrons, but to cultivate a learning environment where patrons can experiment and create with technology.

STAR Net librarians or library staff who are excited about creative learning and STEAM education in libraries: sign up now!

Note: The Facilitating Creative Learning course was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. (RE-246380-OLS-20)