Spencer writes in the library, part 5: Free keyboard, dirty keyboard.

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place on Monday, 14 July around 11:00am

The Spot

Where am I working today?

On the south-east corner of the first floor. I’ve worked in this general area before, but I’m coming back to another part of the area to take advantage of a specific perk:

What’s a perk of this spot?

Computers! I left my laptop charger at home today, and while my computer has a pretty good battery life, I decided that I would spend some time on one of the library’s computers to make sure that I left enough charge on my laptop for the rest of the day.

What’s a problem with this spot?

It’s fantastic that the library provides computers for MSU students to use, but nothing quite beats using your own machine. This is a total first world problem, so I feel sheepish including it here, but it’s true that a free keyboard is often a dirty keyboard and that, despite the awesome power of the cloud, it does disrupt your workflow to be on a computer with different settings and apps.

What have I learned in this spot?


Where the children and YA section of the library is. I love it when university libraries include some “just for fun” books, too, and I’ve been trying to figure out where MSU keeps theirs. I’m still on the lookout for other spots, but this was definitely a fun discovery.

How would I rate this spot?

2 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

I spent my time at this spot working on a blog post discussing a recent Maker Faire here at MSU. I was fortunate to be involved with this Faire as an instructor for the class that put it on, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the Faire ever since.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

While I’ve been won over to the maker movement, I think that there are some legitimate reservations about its applicability for all content areas. I spent some time in the post discussing the “spirit of the maker movement” with the hope that those who weren’t ready to bring circuits and conductive thread into their classroom could still adopt elements of the maker movement that would help their classroom.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.