Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make 2 Learn Symposium

Make 2 Learn Symposium
Chicago, March 2013

Badging Maker Learning

Kevin Miklasz, Iridescent
Leah Gilliam, Mozilla and Hive NYC Learning Network
Juan Rubio, GlobalKids

Each organization first presented on their organization’s badging projects:

  • Used badges for a Race to the White House program
  • Geocaching – virtual scavenger hunt throughout Parks in NYC; focused on upcoming presidential election
  • Lesson plans geared towards badges; useful to learners and educators
  • Topics included Net Neutrality/Medical Marijuana/Gun Control
  •  Included an online forum
  • Badges focused on: Hard Skills (geotagging, public speaking); Soft Skills (collaboration, critical thinking); Participation; Knowledge (issue expert)

Open-ended design challenges
The Curiosity Machine – bare online instructions & questions; participants could answer with pictures/video/text – entries were worth points, awarded by mentors who evaluated
each submission; mentor responses were limited to either “Try again – here are some suggestions” or “Great idea.”  As participants gained points, they achieved higher rank/status/access – ‘leveled up’. Building (beginner) --> Engineering (advanced, more badges unlocked) -->Inventing

Mozilla/HIVE NYC
  • Citywide learning labs involving 30 organizations – focus on connected learning, informal space
  • Framework for the entire network
  • Trying to expose experience as part of network; identifying this for participants

  • HIVE Badges
    • User stories/Personas of HIVE participants; interests, tools they use, HIVE events attended
    • Goals – incentivizing moving around the network; outreach (e.g. Maker Faire)
    • Ruth Schmidt from Chicago HIVE was a big influence
    • Credly – same people as Badgestack; quick way to create badges for quick events; accessible to everyone else in the HIVE network; also awarded badges to event workers/educators

General Discussion

ArtLab (in DC) tried using ‘badges’ with youth, but the term ‘certification’ was more  
  • Allows youth to use certain equipment alone
  • Shows who they can collaborate with
  • Sometimes award ‘stealth badges’; “Hey, you by doing this, you just earned this (informally)”
Questions to consider about badges:
  • Where do we/facilitators want it to fit into our culture?
  • Where do youth want it to fit into our culture?
Badges allow the creation of a Living Learning Portfolio
  • Mozilla’s Badge Backpack
  • Collect/Decide/Curate – deciding what’s important in different contexts
Awarding badges to mentors
  • Shows contributions, hours (Iridescent)
Badges should always lead to more learning, rather than do this get that; leveling helps lead learner along a path
Don’t overbadge to the point where there is little value; make a challenging task rather than making a badge ‘scarce’


https://etherpad.mozilla.org/make2learnbadges - created by Leah Gilliam at the event
https://p2pu.org/en - “At P2PU, people work together to learn a particular topic by completing tasks, assessing individual and group work, and providing constructive feedback.”
http://dmlcompetition.net/ - DML Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition
http://www.openbadges.org – by Mozilla, earn/issue/display your badges


Family Learning in Museum MakerSpaces

Lisa Brahms, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Adam Nye, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
David Kanter, New York Hall of Science
Janella Watson, New York Hall of Science

Making has traditionally been adult-oriented

MAKESHOP (Pittsburgh) – 1800 sq ft; partnership between a game design Master’s program and the Children’s Museum 

  • Sink and doors are the only permanent fixtures – the space is very flexible, tough, durable
  • Children need to explore, play with various tools, gain experience
  •  Facilitation – 5 full-time teaching artists; work one to one with children, answer questions by engaging children in a decision-making process towards making  goal
  •  Adults and children as co-facilitators – shared learning experience
  • Scaffolding – multiple entry points for a project, engaging for different age groups
  •  Sewing: first station with the tools (needles, thread), second with peg board to practice the  motions,    another with a sewing machine
        Visit their blog @ http://makeshoppgh.com/ - many pictures and videos

Playtesting – companies can try out products in the MAKESHOP

Little Makers program – 18 months to 13 year old siblings; thematic (e.g., Weaving Works, Ice Cream Making)
  • Scaffold material literacy – space for the youngest participants to touch, play with materials
  •  Example of Ice Cream Making – smelling station, ice bucket with dye and salt, create a recipe station with favorite ingredients, 12 minutes of shaking ingredients in bag  (passing between family members, shared experience), tasting/sharing product
  •  Introduction to tools and tool-making
  •  Inspire collaboration/equal participants across ages
  •  Empowering parents – exploring science, elaborating what they do already with their kids, bringing skills back home
Core objectives
  •  Collaboration and experimentation, tool skills, iteration
  •   Problem solving, materials exposure & literacy
  •   Encouraging wonder and addressing something functional
  •   Science process skills, divergent solutions, products (creativity)

Max, a 4 year old, was first intimidated by the space/staff; his first visit staff welcomed him in and suggested a project; he eventually brought an idea for a project (I want to build a lawnmower) and a couple visits later a sketch for a project; the staff kept adding complexity to the projects – when he wanted to build a ‘weed whacker’, staff helped him design one that actually spun with battery power; Max took his skills home and worked with Grandpa.

Making as mindset, process and product; playing, failing and trying again
For mentors – the museum looked for makers not educators; developed teaching skills
Authenticity – they use real tools and materials
Different entries/parallel activities in same room with same tools
Process (hammer a nail into wood) vs. end goal (finished wood piece) – younger children can focus on process

Handouts are available here.

--Leslie @Sun Ray/Admin

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