Comment spaces and discussion tools on current kids’ skillshare sites are not productive. Kids use these spaces to express emotion (cool!) towards others’ projects, but rarely as spaces to connect, collaborate, find mutual interests, or deeply interact. Discussion threads have the potential to engage kids in deep conversations and provide opportunities to connect to peers or other resources. Now, they are linear and do not reflect real life conversation or provide connections/context/meaning to student learning or understanding.
How might we restructure current commenting models to promote deeper communication, collaboration, and provide opportunities for kids to explore their interests?
Our initial conversation revolved around trying to find a way to support learning symmetry within an asymmetrical power dynamic between the donor/funder-people being helped relationship. Specifically, we wanted to look at how we might help donors and funders make better decisions by learning from the community they are trying to help. After further discussions, we decided we could think of the same HMW in terms of skills (How might we help maintain a symmetric learning structure within skills and knowledge transfer. Also, we’ve discussed how we might use the idea of a bridge figure to try to offset the inevitable power dynamic that comes in learning situations where there is an us and a them.
Some options for our project: -Open IDEO remix: Working with Open IDEO to see if the current way of “problem solving” could also include a more local component (as opposed to one global solution, for all to implement).
-Working with Jobs for the Future: skill-sharing and mentorship. -Working with current members of the MIT media lab: Mt. Elliot Makerspace??
-Developing a toolkit with an outline of design principles and/or resources that people would need.
We’ve all had the experience where want or need to learn how to do something–a new skill such as programming, how to use that new software program, etc.–but didn’t know where to start. And we often are surrounded by a number of people who could easily help us get started–and may even be experts in that given topic. We are looking to explore ways to better facilitate meaningful learning and teaching exchanges between individuals in a given community, organization or other ‘bounded’ group of people.
We believe that being able to more easily make those connections not only benefits the learner but the community as a whole. And while exploring a new topic or skill online can be useful, we also believe that often the most meaningful and useful learning experiences and supports come from connecting with those around us — those we have an existing relationship with, or some other mutually meaningful piece of context like being associated with the same organization — whether those connections be brief or extended collaborations.
The SkillGrindr group seeks to use the human-centered design process to explore how digital media can support and enable those connections and experiences. We will initially design for the community of the Media Lab, with the hopes that this can then be scaled beyond the walls of the lab and ported to any existing community who seeks to enable such connections as well.
If learning were a peach, being a journeyman would be the meaty part of the fruit. Mastery would be the central pit, and amateurs would be located outside, trying to permeate the fuzzy surface. It is on this amateur-journeyman-master continuum that we imagined professional adult learners; and in this sweet, meaty, place where we decided to bite into the issues of peer-to-peer learning, co-design, and communities of practice. We call ourselves journeymen to represent the large caste of people who are trained in a particular profession/passion and want to go deeper. Journeymen work toward mastery by practicing their trade with input from peers and mentors.
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey encapsulates the personal drive that journeymen draw from in practice-based learning. Also Journey, Journeymen.
We plan to take Ethan up on his challenge to codesign a connection between Media Lab and iHub in Nairobi. In anticipation, our logo combines the iHub’s underlined asterisk and the Media Lab’s interrupted bar with colors of the Kenyan flag. We borrow Kenya’s national motto, a motto which inspired the iHub, and indeed our team: “Harambee“, a Kenyan tradition of community self-help.
We are journeymen, dependent on one another to both deepen and broaden our understanding. We often do not have access to time-deprived masters, and so we lean in toward each other, offer a helping hand, develop community, and co-create.
– The Journeymen (Dana Thomson, Jose Dominguez, Laura Stankiewicz, Jason Haas, and Arnel Pineda)