2020 started out great. We -a group of Dutch makered people- planned to attend the FabLearn Flagship Conference New York 2020 and visit some American makers and schools. It would have been an incredible trip.
Unfortunately 2020 proved to be a very disturbing year. Covid took over the world, Trump got scarier by the second, people asking for justice were bullied into silence and all things inspiring were cancelled or postponed. It felt like the loving, connected world was being suffocated slowly.
Then came november 7. While checking CNN for days we prepared a nice workshop (Better together) for the FabLearn Flagship Conference New York 2020 that was moved to online. And now -one day after- I am so happy we did, because I haven’t felt this much optimism and togetherness in many weeks.
And I remember forever where I was during the announcement of Biden’s win: in an international workshop where the ever so generous makermovement connected. And where we could hear the cheering in the streets in the soundfeed of one or our USA based participants.
Better together: the makered donut
Our workshop: ‘The overarching theme of this dynamic, interactive and hands-on workshop is how we (interdisciplinary) think about and shape maker education together.’
Holland is a very small country, most remote areas can be reached within 2 hours by car. Maybe that’s why the Dutch makered community is very connected. We build knowledge through cooperation. The more participate, the better it gets. The Dutch maker educators are like a donut that gets more sprinkles as more experts hop on.
The partners in this workshop:
- The Alan Turingschool (primary school), teacher Martine van der Sandt and parent/ art educator Wytske de Man
- The Pieter Brueghelschool (primary school), teachers Marino van der Zande and Yasmine Dijkstra and school principal Martin Bokx.
- MakerCosmos (a collaboration of the HAN University of Applied Sciences, artists and scientists), developers of the workshop on sound machines.
- Peter Troxler, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
- Stichting Lekkersamenklooien – ‘happily messing around together’ (that’s us!), Astrid Poot (that’s me!)
A recording of our workshop will be made available soon, so you can hear our stories and organise your own soundmachine workshop.
For now I like to share the materials that I showed and were developed in our (non-profit) foundation Lekkersamenklooien. (More on our thoughts and products here.)
Things you might like
I am very proud we played a part in shaping the makereducation in this happy network. In this blog I will share some of our thoughts and materials, so you can hop on our donut as well and use our materials as our donut partners do.
We do our research by making products and tools for people to try. We start in Dutch and translate in English after testing. Recently I wrote a book for teachers, that we hope to get translated soon. Everything we do starts as an experiment, so feel free to provide comments and ideas!
Poster with 50 tools
We are advocates of playful learning, but also believe to be able to play children need skills. This poster is a gentle nudge to help people in collecting tools-experience. Use a tool, tick a box! Download it for free and start collecting. (Always be careful while using tools!)
Our poster of 50 tools is one of the pillars of the makered curriculum of the Pieter Brueghelschool. Their students experience most of these tools during their 8 year stay. We are extremely proud of that!
Putting a poster up that explains how to work with a tool enhances the makers’ self efficacy. The posters we are developing help you see the tool, show you how to use it safe and tell nice stories about the tool. We have one translated for you already. Please find it here.
These minimakercourses are a product of our collaboration with the Alan Turingschool. We are proud to see the posters being used in their makerspace!
We are also working on tools to support the maker process. Right now we are testing this Go Maker tool, that supports the maker into deciding what he or she needs as a next step. (It’s brand new, so feedback yes please!)
The Big Book by Max and Ro
And finally: we are big fans of storytelling. Especially for new makers who believe they lack technical skills, being confronted with tools can be a bit intimidating.
To get them into the maker spirit we make these Big Book zines: two main characters travel through space and time looking for cool stories on the invention and use of tools. (Did you know Pakistan dentists used bow-drills on their patients around 7500 years ago?) And they help you in making your own tools, so you really understand them! (Please find the zines here.)
These zines are made with the help of the international makercommunity. If you are and expert on a tool and feel like stepping on our donut, please get in touch!
Thank you Fablearn, thank you participants, thank you partners. I could not have foreseen how warm, inspiring and comforting being together in our online international makered community would be.
Let’s make 2021 a better one than 2020. And to our friends in the USA: with Jill Biden being the first First Teacher, hopefully you feel a bit more at ease.