When we first met with Jie, she showed us her remarkable powered sketchbook, which she created by disassembling a Moleskine notebook, hollowing out the back cover to embed a rechargeable battery she repurposed from a cell phone charging case and then running power leads onto each page. Natalie also used this approach to power her wifi-connected notebook.
Both of these hacks seemed far too sophisticated for me to attempt myself when I first saw them, but now I have a lot more paper circuitry projects under my belt. My notebook finally filled up and I needed to move into a new one, so I figured it was time to see if I could up my hacking game and create my own version of Jie’s and Natalie’s power hack.
On July 9th, educators and makers of all ages joined together to explore expressive electronics for Hack Your Notebook Day. With 17 participating sites across the country and over 340 participants in schools, museums and libraries experienced first-hand how using creative prompts, artistic practices and applied STEM concepts in a social setting can produce deep engagement and real learning. We spent the day at San Francisco Public Library, hosted by Teen Center Manager, Cathy Cormier and were joined remotely by Jie Qi of the MIT Media Lab and Chibitronics, Paul Oh of the National Writing Project and Melissa Techman of Abermarle County Libraries.
David Cole of CV2 and I went to Denver, CO to hack notebooks with the second cohort of Intersections and the Denver Writing Project’s Tech Matters group. Now in our final installment, we reflect on a parent-child workshop with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose from Saturday, June 28.
The workshop at The Tech involved a couple of firsts for us: our first museum workshop and our first intergenerational workshop. To adapt our previous workshop model for this particular environment and audience, we collaborated with members of the museum’s education and exhibitions teams: Bridget Rigby, Prinda Wanakule and Rebekah Nelson.
On Wednesday, June 25th, we spent three hours with the Tech Matters group from the Denver Writing Project at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. These are K-16 teachers who are interested in learning how to best use technology to support and enhance classroom instruction. Educational technology tools and platforms can have very rapid life cycles, and trying to stay on top of all these changes can be daunting when added on top of a full teaching load, parent-guardian communication, lesson planning, grading, and so on. By working together, professional learning communities such as Tech Matters make it easier for teachers to share information. This summer, the group’s convening focused on issues of social justice and connectivity.
Last week, David Cole of CV2 and I went to Denver, CO to hack notebooks with the second cohort of Intersections and the Denver Writing Project’s Tech Matters group. Then on Saturday, we ran a workshop with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. This week, we’ll be looking at these different groups and reflecting on what we learned working with these different constituencies.
Intersections is a National Science Foundation-sponsored project lead by the National Writing Project (NWP) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) that supports the collaboration of formal and informal educators to develop learning experiences for youth that connect science and literacy. Five teams of classroom teachers and museum educators from across the country gathered for the week to explore topics including design thinking, the very real power of informal science education, scientific narrative and argumentation and education experiences as game design. NEXMAP is all about working on the edge of unexpected or non-traditional ideas, spaces and media, so we felt right at home.