Public libraries are hubs for innovation and community engagement. Library workers must listen closely to community needs to design programs and services responsive to continuous changes in technology and fluctuations in funding. This free webinar showcases two examples of collaborative design events used in public libraries to generate ideas, build community, and solve problems.
To look at the state of many libraries after the recession, facing cuts and closures and fundamental questions about “relevance,” you could be forgiven for being gloomy about their future. But gloomy is not the predominant tone of a terrific new report from Arup, the well-regarded design consultancy. It shows that some libraries, at least, are undergoing a “renaissance,” and that the future could be good for others. Arup organized workshops in four cities, bringing together a range of people interested in libraries. The report collects ideas from existing projects, as well as ideas for future spaces. There are four main themes…READ MORE: The Future Of Libraries Is Collaborative, Robotic, And Participatory | FastCompany
Maker Media founder Dale Dougherty speaks with such an infectious exuberance about creating and building that after speaking to him you want to go home and resurrect that project that’s been sitting in your garage or bedroom. From a magazine, to a series of faires and camps for children, Doughterty’s Maker Media reach – and enthusiasm – spans the globe and beginning today, it’s launching a beta of its new MakerSpace social network.
MakerSpace beta invitations are available [on request]. Like the Google model of beta invites, anyone that gets an invitation, can invite a few friends. If you don’t get into the beta, the full site will launch out of beta later this year. But, if you’re lucky enough to get onboard, you can create a profile, find and bookmark projects you find interesting, and post your own projects. Maker is calling it a place to “show and tell.” READ MORE: Makers are getting their own social network | Engadget
I just signed up! Looking forward to finding some ideas for the CoderDojo program I volunteer with. Also available from Makerspace.com is a free makerspace playbook with all you need to know about getting a makerspace up and running in their school or community.
There aren’t any express objectives or any real way to win in Minecraft. It’s a “sandbox,” in gaming speak—offering free play without a specific goal and currently used by more than 18.5 million players, with some 20,000 more signing up every day. Users may choose between Creative Mode, in which they can build using unlimited resources by themselves or with friends, with no real danger or enemies, and Survival Mode, where they fend off enemies and other players and fight for resources and space. They can trade items and communicate using a chat bar. Modifications (or mods) can add complexity by creating things like economic systems that let players buy and sell resources from in-game characters using an in-game currency system. These downloadable mods can also add computer science concepts and thousands of additional features.
Minecraft’s worlds and possibilities are truly endless—and increasingly, so are its educational adaptations for school use. Available on multiple platforms (Apple, Windows, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Raspberry Pi, iOS, Android, Windows Phone), the game’s flexibility and collaborative possibilities make it a favorite among devotees of gamification.
“Minecraft is like LEGOs on steroids,” says Eric Sheninger, a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education. “Learners of all ages work together to ultimately create a product that has value to them,” he adds. “The simple interface provides students in the classroom with endless possibilities to demonstrate creativity, think critically, communicate, collaborate, and solve problems.” A Swedish student research study also showed that collaboration in Minecraft provided a more immersive problem-solving experience than group LEGO building.
The winners of the 2015 American Institute of Architects Library Awards reflect how libraries are adapting—how they’re investing in technology and trying to reframe themselves as vital community gathering spaces. This year’s winners include a children’s library that teaches kids to grow their own food, a university library that has ditched half its collections to create collaborative work spaces, and libraries that are at the heart of catalyzing redevelopment in their neighborhoods. And they prove that even buildings filled with thousands of objects created from dead trees can be environmentally friendly.
School, academic, and public librarians often cite collaborative partnerships as one of the greatest challenges of the profession—how do we invite collaboration, how do we nurture and sustain those partnerships, and how might those efforts translate into additional endeavors? Identifying common goals and cultivating trust are two fundamental building blocks in this process, but libraries and librarians being sensitive to the needs of the community, whether it is an individual, group, or organization, is also paramount.
There’s no shortage of places for people to share memories of where they were 50 years ago when they found out John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. But a website debuting Monday aims to take the focus from past to future by asking people of all ages — even those who weren’t alive when Kennedy died — to share their thoughts about how he has inspired them.
The website is part of the JFK Library and Museum’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death, which is Friday. The museum also plans a new exhibit of never-before-displayed items from his three-day state funeral, including the flag that draped his casket and notes written by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Visitors to the “An Idea Lives On” site can explore an interactive video that includes NASA Commander Chris Cassidy, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, comedian Conan O’Brien, Freedom Rider Charles Person and others talking about Kennedy’s lasting impact.
I went around San Francisco asking random people on the street how they felt about email versus handwritten letters. This video was created to help promote the Snail Mail My Email project and its third annual event, going on November 11 – 17, 2013.
Snail Mail My Email (snailmailmyemail.org) is a collaborative art project I founded where volunteers handwrite strangers’ emails and send physical letters to the intended recipients, free of charge. The project has since transitioned to a week-long annual event.
GitHub is so often touted as a tool for coding projects that it’s easy to forget just how useful a resource it is for everything else.
At the heart of GitHub are two collaborative functions—forking and branching—that aren’t exclusive to coding. Forking means to create a clone of somebody else’s work for remixing. Branching is a way for each person in a group to create a temporary clone for tandem editing, and then push those updates back to the group project again.
While many of GitHub’s capabilities require knowledge of Git…forking and branching can both be done with nothing more than a GitHub account and a few clicks. GitHub has the additional benefit of a liberal use policy, so you are in complete control of anything you upload there.
Snip: That’s why a new breed of educators, inspired by everything from the Internet to evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and AI, are inventing radical new ways for children to learn, grow, and thrive. To them, knowledge isn’t a commodity that’s delivered from teacher to student but something that emerges from the students’ own curiosity-fueled exploration. Teachers provide prompts, not answers, and then they step aside so students can teach themselves and one another. They are creating ways for children to discover their passion—and uncovering a generation of geniuses in the process.