In July of 2015 I found myself presented with a great opportunity; I had the chance to take everything I have learned from non-profits, museums, Mayor’s Offices and mentors and dump it into a small room on the third floor of a school in Los Angeles. The great thing about formal education is that we still have summer break which gave me two months to really think about how to tackle this project. Every activity and choice I made over the summer was with the lens of building and documenting this process for others.
I read a ton of books, blogs and articles. Below is a list of some of the most helpful books:
I have a goal of maintaining a GoodReads account so that you can see the most up to date information I am consuming in printed form: you can find the list HERE.
Where I am today is a direct product of my network. Here are some elements of my network that are greatly influencing my current work. I invite you to learn from them too!
If given the opportunity, one could make a career of attending conferences. This summer I picked a few that directly related to what I was going to do.
DML is my all time favorite because I get to reconnect with my network of inspiration! The focus this year was on equity and all of the speeches are available on the website. If you only have a few minutes please watch Leshell Hatley and Fabian Debora HERE.
I can not thank Enrique Legaspi enough for the opportunity to spend the day with incredible youth from Boyle Heights in the company of the world!
A huge thank you to Jean Kaneko from The Exploratory for the opportunity to put my brain in a blender!
The colloquium was a great opportunity to learn more about the formal ed making community in LA. There is a ton of great stuff going on!
After immersing myself in a proper education (while consulting on two national education projects) I had to communicate my vision for the small room on the third floor to administrators who were really excited and also may or may not have any idea what I was talking about. I started to write and make spreadsheets and I realized that images are worth 1,000 words. I presented a materials list based on the Make Magazine’s Makerspace in a Box and started aPintrest board. This approach worked really well and enabled me to communicate budget as well as vision in, what I hope was received, as one easy to digest package.
When I arrived the room was filled with desks and chairs. My first step was to have all of them removed. (I still owe the maintenance crew lunch for that one!) With a blank slate I was able to begin building my vision. The space has been received very well by the school and the community. There are unique opportunities for investigating and reflecting on how a classroom should look and sound and those reflections will be coming at a later date. For now, enjoy the time lapse of the set up as well as a few images.