All posts by Ben Rearick

Workshop in Coopersville: Selling Handmade Goods Online

Our final workshop in Coopersville was on how libraries can amplify the work of beginning or intermediate sellers of online arts or crafts. Here are our resources from the workshop.

We taught the participants of the importance of photography, and SEO, as well as brainstormed potential ways the library could help surface sellers from its own community.

For connecting sellers, we including several examples of ways that other libraries have been able to amplify the sellers in their community.

Finally, we included a brief overview of several sites that stock inventory and can be used especially with budding entrepreneurs or artists.

Check out our Flickr for photos of the event. And let others know about our remaining events in Coopersville and Benzonia.

Workshop in Coopersville: Creating Design Challenges

Our final day in Coopersville started off with everyone showing up early (including us!), and learning about how to balance open-endedness with structure to increase creativity among students or people at our programs. Here are the resources from the day.

We started by introducing the room to Strawbees, and had some fantastic responses to our first challenge.

Then we broke down the design thinking cycle so participants could implement it. They went outside in the sprinkling rain and research each other’s vehicle dashboards.

Eventually, after going through the steps of the design thinking cycle, they made prototypes with cardboard (and junk box materials — and Strawbees) and Make-Do screws.

Finally, we introduced the idea of a challenge not simply based around technology, but rather drama, with our paper puppet people. After getting used to the movement, participants did short skits.

Check out more photos on our Flickr. And let others know about our remaining events in Coopersville and Benzonia.

Workshop in Coopersville: Fashion Hacking Full Day

We had a lot of fun learning about fashion hacking today in Coopersville! Here are our slides and other info from the day.

Due to the high amount of knowledge in the room we tweaked our usual run-through and covered some of the theory behind fashion hacking.

IMG_20170802_105358795

We discussed different uses for a t-shirt, including costumes for kids and dog toys. Yarn from t-shirts was another topic.

sewing

It wasn’t long before our participants were making some pretty amazing things. We even had several finished pieces before lunch!

hackfash

In the afternoon, we were able to teach the participants about making stencils using a Silhouette machine. Additionally, we taught them about how fun kids find the button-maker.

cats

Hope you can join us at some of our remaining events throughout the summer. Check out the rest of our pictures at our Flickr album here.

Workshop in Coopersville: Introduction to the Maker Movement

Our first workshop in the new, lovely, expanded library in Coopersville was a hit. Here are the resources from the day, including slides.

cooper2

We started off with a notecard activity to get the participants thinking with their hands. We then dived into the history and aspects of the maker movement, along with our experience.

cooper1

After asking participants to think about their own communities, we made a flashlight and hacked it into some pretty unbelievable things. (With a junk box that’s been whittled down, even!)

cooper3

Finally, we had a lightning round of game design followed by tools time where participants got to check out our tools.

Here are all the pictures from the day. Be sure to check out our remaining workshops!

Workshop in Alpena: Creating Design Challenges

Our third workshop in Alpena was a morning of discussing and participating in design challenges.

After discussing the balance between open-endedness and structure we dove right into a design challenge using Strawbees. Even with this new (to most) material, our participants were inventive and thoughtful.

IMG_20170720_100349871IMG_20170720_093103937

We then had participants go out in pairs to observe and research their car dashboards as part of a hands-on experience with the design thinking process, from which we get design challenges.

IMG_20170720_104950447

After following the steps to the design thinking process, the participants had Lego prototypes of their dashboard solutions.

IMG_20170720_104805383_BURST000_COVER_TOP IMG_20170720_104813435

We rounded out the day by sharing our puppet paper people, and using techniques such as breath, focus, and weight (these were our materials for this final design challenge!) to perform a skit. Design challenges can be used for any subject area!

IMG_20170720_120716933

Thanks to all who registered! You can find our presentation materials and resources here. If this interests you, sign up for our future workshops!

Workshop in Alpena: Introduction to the Maker Movement

We arrived in Alpena and so did 115% of our registrants! Wow!

IMG_20170718_093525158

We did started off with a notecard activity with lots of creative objects resulting. After going over the history and theory behind some of the maker movement, we moved into forming community Maker Visions.

IMG_20170718_094142910

We continued in the afternoon with more hands-on activities, including hacking a flashlight with our trusty junk box. Our participants loved the junk box and we had more ideas that surprised and delighted us all.

IMG_20170718_142439352IMG_20170718_151828099IMG_20170718_151236291 

After an enlightening discussion about how assessment in makerspaces can be useful for gaining support in public libraries, we moved into board game design and a brief tour of tools we like!

IMG_20170718_160043563IMG_20170718_141222939IMG_20170718_141205812 

Here’s our presentation and other info from the day. Find more pictures in our album here.

Be sure to come later in the week or to other events down the road!

Workshop in Frankenmuth: Fashion Hacking Full Day

Our last workshop in Frankenmuth was dedicated to hacking, sewing, knotting, artistry, and re-using old clothing! Check out our presentation from that day here.

photo4 photo2

We started with t-shirt bags, but that was just the beginning. After some of the reasons behind just why we fashion hack, we listed numerous ways we could hack a normal t-shirt, of which Goodwill Outlet has an almost limitless amount.

photo1

We spent some time learning about the Silhouette Portrait machine from our gracious host, Pam.photo3

After lunch, we had a lesson on the anatomy of clothing, and plenty of exploration time to hack to our hearts’ content. We closed with a discussion of how to best implement similar programs in different communities and what the challenges would be.

Check out more pictures here!

And if this interests you we’re doing it again a few times this summer!

Workshop in Marquette: Selling Handmade Goods Online

Our very last workshop in Marquette explored the idea of how libraries can be amplifiers of local craft entrepreneurs.

Here’s a link to all the information, slides, and bibliography we covered.

IMG_20170629_143851871

We focused on Etsy with some exploration time, photography practice, and discussing different communities that already exist around the idea of collegiality amongst a team of sellers.

Finally we had an overview of some different sites that can help budding entrepreneurs get started without having to invest in inventory. For instance, did you know that even without a 3D printer, you can have Shapeways print a model you make? (We recommend TinkerCAD as an easy start to 3D modeling, too!)

Check out our other events this summer — next up: full day fashion hacking in Frankenmuth!

Workshop in Marquette: Design Thinking

Our second day in Marquette and our first day at the beautiful, enormous Peter White Public Library.

Check out the slides and folder of additional infomation here.

We started the day working through the design thinking process so the participants could have a good handle on both the individual steps and the entire overview of what it’s like to complete a design thinking cycle.

 

IMG_20170628_121530119

After sending the participants out to observe each other’s dashboards and prototype solutions (with Legos!) to the main problem, we had them discuss problems in their own community that could be solved with the same process.IMG_20170628_121524862

We hope that this can be a useful way to balance open-endedness with bit of structure and direction, for classroom teachers and librarians alike — or for anyone in the community!

We hope to see you at some of our future events.

Workshop in Marquette: Introduction to the Maker Movement

IMG_20170627_111145959

Welcome to the UP! Chris Standerford at the Digital Learning Lab Makerspace on NMU’s campus was very prepared to host our first of three days in lovely Marquette.

IMG_20170627_111200170IMG_20170627_111211851

We started off with a short activity to introduce our approach to conducting workshops (hint: heavy on the activities and a healthy serving of agency, not to mention a good amount of principles to take home and apply!). We had some very creative notecard-pencil-yarn creations! (Here are our slides and files from the event!)

notecard

IMG_20170627_111100522

We continued with some background about our experiences and what we’ve learned — focusing strongly on the purpose behind the makerspace and what each person’s individual community needs.

IMG_20170627_134457937

In the afternoon we had more activities that the participants really enjoyed! We made flashlights and then used our (curated!) junk box to enhance and pitch some products. (“Worried about your neighbors or enemies knowing how much ice cream you eat at 2 in the morning? Use Secret Scoop™!”)

IMG_20170627_140336171

IMG_20170627_135949930

IMG_20170627_135853318

Participants finished the day by designing some board games, learning about assessment strategies, and looking through some tools and toys they could make use of, both ours and NMU’s! More pictures can be found at our Flickr album here.

Hope to see you later this week at some of other events, or at future events.

IMG_20170627_151639005

IMG_20170627_111138037