All posts by Ben Rearick

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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™!”)

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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.

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Google Cardboard Workshop in Ann Arbor

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On Tuesday, June 6, we held a workshop on using Google Cardboard for librarians and educators around Ann Arbor.

We discussed the possibilities of using 360 video and Google Expeditions (thanks to North Quad and U of M ITS for helping us out!) in libraries.

We also spent some time — since we are makers at heart — creating our own panoramas and Photospheres using free apps with Google Cardboard.

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If you want to check out the slides from that event, find them here.

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If you’d like to come to any of our future events, find them here — we’re just getting warmed up!

Creating Design Challenge Workshop in Ann Arbor

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This morning from 10am to noon we had 7 participants from southeastern Michigan attend our inaugural workshop on Creating Design Challenges. We had a good mix of both school and public librarians as well as experience levels.

A collection of documents (rubrics, methods, and slides + a shopping list of materials we used!) is located here!

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We started the day off with a short (or “tiny”) Design Challenge based on our Making in Michigan Libraries-created Design Thinking Game. By chance, we were creating something to help a mermaid organize — but wait, we also had to make sure to not introduce new things as our particular mermaid’s constraint was that she didn’t like new things!

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In small groups our participants used a material they were familiar with — Legos — to create organizational inventions for our hypothetical mermaid. As we debriefed and continued to think about the why and the how of design challenges, we also discussed best practices for implementing them and different lengths for different focuses.

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We then introduced a second Design Challenge with a less familiar — but still inexpensive — material: Strawbees! We changed up our groups for variety’s sake and had participants consider the challenge, prototype, and finally pitch a commercial for the “something to help a fisherman relax”!

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We had a great time pitching, even showing off a Strawbee umbrella! Look at our complete album of photos here.

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If this sounds interesting (or just downright fun) check out our other events coming up this summer!