Envangelizing technology for learning. Hackidemia
HacKIDemia designs hands-on workshops and projects for maker education and DIY learning. Our mission is to empower children to become makers of technology, art and science. So far, over 400 workshops, throughout 15 countries, 25 cities and 8,000 kids participating. Workshops are carried on anywhere, not only at schools, because learning happens everywhere.
Hacking, as learning, is not about how to use a given technology, but how to design it. With educators, it is about the same: it is not about training them to use a given technology in their classrooms, but how to design leaning experiences with that given technology.
A lot of hacking is closely related to playing, to games, to having fun. The desire to play is a powerful motivator.
A key to success in hacking for education projects is peer-to-peer collaboration, that the student can shift roles and become an educator, to help their peers at a given time.
Kids are more engaged if they are involved in their community, if they can solve real problems, rather than learning by learning, or trivial approximations to real problems.
Q: how do you plan a workshop? Druga: our approach is to have a “library of workshops”, with different goals, designs, tools used, etc. and then present them to the community (usually the parents) and see what are the needs of that given community, what do they already know, etc. Then comes a training of the local mentors — workshops are usually conducted by locals &mdash and then comes the actual implementation of the workshop.
Q: do we need to be kids to learn again? Druga: a dire truth of kids is that they do not care about certification or careers. And this is crucial to be able to correctly set your learning goals, not to kill your motivation, etc.
Q: how can we transpose these workshops in 100% virtual learning environments? Druga: social media is sort of doing this, enabling sharing activities and projects and interests, making easier for people to collaborate and participate in others’ projects, etc.
Hacking for education is about breaking complex things into simpler things, and then putting them together again.