Draft scenario 9

Title: Hackspace

Core purpose: To encourage learning which takes places:

  • outside of formal educational institutions
  • in contexts that involve local communities
  • using body and gesture
Draft Narrative overview (22 June 2012): Mrs P, a teacher of craft, design and technology, is concerned that when some of her pupils bring gadgets they have made themselves into her classroom she can see little or no relationship with the curriculum she is delivering. She regrets this as their skills are highly developed and they are highly enthusiastic about these products.She decides to take seriously what is happening and to find out if she can incorporate some of their interests in these technologies and what they are learning through this into her class. She spends a series of evenings at a group that calls itself HACKSPACE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackerspace) frequented by people who are passionate about making things with their hands and integrating them with technology, particularly the web. For example, one of her pupils has made a sculpture of a lizard using a 3-D printer whose scales grow red when pollution outside is high. The information that triggers the colour of its scales comes directly from information on the web. The student and his family consult this sculpture every time they leave the house by gesturing at it with their hands and take the appropriate action (mask/inhaler/other).Mrs P notices how stimulating HACKSPACE is for young people and adults alike and how frequently she hears tales of entrepreneurship and commercial success that have arisen from HACKSPACE. There seems to be a wide network of people who know how to set up businesses who are connected to HACKSPACE through informal social networks. This means that anyone who needs advice is able to access it quickly for free or at a low cost. The teacher notes that HACKSPACE appears to often encourage or facilitate creative ideas in this fun and informal social space. They are also able to take their ideas to the market quickly especially when compared with how long it takes to do something equivalent in the craft, design and technology course that she teaches.Mrs P sits down with a friend to work out how she can improve the lessons through connecting the classroom to the HACKSPACE network. They decide to offer HACKSPACE access to a new 3-D printer that her department has been thinking about buying. Collaboration with HACKSPACE provides the rationalisation for the purchase through the joint enterprise which is then planned as a series of workshops for students at the school.
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