At our third Meetup we discussed how to recruit volunteers to run after school clubs, and how to involve educators in the content development process. We agreed it would be good to ask mentors to try to find a teacher or educator friend to come along next time.
This proved a tough call — clearly teachers are hard-working people who can’t always accommodate beers and pizza after work! We’d like to give a special thanks to teacher Katie who made it down (and to Rachel for bringing her).
As well as one teacher, we had 18 mentors attend with a variety of different design backgrounds. Everyone was really enthusiastic about the idea of an after school Design Club.
What did we talk about?
After Noam presented the plans for the pilot so far, Niki led a workshop about the curriculum, lesson plans and activities. We had a good discussion with frank feedback (starting with “do we really need a curriculum?”), great ideas and tons of positive energy.
Some key points included:
- It’s good to keep children motivated with variety and fun activities: physical props, fancy dress, role play and keeping a self-reflection diary were all suggested.
- Real world learning is really important: eg: what apps do children and their friends/family members like to use? How can we help them solve problems that are important to them? How can we encourage them to create and bring in their own projects?
- Motivational tips: set goals and make sure children know what’s happening next; check they’re understanding what they need to do; tell them they’re wonderful; ask them what they think they’re doing well; let them see others use their app; encourage show & tells.
- Use gamification: rewards (stickers, badges); introduce levels, elements of competition; always celebrate progress/ success.
- Skills development: help them to develop a “designer’s eye”; encourage them to listen more than they talk; let them know they don’t have to always come up with the “right” answers.
What happens next?
Thank you to everyone who came along — your suggestions have been really useful in helping shape our 10 week course.
And thanks again Adaptive Lab for being great hosts.
We’ll talk about how the after school pilot has been going down with children at our October Meetup. We’re planning to run more after school clubs from January. If you think you might be interested, come along!