Vancouver, Canada isn’t just about sushi, whales, totems and beaches anymore — it’s now a great place for hands-on, community-friendly digital learning!
On Sunday October 8th, inspired by friends at Hive Toronto, and after many months of community planning and ideas, 200 Vancouverites launched the city’s own Hive Learning Community with its first-ever Digital Learning Pop-Up. And we couldn’t be more inspired by the positive energy of the organizing volunteers and community partners who made it all happen.
For months leading up to the event itself, Dethe Elza, David Ascher, Helen Lee, Victoria Haynes and myself took on a great deal of lot of community outreach activities to find organizations that were interested in helping found the Learning Community and/or hosting the pop-up’s hands-on learning stations. We spoke at Maker Education meetups with our friends at the Vancouver Maker Foundation, visited partner sites, and learned about other great initiatives on the go.
On the day of the event, everyone set up the five learning activity stations and a set of ambient craft stations with the local community partners, using lots of colour, glitter and streamers and hoping for a party. We had plenty of RSVP’s, but for a free event on a Sunday afternoon, we also worried no one would come. And we were amazed to see participants lining up outside as we opened up the doors!
Indeed, Vancouverites made it a party to remember. Our community partners filled the event space at the Vancouver Public Library with machines, singing Raspberry Pi fruit, pencil sawdust, Appmaker ideas, projector dresses, open web petitions and robot book mazes. Learners of all ages (from kids to grandparents!) spent three cheerful hours hacking, building and gluing to the tune of a customized “digital making mix” by local DJ Early B, each leaving with a new set of digital skills and crazy community ideas for next time. Check out the event album for more great moments.
Activity stations included:
* A Raspberry Pi maker’s corner and robot maze led by teen volunteers from the Vancouver Public Library;
* A digital dress up station from the Museum of Vancouver‘s latest exhibit, “Rationing to Ravishing”;
* Activities to learn about crowdsourcing, digital rights and the open Internet with Open Media;
* A lo-fi pencil creation station by Vancouver CoLab;
* And a set of remix, web design and app-making booths using free and open online tools with Mozilla Webmaker.
Now that the (glitter!) dust is settling, we’d like to say a massive thanks to each of you who helped make it all happen — and if you couldn’t join us this time, don’t worry — Vancouver’s digital learning collaborations have just begun.
We already can’t wait for the fun — and learning — yet to come. To get in touch about joining the network as an organization or individual, get in touch!
Photos thanks to Sabrina Ng and Sylvia Ascher from the group Flickr pool.