Kent State University held a conference at the beginning of November, Learning Innovations 2019 . I am so glad they created this conference. I am tired of going up to Cuyahoga County for all the education stuff. They talked like they want to do more of this and have more reach into helping the k12 arena. So that will be good.
I did not present at this conference, though I had a time slot for an informal #Maker meetup. So I only took a small tote of things to build with. Unfortunately, the meetup was at the same time as the ONE #MakerSpace session, but two people came and we had a good conversation. One of them had never played with LED’s and batteries and copper tape, so they found those things for their classroom.
I did get to attend some sessions. First there was Annette Lang and Katie Mayl from the BioMed Science Academy. They shared how they use #DesignThinking in their PBL based classes . They have incorporated a geat deal from what they learned reading Launch by John Spencer and AJ Juliani. Maria Hawkins, Director of eSports Operations, shared about KSU’s eSports program as well as how they are helping local k12 get into the eSports arena. eSports is a billion dollar industry. It is a team sport, so kids are learning those soft skills, like collaboration and communication, in addition to critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and community. Annette Kratkowski from the Education Department, Hilary Kennedy form the Library, and Julie Messing form Entrepreneurship/Innovation talked to us about KSU’s Design Innovation Initiative. They have created Design Innovation Nodes around campus, makerspaces or resource labs that foster collaboration and have tools & resources for students and faculty. These will tie in to the DI Hub that will open in Fall 2020. They want to get more outreach to local k12, and we talked about ways to do that : a cohort, partnering for k12 events like Hacks or coding workshops, edcamp. They have a newsletter at www.kent.edu/launchnet that we hope is a start to creating a network.
I hope we can create an area network for k12+ for Design & Innovation. I think DI is the same as #MakerEd.