This past weekend I headed over to Pittsburgh, PA to attend #MakerEdConvening . I am glad that @MakerEdOrg brought the conference to the East Coast (#1-4 have been in California). Pittsburgh has been doing a great deal in the #MakerEd realm, so it was a good place to have it. Nova Place and the Children’s Museum next door was a nice location and had wonderful facilities, with great food for breakfast and lunch. There are three hotels two blocks away, so it was convenient. That area of Pittsburgh also has PNC Park and at least a dozen restaurants within walking distance. Heinz Field and the Carnegie Science Center are also a short walk nearby. I like going to California, but my bank account likes driving to PA better. I hope they keep coming back to the East, maybe an every other year arrangement.
Mostly I go to conferences to meet people. I go to see my Twitter PLN face to face, and to find some new connections. I also pick up on one or two things that I have not paid attention to yet. We had an hour for breakfast and lunch to do some networking. There was a Happy Hour (two actually) at the Museum Lab. Even with those, I wish that there was more designated time to meet and talk with people. The 15 minutes between sessions is not enough to do this. But if we add a 30-60 minute “networking” block, that pushes us later into the evening. The other option would be to replace a session slot with a networking slot. Hmmm.
Speaking with Lauren from MakerEd made me want to look up their Making Spaces initiative (i did, but i don’t fit into it yet). I played with the next version of the Finch that is coming out in Spring 2020. The sessions show that are some people being successful with MakerEd and some starting. Wake County Public Schools has the 4 C’s in their Mission Statement, so that made admin more responsive to Maker initiatives. (we can talk later about having all 6 C’s). We have to keep thinking in terms of equity and access, as well as keep looking at out inherent bias towards ideas/people/things. We also need to keep creating culture. #MakerEd is more than the sum of the tools.
The MakerEd team did a great job. I enjoyed the weekend and hope to get to another Convening in the future. Hopefully Maker Education will grow so that we can have more of these meetups.
Here are some pics i took :
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