Our efforts to support more people to become digital makers focusses on an interest in their understanding how digital technologies work. But even with all the great resources available to support young digital makers, what is it that sparks an interest in digital making, and where do you go after that point?
How does a love of football extend into a digital making activity (sensor football boots anyone?); what digital making activities are borne from a passion for fashion and where does a fascination with Harry Potter, Wallace and Gromit or Moshi Monsters enter into digital making? more >
For centuries, people have used subscription models to build shared assets from small personal contributions. From families buying bricks to build mosques, to the citizen subscriptions that paid for the plinth beneath the feet of the Statue of Liberty, people have banded together to make whatever contribution they can afford towards creating something greater than the sum of their parts. These early examples of crowdfunding demonstrate the age-old desire to improve the collective lot and to achieve great things at a significant scale.
Whether it be global tech businesses being grilled by the Public Accounts Committee; the launch of 4G networks or the adverts vying for pre-Christmas attention, digital technologies: computers, mobile phones, the internet, have been in the public eye quite a lot recently.
Bran Ferren (somewhat) famously said that technology is ‘stuff that doesn’t work yet’ – we don’t think of biros or belts as ‘technologies’ (that is purposefully designed and made tools), because they’re woven into everyday life and work as we’d expect. But how about ‘digital technologies’ – when will they stop being ‘technologies’ and start, simply, being the internet, apps or micro-processors? The answer, is when they become more trivial, when we recognise the implicit value in them and understand how they are constructed and work.
The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology recently released a fantastic report – “Innovating Pedagogy 2012” (pdf) (Creative Commons licenced too). The report offers 10 innovations with the potential to change education in the short to medium term. It starts with a two page executive summary – so if you don’t read anything else, take a look at that!