Mar 04 2015

Peer Learning and Building: Project Portfolio Update

Connected Learning, Hive Learning Networks, Teaching Resources

For the past several weeks, Hive NYC HQ has been involved in a team-wide sprint to update its online project portfolio with reflections, discoveries and assets from recently completed Hive Digital Media Learning Fund projects and partnerships. During this process, a total of 15 portfolio entries have been added, providing a snapshot of Hive NYC’s community of practitioner-leaders at work.

New Members, New Concerns

Some of Hive NYC’s most recent community members are featured in the new portfolios, illustrating the ways that Hive’s expanded membership structure serves to enliven the network with fresh concerns and practices. Brooklyn College Community Practice, who so eloquently described the impact and role of Hive in its organizational development, brings their commitment to creating inclusive, community-negotiated processes to their project Design, Collaborate, Integrate. The Knowledge House and Tech Kids Unlimited are two organizations that have been involved with Hive for less than a year, but whose active roles as co-designers and partners (with The POINT and Wagner College of Education respectively) have led to two collaborations that focus on specific neighborhoods and concerns. Read more about Digital Equity and Social Activism Project‘s South Bronx events and Wagner TecKids U Lab‘s focus on providing participatory opportunities for Staten Island kids who learn differently. The new portfolio entries also show Hive organizations working together in both new and old configurations. For example, Lower East Side Girls Club and Willie Mae Rock Camp  (though new to Hive NYC) capitalized on pre-existing relationships and long-held commonalities for their collaboration Making Waves: The Science of Sound. Meanwhile, Hive organization Beam Center capitalized on funding to pilot Steel Pan Lab, featuring new artists and practices.

Considering Spread and Scale

Although Hive’s catalytic funding arm has always been structured to enable organizations to try out new ideas and build them incrementally, the past year has seen a specific focus on projects, tools and practices with an ability to grow and impact new and larger audiences. Cooper Hewitt’s Digital Badges for Higher Learning and Reel Works / Urban Arts Partnership’s Youth Media Badges boldly take on the challenge of building prototypes and models for others to leverage. These projects specifically look to digital badges as a way to codify shared practices and illustrate stakeholder alignment. MOUSE’s Webmaker Institute also grapples with idea dissemination, creating web-focused activities that illustrate Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map to Hive community members, MOUSE program sites and webmakers everywhere. Other portfolios show organizations engaging adaptation and adoption of pre-existing models in their work. For examples, see Museum of the Moving Image‘s methodology remix in Young Rewired State NYC and Groundswell Game Challenge‘s adoption of the Hive Movable Game Jam as a way to promote visual literacy amongst programs and participants.

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Professionals and Pathways

Hive’s project portfolio has always featured a diverse range of collaborators and participants. But several recent portfolios seem to illustrate an explicit desire to engage varied stakeholders to ensure project success and real-world relevance: City Lore‘s Digital Comics for Social Change brought in filmmaker Ram Devineni, whose digital comic Priya’s Shakti inspired the project; NYC SALT‘s Smartphone Photography Project worked with a team of professional photographers and editors; Girls First Digital Studio was visited by STEM professionals from Brain POP and other local companies; Playable Fashion embarked on a cross-borough tour to recruit youth to work with professional game designers; Youth Voices Inquiry Project brought students and teachers together to learn and design as peers. From architects / urban planners to steel pan instrumentalists, Hive leaders and community members made a concerted effort to enrich their programs with inspiring visitors and professional colleagues.

Hive as Depth

As Mark Surman noted in his summer 2014 blog post, “How Do We Get Depth and Scale?,” Hive provides an ongoing example of the depths that a committed community can reach when it works in concert with rigor and focus. Whether it is building shareable resources like MOUSE’s Webmaking Teaching Kit, Playable Fashion’s Glove Activity Guide or the Smartphone Photography Project‘s extensive documentation of curriculum resources, these programs highlight Hive NYC’s collective knowledge base. The updated portfolio provides examples (and exemplars) of peer-developed products and practices, like the Hive Youth Meet-up, where common concerns are leveraged to help iterative, cross-organizational solutions both develop and grow.

 

 

Photos courtesy NYC SALT Smartphone Photography Project

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