Learn to Teach , Teach to Learn / Program the World!
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Program the World!

Page history last edited by Jen Calipari 9 years, 4 months ago

Program the World!

Saturday 8 January 2010     


South End Technology Center @ Tent City


We sent out an evite to all former applicants to Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn and our community organization partners. 


Former Youth teachers attending the workshop:

Dahrell Rush                         Susanna Yee

Xia Josiah-Faeduwor            David Solomon

Tiffany Renta                        Shikari Brown

Tien Dao                              Albertine Samson


Potential new youth teachers attending the workshop:

Name                              Community Organization              

Jhameyka Delisme              Rosindale Community CenterRuben Dejesus                  Roslindale Community Center                                   

Jenny Nguyen                    Archdale Community CenterRafael Baez                       Archdale  Community Center                                     

Denasia Mitchell                Franklin Park Tenants Association                           Zareah Esperance               Franklin Park Tenants Association                     

Jarvaris Lacorse                 Franklin Park Tenants Association                            

Bernande Saintil                 Franklin Park Tenants Association                            

Kevin Lewis                        Franklin Park Tenants AssociationStanley Gourgue                Mandela Homes                             

Rikeira Hinds                     Former L2TT2L Applicant                                      


Program the World introduced youth to physical computing and fabrication tools using Modkit, a drag-and-drop Arduino programming platform with a graphical interface.  The youth built a Modkit Crimp Card and added sensors and actuators (in this case, an LED light) with no breadboards or soldering required. 


The activity is featured in the upcoming Make Magazine as an article by Ed Baafi:




There will be a lesson plan and step by step instructions posted on the website soon for teachers who want to use Modkit in the classroom.  Ed Baafi and Colin Residorf, Modkit inventors, were instructors in our Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn workshop today. This workshop also served to test out their lesson plan with young people.  Ed Baafi is also one of the Co-Coordinators of the Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program.


The workshop started out with the eating of lots of pizza and an icebreaker led by former youth teacher David Solomon. 


Then they had a lot of fun building their crimp cards in small groups.    Former youth teacher Susanna, a former youth teacher, freshman at Massachusetts College of Art and a Microsoft Intern said it was way easier than breadboards.


Modkit Inventor and Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Co-Coordinator Ed Baafi explains the project to a group of workshop participants.



Former Youth teachers Shikari and Xia, working with Bernande, Zareah and Rikeira



Jean Lespinasse, Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Coordinator at our Franklin Park Hub, follows directions from the Make Magazine article with Returning Youth Teacher Dahrell, as well as Stanley from Mandela Homes and Kevin from Franklin Park.



David Hill, from the MIT Media Lab helps Jhameyka and Rafael, both from Archdale

Community Center begin building their Crimp Cards.



Kevin from Franklin Park works on putting together his Crimp Card.



Rikeira works on her Crimp Card!



Jenny from Archdale, Zareah from Franklin Park and former youth teacher Beckett (now studying Chemical Engineering at University of Massachusetts Amherst!) put together their Crimp Cards.



The young people hooked up their Crimp Cards to an Arduino Board and connected the Arduino Board to the computer to program:


Colin Reisdorf, Co-Inventor of the Modkit, helps Denasia from Franklin Park program her Crimp Card using an Arduino Board



Jhameyka from Archdale Community Center finished early and began helping Ruben from Roslindale Community Center to program his Crimp Card with Arduino so it had an alternating blinking pattern across three LED lights.


why this kind of peer-to-peer learning is important.  Jean Lespinasse, the L2TT2L Co-Coordinator of the Franklin Park Hub and David Hill a Morehouse alumni and current MIT Media Lab graduate student spoke about how amazing it is that they naturally partner up with each other as peers and help each other grasp the concepts, how that shared learning experience is powerful.  They talked about how  this cross-training, peer-to-peer. accelerates learning curve and learning process for the young people more than a didactic approach.  Helping each other, increases the confidence of the young people as they quickly pick up on new vocabulary and enhance their learning. Jean and David talked about how there is often some kind of in young people in our community  --- they don't want to appear be either too know-it-all or don't want to appear as though they don't understand.   Working side by side with their peers helps them be more comfortable. and promote a culture helps young people get along more with learning.



Ed Baafi and Colin Reisdorf, the inventors of Modkit got essential feedback that they are excited about putting to us as they edit their Maker Magazine instruction page on the web (which will be also available online soon at their own site, www Modk.it). 


As far as materials go, next time, they will use glue sticks instead of elmer's glue and get more needle nose pliers to help the process along.


David Hill from the MIT Media Lab thought today's activity went very well because it catered well to the young people.  He knew that because all of them were engaged for the whole 4 hour and there were very few moments when they got bored.  He lso thought there was a good mix of experience levels.  Learn 2 Teach Teach 2 Learn Former Youth Teachers collaborated with students who had no prior experience with electronics so the less experienced were able to complete their projects.  David's feedback was that the activity worked well because Ed and Colin from Modkit had a clear outline and a clear plan to follow.


Jean Lespinasse, the Co-Coordinator of the Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Franklin Park Hub thought the activity was great for the first time out.  It was a good day with the hands-on activity and he liked the experience it provides to the young people,. His suggestions for improving the activity was to replace the long article with an activity sheets with more diagrams and fewer words, to  have a more reorganized and more sequenced instruction because some problems arose while young people were assembing the crimp cards --- not being sure how to do it caused their frustration to increase and their attention to drop off at moments.   Jean suggests that to improve the step by step construction guide, add an illustration that shows young people what goes where --- just before it's assembled as the pieces are going into to board.  This would make the young people more independent in building because Jean noticed that the groups were dependent on instructors to work through the process. Having detailed illustrations is a way to ease the dependence so they can get it themselves. 









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