Next Practice Labs – taking makerspaces to the next level

This project will be undertaken by Associate Professor Kjetil Sandvik, University of Copenhagen, and Assistant Professor Klaus Thestrup, Aarhus University, along with a network of partners: DOKK1, a public library and open urban space in Aarhus, that is currently experimenting with different kinds of makerspaces, The LEGO-lab situated at Computer Science, Aarhus University, that over the years has developed a number of work space activities on children and technology, Katrinebjergskolen, a public school that is currently building a new multi-functional rooms, that among other things are meant for makerspaces and new combinations of media and materials. DOKK1 will join as a non-beneficiary partner. Furthermore, the project is part of a larger network in Denmark consisting of daycare institutions children age 1-6 years old and some of these institutions (in Aarhus and the neighboring city of Vejle) will participate in some of project’s activities. The institutions involved therefore cover children in different non-formal and formal educational settings from 1 to 15 years old. An advisory board will part of the Danish network.

As its core methods the project will build on action research and the concept of Next Practice Labs which is a combined pedagogical and research method to engage children, staff and researchers, where the focus is the joint development of the next practice based on mutual play and experiments. These labs can be in pre-defined spaces or erected momentarily according to needs but include in principle all media and all materials in combinations, where new uses of technology and narratives or new technologies and narratives can be invented. The laboratory itself is open to new combinations and open to the surrounding world through digital and global communication.

In these next practice labs the idea of the makerspace will be used and taken to the next level and include communication, play and experimenting to create a situation, where the participants in the makerspace can use any emerging technology and continuously unfold and develop digital literacy and creativity across different makerspaces. This will happen in a process, where DOKK1, Katrinebjergskolen and The LEGO-Lab each in the first phase will develop and run locally functioning Next Practice Labs, then in the second phase start exchanging and producing with each other and in the third and final phase communicate out towards other makerspaces and groups inside and outside the group of partners including other institutions in the network. The Next Practice Labs will therefore both take part in different institutions and across institutions. Robot technology, programming and other actual digital production and communication technologies will be part of the experiments.

Workshop with bluescreen: The Blue Room, Aarhus University and Katrinebjergskolen

Workshop with Mindcraft: The Fabulous Mindcraft Remix, Katrinebjergskolen

Mediaplay workshop: digital cameras, computers and toys, daycare institution Mejsen, Aarhus

Catch-me-if-you-can with digital camera, daycare institution Mejsen, Aarhus

Creating sensory space, daycare institution Paddehatten, Vejle

Experiments with green screen app for iPad, daycare institution Asebo, Vejle

New makerspace facility Boksen, Katrinebjergskolen

Maker-fair 2016, DOKK1

Our method: next practice lab

Our method: action based research

Our method: guidelines for parents

Our method: creating at eye-level

Our method: 3 modes in creating new practices (1)

Our method: 3 modes in creating new practices (2)

Our method: 3 modes in creating new practices (3)

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