Archive for October 18th, 2011

October 18, 2011

Help Donald Reed !!!!

by diydonaldreed

Hey there I’m writing this post to simply ask if anyone knows any DIY projects for children. I am a nanny or “manny”, or whatever you call it, and I watch a very sarcastic and honest 8 year old. He is great but when he is bored, or whenever a dull moment happens during conversation he has no problem letting me know that I am boring him. So I have decided to look up some DIY project for him to do. But I can’t seem to find any that would amuse him. He is hard to please, to the point where if I even make him crack a smile I feel my day wasn’t a complete fail. I even thought of taken notes from the readings and letting him use my camera to make up a story or a game where I ask questions and he answers with film. I remember hearing that there are some people in class that watch children, so please I would love some advice. I have to watch him and one of his friends for 12 hours next week. So I’m planning a day, so I don’t go completely crazy.


Donald Reed

October 18, 2011

Collage Lab Part II

by StefiaMadelyne

Ariana posted her beautiful photographs in an earlier post and eloquently explained our fabulous, community-engaged, DIY Collage Lab at Creation Nation’s headquarters in Newark, NJ.  It is such a large, beautiful space and while we created, so did others around us.  There are many photos here, and I hope they do justice to the beauty of the space, the collaborative creative atmosphere, and the wonderful experience of transformative works of art in action!  Enjoy!!


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October 18, 2011

The Importance of Failing Often

by Nick Brewer

From NYC Resistor’s blog

Catarina helped me build a prototype of a “Nixie” tube illuminated with electroluminescent wire. Unfortunately the wires are too dense and too dim to work well with the ten layers of thickness, so the prototype is a beautiful failure.

I think this is an excellent example of failure in DIY education. I have found over time that I tend to make a lot of mistakes and that is completely ok. Not only am I learning in my attempts to build things, but I usually break something and have to overcome that problem to finish the project. I really like the look of these nixie tubes that Hudson was trying to go for, and he has a really good design, but the overall product just didn’t work… making it “a beautiful failure.”

Anybody else have any lessons they’ve learned through failure?

October 18, 2011

autonomous accredition

by noah

Wednesday night I took the opportunity to sit in on an incredibly intimate discussion titled “An Autonomous Alternative Accreditation Agency” led by a young Syracuse professor Thomas Gokey. The general idea of accreditation being restricted to universities is a myth so rarely questioned with such constructive criticism, and the two hours spent on our hands and knees scrubbing towards a collective yellow brick road was oh so satisfying. Before recapping the discussion it should briefly be said that developing an autonomous accreditation system is, simply said, dreaming up how to integrate a formalized education with the practice of everyday life. It is a move towards understanding academics as life and life as academics, making clear that our knowledge is extended into all that we do. Majorly, this move also invalidates the role of high tuition universities and allows for education to reflect classic equality. It is not the hope to see these institutions shut down, but rather become a democratic force than a job coupled with debt machine. Since 1978 tuition in America has raised 900% as universities have adapted into the role of banks, and if we do not collectively conceptualize a new form of education then tomorrow we won’t be able to afford the time we wasted today.

In introducing his own reimagination Thomas shared how Mozilla has embraced a network of merit badges [more info] among software developers. These merit badges can be collected from anywhere on the internet to share a history of what one knows and has achieved, adding a little prestige to one’s digital endeavors depending on the reputations of their parenting firm. Now what if we applied a similar model to our physical communities? In a reputation economy no two badges are created equal, and badges are assessed in a network of trust and reputation. Achieving badges is comparable to building a portfolio, and this portfolio of scholarship will eventually become a degree. For the remainder of the discussion we shared ideas concerning free schools and ivy league community colleges, and we eventually shared #occupytogether stories. The occupation in Los Angeles launched a free school this week, curated by Antioch’s Urban Sustainability Program and faculty of UCLA. When asking students in NYC if they have even been able to visit our #occupywallst there are frequently “no’s” excusing the experience with either school or work to pay for school when this is a moment in history affecting the way the symbolic order of the everyday is acknowledged.

A theme I’ve taken to this is a notion of time and control. What is the necessity for stabilization, homogenization through fundamentals, and the breaking of the individual spirit? Education is a pursuit of knowledge and a self-discovery in comprehensiveness, of practice, and of understanding. Let’s reflect that appropriately.