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Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet — Making DIY — Medium
"Childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, could be mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing."

"When I was 11 I loved designing web pages and playing Sim City. Adults in my life didn’t recognize these skills as valuable, so neither did I. Actually, I began to feel guilty for using my computer so much. In high school I stopped making web pages altogether to focus on sports. It wasn’t until college, when strapped to pay my tuition, that I picked it back up and started making sites for small businesses. I graduated and teamed up with a few others I knew with these skills and moved to New York City to work on the Internet for a living. Three years later, in 2007, we sold our company, Vimeo, to a larger, publicly traded one. That passion I first developed quietly by myself, that went unnoticed by my parents and teachers, proved to be extraordinarily valuable to the economy just ten years later and the focus of many ambitious people today.

It’s difficult to predict which skills will be valuable in the future, and even more challenging to see the connection between our children’s interests and these skills. Nothing illustrates this better than Minecraft, a popular game that might be best described as virtual LEGOs. Calling it a game belies the transformation it has sparked: An entire generation is learning how to create 3D models using a computer. It makes me wonder what sort of jobs, entertainment or art will be possible now. Cathy Davidson, a scholar of learning technology, concluded that 65% of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yet. I bet today’s kids will eventually explore outcomes and create businesses only made possible by the influence of Minecraft in their lives.

At least one business will have been inspired by the so-called game. In 2011, I co-founded DIY, the online community I wish I had when I was young. Our members use discover new skills and try challenges in order to learn them. They keep a portfolio and share pictures and videos of their progress, and by doing so they attract other makers who share their interests and offer feedback. The skills we promote range from classics likes Chemistry and Writing, to creativity like Illustration and Special Effects, to adventure like Cartography and Sailing, to emerging technology like Web Development and Rapid Prototyping. We create most of our skill curriculum in collaboration with our members. Recently the community decided to make Roleplayer an official skill; It’s a fascinating passion that involves collaboratively authoring stories in real time.

My objective with this wide-ranging set of skills, and involving the community so closely in their development, is to give kids the chance to practice whatever makes them passionate now and feel encouraged — even if they’re obsessed with making stuff exclusively with duct tape. It’s crucial that kids learn how to be passionate for the rest of their lives. To start, they must first learn what it feels like to be simultaneously challenged and confident. It’s my instinct that we should not try to introduce these experiences through skills we value as much as look for opportunities to develop them, as well as creativity and literacy, in the skills they already love.

Whether it’s Minecraft or duct tape wallets, the childhood passions that seem like fads, sometimes even totally unproductive, can alternatively be seen as mediums for experiencing the virtuous cycle of curiosity: discovering, trying, failing and growing. At DIY, we’ve created a way for kids to explore hundreds of skills and to understand the ways in which they can be creative through them. Often, the skills are unconventional, and almost always the results are surprising. I don’t think it’s important that kids use the skills they learn on DIY for the rest of their lives. What’s important is that kids develop the muscle to be fearless learners so that they are never stuck with the skills they have. Only this will prepare them for a world where change is accelerating and depending on a single skill to provide a lifetime career is becoming impossible."

[Also posted here: ]
zachklein  education  2015  unschooling  deschooling  childhood  learning  howwelearn  minecraft  passion  change  creativity  invention  cathydavidson  simcity  webdesign  discovery  failure  informallearning  game  gaming  videogames  making  webdev 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Make: Talk 018 – Isaiah Saxon of | MAKE
"Our maker this week is Isaiah Saxon (@isaiah_saxon_). He’s the co-founder of, an organization that encourages kids to make stuff and is a film director at Encyclopedia Pictura, which has made videos for the musician Bjork and others (the image above is from Bjork’s “Wanderlust” video).

He’s also working on an animated feature film about a group of DIY kids who have to rebuild civilization. Above, a gallery of screenshots of concept art for the movie (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Here’s a time-lapse video that shows how Isaiah creates his amazing artwork.

Here’s Isaiah’s answer to a question that he didn’t get to answer fully during my interview with him. My question was about Was he planning on making it a nonprofit organization or a for-profit company? Here is his answer:

We decided to structure as a for-profit startup because we know that if we create a tool that boosts kids’ creativity, that will be of tremendous value to parents. Rather than being a non-profit and begging wealthy donors to fund us, we aim to build a great service that parents are excited to pay for. We’ll never sell information about our users to advertisers and we’ll never allow advertising on the site. Membership to will include embroidered skill patches that come in the mail once earned, and potentially a kit service as well. Using a majority of the site’s features will remain free for non-members. Also, we use a very flexible Creative Commons license for all the content uploaded to the site, and our team releases much of DIY’s platform as open source on a nearly weekly basis.

MAKE profiled Isaiah Saxon and his partners at Encyclopedia Pictura in MAKE volume 30. Here’s a PDF of the article."
isaiahsaxon  encyclopediapictura  interviews  filmmaking  troutgulch  björk  animation  2012 
august 2014 by robertogreco
"For all your projects, the things you want to do and care about.
Build, learn and achieve things together.
Get inspired, support others and share your own experiences.

See how others did it. Learn about their shortcuts and hacks.
Learn from their experiences, research and process.
Fork a project, build something on top of it, and share it back to the community."

"Fork is just a project, like any other on the site. It started with a few questions, a simple idea, and a "let's try this". No investors, no big brand clients, just a "what if" idea, and some excitement to build something you really care about.

Why #Fork?
About five months ago, I wanted to learn programming, and I was searching all over the web "how to". There are tons of informations out there, in blogs, in books, Q&A sites, in tutorial videos, online courses. Well, Google has it all, right? Basically it's all there. It's great! But it was really hard to get an overview. Where to start? What do I really need to learn? Which languages should I learn? Dozens of questions.
And if you invest time you will find answers, but it's a lot of work to filter the valuable parts. That's where it get's a little bit frustrating and often that's this dangerous place where you stop, before you even really started. But there have to be hundreds, well thousands of people who stood on the exact same place than me, trying to write the first line of code. They already did all this research, curated a great set of informations and tools. Many of them developed after many tries and errors great workflows and processes to solve the hard parts.

But how did they do it?
Is there a site, that is focused on how things were done?
A site, where I can find all the things I need to get started? And at this moment I was not just thinking about programming any more, but about all kinds of projects.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place, where people shared how they did certain things? How they learned programming, how they found their dream home, how they learned to speak 3 languages in less than a year, how they opened their own coffeeshop, how they managed to travel for a year without losing their job?

We all know this feeling of having this idea and not knowing how to get there.

People are doing all this great stuff. Wouldn’t it be great to use their experiences, research, process, tools, hacks to start your own project? What if you could fork their project and develop on top of their foundation your own ideas and share them yourself?
Wouldn’t it be great while doing a certain project, to get feedback, to get support, to connect to people who are doing the same thing like you?
Building such a place sounds like a crazy idea, right? A megalomaniac idea for sure. But what can we loose?

What is #Fork?
It's a place that is dedicated to doing. A place that is focused on „How“. A place about your projects. A community of people who do great things, who help each other out.

A place to find all the information and the right people to get things started, to achieve your goals, to change things, to finish your projects. We all have great projects on our list. Let’s do them.

Where does this all go?
We don’t now yet, but we think it’s worth experimenting.
Right now #Fork is still in a kind of an Alpha Version state, where as a developer you feel still a little bit embarrassed to show it to the world, because some things are still a little bit bumpy and important features are still missing. But in order to build a great product you have to release it as fast a possible to get the important Feedback of you guys.

We don’t run this idea. You do. We are very excited to see, what you will do with it. If you have any ideas or suggestions how we could make #Fork a better place, please let us know."  make  making  makers  forking  fork  doers 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Zach Klein's Blog
“Because of DIY, I just discovered my just turned five year old can read and write. I made him a profile so he could participate in DIY with his big brother. He’s been on it constantly, messing around, posting garble, or so I thought. When I took a closer look, however, I realized he’s captioning all his videos and photos with phonetic spelling..and he seems to be completing some of the challenges all on his own. Thanks for the motivation, DIY!”
Letter from a Parent (via diy)"  reading  literacy  unschooling  self-directed  self-directedlearning  children  2014 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Zach Klein – Dorm Room Tycoon
"In this interview, Zach Klein reveals why the era of having a single career is over and why you shouldn’t start a company that you couldn’t imagine making for the rest of your life. We then touch on community building and why great communities have a few profound rules."
zachklein  vimeo  community  entrepreneurship  careers  work  2014 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Cardboarder - DIY
"When humans first layered fragile paper into heavier sheets, the Cardboarder was born. Light, but sturdy, this creature walks the Earth, making spectacular shapes from what was once trash. The Cardboarder breathes life into simple boxes, rescuing them from the clutches of recyclers."
cardboard  diy  2013  skills  making 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Introducing DIY We started building DIY a few... - Blog - DIY
"Encouraging your kids to be inventive and self-reliant now will better prepare them to participate in a world that keeps changing.

Here’s how it works today:

1. DIY kids sign up and get their own Portfolio, a public web page to show off what they make.

2. They upload pictures of their projects using or our iOS app.

3. Kids’ projects are online for everyone to see, you can add Stickers to show support.
4. You also have your own dashboard to follow their activity and to make sure they’re not sharing anything that should be private.

Kids are ready for this. They’re instinctively scientists and explorers. They’re quick to build using anything at their disposal. They transform their amazement of the world into games. They’re often drawn to learning that’s indistinguishable from play (think about bug collecting!). And, most important, they embrace technology."
2012  isaiahsaxon  darenrabinovitch  andrewsliwinski  zachklein  portfolios  applications  ios  web  online  sharing  doing  making  edg  srg  onlinetoolkit  lcproject  tcsnmy  children  digitalportfolios  diy 
april 2012 by robertogreco

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