The AMNH is developing a new Youth Advisory, a place to help us think about how to expand digital programs that teach science at the AMNH – video games, video production, 3D printing, social media, mobile apps and more. It will meet infrequently in person but regularly online, with self-guided activities between the in-person sessions.
This post is the first self-guided activity. But before we jump into that, a little background is in order.
To develop the advisory and focus our activities, we are engaging in a user-centric design process. To quote wikipedia, user-centric design is a process “in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.” In this case, the youth on the Advisory are the end users and the products are our educational programs. We hope both the Advisory and this process will develop youth’s leadership skills and strengthen the relationship between our programs and their needs.
To guide the process, we are utilizing tools from the d.school (aka: Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University) provided through Quarterly.com (too complicated to explain here but you can learn more). Bottom line: we and others around the country are using these design cards to create awesome experiences for others. So while we work with the youth to improve our educational programs, we will also be documenting the (#DSC04) process on this blog.
The first step is challenging the youth attending the founding session to complete a mission in advance:
AMNH Youth Advisory Mission 869: Collect Intel
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to collect intelligence on your relationship with digital media and learning.
Your tool: a camera. Pick a typical day in your life, between now and April 26th, and document your interactions with digital tools – one photo per tool – and how you experience learning – one photo per experience (and note if there are time the two overlap). You can define “digital tools” and “learning” any way you like. And your stealth mode should be set to “high” (no one looking at your photos should be able to find you).
Submit your annotated photos back to Mission Control any way you want: by email, Voicethread, Dropbox, Facebook, etc. Be prepared to report back to the Advisory on the 26th and share what you found for further analysis.
This mission is based on card #8: User-camera Study:
Ariam and I, who are designing the Advisory experience, are looking forward to the first round of responses (which you might see below, should any choose to post them here).