Hive Berlin Speed Geeking: How’d it go?

The Results

For last week’s Hive Berlin Speed Geeking, we had a solid turnout of 30-40 participants, including a few families. (yay!) For three hours, we hacked at learning stations where participants could hop in and make something.

The event was generously hosted at Supermarkt, a very fitting platform for these kinds of experiments and budding communities. The station leaders came from a range of backgrounds: school teachers, open source contributors, youth program directors, designers, and all sorts in between.

The goal of the event was for these leaders to showcase their offerings and to connect with other individuals and Berlin institutions working at the intersection of learning and digital tools. It’s also an opportunity to find new collaborators or ways to extend existing curricula within the city.

The Stations

The stations we had running were:

  • Art Bots by Ela Kagel of Supermarkt. Wire up a little robot that draws on paper. Learn about electronics and crafts.
  • Learning with Wikis by Twoonix. Set up wikis to organize school activities and educational materials. Learn about collaborative editing.
  • Popcorn as a Marketing Tool by Robert Seibel. Remix live web content into an online video. Learn how to pitch a product using video.
  • Popcorn Maker by Laura Hilliger of Mozilla. Craft interactive media pages using fun templates. Learn how to augment videos with live data and content.
  • Stop Motion Animation by Jan Rooschüz of kijufi Landesverband Kinder- & Jugendfilm Berlin e.V. Film a stop animation video using sets & pieces you design. Learn about film composition and storytelling.
  • Twitteratur by Christine Kolbe. Analyze classic German literature using Twitter. Learn about text analysis and composition in brief form.
  • Thimble by John Bevan of Mozilla. Hack webpages and play short games in a two-pane code editor. Learn introductory HTML & CSS.
  • 3D Printing by The Build or Buy Store in Betahaus. Try out a 3D printer and play with objects made with different materials and techniques. Learn about new ways of manufacture and customization.
  • Editing Wikipedia by Wikimedia Germany. Get started editing Wikipedia by typing a few lines of text and formatting them. Learn about wiki markup and collaborative editing.
  • Send Flowers to the World by Mark Shillitoe. Paint a vase of flowers on an iPad. Learn about different kinds of brush stokes, painting techniques, and composition.

The Next Steps

We closed the event with a discussion about how it went & what participants would like to do next.

The feedback was quite positive. There was helpful advice on explaining the event more effectively (it was hard for several people to know the target audience), and how to get more participants (recommendations for communication channels and partners to bring more young people for next time).

There’s interest in trying similar formats at schools and at educational events in Berlin.

To that end, we’ve started a mailing list. Please join if you’re interested in getting involved. We’ll also keep using the hashtag #hiveberlin.

Wonderfully, the director of Hive New York City Chris Lawrence was in attendance and shared his experience setting up a learning network in NYC. There will soon be a kit to help other cities start Hives and to share ideas across the larger meta-network. Really looking forward to see if Berlin can plug into that.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! Keen to see where we go next.