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The Rendez-vous RÉCIT: creative laboratory

Can I start a creative lab in my community? What material do i need? Where to start and what are the approaches to favor in such a space? The RÉCIT Webinar on Creative Laboratories explored these questions and opened the door to new collaborations.

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On November 20, 6 free workshops were offered online by RÉCIT in order to introduce educational actors to various themes that can be explored within the framework of the Digital action plan in education. The recordings of these workshops as well as the resources presented are available on the RÉCIT website.

Can I start a creative lab in my community? What material do i need? Where to start and what are the approaches to favor in such a space? It is to explore these questions that Pierre Lachance, Andrée-Caroline Boucher, Christine truesdale and Thomas stenzel hosted their 60 minute webinar. A most enlightening presentation which also opened the door to new collaborations between the promoters of creative lab projects.

Why?

Creative laboratories are not yet very widespread in Quebec schools. Some communities were pioneers such as the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board (we invite you to listen to the École branchée Educational Rendez-vous with Mathieu Dubreuil entitled Small Fab Lab will become big: the visionary project of the CSMB). At the start of the webinar, the RÉCIT and LEARN facilitators presented some of the reasons that motivate schools to set up creative laboratories:

  • A new way of integrating digital: a creative space where digital material is made available to students;
  • A space focused on autonomy and creativity that promotes interdisciplinarity;
  • An innovative strategy to train teachers and students differently;
  • A place that promotes collaboration and the co-construction of knowledge.

" The creative lab is not necessarily
a place is a state of mind! "

What?

The definition of the creative lab offered during the webinar is as follows:

An open learning environment allowing to design and manufacture objects integrating digital components as well as common tools and materials such as scissors, cardboard and glue.

However, the facilitators agreed that there is no single definition of the creative lab. Participants were invited to add their own contribution to the webinar visual support to complete the definition. A space of freedom, a playground, individual and collaborative projects, the pleasure of learning independently are all ideas that were shared for the occasion.

" Everyone is a learner "

How? 'Or' What?

In order to solidify the understanding of the concept, Andrée-Caroline introduced two very relevant approaches in the context of the creative laboratory.

The first is theMATIS approach which combines Maths, Arts, Technologies, Engineering and Sciences. This allows you to develop transversal skills such as creativity, expression, communication, openness, critical thinking, sensitivity, culture and wonder as shown in the infographic below. Andrée-Caroline emphasizes that integrating the arts into this pedagogical approach allows students to carry out more innovative projects.

The second approach is that of thought design, an approach stemming from the world of industrial design which encourages people to experience five stages in a loop: feeling, defining, imagining, prototyping and testing.

What if I wanna see it to believe it?

Even the most visual were served during the webinar as Pierre, Christine and Thomas offered a virtual tour of the places where they were. Pierre presented the KrëoLab CSBE, a mobile concept that moves to a new multi-purpose vehicle every two months or so. For their part, Christine and Thomas showed their open creative space, a transformed conference room where Arduino and sewing machines now mix… enough to make plastic arts teachers blush with envy!

Regardless of the model chosen, one thing was made very clear by the facilitators: beyond the equipment, it is fundamental to have humans to accompany the students in their creative exploration.

To end on a high note, André-Caroline shared an inspiring example: the interactive puppet. A project that allowed the manufacture of puppets whose eyes light up thanks to microcontrollers that adjust to the brightness of the room.

After that?

The facilitators invited the teachers to visit the RÉCIT training course on creative laboratories. Set up as part of the PAN, this course offers testimonials from teachers, questions to start your exploration, technological aids and self-training.

The RÉCIT team also underlined that it can travel to different settings to support the teams in their creative laboratory project. Finally, she invited all those interested to visit the labs already in place in order to benefit from each other's expertise. And above all, she invited them to work in a network to explore, set up, document and share!

You can find the presentation and resources presented in this workshop at the RÉCIT creative laboratories website.

Will you be the next to embrace the Creative Lab?

To see thefull webinar, click below or this way.

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About the Author

Alexane Saint-Amant-Ringuette
Alexane Saint-Amant-Ringuette
Alexane is the editor of the École branchée online news feed. She has a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of British Columbia as well as a master's degree in intercultural mediation from the University of Sherbrooke. She also acts as a communications advisor for the organization Idée Éducation entrepreneuriale.

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