Dear Hive NYC Learning Network,
Did you hear that Hive HQ hired an Archivist? You may be asking yourself, Arch-WHAT?
Are you picturing something like this? Three levels below ground. A musty odor. Floor-to-ceiling steel shelves filled with stacks of papers and files accumulated over many lifetimes. And somewhere in those piles, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find a document that unlocks a mystery from the past…
Well, archives have come a long way in the digital age. But at its core and via whatever platform, an archives is still about the collection, preservation, organization, and access of information and records.
As the Archivist/Historian of Hive NYC Learning Network, my job is to set up the systems and guidelines for us—Hive NYC Learning Network member organizations and partners, Hive NYC HQ, The New York Community Trust, Hive Digital Media and Learning Fund, youth educators, youth participants—to collaboratively build the archives to better share the story of Hive NYC.
When I think of documenting Hive NYC’s past and present, I picture a set of living documents on project methods, materials, and outcomes that can be used and shared…
Through the collection and organization of records (grant proposals, final reports), media assets (photos of youth programs, videos of youth work, digital curriculum), ephemera (flyers, post-its) and narrated memories (meet-ups, share-outs), we can map out and make accessible a multimedia narrative of the Hive NYC Learning Network community that shows who we are, what we do, where we’ve been and where we are, in the hopes that it will help us make informed decisions about where we would like to go.
The innovative model of the Hive Learning Networks means that the narrative is non-linear, non-traditional and features many players, connections and environments. The “how” of each Hive project is just as critical to the narrative as the finished product. Most importantly, crafting this evolving story is an ongoing and interactive endeavor co-authored by each of you.
I am working to ensure that this shared authorship will be useful and meaningful to you as you continue the amazing work you do with youth on digital media learning. This sharing and transfer of your knowledge will allow other members in the network to learn from you, build on that knowledge and remix it for the needs of the youth they serve, then pay it forward by sharing/resharing that knowledge.
If you have Hive NYC Learning Network documents, best practices, or reflections collecting dust somewhere, send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thou shalt not let the Hive NYC Learning Network Archives collect dust on your digital shelf.
Here are a few snapshots of the Hive NYC Learning Network story based on the contributions you’ve already made to the Hive NYC Archives thus far.
A quick by-the numbers guide to Hive Digital Media Learning Fund grants:
How are we connected? Here’s a map showing Hive NYC Learning Networks’s project partnerships:
Check out all of the connections you’ve already made within the 40 member organizations of Hive NYC Learning Network! These don’t even include the connections forged among the partner organizations of the lead grantee.
Think about all the exchange of information, ideas and knowledge that occurred during those (seemingly endless) planning meetings, educator debriefs, youth workshops, evaluations, culminating events, etc.
The Hive NYC Learning Network Archives is the first step in documenting and putting all of these assets— created and tested by you, your peers and your youth—out in the open. We’re building a living and accessible archives, so sharing your materials and your process while your project unfolds is key. The final version of a curriculum is great, but when I get to read and share an early iteration and a final version, the learning value amplifies.
Zoom out of NYC for a moment, and you’ll be able to find similar networks in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto with many more set to launch in the near future. Remember Chris Lawrence’s post on the Mozilla Mentor Community and Michelle Thorne and Laura Hilliger’s post on Mozilla Webmaker Mentors?
Your and your youth’s experience, ideas and knowledge of teaching, learning and making in a digital age will help inform this ecosystem and provide concrete examples of what this work looks like on the ground— in local and relevant contexts. Boom, your sphere of influence just got global. Just last week, educators from Athens, Greece, looking to develop a Hive Athens, requested archival materials on museum-based Hive NYC Learning Network projects so in order to figure out how best to develop collaborations with Greek museums.
From your documentation of Hive NYC projects thus far, you’re already begun to mentor a new Hive community across the pond. But this is only the beginning! As mentors of Hive Learning Networks, how can we share, reflect and document our knowledge and experience of each project in a way that would be meaningful to other people and organizations who care about connected learning?
The Mozilla team is building the infrastructure and scaling a DIY instructable for youth, but you hold the content, be it a curriculum on filmmaking, ways to retain youth engagement in their projects, or strategies to strike the balance between youth-driven interests and best practices in youth development. And you know, content is king.
The Hive NYC Learning Network Archives is a work-in-progress and it ought to be relevant to you on a day-to-day, as well as on a “big picture” basis. While this post is mostly about the creation and sharing of your content, the archives and its larger contexts of Connected Learning and the Mozilla Mentor Community, also strives to facilitate your learning and making around innovative education practices. So please do share your thoughts, your ideas and suggestions will help make the archives relevant and applicable to you, the users.
Stay tuned for some Hive NYC-style DIY archiving.