An Ideal Learning Day

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Today I finally got out for the first Young Creators learning day. This is the core activity I wanted to do on a regular basis over summer break, but so far it has been a busy summer. My daughter (pictured above) and I took the train downtown to the Apple store. She has been doing a lot of digital art on her new iPad, using an app called Procreate, but had run into some tech issues. One of the things I love about Apple are their free sessions offered regularly at their store on topics like iPhone photography, sketching on an iPad, and other tips and tricks for customers to do more with their Apple products. It’s brilliant product marketing, but I’m OK with that because I’ve largely drunk the kool-aid that Apple cares about education and promoting creativity with their products. The sketching class was too basic for my daughter, but at the end, she got to hang with one of their employees who was also a digital artist, and he helped her troubleshoot the issues and recommended a few other apps to try out.

From there, we strolled down to the main branch of the Chicago Public Library, where on the first floor is one of their hidden jewels, the YouMedia space for teens. In there can be found a wealth of workstations covering DIY Maker areas such as music production, digital art, STEM & robotics, 3D printing, video games, and fashion crafting. Teens are largely able to hang out, work on their own thing, collaborate if they wish, while having experienced mentors around to help them if they need or want it. Adults aren’t allowed to interfere either, so while she was there I headed upstairs to catch up on e-mails and read the paper.

I had hoped to invite and meet other like-minded families, but it was only us today. I know this will be a long-term proposition of building a community with similar ideas and vision, but for today, it was a great way to spend a few hours with my daughter. My goal is to schedule more of these, at least once a week, and invite others to join in.

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