Join the next workshop: Families Can Create | October 12, 12 – 3pm

Families Can Create: Video
Saturday, October 12
12 – 3pm
Lyons Regional Library
 
Technology is all around us, driving progress and opening up realms of possibilities at rapid, evolving rates. We appreciate and make use of the countless conveniences it affords. But rarely do we get the chance to pause and reflect upon the realms of possibility it can create for families. At Families Can Create workshops, you’ll learn just how exciting technology can be as a shared resource. Not only will kids, families, and community members gain awareness and develop skills around innovative tools, they’ll reignite creative energy that can be shared and grown, together.
 
Families Can Create free workshops are interactive, collaborative experiences organized around each of the Apple Everyone Can Create iBooks: Photos, Video, Music, and Drawing. Each session will offer hands-on, self-paced exploration with guidance offered in the form of prepared videos and materials alongside teachers on hand as learning partners. Last month’s session, the first of four, centered on Photos, and was a clear success, serving as inspiration for a diverse group of community members and catalyst for many early-prepped holiday cards! “This is a chance for families and community members to see and experience what technology can look like as a learning—and lifetime—tool,” says Learning Technology Coach Sarah Wegert, who organized and implements the workshops. “We’re sharing the authenticity. How students are creative producers rather than consumers.”
 
Family learning has always been a strong personal passion, Wegert shares. Prior to the Families Can Create workshops, she ran other panel-based family workshops, noticing the greatest impact happened when parents recognized what kids were doing in real time. “When Apple came out with these really great products, I saw an opportunity to really incorporate families into technology learning goals,” Wegert says. “As a district, our goals are always to support technology as a family learning tool. Through these workshops, we want families to be able to share experiences and develop capabilities with our learning devices. At the same time, they can see what a classroom might really look like with these devices, and hopefully alleviate some of the worry naturally stemming from preconceived notions around them.”
 
When Wegert began developing plans to offer the workshops, she wasted no time drumming up support. She put together a course by which interested educators could earn professional development credit by helping and learning alongside participants, and enlisted talented community members. “Over the last two years, I’ve made a personal goal of advancing my technology skills and knowledge,” says Pam Browning, Lyons Elementary Gifted and Talented Teacher, and one of the helpers earning professional credit. “Last month’s workshop was so much fun. I’ve already learned a lot personally, and it was such a pleasure seeing families sit down and really dig in together, co-learning.”
 
The Families Can Create experiences build relevant skills, applicable throughout lifetimes, Browning and Wegert emphasize. The devices are platforms for generating ideas, collaborating with others, and for self-expression. Most of all, they are fun. Students and adults alike discover outlets for putting one’s own personal stamp on projects. “It’s very important for students to have a variety of choices to showcase what they know,” Browning says. “With these tools, they are the drivers. They create products, make decisions, and personalize projects which can then be layered into even bigger projects.”
For this Saturday’s workshop, Families Can Create: Video, participants can drop in between noon and three at the Lyons Regional library and explore three facilitated learning stations created by Wegert and Lyons community member and Ascent Multimedia founder Ryan DeCesari. DeCesari brings extensive experience and passion for photography and cinematography to the table, and does so with joy, particularly when it comes to Lyons. “He is the epitome of community members coming together to share, learn, and grow,” says Wegert, who adds that DeCesari’s involvement has added an extra dimension to the upcoming workshop. “We’re infusing lots of industry language,” she says, explaining how the learning stations will be divided into pre-production, production, and post-production/editing areas, all built around Apple materials. Equipment will be provided, with groups being given two iPads, one for learning tutorials, and the other for project creation. Middle and high school students are welcome to bring their own devices as well.
 
Though facilitator and organizer, Wegert finds herself continuously learning and re-energizing through Family Can Create workshops herself. “While preparing the other day, Ryan shot a beautiful video on my iPad, just like that,” she comments. “That really shows, it’s not about the tool. It’s about the intentional decisions you make as an artist…and as a family you can add that collaborative element.”
Families, students, community members at large: be sure to check out Saturday’s Families Can Create: Video workshop and the two to follow (Music, Drawing). Check out the new Lyons Regional Library website for other upcoming dates, and mark your calendars! Guaranteed, you’ll come away having learned something. Even better, you’ll have had so much fun sharing the experience you may not even realize it.