By doing good stuff based upon the interests of students and the needs of the community, EdLab encourages students to enrich the experiences of learners, youth and communities through the opportunities present in informal spaces.
Exploring Innovation in Education
EdLab enables students to explore and create innovation in education through 'real life' challenges posed by partner groups. This is supported by workshop spaces, inspiring talks, project development with outside partners and reflective practice.
EdLab is a creative space in which students can develop employment skills by engaging with 'real world' educational experiences driven by their passions.
Are you an aspiring young poet, writer or MC? Do you feel like you have something to say? This workshop will help you find your voice, respond to the issues of the day and give guidance on writing and performance.
The Feminist Webs Archive was set up in September 2008 by a group of young women, their female youth workers and allies.
The collection is ever-growing with contributions from older, feminist youth workers and consists of photographs, banners, leaflets, magazines, oral “her-stories” and various other documents that are related to feminist youth work with girls and young women. The archive is made up of a physical collection, but also an online, digital collection.
This workshop on storytelling is a chance to find out and experience digital storytelling. It will feature the work of Community Arts North West, Petrus Homeless project from Rochdale and the stories of local Hulme residents.
If you are a story teller interested in using mobile technologies or if you have already done work in this area come along to share your experiences and ideas. As part of this workshop you will have a chance to go out on a Story Trail of Hulme.
Are you interested in making your own multimedia stories on tablets/iPads or smartphones? With the freely available Our Story app, you can easily create your own story in pictures, text, audio, video or a combination of all of the four. Sharing is easy and can happen online or you can print your finished story in four different sizes.
This session is all and especially valuable for young children or those interested in working with this age group.
We will provide iPads but if you prefer to use your own device that’s fine too, just bring it along. The session will be led by Dr Natalia Kucirkova. Natalia is senior lecturer in Early Years and Childhood Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. More about Our Story projects and research is on this website:
This workshop is supported by EdLab as part of the 2016 Brooks Community Learning Festival.
This participatory seminar explores how creative walking methods can be used in education and community development. It will focus on how walking and mapping can be used to share stories, build connections and create a sense of place. It is aimed at anyone curious about these methods.No experience necessary.
We are moving beyond historical tours or walking lectures to think about creative methods and how they can enhance a wide range of subject areas. Please bring an open mind and appropriate clothing to go for a wander in the local area.
Working in groups we will complete various experiments with sound and electronics, building simple electronic instruments using circuits. Each group is given a Circuit Box, which contains useful bits of junk, salvaged from discarded computers.
We will learn how to easily make mechanical acoustic instruments from this treasure. Making new things out of junk is called ‘Upcycling’. We will experiment with basic components of circuitry and touch on electromagnetism and the workings of speaker drivers and electric motors. The sounds that we produce with our instruments can be changed, and we will explore the sonic possibilities that they offer.
We will, of course, also be testing each other’s noses and feeling 1000 watts of bass vibrations with our fingers.
This workshop is supported by EdLab as part of the 2016 Brooks Community Learning Festival.
We have created an internet-connected leaf-cutter ants nest, based in MMUs John Dalton building. The nest generates a live-feed of both imagery and movement data (the ants trigger a counter as they pass key points in the nest) – and young people are able to suggest experiments around which this data will be formed (what happens if you play classical music at one end of the nest?).
The next step is to ‘educatify’ this resource: generating as many different forms of learning. These might range to direct study of the behaviour of ants, through to understanding scientific method, understanding of evolutionary traits – or cross disciplinary use of the ants as a stimuli (stories about the hive? Art produced using the data or imagery produced?).
Explore ways in which simple materials such as copper tape and LEDs can be used as materials in the production of art, and develop ways in which this activity can form the basis of educational activity for children, young people and communities more widely. This will include the production of resources that can be used externally, and the development and implementation of pop-up and sustained workshops.
This project work grapples with way in which ‘Art’ and ‘Tech’ are related to each other in the move from ‘STEM’ to ‘STEAM’ subjects. There is a growing body of research which suggests that art (and ‘purpose’ more broadly), adds meaning to abstract STEM learning. In turn, this renders it more accessible and raises the likelihood of successful engagement by learners.
EdLab MMU and Community Arts North West have recently hosted a visit from Petrus Homeless project to the Brooks Building in Hulme. The visit inspired and supported the Hidden Rochdale project, a highly interactive digital trail that will tell the hidden stories of Petrus homeless service-users. Their goal is to take the audience on a provocative and highly engaging journey through Rochdale to uncover digital artifacts that will be concealed in the landscape.
To prepare, the EdLab MMU team worked with Hulme residents to create a mini-trail of Hidden Hulme. During the visit, this trail was explored to experiment with the use of mobile recording technologies, location aware, tagging and tracking technologies.
Photos: Lee Kirby
Mick Chesterman and James Duggan from the MMU shared advice on creating interactive, digital story trails for smart phones. Some of the key tips included.
Use simple to use, accessible tech (e.g. QR codes) and free Treasure Hunt apps for phones (e.g. Actionbound)
Always test your trails
You can integrate your codes into attractive designs to customise your trail
For the test trail we took the approach of using low cost equipment to record local activities and stories in a simple but intimate way. Codes are then displayed where the videos were recorded which draws those doing the trail into new spaces, opening up new experiences and connections to an area.
Hulme has gone through many generations of building and demolition. It has been a test bed for innovative urban renewal and environmental approaches. The site of the Birley campus and Brooks building has been a topic of much debate and dreaming over the years.
EdLab has inherited various documents which help to tell some of this story. We invite you to help us to archive them by scanning them and putting them online into the Internet Archive project. Local resident Rob Squires has another challenge for you.
These documents of Hulme’s recent history show a rich picture of what is possible with urban planning, permaculture and the imagination of local residents. How can you bring the documents to life and share the stories behind the plans?
Video of Challenge
Link to video on YouTube
More information: More information to come on the specifics of Hulme’s regeneration and educational projects that have been at the heart of it. But here are some quick links.
Young Voices performances are children’s choir concerts held in MEN Arena for up to 8,000 kids. The organisation sends out the music, CDs and DVDs of dance moves. Over the years the children in the choir have performed with artists such as Alexandra Burke, Joss Stone, and Gary Barlow as well as raising over 1 million pounds for Children’s charities such as CLIC Sargent.
Suzie Goodfellow home educator group convener sets us a challenge:
My plan is to have fortnightly rehearsals for Home Educated children to try to support the process of learning the songs and dance moves at home. I would like support from students in running these sessions. This may involve helping with welcoming and giving out materials to planning warm up activities or taking a lead on rehearsing a particular song.
Sonic Pi is computer software which creates music with simple lines of code. Designed by a ‘live coding’ enthusiast called Sam Aaron with the support of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, this simple but revolutionary approach has created a new way for young and adults alike to learn coding concepts in an extremely engaging (sometimes compulsive way).
In our Funologist experiments with Sonic Pi so far, we have found the most interesting results happen when participants do not have handouts telling them what to do. Providing them with a ‘linear’ hand out often means that those taking part follow the direction given to them rather than being led by their interest.
Conversely, a starting point and some quick references are handy. As we ask more students to support Sonic Pi workshops, we need a non-linear resource to help the process.
We are very open to different suggestions but as a starting point we are thinking that a large poster with different areas and possibilities could be a good choice. This poster should be visually appealing, encourage experimental play and also be easy to print and to edit.