Stop Thinking… Start Doing !!

 

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Hello….. I have missed you !!!

It’s been a hectic time here at Liverpool Girl Geeks and personally I’m ‘done’ – stick a fork in me 🙂 Would I have it any other way? That’s a big NO! … You see, I’m kind of a ‘doing stuff’ junkie lol….. and (warning!) I’m going to try to persuade all of you to do the same… today… by retelling a tale that happened a long time ago. It’s about “thinking v doing”.  Many years ago now Mark and I decided to take up a hobby to get into shape… we were feeling that “We don’t do enough exercise” itch, and needed to scratch. So, I took up boxing and Mark took up ice hockey. Mark, being a meticulous academic worked out a schedule, ordered boots, researched ice hockey, found out when training sessions were and worked out his plan of attack. Six weeks later… and the time was ‘right’. He was finally totally prepared and… finally…. took to the ice… only to break his wrist at the first attempt lol

In the meantime … I just got stuck straight in….

… so by the time Mark actually set skate on the ice, I was already six weeks INTO training with Colin Oates ex-professional British Boxer, AMAZING trainer and Ju-Jitsu master from Dragonfly Ju-Jitsu, also now my very good friend!! What’s more my bones were all intact 🙂 Now, even though I hung up my gloves some time later, I never forgot the training he gave me and skill I gained. But much more than that, me and Mark never forgot the the lesson we learned. You can plan and plan and wait and wait until the time is ‘right’ to do something… or, you can just start… immediately… and figure things out as you go along. Problem with planning and waiting is that you can end up over-thinking stuff and never actually get going at all! We both now just get on with “the doing” and work out everything else as we go along.   If you wait for the time to be ‘right’ or for you to stop feeling uncomfortable with starting something, you can end up waiting a very long time. Life’s short! Everyone remembers what it is like to start something new and there will be people to help you along the way. Best advice we can give you from our own experience is to start today and get stuck into whatever it is you want to get stuck into… you’ll figure it out 🙂

On that note…

Favourite things this month: not so much a list as just a flavour of things. They’re all waaaay too big to go into detail here lol. 

I had the honour of presenting with the HEdWorks project at the MakerFaireUK (go have a look) this month as part of the MEWG Board

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It was amazing as usual and thrilling to see so many Makers and friends. I can hardly fit it into a blog post.

Highlights though were seeing DefProcoomlootDoESLiverpool with #MFUKLC. A totally fun Laser Challenge (Round 2 will be taking place at Liverpool MakeFest on 27th June…see later #LivMF)

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Seeing LJMU students as part of the HEdWorks project showing their work and talking to the public about making and getting involved with technology for learning was great.

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Catching up again with makers extraordinaire Mitch and Jimmie after a full year since their last visit to us and getting to chat about how the HEdWorks Project has grown since their wonderful advice last year.

Meeting some seriously cool peeps from The Rebel Legion (Firemen eat your hearts out… lol)

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Getting to just teach kids to solder, build robots and code and seeing our fellow MEWG board members Brett & Mark (Who are both a godsend!!) get really stuck in…

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Seeing the amazing amount of generous, talented people #MakerFaireUK  all of whom had the maker ethos and shared their knowledge freely.  CodeBug’s Kickstarter project went from strength to strength (btw go check that out !!)

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Putting my foot right in it with Adrian and JR had to be the funniest moment.
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The whole event is hard to explain, but think of the best show and tell of technology based projects, art, coding and fun stuff, and you’ll get an idea…

OR, one better come to Liverpool MakeFest that me and Mark Co-founded in February and see for yourselves 🙂

See also Culture Liverpool, thank you btw 🙂

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Talk about running with a project. We had a chance encounter (and as it turned out, a very happy one) with LibraryDenJ on Valentine’s weekend. We’d gone to see the new library interior and happened to bump into her in the kid’s Discover Library where Chinese Lantern making was on the go. An hour later we’d decided between the three of us to hold Liverpool MakeFest, a free event celebrating all things makey in the north-west so that anyone could get involved or simply come along and enjoy the cool geeky things going on in Liverpool. Two weeks later we’d mustered an amazing committee of dedicated, like-minded people (including some of #LGG) together and put a call out to makers to exhibit… six weeks after that, Liverpoollib was full – the maker community in the north west had come out in force to put on what will hopefully be the COOLEST event in Liverpool this summer – Thank You! As a result of everyone’s hard work and true maker spirit we have over 60 maker stalls / businesses / activities / workshops / demos going on, with everything from IoT to daleks, from textiles to robots, from minecraft to woodcraft… and a whole lot in between 🙂 And best of all… it’s entirely FREESo come along to Liverpool Central Library 10am til 5pm on Saturday June 27th and enjoy the fun!

Some of the amazing makers and tech businesses who are coming to @lpoolmakefest

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If you go to one thing on my page this time, go to this… #LivMF 🙂

If you would also like to support Liverpool MakeFest just Tweet #supportLivMF to @LpoolMakeFest with your logo / twitter pic and we’ll add you to the ‘supported by’ list on the Liverpool MakeFest webpage 🙂

Liverpool Girl Geek’s Coding courses …

codeIt’s not all been Makefest though… with my LGG hat on at a suitable jaunty angle I also got to run the first Liverpool Girl Geek “#getyourheadaroundcode” session. It was a great night and I met some amazing women who all want to learn to code for a variety of projects.

It reminded me just how much we need sessions like these for women to get involved with building and coding their own futures. We had everything from “I want to build wearable tech” to”I want to teach children interesting projects” and “I want to get involved so I can start up a business“.

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The range of ideas was impressive and by the end of the evening everyone had written and understood basic code and even built a simple Ardunio project. We then got to muck about with the new Ozobot’s that mine and Mark’s friends in California had sent us for Liverpool MakeFest – a little early preview 😉 Thank you again @OZOBOT !

 

They are SOOOOO cool. Perfect for kids and addictive for adults… coding using colour with pens… want to see more? They will be demoing at Liverpool Makefest and can be found here 🙂11150639_760598234038711_5979589304511237514_n

 

 

 

 

If your interested, I’m running another ” Get your head around code” session In July … see LGG page… can just about squeeze it in before my wedding lol… (It’s creeping up on me …excited )!!

 

MELSIG…

The final Project that I have been involved with made me very proud this month – Melsig (Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group). It’s an 18 month long project that has finally come to pass …  The Smart Learning Book . Twenty Eight of the most amazing educational innovators from all over the country got involved to collaborate on this book project. This is the result.

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For a Teacher, it is a must! The people I got to work with on this are true innovators and I was honoured to be asked to contribute. My paper is entitled “The Tardis Effect” which I wrote with Mark about the affect mobile technology has had on teaching and learning. The whole book is full of great tips for how to teach with technology!! It’s one of my “Proudest Projects” and has been fantastic to be involved in – MELSIG is such a supportive network.

Andrew Middleton the lead of Melsig (get involved here) worked tirelessly to edit everyone’s papers and all of us peer reviewed every chapter. The book itself is a real reflection of what the future of education looks like.

So I guess it’s been a bit of a busy month or so for me… BUT… I have to say it’s been magical and worth every second! Mark Twain was right, the secret of getting ahead IS getting started lol!!! So why not start doing something today. There’s always plenty of people to give you support and encouragement on these pages 😉

P.S I promise to blog more when I have time … @ka81.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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