Exploring Future Career Skills Gets Structure from DIY site
DIY is a community for elementary age students where taking on challenges, building skills and developing a portfolio of ideas sparks creativity and learning. It is important to give kids an outlet to experiment while creatively testing their interest. YouTube and Vimeo created a new worldwide pastime of watching videos created to teach, share and showcase talents. However it can feel like the wild west out there, with little structure or parental controls. DIY.org is a safe, kid friendly environment monitored by humans prior to posts going live.The community feel is encouraging and challenging. It’s designed to develop new skills within creative kids.
A key ingredient to its cleverness, is the “Challenges” model of DIY. There are more than 130 skills to develop. Patches are earned after demonstrating the completion of the challenges. Skills are designated to complete the challenges posted. The iOS app allows the projects to be captured and easily shared on the site. Other members can comment encouragement and questions on the posted pictures and videos. They can also mark a challenge as favorite. It takes at least three projects within a challenge to earn a skill. The projects are viewed by a DIY Skillmaker to confirm the completion. The student receives an electronic patch and has the option to purchase the embroidered patch as well. They are similar in nature to a Boy Scout or Girl Scout merit badge.
Members are encouraged to post any projects that relate to the challenge in their portfolios. For example if a member wants to post more recipes in the cooking challenge then required to earn the patch, they are welcome to do so. Skills are varied including; Beatmaker, Mechanical Engineer and Fashion Designer. At three projects completed you earn a patch and after 6 projects you are considered to have Master Skill ranking. There is great flexibility in projects as each skill has a range of 10 – 20 challenges from which to choose.
If you are looking for a way to keep your kids engaged and motivated during the summer months – this just might be the way to do it. They have great projects and the structure and reward system is built right in to the community. Exploring skills and interest can be a launching point in pursuing future careers, or it can just be for the pure fun of the quest for patches.
DIY was created by Zach Klein. He started developing websites in high school, helped earn money in college building websites for small businesses and eventually built and sold Vimeo, the video sharing service he sold in 2006. He wants kids to have the experience of exploring their skills and refine those that become meaningful to them.
I want to be 8 years old again!
Quote from their website
“DIY is a platform for kids and teens to learn virtually anything. We do this by building tools for learners to try new skills – more than 140 – and providing mentors to guide them. Our big idea is that anyone can become anything just by trying and getting feedback and encouragement from peers, everything we do is to make sure that happens.”