Here is the first draft version of how Build2Learn Works. We wrote it up a couple of months ago. Feel free to add your comments and questions.
What is Build to Learn?
Build to Learn is an initiative to help students and beginners learn by building small usable product prototypes. It is mostly about software but we have had a few groups build small hardware prototypes as well.
How does it work?
There are four types of participants in a Build to Learn Event.
This group may be 2 to 5 people who help organize the event, connect learners/builders to experts and make sure that everyone is engaged in learning or building things.
This group varies and some of them may be builders and learners as well. Each one of these members is an expert in a certain area like a programming language, framework, microservices, IOT etc. These volunteers may lead a small team of builders. They help break down large tasks into smaller ones and distribute them to learners. Most of them also act as lead developers/engineers in a team. In every event about 10-15% are volunteers. Organizers also act as volunteers in most of the events.
This is the core community for a Build to Learn event. These participants actively participate in building prototypes with the help of experts. They come up with their own ideas or join an existing team. They may work alone or in teams. Each one of them has a goal to learn a specific skill or build.
Sometimes people are just curious about Build to Learn events. They come to see what is happening and may end up working with teams. Some of the visitors later convert to Learners/Builders or Volunteers/Experts.
Typical Flow of an Event
A typically Build to Learn event runs from 3 to 4 hours.
- Welcome and Introductions – The organizers welcome the group. Participants introduce themselves and describe their project idea or their learning goals.
- After introductions, we form small teams and start working on building their product prototypes.
- During the event, volunteers/experts go around helping teams.
- We normally end with discussions/demos and group photos.