Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope

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Mary Webber | Creative Specialist | Brilliant Labs

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO CREATE A COMMUNITY TV SHOW Inspired by families wanting to learn at home during COVID-19 lockdown

Tapping into the world of television and continuing to promote our learning philosophy at home for kids has long been on the radar for Brilliant Labs. Who would have thought that the time to start would have been when everyone was working from home and not able to be in the same room? The day the world changed and kids were sent home, unprepared for the huge task of finishing the school year from their kitchen tables, the gap in at home technology and reliable internet coverage became glaringly evident. Brilliant Labs was buzzing with ideas, we had jumped into action with #MakerFun. These online project prompts are something that kids can do at home with minimal supervision, making something out of what they might find in an average kitchen 22

Brilliant Labs Magazine Revue Labos Créatifs

junk drawer. These prompts are connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which also encouraged discussions and learning with an impactful context. These were well received by students, parents and teachers alike, which was great! High fives all around! But what about the hundreds of kids across the Atlantic provinces that did not have access to a device, reliable internet, or even an adult that had time to sit down with them to work on a project? These were the kids that we knew needed us the most, and we needed a way to reach them. After the initial weeks of working from home went by, we were all well acquainted with working as a team on online video platforms, constantly checking in with each other through video calls.

Community TV doesn’t need a strong internet signal or an adult to be on standby. This is something that just might be able to brighten a kids day with some simple follow along project ideas and countless meaningful learning opportunities! A small task force was formed and we were off to the races bouncing ideas off of each other, creating at home studios and doing some preliminary outreach to cable companies. The first episode of MakerFun was born, and thankfully did not resemble Wayne’s World or Bob and Doug Mackenzie, in fact…it was pretty darn good. Our community TV group has since grown, and includes teachers, students, parents, artists and other specialists, each one contributing many hours on and off