I am so excited to write this blog today and talk about a groundbreaking event Cyberlab is hosting this week. Believe it or not, it all started with my fascination for a reality TV show called project runway, where fashion designers are thrown into a fast paced design competition through a series of timed challenges. I asked myself the question “can we do something similar and fun involving research challenges that can jump start the use of Cyberlab tools as an open source and create a community of users?” Well it turns out I asked that question out loud and the Cyberlab team’s answer was a big fat YES!

We brought six informal learning researchers/evaluators from various institutions here in the US and in Brazil as participants. They will work in teams in a set of four timed data collection challenges designed to be fun and fast paced and to break into our Cyberlab system for creative and innovative use. We also invited a panel of judges to help them through the challenges and evaluate their performance. We are hoping to promote lots of collaboration among the participants, to generate future projects including Cyberlab tools and to start a community of users that can really change the ways we do informal learning research.

This will be either an epic fail or a wonderful success. Either way we are committed to have fun this week, to share the capacity we have built for Cyberlab use and to learn a ton with these brave researchers who accepted to go on this adventure with us. We are making it work! Doing it fast! And having fun along the way.

Check our website for more detailed information: http://oregonseagrantcybelaboratory.evolero.com/ignite-research-challenge/

If you are around and curious, come check out the participants’ final presentation on Friday, Aug 28th at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Auditorium. We will be starting at 9:30 am and wrapping a week of challenges and fun discoveries. Help us ignite Cyberlab research and change the way we do informal learning research!

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