Creating in the Clubhouse - Overview: How to Use These Resources to Share Work

November 1, 2003

As part of our independent evaluation of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, CCT has created tools that we hope will contribute to the richness of the Clubhouse experience. The tools that make up the Creating in the Clubhouse Toolkit are based on two years of field-based research, which gave CCT many opportunities to talk with Coordinators, Members and Mentors, as well as to conduct observations in Clubhouses throughout the Network.

While doing this research, we heard many conversations about two challenges: how to have productive, motivating conversations about Clubhouse work and how to help Members develop their interests and talents over time. These resources are one response to these challenges.

The toolkit is available both by individual section and as a complete PDF. To navigate through individual sections, scroll down to the bottom of this document for the table of contents. Within each section, PDFs of the tools are attached to the section summary. The complete PDF is available under the Further Reading heading. You can use the individual tools and background reading to foster conversations in Clubhouses among Members, Staff and the local community. You also may use these tools to develop a portfolio system, which may be helpful in documenting how Clubhouse regulars develop and grow over time.

For ease of use, the tools can be pulled from this site and photocopied or printed from the electronic version available on the website. Though we have tried to make the tools simple and helpful, this toolkit is not designed to be a cookie-cutter. We recognize that Clubhouses have a huge range of contextual strengths and issues, even within a single Clubhouse; not every idea will work for everyone.

Some of the tools encourage the sharing of work - illustrations, designs, writings and other creations - while other tools invite feedback, reflection and conversation about the work. Here are six ideas for sharing and discussing individual creations and collaborative projects that the resources in this book are designed to support:

Green Table Talks
These are informal conversations around the Green Table in which individuals talk about their work and get feedback from the group. Recurring, casual talks like these are great opportunities to reflect on ideas and works-in-progress. Some Coordinators have suggested that these talks happen regularly (e.g., one a week or once every two weeks). Others have felt regular informal talks lead to developing a culture of discussion, and that this kind of ritual, or routine, is a good beginning.

A Go-Round can be less formal and a more immediate way to share work because the entire group doesn't have to stop and gather at the Green Table. Instead, small groups go to someone's workspace - look at a computer screen or stand near the sound equipment, for example - and are able to see and offer feedback on an individual's work in progress.

Art Openings/Open Houses
Putting work on display in a group Art Show or during an Open House is another way to show off work, especially for those who may be shy about talking in a larger group. It's also an opportunity to involve outside guests, like parents and other family members, as invited attendees. Ideally, an Art Opening would be a regular event - such as the last Thursday of each month.

A Demo is any presentation by an individual or team that describes work - that's either finished or in progress. It is an opportunity to get some helpful feedback from others. Demos can happen at a regular time each week or on a volunteer basis.

One way to introduce potential new Members and Mentors to what the Clubhouse is about is through orientations. In addition to leading newcomers through a physical tour of the Clubhouse, regulars can explain the Clubhouse's history as well as show examples of the creative projects they have produced.

A portfolio, which is a collection of samples of individual and group projects, is a lasting way to collect and share work. Items in a portfolio can show how someone's skills and talents have developed, documenting how a Member's interests and creative abilities have changed over time.

Creating in the Clubhouse: Thinking About Creativity