Getting it Done


Field Report Image

Field report time!

I have been putting this report off in hopes to have some great media and artifacts to present, but this will have to wait until my next report. I found some time to give a quick status update of what I've been up to. We really need more activity on here!

I have been working on two major goals right now: developing programming for our evening workshops and establishing a system to track our technology that both stays in-house and are rented out to the community.

For our evening workshops at Media Arts Center, we've slowly been reaching our goal of having our calendar ready 3 months in advance.
We have just reached having it all set one month- the workshop type, instructor, goals, marketing, scheduling, etc are currently ready one month in advance. We have had great turnouts for Final Cut workshops and build-it-with-others workshops like the DIY Steadycam. New volunteers are increasing, thanks to new volunteer recruiting/policies we have established. The next step for our workshops is to redesign our brochures/marketing. We need to be more appealing to younger audiences, cut costs, and create new job descriptions for volunteers/interns. This begins mid-december.

As for tracking technology, I had to start from the very beginning. The current inventory spreadsheet was missing crucial information including serial numbers and price values. I was able to finally utilize the snazzy barcode scanner I purchased to make the task a lot easier. The information is almost 100% entered in and will benefit accounting, identifying outdated technology, and our equipment rental process. Audits? Easy. Grantwriting? Simple! Equipment rental? Sure, let's see what's available! By the end of January, I hope to have finalized a working rental system that incorporates barcodes into our equipment inventory and member databases. I'm hoping by the end of my year here, we can have a reservation system available on our website, and maybe even a mobile app.

On Tuesdays, FabLab offers design workshops of all sorts. They have vinyl cutter, laser engraving, 3D!!! I joined their fun last tuesday @ Intro to Interactivity. We made IR pens to make DIY smartboards. It really works!!

More to come,

Comment from Melissa Niiya on November 22, 2010 - 8:01pm

DIY Steadycam sounds so awesome! Out of curiosity, are most of your instructors staff or volunteers or contracted out or...? It sounds like you guys have a lot of classes and a diverse range at that!

Comment from Chris Anderson on November 22, 2010 - 8:25pm

We've started with three types of tracks: design, audio, & video.
We have a good mix of staff/volunteers, and are planning on doing a major recruitment of interns next year. has joined forces with us and currently is running out of our space. They specialize in digital fabrication and electronics and teach a workshop once a week. FabLabSD is made up of three individuals, which two volunteer their time instructing.

Comment from Bill Brown on November 24, 2010 - 11:31am

Thanks for posting a report Chris! Thats really cool you've gotten involved with the fablab and they are actually working out of yalls space. I've heard we have one in Boston but I haven't really taken the time to investigate. 3D scanners are the best.