Nerds Rule the World




Recently I led a brief 2-day workshop teaching Micro:Bit to campers at a technology camp. We did some fairly basic introductory lessons of creating a rock, paper, scissors game using the javascript block coding. We moved into slightly more complex territory on day 2 and used the Bluetooth function to ask each other questions and answer them with the Micro:Bit. We finished with the infection simulation game which you can easily find online. The kids had a blast, and I got to share one of my favorite tech gadgets to some new kids.


When I finished the session and was saying goodbye, I closed by saying, "Nerds rule the world, and they always will!" I knew as I was saying it that it is only partly true. Nerds do drive our economy and make new innovations possible. However, they might not exactly "rule" the world as many that would be described as "nerds" don't necessarily have positions of power.


The week following the Micro:Bit camp session, I attended the Nation of Makers Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In a session, raconteur/maker, Joel Leonard was reading the assembled makers the riot act for being too introverted. We all sort of laughed it off and moved along, but it stuck with me and made me think.


Is he right? Are we a bunch of introverts who hold ourselves back by not putting our stories out there enough? I know that I have a strong tendency toward introversion and difficulty with self-promotion. It's probably way too much of a generalization to say that everyone in the maker movement is introverted, but do we have a strong streak of introversion?


Survival of the movement has been at the front of many minds lately after the closing of Maker Media. I would argue that we have to seize this as an opportunity to fill the void left. We must all redouble our efforts to tell our stories, take power, and advocate for makers and making. This year I plan to invest a lot of time in promotional efforts of creating more podcasts, videos, and other media. What else can we do to continue to promote? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.


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