With the pandemic being a part of our 2020 reality, we wanted to continue on track with our CSC projects. We decided to host an online design lab and make some alterations to suit a virtual group! We couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience and outcomes! Typically our design labs happen over a weekend, but because we were not able to have things in that manner this year, we broke down our usual process. We had four days to move through our design process and gather all of the usual information. Despite meeting in the virtual world as strangers, it didn’t take long to create a warm and fun vibe with the group! Our team quickly became a supportive and empowering group, and rallied around each other during the process.
Seven youth between the ages of 17 to 25 from across the country; Jenelle, Dakshina, Zoya, Grace, McKinley, Nameesha, and Myera!
Our usual design lab process was broken down into four, six hour sessions over two weeks. We came together to co-create two mental health resources for Canadian youth to use. Everyone wanted to make two resources and we decided on a game and a journal book! They wanted to provide solutions to the different obstacles young people are encountering, and also ways to grow and thrive in your day to day life. After doing some activities as a group, we went into breakout rooms on Zoom! There, we broke down ideas and created content for the tools the group wanted to make. It was interesting to see how productive we could be in a virtual group and how focused and cohesive everyone was.
Summer and Fall 2020
This design lab took place virtually across Canada, from British Columbia to New Brunswick all on Zoom! We had four meetings over two weeks to make up the usual time we would be spending over the weekend (which is our typical design lab process) and then had a few one hour follow up meetings, over Zoom, to work out details about the book and game.
This game takes you through challenges and obstacles for personal growth. Pick the best choice to help you navigate through each dilemma and make it to the finish line. It’s available in English, French and Spanish.
Thrive: One Province at a Time
In this this book you move through Canada on a journey of self discovery; you can make it your own with journal prompts, colouring pages, and so much more! It’s available in English, French and Hindi.
We posed the following questions to the youth team:
- What was your favorite part of this Design Lab and what made you laugh?
- What is your best advice for persevering with online learning during quarantine?
- What keeps you motivated during a Global Pandemic?
- How was collaborating on Zoom?
- What did you learn during quarantine?
Here’s their answers…
1.I liked all the parts, my favorite was the creation part because I was able to put my ideas into the structure. Something that made me laugh was Carolyn’s “devil voice” (when the room connection wasn’t that good, I think everyone couldn’t hear her properly.
2.I think that having goals and holding yourself accountable is really important. I have started setting timers for every time I have a meeting and I think that another thing I can do is set timers for the exact time I should be finishing things and trying to be as precise with my time as I am with my planner, to ensure I can make the most of my time.
3.I am motivated by the opportunities available for me to use y time more wisely and make the most out of virtual learning- I can technically get more done through virtually learning since I can speed lectures up and I hope to also read more books, learn more of my passions and take more time to focus on physical health too, as the more time will help me to do that.
4.It was great, and I think it was more efficient that if we had to write on paper, because we can simply delete things or add things, share screens and type faster than handwriting pace
5.I learned that time is limited and that it flies by WAY faster than we think (I definitely did not feel like 6 months have passed, it has been so fast, and I think I regret not setting more goals before) (edited)
1.My favourite part about the Design Lab process was collaborating with a group of women who loved pineapple on pizza and cats!
2.My tip on persevering with online learning is to create and maintain a routine. This will help you attain goals and keep you on track with assignments.
3.My three cats have been keeping me motivated during the pandemic!
4.Collaborating through Zoom was a great choice! I really enjoyed being able to work with youth from all over Canada through the online app.
5.The main thing that I learned during quarantine has been who I am. This time has given me the opportunity to find news ways to communicate my needs, to explore my beliefs and values, and to colour my hair whatever crazy colours I like!
1.My favourite part of the Design lab was getting to collaborate in a small group and see our progress from discussing ideas on the first day to actually coming up with the look and feel of our resource.
2.Time might go by differently while learning online compared to in-person so I’d definitely suggest using calendars or planners to keep track of everything going on in your life. Also, finding activities that let your eyes rest away from the screen!
3.What keeps me motivated during a Global Pandemic is staying in connect with my friends and family to remind myself that I’m not the only one going through these experiences.
4.Collaborating on Zoom went better than I expected. Even though it wasn’t in person we were still able to have close, collaborative discussions and build a sense of closeness with each other.
5.During quarantine, I learned to adapt and take time for myself. I also learned how to cook some of my favourite foods!
1.My favorite part of this Design lab was the collaboration in the break out rooms, and the cat gifs made me laugh.
2.My best advice for persevering with online learning during quarantine would be to use an agenda or planner to organize all upcoming deadlines. Without having classmates or friends to remind you of assignment and test deadlines, it is very easy to get lost.
3.Being able to do a lot with my day keeps me motivated during the global pandemic. The excess of time can be overwhelming, but it also reminds you of all the things that you can do.
4.Collaborating on zoom was no doubt challenging, but it was fun at the same time because everyone was able to either talk or chat out their ideas. No one had to feel shy of mumbling or confusing their words.
5.I learnt to cook and do Arabic Calligraphy during Quarantine.
1.My favorite part was being able to provide my brush lettering skill to the project. I think I speak for everyone when I say: Carolyn’s “devil” voice made us all laugh.
2.Be kind to yourself and others. Everyone’s doing their best through this uncertain and unique year (and that includes our professors and teachers). Ask for help. Remember that you are not alone, and you can always reach out for help (whether it is for an assignment extension or a subject difficulty)
3.Good food, staying busy and spending time with people (friends and family). Celebrating small wins also keeps me motivated.
4.Collaborating on zoom was more fun than I expected it to be. I believe it also made us productive and helped us make the best use of our time.
5.I learnt how to cook! This is great life skill and I recommend it for everyone. Secondly, I learnt about self-care (its importance, how it makes me more resilient, etc.). I learnt how prioritizing myself and setting boundaries is self-care, not being selfish.
1.I got involved with this program as I love striving for my goals to help others and I have my own social enterprise called G.P.S Peace. I’m used to helping others and it’s very important to me.
2.My goals for my homeless care packages were to help 40 homeless people, and to pack each package full of necessities. Also to make the homeless people happy and make them feel important. The impact was helping the homeless people.
3.One random fact about me is that I love writing stories and poems.