Back to school today following a week of discovery at BETT2014 in London. Meeting up with fellow ADEs, makers, visionaries and likeminded professionals reaffirmed both my vision for how both learning and the environments in which we learn are evolving, blending the boundaries between formal and informal learning.
With the maker movement beginning to grow in popularity in schools, utilising an inquiry based, student driven curriculum with projects such as ‘Genius Hour’, our young learners will begin to have the ability to develop their own curriculum. I see my own son (11) hosting a Skype chat with friends whilst they build in Minecraft and at the same time screencast it to share with others. My other son (8) makes a new game in Hopscotch based on Space Invaders after a successful build of an Etchsketch. It’s these ‘informal’ learning engagements that challenge the traditional ‘school’ and continue to develop skills that transcend subject and content.
The possibilities to create are are at your finger tips more than ever, remixing captured data of sound and image to produce learning stories to share with the world.
The article below cites the case for developing these skills through making and creating with the multi sensory touch screen at hand when needed.
At lunch time today 9th graders showcased their games and quizzes built in MIT’s Scratch, receiving valuable and constructive feedback from their younger peers whilst inspiring them with new ideas. Coding Rockstars, in their 3rd week together continued to collaborate on game development in Hopscotch (an iPad coding environment app) embracing the maker ethos, have an idea, try it out, modify, test again, share your ideas. 5th Grade put the finishing touches to a sound art installation they designed following a collaborative project with another school to record and remix soundscapes whilst Kindergarten tweeted the creator of Lend Me Your Literacy to explain why they like writing and sharing their creations with others.
I hope our new digital leaders can imagine new ways of delivering Professional Development within school where the roles are reversed. The introduction of the iPad in our environment has already facilitated the beginning…