Tuesday, November 3, 2015

DIY Education

This week we learned about the various ways that maker culture and activism can be used in the classroom to inspire learning.  I have to say that I love the idea of tinker education where students work to solve a problem through tinkering.  This has to be some of the most effective learning.  Students would easily see how their learning is relative to life.  In activist learning, student can work to develop projects or ideas to make the world better.  These are exciting opportunities for our students.  If our children are our future, this is probably a good way to educate them.  


When I hear about the opportunities these kids have to tinker and figure out things and work collaboratively, I am excited but I notice that they are always working to create a product.  They are making a “something”.  In all the excitement of “making” I do wonder where the time is given for these kids to contemplate, to take quiet time to think about the effects of what they are doing.  I worry a little that in the rush to create a product that accomplishes a task, there is less focus placed on thinking and determining an opinion in the rush to make something.  While I am sure that educators would say that those things are important, with all the emphasis placed on making and creating, and the excitement that those things bring, I worry that there will be less emphasis placed on things that are more contemplative.  Will time still be given to things like poetry without a 3d printing component?  Will there still be depth given to assignments or will it remain as a project that is totally cool and hits a number of curricular targets in the tech and science areas but does not allow for a contemplative component that requires more time without sexy arduino programming things.  

I think it is important for a school to not forget the important things that contemplative thinking can bring to a community and to emphasize these things as well.

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