Learning Creative Learning

Next week Mitch Resnick and the folks at the MIT Media Lab are kicking off another round of their terrific online course and community: Learning Creative Learning. I have already signed up and am excited to be joining other creative people around the world in this great learning and sharing community.

Read the summary below and click here to register.


“For many years, the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, led byMitch Resnick, has been developing new technologies, activities, and environments (such as Scratch and Computer Clubhouses) to engage all children, from all backgrounds, in creative learning experiences.

Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is our effort to connect and share ideas with people around the world with similar goals, visions, and values. It is an opportunity for like-minded educators and learners to meet one another and share ideas, strategies, and practical tips on how to support creative learning.

LCL is organized as a six-week online course (starting on October 18, 2017), but its real goal is to cultivate an ongoing learning community in support of creative learning around the world.

Each week we will offer online videos, readings, and hands-on activities. You’ll be able go through this material at your own pace. All of our materials will be freely available (including sections from Mitch Resnick’s new Lifelong Kindergarten book). You can spend as much or as little time you like — by watching, reading, making, sharing, reflecting, and discussing.”

“8 Big Ideas” from Gary Stager

As I write my new course for next school year (“MakeIT: A workshop for young makers”) I am looking for excellent resources to guide my own thoughts about student creativity and learning. Gary Stager, who was a keynote speaker at the school’s laptop conference, continues to provide me with highly nutritious food-for-thought.

This list of ideas (written by Seymour Papert by also part of Stager’s 2007 dissertation) is just what I need to frame the course and provide answers to the “What are we doing?” questions that this course will generate. My favorite idea for my students is “hard fun”, the idea that we learn more and actually enjoy learning more when it is enjoyable and challenging. This idea is already built into the Scratch projects in my 8th grade class and I like the idea of the young makers in 6th grade learning in a challenging environment, too.

(By the way, my fav idea for teachers is “do unto ourselves what we do unto our students.” These courses wouldn’t work if I wasn’t right in there demonstrating my own skills and continuing to learn new things with the kids each quarter.)

stager.org/articles/8bigideas.pdf.

29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE on Vimeo

29 WAYS TO STAY CREATIVE from TO-FU on Vimeo.

The 2011 K-12 Horizon Report: Too optimistic? | Dangerously Irrelevant | Big Think

Ouch! Scott McLeod pulls no punches in this response to the 2011 K-12 Horizon Report. He echoes Gary Stager’s assertion that most technology growth is replicative in nature: SmartBoards replicating chalkboards, clickers/responders replicating multiple-choice quizzes, teacher-selected YouTube clips replicating filmstrips and VHS tapes. Even Moodle takes a hit as he claims that it is simply another environment created and controlled by teachers. (True, too.)

He laments the missed opportunities of new and emerging technologies: “We still have too many teachers who have no clue what Google Docs or Twitter are, for example. We still have too many administrators who are blocking mobile learning devices and are fearful of online learning spaces.” 

This parallels so many conversations I have been having recently with colleagues and articles I have been reading online about the disparate expectations that Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Boomers have regarding technology, education and daily life…perhaps this will be fodder for a future post here on MSIT Next.

The 2011 K-12 Horizon Report: Too optimistic? | Dangerously Irrelevant | Big Think

Adjusting the Prescription | The University of Virginia Magazine

One of the great things about our job is that we are often consulted about new and interesting ideas from The Great Beyond. This week the three of us were sent a link to an article in the online University of Virginia Magazine and asked to share our responses.

While it would be tempting at first blush to read this article as an endorsement of the “shiny, new things” approach to innovation, it actually presents a fascinating look at curricular re-imagining for this university medical school program. The photos seem to showcase the technology/tools (large screens, round tables, student laptops, high-tech mannequins) but the real star of the show is the dramatic changes in teaching and learning styles (professors as guides and co-learners, students as researchers and constructors of knowledge).

Adjusting the Prescription | The University of Virginia Magazine