At BLC05 Listening to Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab talk about how we need to take the conepts of learning from kindergarten and apply them throughout education. About how there is a growing recognition that success in the future is going to depend on acting and thinking creatively, yet schools give little opportunity for students to develop as creative thinkers. He’s giving great examples of kids really invested in projects that they’re designing and creating. As I’m sitting here, I’m thinking about how much I want my own kids to be among those that he’s talking about. I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time reading the works on his site Lifelong Kindergarten and trying to figure out how to provide these types of experiences for them. (Looks like I’m going to have to dive into MindStorms…) And, trying to figure out how teachers and students can use Read/Write Web technologies in inventive ways.
Guiding Principles: 1. Learning through design. 2. Following your interests. 3. Enouraging emergent community (natural collaboration, mentors). 4. Cultivating and environment of respect and trust. Now he’s showing a program called Scratch, which is pretty amazing. And he’s saying that the knowledge we build from the information we have access to is important, but what is more important is moving toward where success and satisfaction will depend on the ability to think and act creatively.
There have been a couple of keynoters here that have talked about how enabling students to pursue their passions in creative ways not only allows them to become more effective learners but also builds their self-esteem and become imporant parts of their communities. I think that’s where these technologies fit. Obviously, these are primarily asynchronous tools. And I believe they are more than just publishing tools. I’ve been in blogvangelism mode all week, and the good news is that no one, not one person in either of my Intro to the Read/Write Web sessions raised his or her hand when I asked if anyone did NOT know what a Weblog was. Watershed moment. But it’s getting time to get beyond that. Kids are embracing these tools in creative ways…the job now is to not let the system suck the life blood out of them.
My brain hurts. This has been a great, great conference, both in terms of the really provocative learning that’s taken place an in the community of learners that’s been built. This is, in my mind, the best technology and learning conference I’ve been to, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.