Friday, April 8, 2011

Inevitable. But how to get there from here?

Maine ASCD invited Bea McGarvey back for their Spring 2011 conference. She will promote the Mass Customization of Learning. MAMS ITeam and Capstone participants explore this frontier. I try to identify and develop opportunities for students to find a compelling interest and develop it as individuals or small groups. But the approach is so different from most of students' other experiences in school, that many find the transition very challenging. When I see evidence of students getting the idea, I try to have them show-case their accomplishments.

At yesterday's ITeam meeting, I tried to help the whole group look at the Minecraft explorations as an example of what it means to find an engaging creative medium and then spend time outside of school to explore and develop that interest. The Minecraft explorers seemed to appreciate the recognition of their efforts but the robotics crew dismissed the idea because they are not interested in it at all. And, when conferred later, they wanted to know what they should do next because robotics were interesting but didn't sustain their engagement. When I turned the question of what to do next back to them, some waxed nostalgic for last year's student-teacher ratio. I reminded them that we have to find an approach that doesn't rely on favorable ratios.

Erik Kramer share the link to the following video:

Meg and Alex are developing lessons through CREA that they plan to share with elementary school students at Bowdoin Central and Woodside Elementary Schools. Can older students learn Squishy Circuits and similarly share them with young children?

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