Education: Makers or Takers?

Mike McDaniel reflects on the students who will be leaving and shows a photograph of his classroom

This is a photograph of a portion of my classroom, which I’ve included for a purpose.  Notice the bookshelves and the cabinet upon which my television rests?  I built them all.  I don’t mention them to pat myself on the back, but to show my students what’s possible, that there is a bigger world out there, a wonderful world of accomplishment and tactile pleasure.  Teachers will understand.

He goes on to explain in detail the making and building process and wonders whether his students who are proficient at using video controllers will be able to achieve in society

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Roboticize Your World: Educational Kit Can Turn Artwork and Crafts Into Robots

Byron Spice of Carnegie Mellon University issues a press release about a new educational robotic kit that allows students to experiment without previous experience of programming required. It has already been used in several creative ways

Terry Richards, who teaches high school human anatomy and physiology at The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, had her students use the kit to build models of the human arm and its musculature. “A lot of the girls said it helped them see where muscles attached,” Richards said. “They really had to think about where the muscles could attach on their models.” In the process, they learned how to install servos to move the elbow and wrist, wire them to the Hummingbird control board and write programs to control the movement. “Even in high school, students aren’t usually introduced to this technology unless they are on the robotics team,” she added.

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What My 11 Year Old’s Stanford Course Taught Me About Online Education

Joshua Gans

these days anyone can take a course at Stanford. You don’t even have to pay. All you need is access to a computer and a reasonable Internet connection. So what we can say is my 11 year old son just watched a bunch of videos on the Internet

He followed his son’s journey on a Game Theory course , who consulted wikipedia for aspects of algebra and probability and watched the lectures which were slides with heads and found it less interesting. Joshua notes that this is similar to traditional university. There were aspects of online experimentation and assessment available and describes an unusual experiment that his son tries out on the streets.

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No One Reads Online

Linda Rening reviews how she has designed and written copy for many online courses over the years and notes that people browse online, scanning paragraphs or if they are interested they will read. She looks at strategies designers have used to try and persuade people to read including the ‘next’button.

She notes that it is important to understand what matters to learners.

The reality I have had to face is this: If you want to write elegant prose, keep a journal. If you want people to learn, stop talking and start creating learning that matters.

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Also in case of interest:

Creativity-based Research: The Process of Co-Designing with Users

Caroline Naranjo-Bock writes for UX magazine about the practice of co-design and the different stages – taking account of what the research goals and questions are; who the audience is and what tools they can use; the users invited to participate; running workshops with different methods; trying a pilot and analysing the results. These don’t have to be done in a face to face setting.

New forms of co-design have emerged that take advantage of digital technologies to allow hundreds of users to co-create a product or service regardless of their location. Most of these co-design efforts come in the form of contests or collaborative online platforms that encourage users to submit ideas directly to the company and to collaborate with their peers.

Open innovation and crowdsourcing initiatives are open calls to a broad community of people for help with the design of a company’s next product or service, or for ongoing ideas that might be considered for real production.

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