Good ideas are incredibly fragile, bad ideas are timeless
Regardless of what we’re asking educators, the level of resistance is relatively constant over time (so why not ask a lot more of the rest?)
Computers are knowledge machines that allow you to go further than you could go on your own
Educational computing is about software, not hardware, because software ultimately determines what you can do
The only question we should be asking about computers in schools is “what are students doing with the computers?”
Are the students programming the computer or is the computer programming them?
Who has agency in the learning process?
microworlds.com – design video games, not just consume them
Getting the computer to do something it doesn’t already do is an important life skill
Elements of an effective project
Complex, including serendipity
Access and constructive materials
“Can you build an amusement park for kids?” is a more authentic, meaningful question/project than “Martin Luther King had a dream. What dream do you have?”
Questions worth asking
Is the problem solvable?
Is the project monumental or substantial?
Who does the project satisfy?
What can they do with that?
Less is more
A good prompt is worth 1,000 words – if these are in place, you can do lots more than you expected
A good prompt, challenge, problem or motivation
Supportive culture (including expertise)
Maybe we should be adopting an artist’s aesthetic more often – is the work beautiful, thoughtful, personally meaningful, sophisticated, whimsical, shareable with a respect for the audience, enduring? does it move you? (we should ask more: “why should anyone have to sit through that crap?”)
Good project-based learning (PBL) has a fighting chance of being enduring
When students come back years later and say “Remember when we … ?”, they never finish the sentence with “used all of those vocabulary words in a sentence” or “studied so hard for the state assessment” – it’s invariably some enduring project that they remember
Melinda (Lindy) Kolk
Learning happens when children make things
If students can text message their friends to get the answers, we’re asking the wrong questions
Let’s focus on knowledge construction, not reproduction
More than one right answer
Requires high-level thinking
Peter Reynolds (author of The Dot and Ish)
Great teachers notice kids
Great teachers are not about managing data, they’re about loving kids
Great teachers have an idea first and notice it later
It’s not a tiger, but it’s ‘tigerish’ – the ‘ish’ concept tells the world ‘back off, I’m trying to figure this out, and right now this is the way I do it’ – gives us some room to play, experiment, LEARN
Expose kids to big ideas and encourage them to have big ideas
We often ask ‘what do you do?’ – we should ask ‘what’s your misssion?’ – adults often have trouble answering this – the sooner we ask that of kids, the better
The best children’s books are wisdom dipped in story – they move you somehow
There are so many kids out there that don’t get captured by the testing camera
Be brave about your own artwork and be nice about others’ artwork