Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Worth Reading

Sharing a few highlights from the past couple of weeks with a particular emphasis on how some schools are challenging established educational structures.

1. Introduction to Designing Spaces for LearningEwan McIntosh introduces the Designing Spaces for Learning subject as part of the CSU Knowledge Networks course. In this clip, he shares a rationale for the three key areas of the subject - design, space and learning - and gives some advice for sharing thinking informally with the larger design/spaces for learning community.

2. Five Tips for Working With Works of Art (Moma)- this came out of a three day institute I attended about arts integrated curricula

3. Made With Code (Google)- showing how things we love are made with code

4. Zaana Howard on Design Thinking at Lean UX 14- podcast about the use of design thinking to bring people together to create and share

5. Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers (Reich)- pushes the reader to think about educating or preparing students to do things that computers cannot do

We use machine learning in a limited way for grading essays on tests, but for the most part those tests are dominated by assessment methods—multiple choice and quantitative input—in which computers can quickly compare student responses to an answer bank. We’re pretty good at testing the kinds of things that intelligent tutors can teach, but we’re not nearly as good at testing the kinds of things that the labor market increasingly rewards. In “Dancing with Robots,” an excellent paper on contempotary education, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane argue that the pressing challenge of the educational system is to “educate many more young people for the jobs computers cannot do.” Schooling that trains students to efficiently conduct routine tasks is training students for jobs that pay minimum wage—or jobs that simply no longer exist.

Fancy a career in design? When I made that choice 30 years ago, the options were limited. You either got an engineering degree and then went to design school, or you went to art school and studied graphic design, architecture, or industrial design, like I did.  Today, things are very different. Thanks to the still-booming Silicon Valley, interaction and user-experience designers have been added to the mix, but those aren’t the only opportunities for design thinkers. Even graduates of non-traditional programs can embark on exciting design careers. To wit, here are five disciplines that didn’t even exist at IDEO a few years ago.
People don't start learning when they enter a school building or stop when they exit. Learning is natural. Everyone learns all the time. PSII recognizes this truth, supporting learners in the pursuit of their personal passions wherever and whenever that learning needs to take place. The school is a gathering place where ideas can be shared and where strong face-to-face relationships become the foundation for truly personalized learning.
8. What Happens When School Design Looks Like Game Design (Shapiro)- insight into the Quest to Learn School which design curriculum from the approach of a video game perspective.
Quest To Learn shows us what happens when the old “factory model” of organization is replaced with a systems-based game-like paradigm. They call it games, systems, or design. That’s code for understanding content in context — and for seeing the interconnectedness between elements.
“We need to do a better job at giving children and young people opportunities to rise, which means developing systems that enable that rise — that enable them to move across networks and to engage in really hard problems with relevant resources. Games are all about creating spaces of possibility, where players feel they can do anything,”
9. How One Designer Bridged the Gap Between Play and Learning (Summers)- speaks to connection between play and learning with Margaret Middleton; an exhibiter at the Boston Children's Museum
“Play is naturally conducive to learning. It’s one of the best ways to learn: learning by doing, learning by playing and experiencing things. That’s what experimentation is all about. Play and science have a lot in common that way. The boring parts about it I guess, is that I have to be thinking about making sure that it’s safe and that everything that we’re making is going to be durable. It gets touched by thousands of hands every day. That’s more the practical side of things.”
10. A School That's All About Play (Barseghian)- Imagine a school where the students’ day revolves around playing games, all day long. Video games, live action role-playing games, board games, building games. At the PlayMaker School in Los Angeles, the school day takes kids from one game activity to the next, as they explore any number of different subjects and ideas, from the physics of flight to ancient Mesopotamian culture