LCL

How might tech criticism fit into technology edu?


#41

Adding this already rich list of resources…
I guess people here might enjoy checking out the syllabus of: Unpacking Impact

It was the first class I took here at the Media Lab, the course instructors where PhD students at the time.

A very popular course in the Media Lab is called “How to Make (Almost) Anything”. I loved how Unpacking Impact was framed as the “Why to Make (Almost) Anything”.


#42

Thanks for sharing @Xanthe_Matychak I will participate in the shortest available time…


[Wk 4 - Reflection] Reflect in Small Groups
#43

Disclaimer: I have not yet read your chapters carefully. But I have gone through them and have questions. I hope I don’t insult you by asking questions that may be answered in the text

First off, this semester is the first time I have added a writing element to my maker course, so I’m especially intrigued by your use of story. With my students, I am happy about the writing they are doing. Though I have been frustrated with how disjointed my prompts are in some weeks. A continuous narrative might be the right medicine to solve this disjointed problem (in future offerings of the course)

THE WHY. As I see it, the reasons for integrating continuous narrative with a maker project is to:

  1. keep students engaged
  2. deepen their thinking about their work and process
  3. help them make connections between things they might not normally connect. (This is the big one for me. The world needs more dot connectors.)

Question: How do you answer the question, “WHY integrate narrative with making?”

THE HOW. How many weeks-long are the assignments? How do you roll out the narrative prompts? Do you have a weekly course outline that you might share? I can grasp the arc of an assignment better if it’s in this format.

PEERS. (This one came up in the hangout today). My questions: How often do your students share their process work with peers?

I ask because I’ve added rotating study groups to my course this year and am observing how this works for some students and not for others.


#44

Thanks for sharing this Carmelo. I had been under the impression that Olafur Eliasson teaches why make anything. Gosh I’d love to be a student again. Maybe some folks here want to go through this syllabus as an informal mooc after this LCL is over.

fwiw, I shared that Leah Buechley talk with my students at the beginning of the semester. It’s a good one. And I think MAKE responded to it well.

Oo, this one resonates: http://constructionism2014.ifs.tuwien.ac.at/papers/1.3_1-8524.pdf Will probably write it up on my blog


#45

Thanks for checking out the paper, some responses below

My primordial response is: why would we ever dis-integrate making and narrative?
~
Why

First, narrative making is make-believe play. Therefore it improves focus, memory formation & recall, and behavioral self-regulation.

Second, self-authored narrative is authentic [authenticity ~“owning mineness”]. To be clear, this means we’re not dealing with any narrative, but authoring our own narratives and working with this material.

Authors reveal, and listeners can discover, their cares, fears, values, etc. This gives teachers an assessment opportunity, writ truly large (c.f. Vivian Paley’s work).

For me as a teacher, the revelations of a child’s stories are as it were my north star.

// There is a sleight of hand in which students transition slowly from individual to group authorship. We start with indie work in which there are no reality constraints. As we coalesce into one shared world built by many individuals, we become constrained by the “facts” of the one another’s stories. But each story is woven into every other story, if only in a background. This is (a mirror of) community, or is a simulation of community.

HOW

In Denmark we met for 1-3 hours per day, Monday to Thursday, over 3 weeks. This was ideal. In Massachusetts I’ve usually done a one day per week event, which is far from ideal, particularly if sessions are less than 90 minutes. Sample worksheet attached below as two screenshots. The less frequently we meet, the more important it becomes to light a fire through provocative discussions. The worksheets support discussions and are an assessment and record keeping tool.

PEERS

Presentations and gallery walks are done after major iterations or milestones. So maybe not for the first 5 meetings, but definitely after a 1st prototype (which I usually follow with a slideshow of Japanese micro shelters (kyosho jutaku) then every 2-3 sessions after that.

Attached is a sample worksheet I used this Monday. Nothing special. I chose the questions based on conversations from a previous class. Though intended for 10 year olds, I tested the questions out with kindergarteners earlier in the day. I also posed the technology-definition question to 7th and 8th graders (where we’re designing robots that respond to stock market data).

Are you working entirely with college undergrads? I have not taught that age group, but I’ve had college aged shadows in curriculum building workshops and it seemed to be a different sport.



#46

Quick response. This student today said, “I want to write a story to go with this piece.”

My jaw dropped a little :slight_smile:


#47

If any of you folks want to collaborate on an interactive scratch project that pokes at some of the questions here, I’d be down for that. Put my money where my mouth is, as it were

I made this little diddy in scratch this morning. It’s very loosely related to this theme in that its inspired by steve reich’s out of phase work. But I’d like to explore less abstract projects as well


#48

This is helpful and reassuring. Thanks for taking the time to write it out. I appreciate that you wrote a worksheet in response to class discussion. I do that a lot. While I have an overall week-to-week plan for the course, I have left room for responding to themes that emerge. I’m afraid this comes off to the students as unorganized. They are so used to having every detail planned out.

I love the community aspect here. This is something that is tough with college age students, at least in an elective course like mine where they aren’t in the same major or school.

What else. I really like this idea of story and am looking forward to doing something with it with a future cohort. I do some user experience story boarding with my Cornell students, but that’s so practical. Yawn. I’m always asking them for more drama but they just look at me like I’m nuts.

Yeah. College students are a little different in that when they don’t understand something (like emergent-responsive classroom, for example, or the value of dramatic story telling in design), they feel they are grown up enough to discount it. Kind of annoying but very typical of young 20 somethings. It’s an impossible project. Im just waiting for the scratch geniuses you all are working with to come up. tick tock tick tock


#49

Yes, this can be challenging with colleagues, admins and parents too. Increasingly I find myself using the worksheet approach because it creates a record (re: accountability) and signals a definite temporal and medial shift.

With apologies, I want to add an illustration about the storytelling. Quite often, with 10-ish year olds, a first attempt at narrative might go “‘OK, there’s a guy in a cave, the end’. Can I do Scratch now?” How does a teacher support narrative in this circumstance? Frequently a well-intentioned teacher might sit down with such a student and say, “A story needs to have these elements. First, establish the names of the characters. Then why do we care about them. Something has to be a problem that gets resolved. Etc.”

From my perspective this produces something opposite to the authentic, self-directed narrative we seek. So the way to integrate this with making might be to take such a child aside and prompt: draw a map of your home. [This happened to me last week, btw] . . . I see the child has drawn a garden outside his house, so I ask, You have a garden? I have a garden too? What do you like to grow? Soon I’ve learned that the child genuinely loves to sit in his family’s garden, where they grow strawberries. He learns that I am not just a teacher but that I live somewhere and like to grow weeping evergreens and espalier fruit trees. Then I suggest his shelter story, which he hasn’t wanted to write, could be about a family that grows strawberries. This finally interests him, and his story develops a momentum of its own.


#50

Can you say more about this [As we coalesce into one shared world….] and how you facilitate it? I ask bc I want to build community in my class which is hard when we only meet 2 hours a week. How I’ve attempted to build community this semester is to assign the students small study groups, peers they should reach out to as they do their homework. But it’s not working out consistently, they are still working as loners when it’s clear to me that they would be further along and learning more deeply if they reached out for feedback from their peers more often…hmmm

There is a sleight of hand in which students transition slowly from individual to group authorship. We start with indie work in which there are no reality constraints. As we coalesce into one shared world built by many individuals, we become constrained by the “facts” of the one another’s stories. But each story is woven into every other story, if only in a background. This is (a mirror of) community, or is a simulation of community.


#51

Hesitant to generalize from my work with a particular age group around the subject of shelter, but with that caveat:

the children are making fiber, the teacher is braiding.


#52

This is helpful. The (shelter) project itself, with thoughtful facilitation, positions the class to build community. I once had a class design and build a model of their city 10 years out that achieved a similar effect. Good to be reminded of that.

Thanks for answering these questions. I appreciate your generosity :slight_smile:


#53

All

As we are in PEERS week, it occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned a feature of technology that bothers me a lot: how technology can isolate us and make us feel lonely. This feature is yet is another reason that I am driven to facilitate community and connection in tech teaching and learning.

A few ways to do this pulled from what I’ve read here or experimented with:

  • a remix project
  • an assignment that requires small group discussion
  • a project that has an inherently social/placed based theme (shelter, city, etc)
  • a project made for someone else (empathy)
  • cohort based courses like this one
  • “ask 3 then me” rule (too prescriptive?)

Question: What other types of assignments & facilitation techniques do you use to nurture social connection?


#54

Heads up @dalsdorf : I’m gonna draw on this thread for the week 4 prompt . Espalier fruit trees and all :wink:


#55

For Halloween, Iwent as Captain Curiosity, and one of my Kindergarten students wanted to know Why? I replied I want to know things, and he asked « what do you want to know? » and my mulled response (that I kept to myself) was « why are we so stuck as adults? We know our manufacturing, transportation and food systems are poluting and killing. Why are we not changing?
I am still asking myself « what do I want to know? » I am disconcerted that I don’t have quick answers bubbling up, that there is that sheepish blank. I suspect because it is just too broad a question right now and when I narrow the focus I will find my voice.


#56

Hi @Xanthe_Matychak
I think it is not only technological devices or equipments that is necessary to create your own product, instead of buying a mass produced one. You also must ‘intend’ to do it, or you must have desire to express yourself - and before this be aware of yourself - in addition to the awareness of the negative impact of mass production on environment and humans.

Let me give an example: My 4 year old son wanted to dress up as a ghost for the halloween, but he said me on halloween :slight_smile: So, after school, we didn’t have much time to go and buy a costume. Instead we quickly bought a medium size, white, basic adult t-shirt and I offered him to paint it to be seem like a ghost. He accepted and did it. While he was dealing with that, I asked me "why don’t we do this for our daily t-shirts?’

Before that moment, I was conscious about harmful mass production, mostly not satisfied with trendy clothes, even suffering from fashion and have ability and opportunity to design my t-shirts but I didn’t even intend to do it before. And here is the coincidence that the time I decided to do that is also the period that I have been practising mindfulness and defining myself without benefiting from people and products and relations that I am surrounded with.

So I think, in order to create something, we must first need to do it without thinking about ‘how to do it’. And to create something new, we must look closer to our stories that we have created until this moment. Any item created based on our stories will be unique, so there will be no problem of novelty.

One last word: if we acknowledge who we are, we will be aware of our feelings and understand that even our sharp emotional reactions such as hate and anger are not us, they are only feelings that can come and go and we have many other pesponses to those feelings. As a result we may get closer to kindness which reduces the risk of using technology or any other abilities/opportunities to harm environment/humans, etc.

We need mindfulness in education :slight_smile:


#57

I like this a lot, @gulen

Do folks in this thread want to reflect in a zoom tomorrow or Sunday? I was just reading the MS chapter and I dig the practicality of the 4 or so different roles that teachers can play that he writes about in the last section. Might be fun to discuss, explore connections Btwn those roles and how they might facilitate some of the concerns about soulless tech or need for mindfulness, etc


#58

Carmelo, thanks for sharing this


#59

@dalsdorf
@Xanthe_Matychak
@MissMissShelly

It seems I missed a full week of wonderful conversation. I was running a flyer campaign at the Architecture school, here. Posted on elevator and front doors. Standing for approx. 2hrs. Reading:

REPORT ACADEMIC HAZING

KNOWLTON HAS ILL REGARD FOR STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH

TABULA RASA!

Architectural Design curricula seems to have always been a traumatic hazing.

REPORT ACADEMIC HAZING

KNOWLTON HAS ILL REGARD FOR STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH

TABULA RASA!

Architectural Design curricula seems to have always been a traumatic hazing.

@dalsdorf
@Xanthe_Matychak
Thank you for the resources on mindfulness and affective disorder. My personal experience has been my focus. The cycling of mood is natural through -out all of creativity. I match mood cycles with the appropriate stage of my personal process. Whether it requires divergent and/or convergent making.

I often find that in mania, I am virtuous and praiseworthy. Daily good works. Raise the bar. Into my new normal. Kinda like having, Inspiration & Critique inherently in the brain.

There is much to talk on from the, week. Here, I identify a few trends I heard. Direct quotes to compile everything…TBC

Part 2 soon


#60

A.
Creation Narratives
I have some work around this topic in the ‘ Let’s talk ‘DATA’ ‘ post.

Here are a few techniques that aid in constructing narratives. For
Personal, Community, etc…

  1. Personal Construct Theory (PCT) holds that people need not to be victims of their history. The ways in which we see the world are open to alternative interpretation and constructs. Check out the PCT elicitation practices in ‘Repertory Grid Technique’, Fransella, Bell and Bannister, 2004

  2. FOCUS ON PRONOUN USE
    Shift conversations. Experimental manipulations of perspective taking and perspective switching in expressive writing.

    Encourage ‘COURAGEOUS’ speech. Have students speak using ’WE’, not ‘I’. This is how leadership is spoken. Courageously.


I.

‘There is a sleight of hand in which students transition slowly from individual to group authorship. We start with indie work in which there are no reality constraints. As we coalesce into one shared world built by many individuals, we become constrained by the “facts” of the one another’s stories. But each story is woven into every other story, if only in a background. This is (a mirror of) community, or is a simulation of community.’
@dalsdorf

II.

“‘OK, there’s a guy in a cave, the end’. Can I do Scratch now?” How does a teacher support narrative in this circumstance? Frequently a well-intentioned teacher might sit down with such a student and say, “A story needs to have these elements. First, establish the names of the characters. Then why do we care about them. Something has to be a problem that gets resolved. Etc.

From my perspective this produces something opposite to the authentic, self-directed narrative we seek. So the way to integrate this with making might be to take such a child aside and prompt: draw a map of your home. [This happened to me last week, btw] . . . I see the child has drawn a garden outside his house, so I ask, You have a garden? I have a garden too? What do you like to grow? Soon I’ve learned that the child genuinely loves to sit in his family’s garden, where they grow strawberries. He learns that I am not just a teacher but that I live somewhere and like to grow weeping evergreens and espalier fruit trees. Then I suggest his shelter story, which he hasn’t wanted to write, could be about a family that grows strawberries. This finally interests him, and his story develops a momentum of its own.’
@dalsdorf

III.

‘ The (shelter) project itself, with thoughtful facilitation, positions the class to build community. I once had a class design and build a model of their city 10 years out that achieved a similar effect. ’
@Xanthe_Matychak

Part 3 soon