[Reflection 5] Playful Quotes


Choose a quote from this week’s reading or video that you find especially intriguing

  • What quote did you select?
  • Why did you pick this quote?
  • What actions does it inspire you to do?

A version of this post is also available in Italiano, Português, Español, 日本語 (Japanese), עברית (Hebrew)

listed #2


Hi Everyone,

I have chosen the quote “When you tinker, you’re not following a step-by-step set of directions that leads you to a tidy end result,” write Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich, in their wonderful book The Art of Tinkering. “Instead, you’re questioning your assumptions about the way something works, and
you’re investigating it on your own terms. You’re giving yourself permission to fiddle with this
and dabble with that. And chances are, you’re also blowing your own mind.”

The quote can be linked to my creative learning spiral where the final product undergoes several testing and remixing processes for the best outcome. I do the testing process on my own way which makes me more confident on the outcome. I hold the sole responsibility for my project and this gives me a complete content on my work.


All types of play leads a valuable learning experience. The quote I like as.“Not all kinds of play are created equal”. Not all kind of play equals learning or one could argue that a different kind of play equals different kinds of learning.
In my work experience in school. Students while working in the technology or kits, he was constantly tinkering by trying out new ideas, reassessing his goals, making refinements, and imagining new possibilities. Is fully based on the platform what they chosen.
The Playground style of learning gives different types of learning experience”.One of the Key issue in educating children is how do we make rooms for tinkering? and mental room?


Although simple, I liked this one:

“Tinkerers constantly re-evaluate their goals (where they’re going) and their plans (how to
get there).”

In my opinion, this definition of how tinkerers think/do shows how it connects with conecpts usually related to plannning, such as goals and plans. I would say the main difference in a “tinkered” approach is the oppeness to adatpations, based on the real needs and new opportunities. This openess can make learning much more like playing, in the way you’re open to learn with unexpected events / surprises (or errors), incorporate new ideas that emerge through the process and don’t know exactly how the story (or project) is going to end.


Hello, everyone! I especially appreciated the following quotation:

 “How can we develop technologies, activities, and courses that engage and support all different types of learners? At the same time, we should push learners to reach outside their comfort zone.”

I sometimes feel as if we are so focused on ensuring we build in activities that appeal to all types of learning preferences, that we overlook the many benefits of encouraging “learners to reach outside their comfort zone”. I am not sure how I feel about “pushing” learners to do so, but I definitely appreciate the benefits and wholeheartedly support encouragement, gentle nudging, safe exploration with room and support for “failure”, and similar approaches.

The quoted text also resonated with an issue I am sure we all struggle with on an ongoing, if not daily, basis. As an example, earlier in the day that I first read this piece, a program manager had shared with me that he had noted that our students were especially “keen” on videos. They had been entering the classroom asking the instructor if he or she had any videos for them that day. Based on this information, the program manager had remarked that “most of our students” are visual and auditory learners.

This interaction has been percolating in my mind ever since. What do we do with this student-offered information? Just some of the questions that come to mind: Do we incorporate more video lessons to meet the desires of the majority? Do the desires reflect how they learn best, or something else? Are we achieving the right kind of play (as noted in the readings)? Are we losing opportunities to incorporate “hard fun” (as shared in last module’s essay)? And what about the minority? The quiet students who don’t voice their preferences? These are issues instructors, designers, educators of all kinds, etc. will likely always wrestle with…. Thank you very much for the thought-provoking material.


Hi Enitha! I really resonate with your question about providing “room” for tinkering in schools. In your experiences, how did tinkering fit into your class plan for the day? Do you try to provide specific prompts for students? How do you decide what platforms and materials to provide?


Really interesting questions! Why do you think your students were asking for videos? I wonder if you might enjoy the universal design for learning framework, which talks about multiple modes of representation and engagement within a given activity/lesson. Maybe for everyone, it’s helpful to change it up sometimes, and offer multiple formats for information?

But I am interested in your question about “pushing” learners too - how do you think we can best create safe environments for learners to “tinker” with learning approaches and formats? How could we concurrently support students (including quieter people) in advocating for their learning needs? Have you encountered environments in which you felt this was happening?


Your post resonates with my recent experience being surprised that how structured many of the learning spaces in my home country (Japan) are, even when people there celebrate creative learning and trying to think of best experiences for children. Working with them, however, helped me also see the other side of this: anxiety for disengaging some kids who are slow or don’t have a lot of ideas; not being able to help kids finish their creation; providing uneven experiences (this might be country specific). It is challenging for many teachers to let go of plans. So I learend taht introducing the ideas you are describing is challenging but very very important.


I liked the quote “but … [tinkering] … also means coming up against … your own limits of your understanding, so you may be frustrated at times because what you really expected to happen is not quite working that way” in the video of [Mitch Resnick’s] Conversation with Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich.

Overcoming the urge to switch activities when unsuccessful and resulting success from the perseverance in play may transfer to being more positive view on own abilities also in other areas of life. It tilts the thinking towards can-do attitude and growth mindset. This relates to why the play is in the center of learning.

The action that it propels me to do is to play more in the areas where I can find success and to persist when the troubles come.


HI Lily,
In our school , We had Robotix lab. In this lab we provide materials for the students as per our schedule.


I selected a long quote from the add’t reading, “It Looks Like Fun but are They Learning”, for Week 5 :

"Every day, we see amazing focus, creativity, persistence, and pride developing in people of all ages as they draw on their understanding and imagination to develop and pursue an idea and to make something concrete (even if ephemeral) that represents their ideas and understanding. We are struck by the amount of time people spend working on their ideas—typically an hour, sometimes half a day—and many return regularly as the themes change.

As someone who stepped out of informal learning spaces and into formal K-12 education and education policy, I find that there are far too many critics when it comes to informal education. This quote, and much of the work of Bronwyn Bevan and Mitch Resnick, reflects the deep engagement that occurs in educational spaces that make space for exploration, authentic problem solving, and tinkering. I selected this quote because the observation of how the students are interacting with the exhibit seems to me like something that every single parent and student would want to occur during the school day. I think that many parents are under the impression that the environment described in this chapter is reflective of what occurs in the black box of K-12 schools. I believe that an environment like the one described is actually a rarity in K-12, aside from the ‘cool STEM’ teacher, or the radical kindergarten that hasn’t been inundated by worksheets and quiz-like experiences.

This quote inspires me to continue on my path to blending formal K-12 education with the messiness and innovation present in informal education. Somewhere in the middle of both cultures is the key to brilliant educational experiences that are engaging and fun to develop for teachers to construct and for students to engage. Having spaces where creating as a means of evaluation and assessment feels like it builds to the 21st Century learning skills that educators are focusing on.


I’m honestly not sure why students were asking for videos - it’s likely a mix of reasons, and different across students. One dominant factor is that these are EFL/ESL students, students that are not used to active learning strategies in formal education, and females that are (for the first time) in female-only classrooms… but I know that I want the students to think about that question as well. Thank you for your reply!


I think a lot about how we can make sure all students (including the quieter students in a given classroom environment) feel supported and free to advocate for their needs. I don’t have any one-sized fits all answers. Even in environments where I’ve felt this was happening, I am still never 100% sure (or convinced).

Some tools and approaches that I have found help more students advocate are questions (oral, written, anonymous, a mix) and ongoing reminders and reassurance from the teacher/mentor/etc. that feedback and insights from the student perspective are not only needed but desired. I’d love to hear more about what others have tried and experienced in this context.


I liked Don Shoen’s quote: tinkerers have “a conversation with the material” from the paper, “Designing for Tinkerability.” I liked this because it raised some unusual associations. I imagined materials as words in the narrative of a process. I could mix methods or materials like rhyme and rhythm as if the project is a poem or a song. Since “poetry” was derived from the Greek term, poiesis, “making” I thought this approach was fitting.

I also thought of conversing with the material. Maybe I should try having a chat with an inanimate object. I could ask, “What were you before or what would you like to be?” Sculptors have said their stone spoke to them. These unusual “conversations” could spark new ways of seeing and thinking. This idea appealed to my creative and comic nature. I put this into practice by asking a Makey Makey circuit board, “What do you want to be today?”


Richard, I really like this association of poetry and making. It made me think about the opposite where materials are the words. My mom runs a poetry club at her library and she has been telling me about her recent activity “Blackout Poetry”, maybe you have heard of this, its, when you use a marker to change a book or magazine to poetry by blacking out some words on the page. Ultimately what is left not blacked out is your poem.
Also, the cut-up technique popularized by William S. Burroughs and beat poets in the 1950s. Where he would literally cut up his writing, seemingly at random, and stick it back together to form completely new text.


“If you let them [the mind the eye and the hand] do their thing with materials that are rich enough to continue … the person to go to the next step.”Edith Ackermann. ~2:18
I love this quote because it makes me think of how important great materials can interact with people. I think Edith is getting at how great materials can be sensual and can inspire just from the physicality. I remind me of some of the conversations going on while I was in art school about material and form. Some of the work I was studying at the time was the land artist Robert Smithson’s glue pour in Vancouver and whether the act or the residue was the “art”.
I have a pile of art supplies that I want to get some use out of before I move and need to downsize. I also have a lot of time to fill over the next week I am going to pick out some materials that are “rich enough” to play with.


Thanks, Todd. I have not heard of “Blackout Poetry.” I’ll mention it to a friend, a local library director who looks for new program ideas. The William S. Burroughs’ technique reminds me of David Bowie, a fan of Burroughs, who used the cut up technique to write poetry and music lyrics. Here’s a link to a video you might enjoy where he describes his creative process. (he describes a computer program he later used to automate his process)


This quote brings much-needed inspiration to my present efforts to engage youth in creative computing.
There is an art room in the facility I serve. This art room is alive with inspiration! The walls and cabinets are papered with artists works. As soon as a facilitator is present, youth line-up to gain access to the art room. The youth as a community place a high social value on art making. Encouraging and holding in high esteem those that produce artworks.

The quote I chose highlights characteristics of maker spaces helping me to understand the success of an art room and how I too may craft spaces to inspire and inform. I have been working on a program that opens tech career pathways through creative computing projects e.g.

Build A Brand
Practice Graphic Design
Make Websites
Design Mobile Apps
Plan A Career
Learn Computer Science
Create VR/AR Games


Patterners are fascinated by structures and patterns, and they typically enjoy playing with blocks and puzzles. Dramatists are more interested in stories and social interaction, and they often play with dolls and stuffed animals.

I felt that learning can be supported without hurting learners’ interests and passion by thinking that “learner can admit that they can be different from each other”.