«Low Floor, High Ceiling, Wide Walls…» It sounds like a perfect mantra to me and sums up what’s at the core or what we should consider to be the heart of both learning and teaching ideas, what we should always have in mind, what we should care for…
Right! I totally agree, hard fun!
How I relate to your words, Tatiana!
By “improve education”, I mean, help people to develop consciousness about theirselves, learn to read the world, find their purpose in this life and choose the best way to work on this purpose at this world with respect, love and gratitute for theirselves and other. ~ I totally agreed with you! When our purpose of life becomes passion then we obviously will understand the true meaning of our life.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights and advice in terms of makerspaces! These links are really helpful, and I’m going to share them with our campus leadership. I love a good podcast, and I am going to add this one to my rotation!!
What a fascinating resource you have in the free store (and an incredible project for a doctorate student to launch!!!); I wonder if my community has any similar programs in place.
@Summer_Drum I think if you contact a hive, maker space or fablab in your community, they may put you on the trail. There is also an organization called freecycle where you have to donate something before you can post requests. Another strategy is to post a Wanted poster listing desired items. I went committee crazy my first few years teaching because I was trying to find financing. Could people on the forum share some of their favourite grants? I find a lot of the STEAM focus grants are US only which leaves me a bit lost as a Canadian.
“I wonder how many algebra teachers are ever thanked by their students for teaching them about variables. Of course that doesn’t happen.”
I actually made more sense of variables in my computer classes than in my math classes. Sure math class used some real life application of variables, but were more trivial than practical. Perhaps there really is a need for interdisciplinary approaches, of subjects collaborating in a more solid manner to facilitate learning. After all, when we engage the real world, we don’t tackle our experiences as separate subjects, but with all our understanding.
In retrospect, I want to thank all my teachers for everything I learned from them, intentionally or not. I wasn’t fully aware then of the value of what they taught, but can now say with certainty that in one way or another, their lessons got me, and is still getting me through life.
"The best learning experiences go through alternating phases of immersion and reflection."
This reminds me of the sleepless nights of game developing back when I was still in college - I can’t sleep
not because I haven’t finished but because I was so engrossed in developing
“An investment in interest always pays off with the best knowledge” - Mitch
In my experience, this really is very true to me. Recently, I have been painting which I really love doing, and since then I’ve been watching techniques to use,ddd experimenting colors, looking at different kinds of paintings. I’m exploring a lot to know experience many things to know what I really want to paint, may it be an expressionist/impressionist/etc.
Unlike doing other things that’s not my interest, I’m not giving so much effort to explore more rather than I just research what I needed to learn at that moment.
"When people work on projects that they are interested in, it seems pretty obvious that they’ll be more motivated and willing to work longer and harder"
This resonates with me in so many ways. Often times I find myself lost in time in projects I’m really into. I also notice I’m passionate about sharing my process
and progress to people, as compared to working on projects that feels like a chore to me.
Thank you all for sharing! This is a very inspiring feed
This is a very inspiring topic. :
A quote from
wide walls - “For technology to be effective, it should provide easy ways for novices to get started (low floors) but also ways to for them to work on increasingly sophisticated projects over time (high ceilings).”
“When people are following their interests, they’re more likely to make deep connections with new ideas and develop new ways of thinking.”
This resonates an an educator in the English state system. Our National Curriculum appears to give little room for this approach. Teachers have become driven by ‘standards’ in English and Maths to the extent that creativity and passion is almost driven out.
My current role is different: I am freelance and can inspire children in computing and the arts with my own passion, releasing inner potential that would go stoppered.
Examples are children who, knowing my passion for music, write songs, bring them to me where I then work with them to record their creations. Or children hampered by learning disabilities who suddenly find that coding gives them a power and a potential they never thought they had.
If only we could see fit to scrap the top down, imposed model in order to allow the freedoms this community inspires.
Let’s keep on railing against the machine.
The wide walls idea struck me as well. If we want to teach through an inquiry stance with students’ interests leading our instructional decisions, this idea of a range of activities to uncover the same curricular understandings is key. In current traditional practice, we often see learners allowed to engage in a rich ‘culminating task’ at the end of a learning cycle. Sadly, the purpose is usually pre-defined and the audience is the teacher. Purpose + audience = text form. We need to shift the onus on students to feel purpose for creating and determining who needs to hear/see/use the finished product.
I have many thoughts about this part and kind of new concepts for me:
As someone mentioned… I really love this phrase from W. Disney “keep moving forward…”
Although, sometimes I find it hard to find or focus in only one interest! I got many! I like to learn from many things! but, I tried to define my favorite ones and try different things on that
I really enjoyed the reading for this week, but I really liked the last sentence of the chapter. “The only way that they can persist and persevere through all the challenges is if they work on topics that they’re truly passionate about.” I know that personally this is true for me, and it is something I see often in the children that I work with for LEGO Club or for our computer coding clubs. They might be okay with doing what I ask them to do, but when they are given the option to do free play, that’s when they get really excited and interested in what they’re doing. It’s great to watch, and I know that’s what I prefer to do in work and life too.
I also really liked the idea that was in the TED talk video about how children are always surrounded by technology, so they know how to “read” technology, but most don’t know how to “write” technology. This was such a mind blowing moment for me, and really caused me to take a step back and see how we teach the kids in our classes. I know we’ll need to adjust what we’re doing in the next few months, and then continuously reevaluate how we’re interacting.
I loved it when Mitch said this:
“Too often you see parents and teachers focused on how much screen time their kids have. To me that doesn’t make sense. It is not the media that’s most important but what the kids are doing with it.
Kids can do creative activities with wood or on the computer making animation. You can do creative or uncreative things on both of those worlds.
What’s important to me is that they go through a creative process.
It is more important how we support kids doing creating expressions regardless of what media they are using.”
Through out my career, working with kids, educators and technology, it is so common to hear people complaining about technology and how it damages the kid. This statement demystifies technology and puts the responsibility back to the usuer. I LOVE IT!
I do agree with you. Technology itself is a neutral platform. How we can use them is very important. However, I think, for kids it’s sometimes very difficult to use technology properly. In that case, parents or educators could help them.
I agree with many of the others on this forum - the metaphors of “low floor” to help students begin simple so that they don’t get stressed out about the project and then the “high ceiling” to give them the idea that “the sky’s the limit” and then finally, a term I had not actually though of, the wide walls. I do agree that the Scratch program allows for this concept easily and I am going to look into my other lessons to see how I can incorporate this concept into them as well.