[Week 3 Reflection] Pick a Quote


I just picked this up off my Twitter feed. It was written by a brilliant young engineer:

I was a bad student in school. I’ve realized the reason; at the time, I didn’t know WHY I was learning. I didn’t have a higher goal. As such, I learned in order to pass tests and classes. Consequently, nothing really stuck.

I realize that a short-term gain can be an easy trap when it comes to learning. Without a higher goal, I chased deadlines; I learned much, yet understood little. and retained almost nothing.

Today, I find myself falling into a similar trap; learning, just to succeed at some examination. But today, it’s different - I’m aware of the snare and I can avoid it. Why learn material to meet an artificial deadline? Why skew the tests?

Learning any material should be a long-term goal - a lifetime goal. Passing a test does not import mastery of the material. The opposite, however, holds true.

Learn at your own pace. Gain complete understanding when you can; dig deeper and find the "why"of things. Quality trumps quantity.


I have always appreciated the simple metaphor for describing the design of Scratch that low floors, high ceilings and wide walls provides. I have used it repeatedly in trying to describe the benefits of introducing Scratch to kids to the teachers that I work with. I think that having simple and memorable language to talk about profoundly important ideas is extremely useful.

Therefore, my biggest take away from this week’s reading will be to adopt the language of ‘diving in’ and ‘stepping back’ as nice phrases to describe the ebb and flow between immersion and reflection that has to take place for impactful learning to occur. I found that it immediately resonated with a balance that I try to maintain in orchestrating my own learning and a rhythm that I’m always trying to establish when working with kids. And I applaud the designers of this course for walking the walk by structuring each week to include both elements.


“An investment in interest always pays off with the best knowledge.”

Interest is the keyword for me. Usually when I’m figuring out what I need and learning/mastering it, it comes from an interest in something and or a wish to have some sort of application to achieve a goal.
To me these are al keywords: interest, application, goal, in other words: what I do or learn has to be meaningful to me.

The children (age 7-9) I worked with, like Scratch for de combination of making something themselves that they know from television and games, and the creativity (personalizing, designing). They choose their own sprites and background, learn how to add motion, text or color, so the project they work on immediately shows their interests.


The interest leads to HardFun , where students can learn more and more by themselves by trying more and more because they need to reach what they love what they interest!



Hi Erin - Sorry for my late reply. We use LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits - Education version (not retail). Please let me know if you have any more questions.


Hi Ben -

Sorry for my late reply. Crazy week. I’d love to connect and have a discussion about Mindstorms (and more). I’m off for 4 days starting tomorrow (Thursday 11/9), so let me know if any day/time works for you…


Leslie. I couldn’t agree with you more. It all happens during the working experience. It is also the moment in which your students fill you with you when they approach you and say: “look I did it”.


After Mr. Mitchel Resnick mentioned Benjamin Franklin, another quote automatically came to my mind, which says:

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin.

On my opinion, that quote it’s really meaningful and at the same time, reminds me about everything that we’ve been learning through LCL. To feel involved and motivated, it’s the best way to make the learning process memorable and significant.


“Hard fun” struck with me right away. There is satisfaction in the struggle to learn. I am trying to stress the idea of “brain sweat” with the adults who come with our little museum visitors, that it’s okay to let a child struggle a bit without jumping in for the save!


For me, here is the quote or paragraph to be more precise that resonated the most with me and brought a very big smile to my face.

“A couple weeks later, an administrator at the Computer Museum sent an email to the staff, warning them to be on the lookout for a group of children sneaking into the museum. It turned out that these were the same children who had enthusiastically participated in the LEGO/Logo activities. Now, they were getting into trouble with security.”

I remember my first college year here in the US. I lived on campus and did not have a car so going out Friday and Saturday nights was nearly impossible. For entertainment some weekend nights we would “sneak in” the gymnasium to play futsal or indoor soccer. Not unlike these kids that had to sneak in the museum to continue to do something they were passionate about. (For the record I also sneaked in the Photography lab to develop film one night and almost got caught… never again!!!)

Loved this week’s topic!


Hi, Kat!

Thank you very much for reading my post. I completely agree with you. I think that this way of understanding education as a process that pays more attention to the continuous discovery of personal interests and strengths and not as something accidental, could be a watershed in the quality of life of each individual, and therefore, of a society.
I love the observations you make about respect and resiliencie. After all, there is nothing like the example to teach something. If the school shows interest and respect for their students own interests, it should be easier to live this principles in other contexts.


“Most children are willing to work hard–eager to work hard–so long as they’re excited about the things they are working on.”

I totaly agree, but our school system leads to decreased passion. In Slovenia the school curiculum (math) is overfilled. I try to teach math in a way that students get passionate about topics. I think that project based learning helps me a lot.


Here is also another project/prototype I called it Smart door,

"The video in Arabic"

in this project, when guest came and ring the pell then the camera will take a photo shoot and will send it to my tweeter account , and I will check first if I like this person I will send a tweet for example “Ok” the door will open, and if I send another tweet for example “no” the door will close again.
Since I have passion in IOT I see this is a good example to understand what is IOT, and we can let kids imagine upon their interest to make any project and use IOT to help in controlling their projects.

in such project, we can see that kids can integrate a lots of science like design, mechanical, programming, IOT
and sometimes they can use a 3D printer to print some parts.


“Clubhouse members often worked long hours on these projects, coming back to the Clubhouse day after day. At one point, a teacher from a local school came to visit the Clubhouse, and she was shocked to see one of her students working on a 3-D animation project. She said that he was always goofing off in the classroom. She’d never seen him working so hard.”

I’m excited about the fact that MIT Media Lab provides opportunities for socially deprived children and those who are not motivated enough for learning at school and therefore so many times fail to develop their talents. And I’m also sad because in our country we are still far away from that point and too often we don’t support children as they deserve.


I liked "most children are willing to work hard - eager to work hard - so long as they’re excited about the things they’re working on. This totally resonates with me as an educator. If the kids aren’t somewhat interested, they’re not going to be engaged, likewise if they’re super passionate about a topic or subject then they are always busting a gut and will work as hard as they can on that subject or topic. That’s the challenge a lot of the time for us as teachers, to make the lessons or topic as relevant or engaging to the kids as possible so they’re willing to work hard. Of course, this isn’t achievable for every topic we are mandated to teach, as with us all, students have different interests, however that is the continued challenge, to try to reach those disengaged learners and get them passionate and excited to learn about something.


“…be on the lookout for a group of children sneaking into the museum”.

That’s passion - not letting anything stop you from pursuing what you want and/or need to be able to learn and do more. A lot of times I think ‘problem children’ at school are really just attempting to “sneak into the museum”; trying to find what they want/need to engage with their curiosity and passion for the world around them.


The quote that resonated with me is that kids are willing to work hard and eager to work hard as long as they work on things they really care about.

I have seen this in my classroom. You see the light in student’s eyes light up when they can work on something they want to learn about.

It makes me want to keep bring these ideas into my classroom.


I found myself dog-earing the pages that discussed the need for a balance between structure and freedom. I was especially excited by the discussion of Karen Brennan’s work and her specific suggestion that learning environments need to:

“employ structure in a way that amplifies learner agency.”

I’m a former public school teacher who currently works in informal education (afterschool and summer programs), so I know the best – and the worst – of both worlds. I think both school and informal ed get a lot right, as well as a lot wrong. And I think Karen’s quote explains it perfectly.

Throughout the chapter, in the back of my mind, I was thinking about my own experiences with Scratch. I tried to use it years ago, when I was a teacher, but I found it overwhelming and gave up. When I talk to elementary school teachers now who have tried it, they often relay a similar experience – which is why I didn’t (and they don’t) use it in their classrooms.

It wasn’t until years later, when I spent more time with Scratch and found ways to scaffold it – with shorter activities around Blockly first – that I started really appreciating the platform. Introducing those activities is also when I saw more students (and other teachers) become successful with Scratch – because the pre-learning activities were just enough structure to amplify learner agency. So I was really happy to read, at the end of the chapter, about the invention of Scratch microworlds, to help offer that scaffolding to students within their spheres of interest. And I’m even more excited that you can create something in a microworld and transfer it to the full Scratch program when you’re ready. Woo! Hoo!


I agree – I think lots of us love hard fun, especially in relation to our passions. But we also need small successes toward the end product, so we don’t get fatigued. (Like leveling up in video games.)

I really appreciate that, in the “Lifelong Kindergarten” book, Mitch Resnick discusses the use of mentors in the Computer Clubhouses. It seems as though the mentors are there to step in and offer a guiding question or suggestion at just the right moment – when students need it – so students get a small success (like the example of Mitch showing Leo the variables block), allowing them to keep moving.

I think one of the more difficult things in education is knowing when and how to support students in that moment between hard fun and failure fatigue. And figuring out how to do that when you have 32 kids with only one teacher.


Flow - completely absorbed in the activity. I love that state…you hear nothing around you. You are completely immersed and your creative juices are flowing.