[Week 4 Reflection] Quotes and Questions


Leslie, so true. My friend’s daughter (grade 7), I heard, was complaining how much the school focuses on group work, starting middle school. And how much she preferred to work on individual projects. Guess there must be some type of balance of owning individual projects and developing skills to be comfortable on group projects.

Having said that, unlike in workplace, kids do not have a lot of choice in terms of who they work with when they have to work with other kids from the same school. That may result into more frustration, unless they have some choice.


I loved, loved loved reading the Excerpt from Chapter 4: Peers. As I was reading I was highlighting and circling many wonderful segments of the reading. Here are my favorites:

  • “teams come together informally, coalescing around shared interests and common projects. Teams are dynamic, flexible, evolving to meet the needs of the project and the interests of the participants.”

  • “When children think they are being taught, they are much more likely to simply reproduce what the adult does, instead of something new,”

  • “One of the biggest challenges in setting up a new Computer Clubhouse is helping the staff and mentors develop more of a nuanced understanding of the teaching process, steering them away from the two extremes. As I see it, good teaching involves playing a variety of different roles, all in the service of helping others learn. Good teachers and good mentors move fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator.”

  • “New technologies will greatly expand the number of teachers - if we think about teaching in the right way.”

Fascinating read, I enjoyed the focus on the learning space, as a place to encourage collaboration and learning in a “unforced” way but also the role of teachers and mentors in this space being more than passive observers but less than “instructors”

Wrapping the read with the reflection about the assumption by some that technologies will reduce the need for teachers being not correct (similar assumption about robots replacing the need for workers in other industries) BUT that the need for teachers, mentors and instructors with the right training or skill will be in fact greater (again like people needed to program robots in factories.)

Loved this P!


I found Mitch Resnick’s quote intriguing: “… good teaching involves playing a variety of different roles, all in the service of helping others learn. Good teachers and good mentors move fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator.”

I like this quote because it does not only apply to the setting up of a Computer Clubhouse, but to just about any other aspect of good teaching and learning. As a tech coach, I find my role working with teachers is fluid much like that of catalyst, consultant, connector and collaborator.


I completely agree children need lots of control and choice both to learn and to be happy.


The quote about Rodin’s Thinker vs the idea of contemplating.

I love the idea of thinking in groups, which really puts an experiential component to our consciousness. This makes learning much more about the mind and soul of a person than it does about the brain and constructs of the person.


It seems that a lot of teachers are so focused on teaching students facts that they can repeat back on a test that they miss out on the chance to teach students HOW to learn. Once students learn HOW to learn, they are free to learn anything. This can be very empowering.


“Teams are dynamic and flexible, evolving to meet the needs of the project and the interests of the participants.”

I’m thinking of this in relation to a classroom, class projects are often assigned to pre-determined teams or if left open, are formed invariably among friends in the classroom who may or may not have similar interests. Do we place enough emphasis in classrooms of the need to create teams based on the evolving needs of the project? At what point do we transition from allowing children to create teams they are comfortable with to pushing them towards exploring different working styles and personalities in order to broaden their own skill sets?


I do not have a specific quote, but there is something I have been reflecting on. After reading and watching some webinars on play, I have been thinking about the idea of having a community of sages or elders that we can consult and learn from. This model is similar to my graduate training where I have very few formal classes but still receive extensive training from different professors in my department to acquire the skills and knowledge I need to be successful. I would argue that I have learned more from one week of consulting these knowledgeable “sages” than I did from a single course.

This training occurs at a Master’s and Doctoral level, so why not implement a similar approach at lower grade levels? Part of the reason may be that at a high education level I have the luxury of selecting my areas of interest and really delving in while not worrying about meeting some prescribed standard. However, I see great merit in implementing some semi-structured “sage-consulting” educational approach at lower levels. I am sure younger students would find they learn much more from the collaborative approach than most traditional classroom instruction. Even Vygotsky saw value in learning from “more knowledgeable others” to help advance through zones of proximal development.

What are others’ thoughts on this?


I just really liked the description of the computer club house and how it was set up for collaborative learning. That chapter gave many great ideas for setting kids up for collaborative learning.


@Tokyopingu I agree with you, it does seem important to me too to draw some balance between group and individual work, especially in middle school when students are discovering so much about themselves and others and need time to explore and develop executive functioning skills.


Having recently gone through the process of totally redesigning a whole learning space (one for the whole school not just one class) has required me to think a lot a bout how students (and teachers) actually collaborate and what the necessary requirements are that can enable that to happen. For a long time education has been stagnating in this rows of individuals approach where it is a sin to ‘share’ or ‘talk’ or ‘work together’, whereas we are starting to see the value of student collaboration and students not only as learners, but as teachers and peer mentors, and often, that kid of learning goes a lot deeper and has a greater impact on the students than a lot of what we try to do as teachers.


Le Penseur
3D printed


“Of the four P’s of creative learning, peers has probably been the most profoundly affected by new technologies.”

The influence of technology on our students is so often portrayed in a negative light. Could you please share an example of how you would disagree with that?


I really like the 4th principle of the Computer Club House: to create an environment of trust and respect. I think that when we are talking about kids, it’s really important that they feel they are in a place where their ideas are as valid as the rest. If we want to ignite their creativity, they must feel that no one is going to judge what they are doing but support them. It’s really important that it’s a safe place for them to develop project and that everyone there is sharing the same principles and they will just want to help to create something bigger.


The most interesting quotes are:
learning through designing
building on interest
cultivating community
creating an environment of trust and respect

Well done!


I agree. This has been a teaching goal I hold in focus for over the last 18 months. It is sooooo easy just to give my version rather than allow space and time for kids to figure things out. I am trying to wrap my head around the culture of learned helplessness I see in my students and I think this is an integral component, that we as adults give kids our solutions, rather than demonstrate confidence in their abilities to figure it out.
I still have a ways to go before this is fully integrated into my teaching, and I find my artistry in when to intercede and guide and when to keep some distance, or offer encouragement.


" When people think about thinking, they often think of Rodin’s famous sculpture The Thinker, which shows a lone individual, sitting by himself, in deep contemplation. Of course, some thinking happens that way, but most doesn’t. Most of the time, thinking is integrated with doing: We think in the context of interacting with things, playing with things, creating things. And most thinking is done in connection with other people: We share ideas, get reactions from other people, build upon one another’s ideas."
This is important, because interaction with others is how great ideas are developed. However, this will only happen in an environment built on respect and trust. This type of environment doesn’t happen overnight and is something that needs constant nurturing. Especially now in this “reality show” type of atmosphere that is so prevalent in the school that I am currently working in.


I´m agree with you. I think that to stimulate creativity there is nothing better than brainstorming but sometimes it is difficult to maintain respect among students because it makes it easy for them to laugh when someone says something. When going to brainstorm it is important to establish the rules of respect before you start so students can feel free to express their ideas
"the best way for a
teacher to provide a spark is to ask questions"


With online Scratch you can use the command File -> Download to your computer. It will be downloaded a .sb2 file (actually a zip file) that you can easily convert to flash (.swf). The URL you indicated contains a link (Scratch do SFW converter) from which you can download an offiline version of the converter. Also indicated a way to transform a swf into exe, but swf file is much more usable, and platform independent.
You can also use Scratch editor offline, downloading a versiom from their site.


I totally agree!