I’ve been struggling with this reflection… a bit of ‘hard fun’ hahaha ouch hahahah. ouch… but joking aside, I do realize how critical this reflection can be: a mental anchor to hard wire memories of the course and provide a springboard into future applications.
So, play… I realize I naturally play and tinker and really need to provide that opportunity for my students. In many ways, I do… I provide materials and experiences for students to manipulate and learn through iteration. My big concern is accountability: getting kids to reflect and express their learning, and using time effectively instead of just poking around with peers without accomplishing the learning for which we are responsible. I hate tests that are only regurgitation of information without application or demonstration of true comprehension, and I am not sure how to impart to my students that it is important to have knowledge, to own information on a profound level so it becomes a medium that you can apply creatively.
I have been studying abstract acrylic painting with Jane Davies for a few years now http://janedaviesstudios.com
and really struggled with her courses as I was more a beginner student participating in an intermediate course. Now I have a lot more experience with materials, tools and techniques, I am no longer painting in a state of semi-panic, but one of curiosity and play. That too is an important framework for me to remember with my students.
Peers: I have loved participating in the forums, learning from others, remixing projects and being mentored by @Augusto with his re-mixes of my coordinate plotting attempts. Right now, we have a Mini-Maker Faire going on and it was so exciting yesterday, to see how people are exploring interactions with sounds and light. I went with my collaborating friend, Louise Campbell,
her blog: http://louisecampbell.ca/wp/en/#
student work from last year’s collaboration (you may want to turn your speakers down to find a comfortable level… it gets noisy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_BBXCgobGA
We’re looking at ‘sound ecology of the lunch room’ as it is an aggressively noisy space and time which really could use some treatment and direction.
We were really inspired by @matthewscharles (Twitter) with the interactive sound/light exploration he’s working on… with the thought we could set up interesting light based art work that functioned when the decibels were below a certain level… these folks also really captivated us: https://vimeo.com/163596013.
The work of http://www.nimanavab.com/projects.html really enchanted me. He had a very simple demo of a 3 watt led shining onto a few inches of water in a plexiglass box, which had drops of water creating a variety of patterns below.
https://robotinacan.com introduced me to Snap! as a way to program Arduino which may be perfect for my Scratch savvy elementary students because frankly, I’m really intimidated by C, Java and Python. I am open to suggestions for learning that will make me less intimidated, for sure, but I am also realistic in the sense that if it’s not going to work for my elementary students, I am not that likely to invest a lot of time into it.
I think the way LCL has helped me, is that I am not shy to inquire what has inspired people to pursue their projects, and where they see their next steps taking them. I am happy to make connections to look for support be it receive or offer and to exchange ideas. Some people are willing to play with what ifs, some are not. I’m okay with that.
What I would like to know, is how to draw people out from the shadows, how to engage the lurkers to know their input is going to help others, and has a place in public light. I say this because of the dynamic of my parents: my dad is very extroverted, and my mom very introverted and both have been fabulous teachers. I am really grateful to both, but want to say, in the context of shy folks, to my mom, for teaching me to go to the quiet corners to find out what is going on in the depths of the still waters because it is often very interesting and entertaining.
I have a couple of students this year in kindergarten who are selecting mutism and this really worries me. Please share strategies with me!
Projects: I still need to find my answers about accountability, about balance of structure and independence… I also realize I need to do some goal setting and prioritization so I make progress and actually complete things, rather than putz around in a swamp of half-baked ideas. One of my big issues is a pattern of gathering an abundant amount of materials, or starting a ridiculous number of iterations rather than complete one iteration, reflect and reiterate. I do like to start series… 10 or so, but then get lost in the process. and kind of fizzle out… find a new interest, get charged up by the neophillia and start a bunch then abandon that as things fizzle. I believe I would benefit from some tinkering with that pattern.
Passion… it’s kind of addressed above, but I’d also say, it’s very much fuelled by interactions with peers, by sharing interests and collaborating. I am a social beast to say the least, even though I am awkward.