The 2016 Stanford University FabLearn Fellows cohort is getting started on a year long journey of sharing their diverse experiences in schools, community organizations, and museums. They are educators who serve a variety of age groups and populations in North and South America, Africa, and Europe. They are newcomers and veterans, all devoted to the idea that learning in the 21st century must be both hands-on and heads-in. Throughout the course of the year, they will develop curriculum and resources, as well as contribute to current research projects. Their blogs represent their diverse experience and interests in creating better educational oportunities for all.
I’ve been privileged to mentor this group and part of that is summarizing their amazing blog posts. Here are some blog highlights from November 2016. – Sylvia Martinez
The gorgeous news!
Twenty FabLearn Fellows were selected from over 200 extremely well-qualified applicants from 30 countries. The news came as a surprise and delight!
Josh Ajima shared I’m a FabLearn Fellow and So Can You! with some nifty ideas for spreading the FabLearn Fellowship far and wide. Also sharing the “gorgeous news” was Alphonse Habyarimana in Alphonse Is a Stanford Fablearn Fellow! and Koffi Dodji Honou‘s experiences as a volunteer to a FabLab manager in Experimenting the power of Hands-on-learning.
The kickoff to the FabLearn Fellow year was the FabLearn conference in October 2016. All 20 new FabLearn Fellows convened from around the world to meet with researchers, students, and educators sharing about making, digital fabrication, and learning. Many of the 2014 FabLearn Fellow cadre members were also in attendance and will continue as Senior Fellows to help guide the journey.
Reflections came from Anne Bown-Crawford on What do I do differently in my professional life as a result of FabLearn 2016? and Kevin Jarrett on Fablearn: the most amazing conference you (probably) never heard of.
One of the highlights of the FabLearn conference was the keynote from Dr. Edith Ackermann which sparked several reflections on design, play, and how the ideas of Piaget and Papert are reflected in today’s maker movement and interest in design as a learning process. In This Is (More Than) a Keychain, Daniel Schermele explores this idea in depth as he explains how students deconstruct and reconstruct knowledge AND things when they make with purpose.
Angie O’Malley wrote about one of Edith’s comments about Papert’s Perestroika, connecting it to her own students who gain the habits of mind that come from making and tinkering with big ideas, while Angela Sofia Lombardo wonders in Papert’s Predictions how (and if) this perestroika he predicted will become the megachange we need in education. Cassia Fernandez wrote about whether the recent global interest in programming is what Papert predicted or simply more of the same teaching methodology masquerading as preparation for “STEM jobs” in Megachanges and programming curricula.
In which we learn much about FabLearn Fellows Sam Phillips who is Diving In, Confession by Angie O’Malley, and HELP! MAKER PROJECT CHAOS by Josh Ajima. Short version: can’t swim/wanted to be a PE teacher/has too much stuff.
Nuts and bolts
FabLearn Fellows are practical, too. Sharing great ideas for hands-on learning and tools is part of the fun!
- Introducing to the procedural Design by Koffi Dodji Honou explains an international “game jam” where people make things that make things.
- Thinking about 3d Geographical Representations. Senior Fellow Heather Pang thinks out loud about 3D representation, maps, and helping students see options.
- Parrot Minidrones, Tickle & Tynker: A Lesson in Edtech Economics by Kevin Jarrett explores what happens when “free” software moves on before you are quite ready for it.
- Anne Bown-Crawford shares a video she uses to spur maker curiosity – OK Go takes its cue from Peter Fischli & David Weiss and a Good start up resource guide for starting up a makerspace.
Last but not least…
Coping with the challenges of our political aftermath – in our classrooms…. by Anne Bown-Crawford on coping with the unexpected results of the US election and what a teacher’s role is to “work with our students to reshape the world.”