Week 1: Making as Learning
Welcome to the first week of #teachtheweb. This entire experience is yours to make. There are ways to use the course in a light touch way, but of course the more you invest the bigger the return. There are thousands of people registered to participate with you. Some will do everything, some will do nothing. Nothing is required, but we encourage you to read the posts, try the tasks and participate in the experience as much as you can. Make the things you want to make, take risks, share your projects and thoughts in the online channels and give your feedback to your peers. The important thing is to make #teachtheweb what you need it to be.
This week, we’ll start a conversation around ‘Making as Learning’. Throughout #teachtheweb, we’ll be making digital artifacts, so it seemed like a good idea to take a look at the Making as Learning pedagogy and explore what that means.
We are all makers. We cook, sew, construct, write, play music, tinker, paint, tell stories. We engage in our world through the creation of thousands of artifacts that allow others to understand our understandings, views and experiences. We express ourselves through creation. In the process of making we express ourselves and then we reflect on what we’ve created. We share our creations with others and we ask for feedback. “Do you like my new recipe?” “What do you think of my painting?”
Throughout this process, we learn. It is through trial and error and the ever important failure that we learn what to do and what not to do. Learning to make something work involves discovery and wonder – it’s a spiral of intrinsic motivation; each new understanding unlocks new questions. We improve our skills as we create.
Mentorship & Empowerment
Creative making in the digital space is every bit as empowering and thought provoking as any other kind of creation. Instead of pushing educational technologies and practices into our learners’ lives, we should be pulling the informal technologies and practices of our learners into the formal and informal learning spaces our societies rely on. We should allow them to mentor us, as we do the same.
Making, as well as learning, is a culture-influenced and influencing phenomenon, therefore it’s important to understand the cultural influences that shape our makes, and the degree to which our makes shape culture. This seems particularly important when we think of making digital artifacts, since this begins with the premise of access. In online learning spaces, who is not represented, and why is that?
We each bring our own unique skills and life experiences to creating something. In the Making as Learning aligned networks like Webmaker, the Hive Learning Networks, Make to Learn, the National Writing Project and many, many more are integrating interested-based, hands on activities into their lesson plans and programming to focus more squarely on each learner’s needs as opposed to subject matter. These networks are experimenting with changing the power dynamic between teacher and learner, instead forming networks of peers, and using the idea of mentorship to level up competencies, both in the “learner” as well as the “teacher”.
The aim is to create safe places for all people to experiment as making always has failure. People in this scenario are not just youth, but the educators, techies, parents, scout leaders, and many others who feel as if they lack the technical and/or social competencies to participate in the digital spaces. If we are afraid of failure, we may never create new things, which means we won’t learn to solve the toughest problems.
It’s time to face our fear of failure, rely on one another to be collaborative and begin experimenting in the digital space.
Let’s embark on peer supported experimentation in varying forms of creation, and we’ll start to see that digital tools allow us to make and reconnect both in the digital as well as the physical world. We can use these tools to push our learners on their own journey of life-long learning as well as for specific exploration of particular topics.
Throughout #teachtheweb, we’ll use Webmaker and other digital tools to make things that allow us to explore web and digital making.
Introduce yourself, Webmaker-style!
Welcome to the Webmaker Mentor community! We’re thrilled you’re here and are REALLY looking forward to learning and making with you. We’re loving the unique introductions some of you have shared – be it via Popcorn video, Thimble page, or other format that exemplifies what makes “making” on the web so special.
The MAKE for this week is to create a webby intro, and post it under the “Introductions” thread on G+ Webmakers. Below are starter ideas, templates and examples for inspiration. Feel free to remix the templates!
The X-Ray Goggles show you the underlying building blocks of the Web. You can remix an existing webpage to become a profile page. Get started with this awesome video:
See an example: From CogDog: https://twitter.com/cogdog/status/313986609773178880/photo/1
Meet the Webmaker Mentor Team! This is the team at Mozilla working hard to grow this global community of people like yourself who care about digital literacy and the open web, and want to help teach and share their skills with others. In addition to working on this MOOC, we’re busy planning Maker Party 2013, MozFest, creating Webmaker mentor resources and overseeing Hive Learning Networks in NYC and Toronto. Beatrice, Chris, Julia, Kathryn, Lainie, Laura, Leah, Matt, Michelle, Sayak
We’re excited to get to know you better!
- What do you value about making, and how can you contribute to the building of the knowledge base that is the #teachtheweb community?
- What is the advantage of making as learning over traditional “forward facing” pedagogies? Disadvantages?
- What kind of thinking is involved when you Make?
- How transferable are coding skills to other domains? Why is learning a little code important?
- How can webmaking help discovery and wonder be valued in formal learning spaces?
Small Sampling of Readings and Resources
- Good introductory read from Rafi Santo
- the PDF of the below video – FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Get Started with Popcorn
- Stats about why coding is important for students in the long run
- Article about DefCon’s Kid’s Track and why hacking is a good thing for students. “It’s the original creative spirit and emphasis on skill building and inquiry that Chris Hoff is hoping to instill in the next generation.”
- Children’s Narrative Development through Computer Game Authoring
- Evaluating the Use of Mulitmedia authoring with Dyslexic Learners: A Case Study
- Scratch – designed specifically to help kids learn to code
- TedX video from creator of Scratch
- Scratch: Multimedial programming environment for young gifted learners
- Sir Ken Robinson Changing Educational Paradigms
- Bret Victor Inventing on Principle
- Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete by Sherry Turkle & Seymour Papert
- Henry Jenkin’s Connected Learning/New Media Literacies
The following is a list of people who contributed their thoughts to the planning document for Making as Learning. Want to help plan topics? Check out the Planning page on the #teachtheweb site.
- Laura Hilliger (@epilepticrabbit)
- Julia Vallera (@colorwheelz)
- Benjamin Kasavan (@bkasavan)
- Ibrahima Sarr
- Muhammad Syafiq Mazli (@syafiqmazli)
- Cari Rerat (@rhymeswcarrot)
- Emma Irwin (@sunnydeveloper)
- Brendan Murphy (@dendari)
- Dorine Flies (@epikprojectuk)
- San James (@jsan4christ)
- Chad Sansing (@chadsansing)
- Sandraghassen S Pillai [ganesh] (@onlygan)
- Lawrence Kisuuki (@lawkis)
- Cliff Argwings (@qleeph)
- Kim Wilkens (@kimxtom)
- Soumya Deb (@Debloper)
- Meredith Summs (@meredithsumms)
- Doug Belshaw (@dajbelshaw)
- Paul Oh (@poh)
- Galaxy Kadiyala (@GalaxyK)
- Santiago Ferreira (@cosmikspin)
- Gauthamraj Elango (@gauthamrajela)
- Mura Nava(@muranava)
- Ankit Gadgil (@anknite)
- Verena Roberts (@verenanz)
- Emily Long (@emlong)