Building the Future: Tinkering and Playful Learning

The following is an excerpt from an article in The Journal by Mike McGalliard and Anne Wintroub. It’s too good not to share. I encourage educators and parents to read and consider the ideas and recommendations presented in the full article.

“Educators and business leaders have more in common than it may seem. Teachers want to prepare students for a successful future. Technology companies…have a vested interest in developing a workforce with the STEM skills needed to grow the company and advance the industry. How can they work together to achieve these goals? Play may [be] the answer.

“We’ve assumed that focusing on STEM skills, like robotics or coding, are important, but the reality is that STEM skills are enhanced and more relevant when combined with traditional, hands-on creative activities. This combination is proving to be the best way to prepare today’s children to be the makers and builders of tomorrow. That is why technology companies are partnering with educators to bring back good, old fashion play.

“In fact many experts argue that the most important 21st century skills aren’t related to specific technologies or subject matter, but to creativity; skills like imagination, problem-finding and problem-solving, teamwork, optimism, patience and the ability to experiment and take risks. These are skills acquired when kids tinker. ” — The Journal

Sources: Image 1, Image 2

Managing Online Identities Session at #MSMECA13

Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Diigo, YouTube , Tumblr, Instagram, and AudioBoo continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.

Below are my slides for this session. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

 

View more presentations from Clif Mims

Build. Make. Hack. Grow. Every Kid Can Be a Maker with DIY Club.

DIY is a club for kids to earn Skills. DIY Makers share their work with the community and get patches for the Skills they earn. Each Skill consists of a set of Challenges that help them learn techniques to get the hang of it. Once a Maker completes a Challenge, they add photos and video to their Portfolio to show what they did.

Makers are curious about the world and strive to learn all kinds of practical knowledge and share it. They seek adventure in the outdoors, participate in communities, use technology to innovate, and have the confidence to try new things” (Source).

Take a look at DIY.org and consider the positive impact it can make in your family, classroom, club, civic group, etc.

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy,
and we should treat it with the same status.”

–Sir Ken Robinson

Professional Development Meme 2012 #pdmeme2012

I’m a big fan of goal setting. It can provide a road map for the short or long-term and can be an effective motivational strategy. I have set a few professional development goals for this summer and have challenged a few of my friends/colleagues to do the same thing. In 2008 I realized that I could set this up as a blog meme and hopefully encourage some of my online friends to achieve a few items from their To Do Lists as well. There are a myriad of ways to approach this, but I’ve opted to take the short-term, easy-to-assess approach, but I’ll leave wiggle room for you to customize it to meet your needs. The official information is below.

Image Source: http://dcrasyep09.files.wordpress.com

Directions

Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2012 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

 

Guidelines

NOTE: You do NOT have to wait to be tagged to participate in this meme.

  1. Pick 1-3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
  2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/03/2012).
  3. Post the above directions and these guidelines along with your 1-3 goals on your blog or preferred social media platform (Facebook, Google+, Posterous, etc.).
  4. Link back/trackback to http://www.clifmims.com/blog/archives/5147.
  5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme2012.
  6. Tag 5 or more educators to participate in the meme.
  7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
  8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

 

My Goals

  1. Become more proficient with Google+ and other Google services and integrate them into my graduate courses and professional development services.
  2. Read at least 2 of the books on my book wish list.
  3. Submit at least 1 of the articles currently in progress for review.

 

I Tag…

 

Education at the 2010 Creativity World Forum #cwf2010

I enjoyed the opening session, Creativity Fueling the 21st Century Global Economy. It was a conversation among Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, & David Pogue. These thought leaders shared their insights on the importance of creativity and innovation in driving both our individual and societal growth.

Event Tag: #cwf2010

At the Creativity World Forum

“The World’s leaders know the future is all about creation and innovation. We must work to transform our world through creative initiatives which lead to a more entrepreneurial and vibrant economy along with a better quality of life for its citizens. Through all these efforts we can: Work to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist…encourage innovation for technologies that haven’t been invented yet…in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” (Source)

“Anyone who wants to gather with innovate minds from around the world to gather and share ideas and best practices on commerce, culture, and education. Creativity isn’t just for “creatives” anymore. It’s the driving force behind our greatest ideas, our most comprehensive solutions and our most profitable enterprises.” (Source)
Conference Resources

Event Tag: #cwf2010

Professional Development Meme 2010

I’m a big fan of goal setting. It can provide a road map for the short or long-term and can be an effective motivational strategy. I have set a few professional development goals for this summer and have challenged a few of my friends/colleagues to do the same thing. In 2008 I realized that I could set this up as a blog meme and hopefully encourage some of my online friends to achieve a few items from their To Do Lists. There are a myriad of ways to approach this, but I’ve opted to take the short-term, easy-to-assess approach, but I’ll leave some wiggle room for you to customize it to meet your needs. The official information is below.

Directions

Summer can be a great time for professional development. It is an opportunity to learn more about a topic, read a particular work or the works of a particular author, beef up an existing unit of instruction, advance one’s technical skills, work on that advanced degree or certification, pick up a new hobby, and finish many of the other items on our ever-growing To Do Lists. Let’s make Summer 2010 a time when we actually get to accomplish a few of those things and enjoy the thrill of marking them off our lists.

The Rules

NOTE: You do NOT have to wait to be tagged to participate in this meme.

  1. Pick 1-3 professional development goals and commit to achieving them this summer.
  2. For the purposes of this activity the end of summer will be Labor Day (09/06/2010).
  3. Post the above directions along with your 1-3 goals on your blog.
  4. Link back/trackback to http://www.clifmims.com/blog/archives/3669.
  5. Use the following tag/ keyword/ category on your post: pdmeme2010.
  6. Tag 5 or more bloggers to participate in the meme.
  7. Achieve your goals and “develop professionally.”
  8. Commit to sharing your results on your blog during early or mid-September.

My Goals

  1. Read at least 2 of the books on my book wish list.
  2. Implement idea for new blog feature.
  3. Submit at least 1 of the articles currently in progress for review.

I Tag…

21st Century Schools

Dr. Stephen Heppell‘s video about 21st century schools provokes you to consider what lies ahead. Wes Fryer states that this video “makes a strong case for blended learning where the learning connection between home and school is seamless.”