New to Social Media world, took me a while to set up.  I was dragging my feet at first with this course, I got some energy and ready to get involved with all of you. 

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I tried the marshmallow challenge with my daughter who is 12. Like all good creative learners, we didn't read the directions, we just grabbed some spaghetti and marshmallows and dived in. The only self-imposed rule was that we had to have a marshmallow on top. The blurry photo does not do it justice, but I think it came out wonderfully. Of course, the design was emergent with each of us offering our own ideas and building on each others. I thought the string with LCL was a nice touch. Then we had fun finding a suitable background and taking the photo. And then we left it out for all to see. The result was that our other daughter and her friend decided that they needed to be involved too. They went to the basement and returned 30 minutes with their own creation made from cotton balls, aluminum foil, wire, and four old wheels from a filing cabinet. Creative learning spreads!
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My thoughts on the Papert Gears article: Ray Martinez2:53 PMEdit
I think the article will tie nicely in with the Interest-Based Learning panel this week. The article definitely addresses the challenge of motivation that all teachers face with learners. It reminds me of Roger Shank's similar ideas about using cognitive science and student passion to drive learning (see http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Minds-Cognitive-Science-Schools/dp/0807752665). The devil is always in the details, of course. How does a teacher allow every child to follow their passion? How does an employer let their workers follow their passion (if they are not Google with their 20% rule and gazillion dollars)? And practically speaking, some important learning objectives may not easily be molded around some passions. Teachers have to be very creative to use interest-based learning effectively.

The other notable idea for me from the article was the idea of an object as a door to other learning. For Papert it was gears, but it need not be a physical object. It could also be a powerful unifying idea, like beauty or, as it was for me, the idea of evolution. It serves to make sense of a large amount of disjointed information. I was trying to think of a particular physcial object that did the same thing for me. Perhaps it was a soccer ball where I "learned" about some kinds of math and physics I suppose, as well as the ideas of teamwork and motivation and strategy.

As educators then, I guess we need to give all students a variety of experiences to let them find an object that arouses their interests and passion, and then work hard to see how creative we can be to introduce other important topics to them in a way that motivates them.

Hello everyone. Is that our logo? Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon done with a Dorito and garbage bag? I love it. I'm looking forward to discussin things with you. What did you think of the opening lecture? I found it interesting that so many of these ideas behind collaborative learning and using design and technology in education are not all that new. They just are not mainstream (until now :-).

Hey +Chica Esca, thanks for setting this up! looking forward to catching up on the lessons. I have a very busy week, but will be diving in as soon as I can!
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