Gary Stager – here

photoLeon Botstein “Young people have a remarkable capacity for intensity.” Do something constructive with it.

How do we increase the intensity level at school? A more expansive level of computing.

My take: Computing isn’t being chained to a computer. It’s computational thinking. This requires making self-advocates out of learners. I push my students to brag on themselves – show your parents your work, tell them all the work, thinking, studying, trial-and-error that went into what you made.

*Building something is better than being passive.

Cardboard: The gateway drug. Love it:

“School is about giving kids access to the experience and expertise they need.”

Look What Joey’s Making

MIT Welcomes Makers with New Maker Portfolio

The Beauty and Joy of Computing

Question for Gary Stager: What would you put in a maker space?

  • 3D printer
  • More green walls
  • Cutters – lazer, vinyl (stickers, letters), wood
  • Makey Makey, arduino.
  • Recycled-to-upcycled materials
  • Quiet spaces
  • Advice: Don’t buy a lot at once – tech changes, prices change

*What isn’t building something:

  • Curriculum according to app availability
  • Only one hour of code
  • “This is what your project should look like when you’re done.” (Permissible when  process is the objective)

 My Experience

Inspired – I appreciate the boundaries provided by the MYP Design framework, and yet I know first hand how learners perform when minimal criteria are mandated but the field for creativity is wide open. How to allow that in Design?

Hopeful – For every student there is a unique trajectory – or there should be – so here’s hoping that school evolves to fulfil a mandate of revelation for the individual.

Creative – I am reminded again of Tom Kelley‘s anthropological exercise, What can I learn from watching _*__ in action?

  • *The Chef to his staff: “This is what the entree looks like. I don’t care what you do with the vegetables.” From which I brought to my classroom, “Here is what I need from you as your English teacher – show me you understand theme and can back up your assertion with evidence. It’s up to you how you do it.” This approach turned out the most creative and effective presentations in my ten year of teaching. I would like to do more of that in Design. Here’s a design challenge with design specifications – meet that need.
  • *The Toy Designers: Their workshop was an organised mess – a huge worktable surrounded by shelves of tools, materials, and general stuff, so that whenever inspiration struck, a potential solution was within reach. How to have both physical and virtual tinkering spaces?

Challenged – Friction: At what points do we step out of learners’ way so they have room to explore, learn from experience, and increase creativity, and when do we remember Luke on Modern Family, “I’m only 12! I need boundaries.”

Forward: Think globally. Act Locally.




One thought on “Gary Stager – here”

  1. I love that first quote on his slide. I know some of us in the middle school are wrestling with this fact right now. We have come to realize that our technology is mostly just serving as a substitute for pencils and notebooks. We aren’t really letting the kids fully experience the tech. It’s been a disconcerting realization.

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