P2P: Robotics, Minecraft & Conflict

P2P is over. Fortunately the rest of Ulearn begins tomorrow. Here are some key things from the day. At the bottom I will include a more detailed breakdown of my learning from each course.

  • Conflict is important to learning, particularly deep learning.
  • It is easy to dismiss tools such as Minecraft as ‘playing’ and not ‘learning’. Did playing stop being learning once students leave kindergarten?
  • Are the methods of learning you provide less complex than the learning students are doing independently?
  • Let the students try to solve a problem that you do not know the answer to (and that isn’t  a quick google search away to find the answer with ease).
  • The online world is extremely social & requires a lot of interaction in multi-player games
  • Online multiplayer gaming requires an understanding of social rules & regulations that are specific to that community, but can also help develop conflict resolution & negotiating skills applicable to physical world situations.

Symposium: Prof. Jane Gilbert, Tim Carr & Mark Osbourne

  1. The makerspace movement is great, but consider to what extent it is educative. Is it just another add on or is it meaningfully integrated?
  2. We need to build our intellectual capacity as well as capacity for true collaboration
  3. We are currently in our 3rd machine age. The key difference between this age and the previous digital age is the ability to share. It democratises education and production. Design prototype: build: share.
  4. Consider the wider purpose of education.
  5. Update the software or the hardware will fizzle out. Move on from the industrial age. 
  6. Robotics develops problem solving.
  7. Give students a problem without a clear solution
  8. Humility as educators is key. We cannot wait for the system to change. The ability to change requires humility.
  9. We need to stop thinking that we are the ones that can fix this. Let the kids be whoever they want instead of trying to fix them.

Minecraft: Marianne Malmstrom

  1. Her excellent wiki: knowclue
  2. Digital citizenship isn’t something taught in isolation – it is learnt through practice. Minecraft is a great vehicle to do this through.
  3. Yes there is conflict in Minecraft, but this can be a good thing. How many lessons are learnt about navigating conflict & the social world in a community game of Minecraft?
  4. The Minecraft world is real to its players. Saying online learning is not real is like saying a conversation on a phone is not real.
  5. Take the time to learn the way your learners do & interact the way they do.

Robotics: Mindkits by Tim Carr

Here I got to work collaboratively to build a robot & learn to program it. What I learnt…

  1. It’s frustrating not being able to get the help you need at the immediate time you need it (no suprises there)
  2. A realisation of how dependent students are on me when they get stuck on tech because I am so quick to fix the issue for them (most of the time)
  3. Year 2 (6-7 year old students) can work with these
  4. These robots are great, but do require more literacy than things like http://code.org, which can be used with non readers (of literacy & numbers) as well. Code.org would provide an excellent foundation in coding for non-literate students, as well as those who are a bit more trepidatious.
  5. It is a great way to develop an understanding of how computers work and why they go wr0ng : if the robot doesn’t do what you want it is because you have not given it the correct instructions.
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