What do I want to accomplish?
Well I think I need to start at what I think the ideal classroom is like. I would like to create a space that is messy, free of coercion and mistakes are the accepted rule rather than the rare exception. I want a classroom where marks don’t matter and making stuff work is reward enough.
I know “that there is just pie in the sky thinking” but what if it was possible?
After 18 years of slugging it out in the trenches, teaching a course(s) to that kids don’t really want have to sit through but it is a graduation requirement so they endure it. I have an opportunity to create something that might come close to resembling the description above.
I currently have a classroom full of IT kids who are almost entirely self-directed and happy to try anything I hand to them so why not try to expand this program and bring in stuff they can make things out of.
This is the idea behind the Maker Movement, where we have kids and teachers creating with their hands using the academic skills we have given them. Coding for example, is a marriage of Math and English skills. Forcing kids to think their way through problems, come with solutions and eventually their code becomes an Art form, which manifests itself on a computer screen or in physical object such as robot. Raspberry Pi has given us access to a whole new world of creating through computing.
The other thing this Raspberry Pi project will expose students to is the world of open source and instil in them that their learning shouldn’t be bound by the walls of the school. I am in no way under the illusion that I will be the keeper of all information for this project and I am not selling it as such. I will be relying heavily on open source resources to conduct this class and I will be encouraging kids to do the same in their own learning. In the spirit of Open Source this will be an open classroom.
So there we go, my airy fairy description of what I want to accomplish with Design Learning.