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Tinkering Towards Technology Fluency

Session One: Saturday 10:00am–11:30am
Room 208
Sylvia Martinez
Affiliation: Generation YES
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

Tinkering is a time-honored educational practice, focusing on a learner exploring a subject or problem without clear goals or time constraints, using objects or tools at hand, driven by passion and curiosity. Seymour Papert used the word, "bricolage" to describe a way to solve problems by trying things out, testing, playing, and trying again. This stands in direct contrast to the way we teach students to use analytical methods (such as the scientific method) to solve problems. Current digital tools would seem to support this method of learning, with the rapid ability to build first drafts and easy to use editing tools. When mistakes and prototypes were expensive and time consuming, it certainly made sense to carefully plan your attack on a problem. However, this is no longer the case. In industry, the methodology of production planning has been revolutionized by rapid design tools. Accepted practices of design and planning have completely changed over the past 25 years, with linear "waterfall" planning completely replaced by new "spiral" design methodologies, especially in the design of digital products.

Conversational Practice:
Beginning questions for the conversation are: How can tinkering influence our understanding of technology literacy as a set of skills to be mastered? How might this influence classroom practice when teaching analytical problem solving in any subject? How can tinkering fit in today's structured classroom environment? How does a teacher maintain a schedule and series of learning objectives that result in learning, not just fooling around? Is anything a student does tinkering? What roles do judgment and content knowledge play in tinkering? Plus others suggested by the participants or from any comments on this page.
Elluminate Rooms ( instructions for launching Elluminate )
Stream via Elluminate: Room 208 — Channel A


Well, I think it would greatly improve it!

Mon 01 Feb 2010 08:36:03 PM EST

How would tinkering influence student and teacher motivation and engagement in the work?

Sat 23 Jan 2010 02:59:27 PM EST