Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the march

My last post was asking for help, and I got a fair amount. Thank you to those who gave suggestions. Perhaps the most important thing anyone engaged in a new venture can do is seek inspiration. When I think about why we should be teaching how to be creative, and that creativity is as much a part of science and engineering as it is in the arts and humanities, I come up with things like this.

What is a 3D printer? It is a device that can create practice models of cancerous organs so that surgeons can practice before they go in to do surgery on a patient. That is not the answer I have been giving to parents and colleagues who are unfamiliar with the technology, but it might be part of my answer now!

It is also a device that can print out a cube whose design you found on the internet.

You have to start somewhere.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why Legos?

In the course of my reading for becoming a Director of Innovation and Technology, I keep hearing about these Lego building blocks. Maybe there's something to them!

This Op-Ed in the New York Times is a beautifully-written account of how influential Legos can be in a person's development. Enjoy it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Reading List

I have a new job. It is to create a Makerspace at my school, figure out how it will fit into and reshape curriculum from preK-12, and work closely with teachers on integrating technology into the classroom. This is really a great set of challenges, and I am very excited to get cracking!

There are some hurdles, of course, not least being my relative inexperience in matters STEM: I have spent the last 15 years teaching Modern European History.

With that said, I feel like I have some reading to do. Mostly, what I want to explore is the variety of educational approaches to Making as part of an educational curriculum and in how to teach and work with design thinking. These are new ideas for me, and I want to learn so I'm ready to work on applying them.

So far, here's what my reading list looks like, in no particular order:

  • Invent To Learn, Sylvia Libow Martinez & Gary Stager
  • The Makerspace Workbench, Adam Kemp
  • An Ethic of Excellence, Ron Berger
  • Catch The Wind, Harness The Sun, Michael J. Caduto
  • I Live In The Future & Here's How It Works, Nick Bilton
  • The Makerspace Playbook, MAKE Magazine
  • MAKE Magazine
I just read about Universal Traveler, by Don Koberg, which looks like a useful and fun guide to design thinking.

In any case, I'm interested to hear if anyone has any suggestions for other books that would be worth checking out to help learn more about Making, design thinking, or anything vaguely related to creating new programs in schools.

Thanks for your help!