Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Building turtles, re-learning how to learn

click on the image to read Davis' post on Larry Cuban's blog

I just read a post by CA teacher Steven Davis, who had his class put together this mechanical turtle. It involved wiring, research, and writing, and writing about writing. This project-based approach sound very familiar right?

We’ve worked in Turtle Blocks, built some things, yet we haven’t had them reflect too much on these experiences, and perhaps we should start putting that time in at the end of each session, because I think Davis’ argument about the hard to measure learning is all too true. Any kind of learning that we can’t see or measure easily isn’t truly valued in our, as Davis wrote, “data-driven culture.”

Sure, we’ve seen some leaps with some of the tech team students, but that data isn’t easily extracted, and thereby it becomes hard to vie for increased funding through grants, etc. In particular, writing seems to have always been the hard-to-measure discipline. How do you measure exposure, experiences, and ideas in a quant-driven culture to help change our understanding of learning and growth via education?

I suppose it may be to keep telling these stories of growth, perhaps, and keep pressing the need for mistake driven curricula and outcomes that don’t always expect finely polished finished products. And I suppose we need to have our tech team do some more reflection on what they are really doing with this project, so they can better define what they’re learning, as well as their roles in their school.


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This entry was posted on April 13, 2011 by in pedagogy, readingnotes, Sugar, Turtle.


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