Learning Creative Learning

Coding is for Everybody

posted May 29, 2013, 6:26 AM by John Henry Thompson

Coding is for Everybody: Learning through Creating, Personalizing, Sharing, and Reflecting with Scratch

Kick off event: Creating Jun 3 4:00 PM PST


11 Session

posted May 13, 2013, 6:44 AM by John Henry Thompson

May 13: Reflections (Session 11)

10 Session

posted May 4, 2013, 8:47 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 10, 2013, 8:16 PM ]

May 6: Supporting Creative Learning (Session 10)

Panelists: Karen Brennan, Amon Millner

Video for Session 10

Readings in Preparation for Session 10:

* Karen Brennan (2012): ScratchEd: Developing support for educators as designers, in Designing with teachers: Participatory professional development in education.

* Amon Millner (2012): Computer as Chalk: Supporting Youth as Designers of Tangible User InterfacesConstructionism 2012 conference.

Activity: Create a tutorial (using any media) to help someone learn to do something that you explored in the class (such as Scratch)

Additional Resources:

* Karen Brennan (2012): Best of Both Worlds: Issues of Structure and Agency in Computational Creation, In and Out of School, PhD dissertation.

* Amon Millner (2010): Computers as Chalk: Cultivating and Sustaining Communities of Youth as Designers of Tangible User Interfaces. PhD dissertation (recommended: Chapter 6).

Not dependent on technology - ok to use minimum tech.

Amon: growing mindset - I can learn.

Karen: the power of failure. ScratchED: help teachers.
- authoring
- sharing
- learning aspirations

09 Session

posted May 4, 2013, 8:42 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 6, 2013, 8:19 PM ]

April 29: Tinkering (Session 9)

Video for Session 9

Panelists: Karen Wilkinson, Mike Petrich, Eric Rosenbaum

Readings in Preparation for Session 9:

* Mike Petrich, Karen Wilkinson, and Bronwyn Bevan (2013): It Looks Like Fun, But Are They Learning?, in Design, Make, Play

* Mitchel Resnick & Eric Rosenbaum (2013): Designing for Tinkerability, in Design, Make, Play.

Activity: Option 1: Explore physical+digital tinkering with MaKey MaKey (if you have one). Option 2: Try out some of the examples from Arvind Gupta (such as spinning toys). Option 3: Try out some of the activities from the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium.

Additional Resources:

* Luigi Anzivino and Karen Wilkinson (2012): Tinkering by Design: Thoughtful Design Leads to Breakthroughs in Thinking

* Sherry Turkle & Seymour Papert (1990). Epistemological PluralismSigns (journal article).

"tinkering with tinkerability"

Mindfest - 1999. take mindstorm beyond robots contest.

Playful Invention & Exploration Network

Mike & Karen: at exploratorium tinkering studio.
robots to create enironment - shadows and light.
floor based programs
being comfortable to being uncomfortable. don't avoid failure.
enviroment designed to support learning exploring
how to get started: others engaged / residue of past projects.
tinkering: comfortable with learning a phenonmenom / play with problem more than solve it / developing these instincts
makes sense as you go along, then share with others.

Tinkering vs. planing

Eric Rosenbaum: Makey Makey (with Jay). Developed in exploratorium.
Designing for Tinkerability:
- immediate feed back
- Fluid experimentation: easy to try things out
- Open exploration: try out lots of things.

Transform your problem in to a space that you can tinker and explore.

Conversation with material -material can talk back.

Challenge is how to assess the learning since it make have impact over time. Using an ethographic approach to capture learning. Video doc to find exemplar moments.

Wipe out phenonmenon - remembering the beginners mind.

> Next two weeks: think about building course into community.

08 Session

posted Apr 8, 2013, 4:27 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated Jul 15, 2013, 11:29 PM ]

April 8: Motivation and Persistence (Session 8)

Panelists: Avi Kaplan, Ricarose Roque, Natalie Rusk

Readings in Preparation for Session 8:

* Carol Dweck (2000): Self-Theories (Chapters 1-3)

* Daniel Pink (2009): Drive video clip  and Motivation 3.0 interview (author of Drive)

* Paul Tough (2012): This American Life radio program (author of How Children Succeed)

* Edited by Natalie Rusk (2013): Notes on Motivation: Designing Environments to Support a Learning Goal Orientation

Activity: Tell about something you’ve worked on that you felt was meaningful and motivating. Explain what made you feel motivated. If you were designing a learning experience or environment, what would you do to help others feel motivated and engaged?

Additional Resources:

* Mitch Resnick (2012): Still a Badge Skeptic. HASTAC blog

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011): Sam’s Story from A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
* Alfie Kohn (2012): 
Is failure useful? (blog in response to How Children Succeed and related work)
* Alfie Kohn (1999): Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes (
Chapter 1, Chapter 3).

Pink on Drive:
- Autonomy
- Mastery
- Purpose

This American Life: Back to School
Current edu emphasis on cognitive development
Other skills - James Heckman:
- tenacity
- resilience
- impulse control
Stress blocks learning
non cognitive skills can be taught at any time.
ask for help - "no shame in my game"
USA has highest college drop out rate in the world
make poor highly capable

My activity: Yoga.

Avi Kaplan - temple univ. motivation study. What is purpose for motivation of student.

Mitch story on motivation - camp trip stories. experience vs. measurable goal. beauty of learning experience vs. accumulating badges.

Natalie - how do people keeping going when failure & frustration. Keep going if core is learning goal (develop abilities, improve self)

 Learning Goal Environment
 Task Personally meaningful
 Authority Learners make choices
 Recognition Learning from mistakes; sharing ideas
 Grouping Interests; diverse abilities
 Evaluation Improvement
 Time Work at own pace
  source: Kaplan & Maehr, 2007

Ricarose Roque - Scratchers starting co-labs. site decided to support co-labs with contest. co-lab challenge --> co-lab camp. Promote constructive feedback.
Issue: competition as motivator.

Mitch: how to design to give recognition with out it becoming point system. how to foster constructive feedback. develop identity and roles (advisor, guide).

Sources of Intrinsic Motivation:
Competence - Purpose - Autonomy - Belonging
(e.g. Deci & Ryan, 2000; Turner et. al. 2011)

07 Session

posted Mar 23, 2013, 6:57 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 4, 2013, 8:43 AM ]

April 1: Learning in Communities (Session 7)

Panelists: Geetha Narayanan, Natalie Rusk

Readings in Preparation for Session 7:

* Natalie Rusk, Mitchel Resnick, & Stina Cooke (2009): Origins and Guiding Principles of the Computer Clubhouse, in The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities.  

   - En Español from Eduteka.org: Origen y Principios Guía del Club Juvenil de Informática 

Geetha Narayanan (2007): A Dangerous but Powerful Idea


Find out about and visit a creative learning space in your local area.

By "creative learning space," we're thinking of a place in which people are creating projects --and learning from each other as part of the process.

Here are some questions you may want to note when visiting. You could focus on one or two, and share back to the group.  If you are already an active participant, share your experience.

  1. Projects - What kinds of projects are people working on? How would you describe the range or diversity of projects?
  2. Interests - Where do the ideas for the projects come from? Are the projects based on individual, group, or community interests?        
  3. Learning Community - Do people help each other learn?  Are there mentors in the space? Is there a trajectory of participation from newcomer to leadership roles?
  4. Values - How do people treat each other in the community? Are there community guidelines or values that are discussed or agreed upon?
  5. Space - Which aspects of the physical space support the creative learning process? What materials are available?


Additional Resources:

* Roger Malina (2013). Towards a “Cloud Curriculum” in Art and Science., The STEAM Journal.

* Seymour Papert (1980). Mindstorms (Chapter 8: Images of the Learning Society)

Great intro to STEAM

Turn STEM into STEAM with arts education - John Maeda.

Roger Malina (2013:
John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design instigated compelling testimony to the U.S. Congress (STEMtoSTEAM.org, n.d.) articulating three types of arguments. First is the “creativity and innovation argument” that good ideas often come from friction or exploration at the boundaries of disciplines. Second, the jobs of the futureargument; that no government predicted the explosive growth of the game industries and social media industries, but many of the concepts came out of the arts and humanities community, and the cultural sector....The third argument is the social and cultural innovation argument’. Most inventions are never socially adopted often for no good reason than the lack of design of the cultural appropriation process. We live in ‘silos’ even in this networked age (that often reinforces like-minded connectivity rather than divergent thinking). In the innovation industry there are now acceleratorsthat act as transitional spaces between the R and D and business incubator environment (Healthbox, n.d.).

Geetha Narayanan:
Dangerous ideas...  challenge the dominant paradigms of the time and can be described as heretic (Brockman 2006).
The dangerous idea is that school reform, in India in particular, but across the world too, is impossible.
- wellness, not survival
- self & planet
- stories
- slow learning

Seymour Papert (1980): mentions Samba, leads me to Capoiera and neighborhood Yoga schools: http://yogagardennarberth.com/workshops/

Creative space: http://sweetmabel.com/
Build a workbench and created mosaic in March.

Computer Club House Principles
1. Learn by design
2. Following your interests
3. Building a community
- work together
- build on each others ideas
- mentors build too, teach by example
4. Respect & Trust
- Critical to building a community

06 Session

posted Mar 17, 2013, 10:24 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 4, 2013, 8:43 AM ]

March 18: Social Creativity (Session 6)

Panelists: Gerhard Fischer, Andres Monroy-Hernandez

Readings in Preparation for Session 6:

* Gerhard Fischer (2011): Understanding, Fostering, and Supporting Cultures of ParticipationInteractions.

* Andrés Monroy-Hernández (2009): Designing a Website for Creative Learning

* Andrés Monroy-Hernández (2012): Designing for Remixing (excerpts -- Chapters 4 and 7)


Remixing in Scratch

(1) Log on to Scratch. (If you’re new to Scratch, go to New to Scratch?)  

(2) Explore projects in the Scratch website and find a project you would like to remix.

(3) Download the project and modify it in Scratch.

(4) Click the “Share” button to share your remix.

(5) In your project notes, explain what you changed and give credit.
(6) Add your project to the 
[LCL] Remix Gallery.

(7) Reflect on the experience and share your thoughts with the G+ community

Fischer (2011) - good summary of state of the art:
wikipedia - http://www.wikipedia.org
KNOLA - http://knol.google.com
iTunesU - http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u
YouTube - http://www.youtbue.com
Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) - http://www.eol.org
SketchUpand 3D Warehouse - http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse
Scratch - http://scratch.mit.edu
Instructables - http://wwwinstructables.com
PatientsLikeMe - http://www.patientslikeme.com
Ushahidi - http://www.ushahidi.com (Kenyan)
Stepgreen - http://www.stepgreen.org
"A fundamental challenge for
cultures of participation is to
conceptualize, create, and evolve
socio-technical environments that
not only technically enable and
support users’ participation, but
also successfully encourage it."

"Will the power of the
collective human mind aided by
technology improve further or are
there major drawbacks to come
(as Socrates argued would be the
consequences of reading and writing)?"
Thoth challenge - every technology has positive / negative.

• Meta-design
• Social creativity,
• Richer ecologies of participation

05 Session

posted Mar 7, 2013, 2:43 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 4, 2013, 8:43 AM ]

Readings in Preparation for Session 5: Open Learning

* John Seely Brown and Richard Adler (2008): Minds on Fire. Educause Review.

* Ivan Illich: Deschooling Society (Chapter 6: Learning Webs)

* Eric Steven Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar - [Note: Open in a new tab or window using right-click (Ctrl+click Mac)]

* (Update: Added) The GNU Manifesto

* (Update: Added) The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource

In preparation, please read the suggested readings (above) and discuss with your groups:

* What ideas in the readings interested or resonated with you?

* Describe an experience where you helped someone learn something--and you learned something in the process.


Teach & Learn = Ask & Answer

1) Go to stackexchange.com/sites and choose a site that you find interesting

2) Post (at least) one question and answer someone else’s question (at least one)

3) Reflect: What aspects of the experience contribute to a sense of a learning community? What aspects limit a sense of community?

Learning Match (extra activity)

1) Think of something you’re willing to teach to another participant in the course. And think of something you would like to learn.

2) Later in the week, we will provide a matching tool to connect teachers and learners.

mooc in context: the re.mooc in Africa - Stephen Downes
cMOOC vs. xMOOC - content vs. network
middle: ds106, series of tasks - creative projects
network approach: non-linear 
eg. connectivist MOOCs
wide range of ways to participate
you define success, eg. been able to do something (new)

Notes from the session video:
Mako Hill software guy: "Our experience of the world increasingly mediate by technology", Imagine a work with only readers - no writers.
Audrey blogger gal: "crack it open and look more deeply"
- debugging / giving credit
- github software sharing vs. essay blogging
Phillip: activism 

debugging the your mind - reflection and problem solving

Audrey: learn together. Group is smater than individual.

outliner / elite - does your experience work for others?

Audrey: optimizing for passion and curiosity

04 Session

posted Mar 3, 2013, 4:26 AM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 4, 2013, 8:44 AM ]

Readings in Preparation for Session 4 (Mar 4): Powerful Ideas

* Alan Kay (1995): Powerful Ideas Need Love Too! [Note: Open in a new tab or window to view the whole document]

* Seymour Papert (2000): What’s The Big Idea? Toward a Pedagogy of Idea Power

* Mitchel Resnick & Brian Silverman (2005): Some Reflections on Designing Construction Kits for Kids. Interaction Design and Children conference.


Papert described powerful ideas as general (applicable across domains), intelligible (easy to grasp), and personal (rooted in experience). Share an example of a powerful idea from your own experience. What people, materials, or environments supported your learning experience? How might you help others understand and appreciate this powerful idea?


Create a project with TurtleArt, and reflect on any “powerful ideas” you engaged with in the process. (For more background, see TurtleArt paper below.)

Additional Resources:

* Paula Bonta, Artemis Papert, & Brian Silverman (2010). Turtle, Art, TurtleArt. Constructionism 2010 conference.
Art themes with TurtleArt

* Arvind Gupta (2010). Turning trash into toys for learning (TED talk). See also free books and videos from Arvind Gupta.

Alan Kay:
In order to be completely enfranchised in the 21st century, it will be very important for children to get fluent in the three central forms of thinking that are now in use: "stories," "logical arguments," and "systems dynamics." The question is "how?" (Hard Fun, persisting in face of failure, failure as lesson )
"children are willing to go to any lengths to learn very difficult things and endure almost an endless succession of "failures" in the process if they have a sense that the activity is an integral part of their culture." -  "rite of passage" motivation.
"create an embedded environment and support classroom teachers with visiting experts"
children start off loving to learn, and most can learn anything the culture throws at them. But they are best at learning ideas that seem to be an integral part of the surrounding culture
aim at being idea based, not media based

Powerful idea: My dad saying "You can accomplish anything you set your mind to with the right education." and me believing it.

03 Session

posted Feb 21, 2013, 1:14 PM by John Henry Thompson   [ updated May 4, 2013, 8:44 AM ]

Readings in Preparation for Session 3 (Feb 25): Constructionism and Making

* Seymour Papert (1980): Mindstorms (Chapter 1: Computers and Computer Cultures)

* Seymour Papert (1994): The Children’s Machine (Chapter 7: Instructionism versus Constructionism)

* Dale Dougherty: The Maker Mindset and Learning by Making

* Dale Dougherty (2011): The Heart of Maker Faire (video)

* Leah Buechley (2012): NSF Cyberlearning Summit Talk on Art, Craft, and Electronics (video)

* Mitchel Resnick et al. (2009): Scratch: Programming for All. Communications of the ACM.

In preparation, please read the suggested readings (above) and discuss with your group:

* What ideas in the readings interested or resonated with you?

* How could you apply these ideas to help others learn in your own work, family, or community?


For this week's activity, create an Scratch project about things you like to do, then share it using the links below. If you are new to Scratch, first follow the 4 steps listed under New to Scratch?

Things I Like To Do Activity

1) Create a Scratch project about things you like to do.

2) Share your project on the Scratch website.

3) Add the project to the LCL: What We Like To Do gallery

4) Share your thoughts about your experience and challenges in making your project with your group

New to Scratch?

1) For an overview, watch the Scratch Intro Video on the Scratch home page.

2) Follow the steps for Getting Started with Scratch. You can access helpful resources on the Support page, including Scratch in multiple languages.

3) Download and install the Scratch software.

4) Sign up for a Scratch account so you can share and download projects.

Additional Resources

* Leah Buechley, High-Low Tech, research group website

* The Maker Education Initiative website

* Mitchel Resnick (2012). Let’s Teach Kids to Code (TED Talk video).

* Seymour Papert (1980). Mindstorms (Introduction: Computers for Children, Chapter 2: Mathophobia: The Fear of Learning, Chapter 3: Turtle Geometry: A Mathematics Made for Learning).

Leah Buechley's video: Great way to combine a  bunch of things: art, direct manipulation, visualization: reminded me of the Question-Answer book I build for a science project in 9th grade.

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