constructivism Category

Powerful learning results in flow

Once again, I was inspired and prompted by my friend Matt Oldridge into thinking and writing. This time, I found myself considering flow again. I wrote about this a few years ago but, since then, I have learned more about constructionism and more about learning in general. I’ve still so much to learn but Matt’s prompt […]

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Learning Design by Making Games

One of my favourite chapters in Constructionism in Practice was written by Yasmin Kafai: Learning Design by Making Games (pp. 71-123). She was interested in learning more about the development of children’s design strategies within the context of creating an authentic artifact – a computer game. Children were asked to design and create an interactive computer game that […]

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Why do you want kids to code?

I made this because I think there is an important distinction between learning to code and coding to learn.  I think the focus with students doing coding in schools should be coding to learn. Bill Ferriter’s graphic called what do you want kids to do with technology was the inspiration for my graphic. I created this for […]

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Why play? Why inquiry?

I’m reading this book. It’s hard, but it’s fun. I’m playing around with the ideas and it’s making me think a lot about teaching, learning, playing, and knowledge. Play, making, exploring, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, maker spaces, and so on… these are all justifiable reactions against the arbitrary segregation of various subject matter […]

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Teaching as a creative act

I think children learn best within a social environment in which the group of people genuinely know and care about each other. I strongly feel that this forms the foundation for the most successful classrooms. To me, Rita Pierson in her 2013 TED talk described the need for relationships in education most clearly and passionately: “Every […]

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Memorable learning moment (#peel21st Nov 2015 blog hop)

A grade six teacher and I had co-planned a series of sessions with her students around coding with Scratch. In one of the later sessions, I was working with a boy who was frustrated with the game he was making and told me he wanted to start over again.  In age appropriate words, I reassured […]

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Kids and coding: What might Seymour Papert say?

(Updated August 2016) I am very pleased that there is a growing sense in the education world of the connection between coding and cognition and learning. There is a mountain of research examining the various beneficial cognitive effects of learning computer programming. Great! But, I believe Seymour Papert would say that students learning computer programming […]

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10 Good Things

Thanks to a challenge from Tina and Jay, two of my #peel21st colleagues, I wrote a list of ten good things about my professional practice right now. As Jay noted, it’s always tempting to be critical but it always helps to consciously reflect on the good things that are happening. So, here is my list of ten […]

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Introduction to ScratchJr

[Note: Updated, April 22, 2015] App Name – ScratchJr Cost – Free Website – http://www.scratchjr.org/  Tablets – iOS and Android Developed by – Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University iOS Download – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086 Android Download – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.scratchjr.android What is ScratchJr? ScratchJr is a tablet app that young children can use to create simple programs such as stories, games and […]

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Coding in the service of learning

In a recent blog post by @MatthewOldridge, he questions the ‘whys’ of learning to code. And rightly so, I think. If you are at all following educational trends, you are probably aware that people are seriously discussing the merits of coding/programming in terms of a new literacy. For example, you have probably seen all or part of this […]

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