Round 1 Implementation Report

Making and Unmaking. . .it isn't what I thought

Initially, when I chose the title of Making and Unmaking as my DreamIT theme, I was thinking about what I was going to have kids do. They were going to be makers and tinkerers! Making and unmaking things to understand how they work.

Now, I realize that isn't what my DreamIT project is about at all. The theme of Making and Unmaking has come to mean iteration. When this change began, I was focused on iteration as part of the design process. Moving from my idea of reverse engineering to showing students how to improve their designs based on testing. While that is important, that isn't really it either.

I have finally realized that the making and unmaking in my DreamIT project is not directly about the kids and what they do. It is about me and what I do. Even though I considered myself a good teacher before, through radically making and unmaking myself, I can become a GREAT teacher.

The kids already know how to learn. It isn't about changing them, it is about changing me. It is all about me. That selfish statement may be the most student-centered epiphany I have ever had.

My Goals for Round 2 of Implementation:

  • Less me, more them I need to talk for no more than 90 seconds at the beginning of class and then let the kids do, do, do!
  • Be more unreasonable being accommodating and reasonable can be a barrier to change
  • Build a library of how-to resources I have learned that just handing kids materials and saying "make! tinker!" doesn't work for everyone. Starting with an ambitious project with a how-to guide that feels just a teeny bit too hard is a great way to encourage tinkering.
  • Continue to make peace with my personal imperfections It is ok that I am constantly iterating on my professional practices, that is how it should be! Growth, not perfection, is the goal
  • Guide student selected projects by asking: What do you want to learn? How do you want to learn it? How are you going to share your learning with the class? With the world?