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Connected Learning Alliance's picture
Published
Apr 29 2016

Resources in this collection

6 Resources in this collection
"There's a magic that manifests when you take an idea that you thought up and produce a physical object that represents the thing you had in your head," says Ian Gonsher, part of the faculty in the School of Engineering at Brown University. "My teaching style isn't so much about imparting knowledge (although that's part of it), but about creating conditions where the creative process can occur."
Sofya Zeylikman is senior studying furniture design at Rhode Island School of Design. She has led workshops for both elementary and high school-aged students, teaching them about the intersections between STEM and STEAM, most recently as a coach for the Brandeis Design Lab Teen Fellowship Program.
Jean Kaneko is the Chief Tinkerer and Founder at The Exploratory, a community makerspace in Culver City, CA, and a sought after program/curriculum developer and speaker in the world of STEAM education and Making. She encourages educators to experiment with making connections between projects and subjects, problem-solving and peers, between multiple subjects, and navigating all these actions with mandated standards – and when you learn something that works, help your peers navigate the territory you’ve explored.
Cas Holman is Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design who designs learning materials for play and discovery. She uses constructivist "learn how it works by playing with it" principles in both her toy design and her teaching. Holman employs and advocates for a pedagogy of play, which informs her practice at all levels.
Laura Fleming is an educator with 17 years of experience. She is currently a library and media specialist at New Milford High School in New Jersey where she recently built a makerspace from scratch so her students can have a place to become "content creators." Laura Fleming shows us that anyone can turn an empty space into a booming makerspace with just the right amount of planning.
"I would spend hours as a young 10-year-old coding my home page to host amateurish and practically useless graphics that I'd made...But hey, no matter how embarrassing it all was, it led me here." 16-year-old Veronica Valenzuela shows us that, with the right mix of mentor/peer support and exploration, even seemingly trivial interests can lead to robust learning opportunities and pathways.

Learning through Play & Design: Personal Stories of Connected Learning

This collection of six personal stories documents the different ways that educators are utilizing aspects of both design and play in their curriculums. Their hands on approach to learning allows students to physically manifest their ideas by constructing, designing, and executing a plan to create something new either on their own or as a collaboration.

These personal stories examine teachers who strive for their students to understand the value of transforming abstract ideas into concrete objects all while maintaining an air of playfulness and creativity. Personal stories spotlight a range of different approaches to this learn through play strategy from educators leading furniture design workshops for kids about the intersection of art and science to facilitators of Makerspaces where failure and the debugging or tinkering required to overcome initial failure is the first step towards true learning. Each personal story delves into the creative ways that connected learning educators are utilizing play as a mechanism for growth.

Creative Commons Licence