The end of the road or a new beginning?
We would like to invite you into a realm of imagination, curious children, playful adults and educational design thinking.
First of all we want to tell a story:
Once upon a time there was a lonely philosopher, who had been lost in his own thoughts for so long, it was impossible for him to come up with a single new idea, he realized he needed something to jump his memory, he needed help.
So he walked out of the door and on to the road… “It’s a dangerous business, going out of your door,” he said. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”(Frodo Baggins about Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring, Three is Company, J.R.R. Tolkien
Follow our philosopher on a journey into the world of participatory educational design thinking:
(click here for a tablet friendly version – open story in a new window)
Fablearn demo paper:
Our design project has been accepted as a student demo at the fablearn conference in Aarhus June 2014.
Download our paper: Mechanics and Digital Fabrication
Experiencing children engage in design processes using everyday objects, we realized that when looking at the future of digital fabrication, design thinking or tinkering – the overall demand of the users is openness. Make tools or processes that allow children the creative possibilities of their own imagination instead of trying to guide them on to a more specific path. Furthermore the tools/processes need to be intuitive and easy to use, because then we can “create” kindergarten designers.
Answering the question
“Building tomorrow’s technology together, how can digital creative tools support children as they grow?”
From birth, children have a natural curiosity. Technology has to support that curiosity. We need to stray from the path, where everything has to have a certain beginning or ending. Creative tools must have an undefined beginning, where users can transform the technology into the use they need for a certain project or idea. Children must be challenged to use the technology in ways differing from the original intent, they need to make questions instead of waiting for answers. There must be a way of expanding technology in a modular way across both age and skills. It doesn’t have to be modular in regard to a specific form, where other modules can be added, like with Arduino, Raspberry Pi’s and in particular LittleBits.
The game Little Big Planet for Playstation 3, has, in a way, this modular way of thinking. A big part of the game is the level creator, where players create and share new worlds or levels across the playstation network, where they can be played in various ways with other players across the globe. How do we get this way of thinking transferred from this little part of the digital world into a broader perspective in the “analog” world?
The 21st century brings other aspects of human values into the world. Technology is advancing faster than children grow and because of this, a whole new set of competences comes into play, when talking about a technology that must support children as they grow.
Basically it’s not the technology that is important, it is the way in which children understand the use of these technologies. The Hack your classroom/HackEducation movements, is questioning the way we see both the classroom and education and in this way contributing to let children find new ways of using formal settings or the classroom itself, and maybe most important giving the children the possibility to question the way they learn.
When children begin to hack technology in this way, they spark off a process that may evolve other creative thoughts or foster new ideas in others observing what they did.
Short video pitch about our project
Please venture out on the rest of the site to explore more about our project.