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Category : Maker Design Engineering

14 Sep 2017

It’s Not About the Next Step

I wonder if we are asking the right question. “What do you do next?” “Now what do you do?” “What comes next?” Questions of this ilk inadvertently create a sense of tension between the person asking the question, and the person being asked to answer it, because it implies that the person doing the asking already knows the answer. The person responding has to try and figure out what the “right” answer is to satisfy the person asking. The person […]

01 Feb 2017

Critical Making

BY T.J. Edwards (cross posted on Planting T’s) I owe it all to my wife and a little bit of curious wandering. She is an artist. For a mechanical enginerd, Spock-like logical thinker, and excel spreadsheet fanboy, she might have well been an unicorn of cognitive disruption. I followed her on lots of dates to museums and galleries. I made the novice mistake of saying things like: “Those are just solid colors. That’s not art!” “A kindergartener could splatter paint […]

15 Nov 2016

Back to the Future of Making: Development of MakerED Curriculum Documents

By T.J. Edwards About this time last year Jim Tiffin and I were tasked with developing a scope and sequence for our newly emerging Maker Design Engineering (MDE) program. The truth is that we had been seeding elements of tinkering and fabrication in the school for a few years, but had not yet set a vision for how we might make the spaces – Studio (i) and HIVE – and the learning that is unique to MakerED available to all […]

09 Nov 2016

The Impact Misconception

By Jim Tiffin Jr (Cross-posted on my personal blog, Building Capacity) Look closely at the image of the moon’s surface atop this post. What do you see? Take 30 seconds and make a quick list of 10 things that you notice about the picture. (This is like the first half of the Visible Thinking Routine: Looking – 10 times 2.)     I’m willing to guess that some place in your list you made a comment about the craters on the […]

01 Nov 2016

Provocations: A Constructionism Methodology

By Jim Tiffin Jr (Cross-posted on my personal blog, Building Capacity) A major component of maker-centered education involves letting students learn from the process of creating something that is purposeful, public and shareable. Indeed, some would say that is all maker-centered education is supposed to be. While that alone is more than sufficient, it is actually far richer. What sits at its core is the constructionist theory of learning, a model first developed by Seymour Papert. He defined constructionism as follows: […]

08 Oct 2016

Iterative Instruction

By T.J. Edwards (Cross-posted on my personal blog, Planting T’s) Time flies when you are having fun! I launched the Technology, Engineering, and Design (TED) course 2 years ago. The curriculum, my teaching style, and the space(s) have changed significantly since then – largely in response to my students’ feedback. Because TED is a one semester elective, I have had a chance to test 4 prototypes. I’ve tried engineering themes (GIS, Environmental Engineering, Product design). I’ve tried different projects (architecture & construction, […]

29 Sep 2016

How WE Work – Strengths-based Leadership

I frequent the “How I Work” tag on lifehacker. Some find the habit odd. Why would I care about how people choose to set up their app screen or what productivity tool they use? The means by which we choose to stay productive is important to me because I believe we are getting a glimpse into how people step into the complexity of working with teams and collaborating as the workplace becomes flatter and more disaggregated. If I were asked, […]

08 Sep 2016

pHail: Learning through Persistence

By Jim Tiffin Jr (Cross-posted on my personal blog, Building Capacity) “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” -Thomas Edison. Most educators are familiar with this quote. Most of the time, I suspect it was used to motivate students to “try, try, try again.”  At least, that’s how it was used with me – merely as an encouragement that if I just simply tried more, I’d get it. In reality, it is much more […]

15 Aug 2016

Maverick Maker

3-2-1-Launch. My syllabus for this semester’s edition of my T.E.D – Technology, Engineering, & Design – class is live. This year at Mount Vernon Presbyterian school our Head of School, Brett Jacobsen, provided a bold provocation to the entire faculty: Be a Maverick. In a vague, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous(VUCA) world an innovative mindset is necessary to navigate. One pathway to innovation is by being a maverick. That is, mavericks vary and change their routes. They challenge assumptions. They experiment and […]

10 May 2016

Keeping it Weird

In Ian Leslie’s book Curious, he describes both an old fashioned definition of the word – eccentric, offbeat, weird – along with the more common one – eagerness to learn something. The HIVE, I’m proud to say, has become a weird place – a curious place – and I’m loving every second of it. While a world language class is happening in one area of the HIVE, students are making and breaking things in another. Machines buzz. Gliders fly. Lights […]