I was doing a session last night for Ontario Teacher’s Federation on Play, Math and Digital Tools for the early years. Together we explored a variety of tools from Shadow Puppet Edu to Chatterpix to Scratch Jr. We wanted apps that had “low floors, heigh ceilings and wide walls” as Mitch Resnick recently mentioned in a journal article but more than anything we wanted to share ideas that fostered that curiosity and inquiry we see in play.
Innately curious, children explore, manipulative, build, create, wonder, and ask questions naturally, moving through the world in what might be called an “inquiry stance.”
Ministry of Education
Then this morning I saw it unfold in front of me as grade ones coded with Scratch Jr (always great when you get that reassurance after a session). From the student who forcefully was insisting no one feed the ducks in their local park as he recorded his voice to another friend discovering on her own the purpose of certain blocks of code. It was a quiet excitement as I walked over and she said: “hey I found this block. It makes everything repeat.”
Then I kept thinking of professional learning opportunities and adult learners.
- Are there opportunities to play?
- Will people respond to playful learning experiences? What do they look like for adult learners?
- Who documents the learning?
- Am I willing to play and become uncomfortable?
Addendum: Then I wake up this morning to look through the chatter from MIT’s day honouring #SeymourPapert and more questions abound.