A delightful way to teach kids about computers

I really enjoyed this TEDx talk by Linda Liukas. In it she shares her passion for coding, including how she realised she has been coding her whole life through, for example, learning the patterns of a language or learning to knit.

She says that we need…

to not see computers as mechanical and lonely and boring and magic, to see them as things that they can tinker and turn around and twist, and so forth.

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The kids of today, they tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world. But unless we give them tools to build with computers, we are raising only consumers instead of creators.

We often hear in education that we need to be creators and not consumers of technology. That means that we need to give our students opportunities to be creative and not just do the same kind of stuff all the time. Our students need the chance to think. They need to be questioned to help stretch their thinking. They need to be given the tools and support to make some of their dreams and ideas become a reality.

Programming gives me this amazing power to build my whole little universe with its own rules and paradigms and practices. Create something out of nothing with the pure power of logic.

Reality, imagination and creativity

We all know it, but children need to be given the opportunity to use their imagination; to dream and to create.

In this TED talk, Erik Johansson shares about his creativity and shows some of the amazing photography (and editing/mashing) he has done. We need to allow our children, our students to use their imagination and be creative. We must not let the structure and rigidity of formal education (and perhaps in particular, assessments) get in the way of creativity. And don’t forget about the fantastic opportunities that technology gives us to help our imaginations run wild!

TED Talk: Charles Leadbeater on Education innovation

I found this TED Talk really interesting. Charles Leadbeater talks about education innovation in the slums. He discusses the importance of PULLing people into education rather than PUSHing education on them. Relating their learning to their life experiences, what is important to them, is more important than teaching them about the history of the Royal Family for example. Leadbeater suggests that a set curriculum is not necessarily beneficial to good education as it is not meaningful to those we are teaching.

It’s a challenge for us as educators to make learning authentic and relevant to our students.

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