Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Makers Lab: Programming and Coding

During my visit last week to the Makers Lab, it was loud! Kids were using hand tools and power tools. They were collaborating. There was no shortage of noise and activity. In the adjoining room, I notice two students sitting quietly with an iPad and a MacBook, in complete contrast to the power tools revving on the other side of the room. 

Tyler shared his project with me. He was busy writing code for the video game, Minecraft. While I talked with him, he was trying to make the menu page more visually appealing. His first round of code, “made the menu a little jumbled up.” 

By the end of the Lab, he was moving on from the menu to creating a special Christmas version. When he is ready, he plans to move on from Minecraft to working on web pages and apps.

This demonstrated to me the diversity that a Makers Lab allows. As some students thrive in group environments, others are more introverted and work well on their own. I am so impressed with the ability of these students to dive into a project with focus and drive because they are curious and want to know more. What a triumph for a teacher to educate without force and pressure. To allow a student to express himself through a project. To create an environment with no limits.

I wish for that in all schools. I wish for students to be allowed to be curious and inventive. To generate their own successes from their own trials and errors. To love learning and solving problems. To become so engrossed that they forget that they are learning.

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