This evening I was reading this article by MIT Media Lab's Joi Ito & feeling a "kindred spirit" tingle.
I feel as though the goal he sets forth for education activities to have "uniqueness, impact and magic" is a great one for all the special making spaces we are creating. Our makerspaces should be such homes --- and even sanctuaries --- for the "misfits" and visionaries, those who are radically reimagining education, work, and community!
I really like how Joi defines "magic":
"Magic" means that we take on projects that inspire us. In the Lifelong Kindergarten group, researchers often describe the "Four Ps of Creative Learning" as Projects, Peers, Passion and Play. Play is extremely important for creative learning. There is a great deal of research showing that rewards and pressure can motivate people to "produce," but creative learning and thinking requires the "space" that play creates. Pressure and rewards can often diminish that space, and thus, squash creative thinking.
Yet rewards often accompany the inspired projects of our youth --- others can palpably "feel" their magic, genius and passion. Then, "way opens" for amazing experiences. This fall, I am so grateful that our Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn youth teachers and college mentors have had some well-deserved recogniation for their remarkable accomplishments.
n the past week, 12 of my youth teachers and college mentors were invitied to represent Young Makers at the World Maker Faire in NYC (supported by Cognizant Making the Future). They taught two workshops and demonstrated projects that delighted attenders young and old. Then, three of our college mentors travelled to the White House to present projects and our Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Model to Historically Black College and University Deans at an HBCU Maker Workshop. Here are some photos:
Blowing into a wind sensor of youth teacher project "Picture Perfect Story" Interactive storytelling shadow box at NYC World Maker Faire
Proud Mom and her daughter with a "Machine Gone Wild" cam with a cat chasing a mouse at NYC World Maker Faire!
Young Maker at NYC World Maker Faire is proud of the Light-up Dragon "Electric Friend" he made with our youth teachers!
College Mentor David Solomon at the White House HCBU Maker Workshop preparing to present youth teacher projects to HBCU Deans: