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Permission to Play Takeaways

So my head’s been buzzing for much of the day, during and after attending the ULearn 2015 pre-conference day, Permission to Play. I got to hear people’s thoughts about some of the current trends in education, including the Maker movement, found out that I’m rather inept when it comes to sewing (what’s a running stitch?!) soft circuits and yet have an aptitude for building robots. Who woulda thunk it, right? :)

A few quick takeaways from today are in order:

  1. Kimberly Baars (@MissesArtech) from Taupaki School made some interesting comments about the differences between STEM, STEAM and Makers. I hadn’t really considered how the Maker movement is not just another way of saying STEM/STEAM; that ‘making’ is not about a particular set of subjects, more that it’s a process of how we solve problems that surround us on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Perseverance – the sewing aspect needed to create soft circuit badges completely threw me, so much so that I’m going to reach for a do-over. I can’t be that rubbish at it, surely!? :)
  3. Collaboration – too often we think that being collaborative means working with others in the same room. Professor Jane Gilbert from AUT challenged us to consider who’s NOT in the room; whose voice is NOT being heard? Simple questions, powerful sentiments.
  4. Purpose of making.  It’s not subject specific, nor does a ‘makerspace’ have to mean a physical place. It could also include providing students with the time to explore new ideas and make their own connections.
  5. It’s always nice to put a face to a name – @robeanne Cheers!
  6. Equally good to catch up with faces from @NZMindlab alumni – @catwooller and @lrobyns

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