Are the adults doing all the teaching? Is peer-to-peer teaching happening? (Are kids teaching other kids?) Do kids have the opportunity to turn around and mentor someone else? Do they get to grow in their role from beginner to expert? Is all the learning happening unidirectionally, with kids absorbing what adults are teaching? Are skills being learned from a variety of people of different ages and backgrounds, or do all of the “experts” look alike? Are kids encouraged to create learning tools for other kids? Do adults have all the power positions?
Just as in the 80s, a whole bunch of kids are going to get their hands on new technology that will change the world in a few years. Awesome. This can’t be good, though. Look at what all those Apple IIe’s were used for. Word processing, Appleworks, and Oregon Trail. Yes, it’s fun, but using a computer only as a glorified typewriter does both the student and the computer a disservice. Are we to expect the Makerbots in every classroom will be used for novel and interesting applications? Will students around the country be printing out the stuff they created in art and shop class?
The NYC Foundation For Computer Science Education (csnyc.org for short) is a non-profit (501c3) with a simple mission: Ensure that all children in the NYC public schools have access to computer science education that will put them on a pathway to academic success and a 21st century career
Technology is revolutionizing the way kids are learning, from tablets and laptops in classrooms, to introducing coding curricula in public schools. We'll be talking to representatives of three very different educational tech companies, including One Laptop Per Child, SparkFun and Code.org.
The next step in innovation is just around the corner, as the library prepares to open an ambitious technology-and-training center at the downtown branch. The technology center, opening in February, will include music, film and photography studios, editing bays, driving and flight simulators, even a fabrication lab with 3-D printers. Those 3-D printers are already in use for demonstration purposes. They are able to scan and replicate with amazing precision objects ranging from children's toys to cooking implements.
Elevate Orlando is a civic non profit dedicated to equipping and empowering underserved youth to graduate with a plan for the future. Elevate Orlando links the Orlando business community to under-served areas through education. This is accomplished through mentoring relationships and public school courses rooted in character education and leadership development.
"I've seen them start with D's and F's, and these kids now have A's," said Phil Zoshak, programs coordinator for Page 15, a nonprofit that runs the Homework Room at the Downtown Recreation Complex. "We've seen their grades improve; we've seen their attendance improve. We've really seen growth in these kids."
Starter Studio will provide education, mentors, legal and financial resources, and networking opportunities for the companies. In exchange, Starter Studio will get an equity stake in the companies.
The unique skill and taste of an Instrument Maker is what sets the stage for great music. Any object that makes sound can be an instrument, but true music starts with expert design and craftsmanship. Before Miles Davis could play his trumpet, there was a Maker who built his sonic tool.
Circuit Benders can customize and hack technologies to do things they aren't designed to do. They can turn toys into musical instruments or transform household gadgets into things that are truly bizarre. A Circuit Bender explores what's under the hood of the electronics all around us.