Learning Creative Learning is a course offered at the MIT Media Lab. It introduces ideas and strategies for designing technologies to support creative learning. This semester, for the first time, P2PU and the Media Lab are working together to bring the course online. We are opening up the seminars, course materials, and hands-on activities to anyone with a computer and Internet access. It's a big experiment, we expect to learn a lot, and we hope you'll enjoy it.
You learn a whole lot about learning. And because learning (and learning about learning) is more fun with more people we'll group you with other students, so you can share ideas, give each other feedback, and make new friends. Each week we’ll focus on a particular topic related to creative learning, such as “Interest-Based Learning” or “Powerful Ideas” or “Tinkering.” We'll host a panel discussion, inviting some of the world’s best thinkers and builders to join us in person or online. You'll be able to suggest questions beforehand and follow along live (or watch it later). We'll also design a hands-on activity for each week that you can tackle on your own or in a group (more fun!). You'll get a chance to experiment with lots of different technologies and projects - many of which were developed in the Lifelong Kindergarten group right here at the MIT Media Lab.
What you are looking at here is a BIG experiment. For the first time, we are opening the course to online participants. In the spirit of learning and technology, we hope that participants will jump in as collaborators rather than passive recipients. We want to tinker together. Things will break, but we are committed to fixing them along the way. We invite you to break and fix them together with us.
Learning Creative Learning is offered by Mitch Resnick, who is the director of Lifelong Kindergarten and the LEGO Papert Professor at the MIT Media Lab. He has been a pioneer in technology & learning for a looooooong time. And has built such wonderful things as Scratch and Programmable Bricks, a collaboration with the LEGO Company. More about Mitch is here.
The course is a real team effort. Natalie Rusk, a Research Scientist in the Lifelong Kindergarten group who founded the Computer Clubhouse, has been instrumenal in overall course design, and Philipp Schmidt, Executive Director of P2PU, has focused on bringing the course online. The other team members are Ricarose Roque, Sayamindu Dasgupta, Klaudia Leja and Katherine Levine.
One of the big challenges of online learning is to scale the expert. In the studio model of learning, which is pretty much how things work at the Media Lab, more experienced students and faculty will review and critique your work. That is hard to move online. But we'll try. As part of the course, we will organize a studio review session in which Mitch and Natalie will invite some of the online students to present and discuss their work and give them feedback.
Actually, don’t, because we didn’t build a shiny new platform. Our platform is the web and we like things distributed and open. We also wanted to create a model that is easy to replicate for anyone. We use off-the-shelf Google+ tools, like Hangouts and Google+ communities; and open source software like the Mechanical MOOC (github). You have no excuse not to build a course like this yourself!