About Learning Creative Learning
It's not just a Course, but also a Learning Community
For many years, the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, led by Mitch Resnick, has been developing new technologies, activities, and environments (such as Scratch and Computer Clubhouses) to engage all children, from all backgrounds, in creative learning experiences.
Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is our effort to connect and share ideas with people around the world with similar goals, visions, and values. It is an opportunity for like-minded educators and learners to meet one another and share ideas, strategies, and practical tips on how to support creative learning.
LCL is organized as a six-week online course, but its real goal is to cultivate an ongoing learning community in support of creative learning around the world.
Each week we will offer online videos, readings, and hands-on activities. You’ll be able go through this material at your own pace. All of our materials will be freely available (including sections from Mitch Resnick’s new Lifelong Kindergarten book). You can spend as much or as little time you like -- by watching, reading, making, sharing, reflecting, and discussing.
Structure of the course
The course is organized in six parts, one per week:
Week 1: Introduction
Learn about the core ideas of creative learning, introduce yourself to others in the community, and reflect on your own childhood learning experiences.
Week 2: Projects
Explore how people learn better by actively working on projects -- generating ideas, designing prototypes, making improvements, and creating final products.
Week 3: Passion
Focus on what motivates people to learn, and how to engage people in meaningful learning experiences based on their interests.
Week 4: Peers
Examine learning as a social activity, with people sharing ideas, collaborating on projects, and building on one another’s work.
Week 5: Play
Experience the benefits of learning through playful experimentation -- trying new things, tinkering with materials, testing boundaries, taking risks, and iterating again and again.
Week 6: Creative Society
Apply the ideas of creative learning to your own work, and share your plans and ideas with others in the community.
Each week will have three sections:
Watch and Read
Short videos introducing the theme of the week, video interviews, selections from Lifelong Kindergarten book, and additional readings.
Make and Share
Hands-on activities to explore the theme of the week -- and opportunities to share your project with the rest of the community.
Reflect and Discuss
Opportunities to discuss the theme of the week through online forums, video conferences, and more.
We are working hard to finalize the details of the activities, videos, readings, and much more. If you sign up on our mailing list, we’ll keep you posted!
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning Creative Learning is for anyone who cares about kids, learning, and creativity: whether you’re an educator searching for new ways to help your students learn, a volunteer running an afterschool program for kids, a school administrator implementing new educational initiatives, a designer creating new products or activities for kids, or simply someone who is curious about kids, learning, and creativity.
There is no official class time, though there will be designated times when you can join online video conferences with others in the community. At the beginning of each week, we will provide access to new videos, readings, and activities related to the theme of the week. Over the course of the week, you can explore and experiment at your own pace, and share and discuss with others in the online forums, whenever you find the time. Later in the week, we will organize online gatherings, using special video conferencing tools (called “Unhangouts”), to provide additional opportunities to meet and talk with others in the community.
The course is not specifically about Scratch (the graphical programming language developed by our Lifelong Kindergarten group). But the course will provide you with opportunities to experiment and create projects with Scratch -- and to learn about the ideas and motivations underlying Scratch. We are designing most of the weekly activities so that you can choose which media and materials you want to use, with Scratch as one of the options. Also, we will share ideas, strategies, and resources on how to introduce Scratch through a “creative learning” approach.
All you need is a computer and an internet connection (and an interest in creative learning!). Most of the materials (videos, readings, discussion forums) will be accessible on all types of devices. But you will need a laptop or desktop computer to participate in the Scratch activities, and you will need a laptop or desktop computer with Firefox or Chrome browser and a fast internet connection to join the Unhangout video discussions. All materials will be downloadable so that you will be able to use them offline at a later time.
We have offered Learning Creative Learning as an online course several times in the past (see our article: How we tinkered with MOOCs). The website of the 2014 LCL course has been archived. In this year’s version of the course, the core ideas remain the same, but we are experimenting with some new ways for you to engage with the ideas and with one another. We are offering new readings, producing new videos, rethinking some of the activities, and redesigning the platform to make it easier to participate. If you have already participated in LCL in the past, this version of the course will be an opportunity for you to reconnect with the community, learn more, and help others in their journeys!
The primary language of the course will be English, but we are experimenting with ways to support a few additional languages. Language support will be provided by volunteers in the Lifelong Kindergarten group who speak: Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. This support may include subtitles on videos, translations of reading materials, facilitation in forums, and/or live sessions in other languages.
Absolutely yes! We encourage you to find other people to join you in this journey: the more the merrier. While it’s wonderful to connect online with people from around the world, there are also great advantages to meeting and interacting with others in-person. So you might want to organize a weekly gathering to watch the videos or discuss the readings with friends or colleagues.
There is no certification, no graduation, and no end date. Once you join the community, we hope you will continue to come back often to share your thoughts, offer feedback for other learners, and seek out opportunities for collaboration.