Learn more about LCL

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What is Creative Learning?

We live in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever before. To thrive, we must learn to imagine creatively, reason systematically, work collaboratively, and learn continuously. At the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT, we are developing new technologies and strategies for cultivating creative learning. Our approach is based on four guiding principles:

  • Projects: We learn best when we are actively working on projects - generating new ideas, designing prototypes, making improvements and creating final products.
  • Peers: Learning flourishes as a social activity, with people sharing ideas, collaborating on projects, and building on one another's work.
  • Passion: When we focus on things we care about, we work longer and harder, persist in the face of challenges, and learn more in the process.
  • Play: Learning involves playful experimentation - trying new things, tinkering with materials, testing boundaries, taking risks, iterating again and again.

We apply these principles to our own work, and we share our creative-learning ideas and technologies outside, to help others engage in the same style of learning.


What is Learning Creative Learning?

Learning Creative Learning (LCL) is a community of educators, designers, parents, and learners exploring creative learning together. Over six weeks, you’ll have the chance to explore some of the ideas and principles that underlie creative learning while engaging in creative learning yourself, working on projects you are interested in, playfully working and thinking with your peers about how you might bring some of these ideas and practices to your own work and life.


Is this a course about Scratch?

The course is not specifically about Scratch (the graphical programming language developed by our Lifelong Kindergarten group), but we are going to host weekly online workshops for participants to experiment and create projects with Scratch – and to learn about the ideas and motivations underlying Scratch. We are also 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. We will share ideas, strategies, and resources on how to introduce Scratch through a creative learning approach.


Is this a course for me?

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.


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How is this different from previous rounds of LCL?

Although the materials are always available on the website, from time to time we start a new round of LCL to give people the opportunity to go through the course together with other participants. It’s an opportunity for new participants to join for the first time, but also for people who already participated in past rounds to dive deeper and connect with other participants. Every time a new LCL round is offered, it evolves as we experiment with new ideas. For example, making small changes to the activities and the reflection prompts, as well as trying new ways to engage with the online community.


Is there a specific class time?

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 send out an email with the list of videos, readings, and activities that we are going to go through together. 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. We will also host online gatherings, using a free tool called Unhangout, to provide additional opportunities to meet and talk with others in the community. All videos and readings are already available online, so you can look ahead if you like.


What do I need to participate?

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 available 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 good internet connection to join the video discussions. All materials will be downloadable so that you will be able to use them offline at a later time.


I am not fluent in English: can I still take LCL?

The primary language is English, but subtitles and translations for some materials are available in some languages thanks to volunteers from the LCL community who speak: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish (and more). Check out the website and subtitles for their availability. We also have language groups in the discussion forum where you can talk to each other in your language. You are welcome to make use of those spaces to meet and learn together with your peers who share your languages.


Can I take this class with other people?

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.


Can I receive a certificate of completion?

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.


Who organizes this?

We are a group of researchers from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group and the Learning Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. In addition to our small team at MIT, a wonderful group of former participants known as the LCL Facilitation Team, kindly volunteers and contributes to the LCL community in many ways, including facilitating conversations online, translating resources, and helping us spreading the creative learning spirit around the world.


More questions?

If you have read this far and still have questions, write to us at: lcl-support@media.mit.edu