SLOJD Workshop: Day 03 Recap

Day 03 of our workshop started a bit earlier for one of the participants, Sheena Yoon, who paid a visit to Ánimo Pat Brown, a Green Dot public charter high school for urban youth in South LA, in order to do some initial ethnographic research. While at Green Dot, Yoon visited a drama class, a math class, and a robotics class. The biggest discovery was the visible polars of creativity that exist in the space. While it might not seem too surprising, it was eye-opening for Yoon to see the extreme lack of creativity in the algebra class vs. the amazing amount of creativity in the creative-oriented classes.

After sharing her experience with the rest of the team in the evening of Day 03, the two teams got back to work on their respective projects. While one of the teams was beginning to focus their efforts toward the creation a tile-based interface for learning, the other was working more intensively on new models for collaboration and team-building in the classroom.

After a few hours of discussion and collaborative making, each team was then brought into the space’s conference room to speak to Lorie Manos. Mrs. Manos is an educator with nearly two decades of experience teaching a wide range of subjects both on a one-on-one basis as a private tutor as well as in the classroom. She also happens to be Matt’s mom.

The discussions with our virtual guest pointed towards the necessity of re-imagining group work in the classroom as well as the limitations of a classroom environment vs an individual learning environment. Mrs. Manos also shared with the group several game-based learning methodologies she leverages in and out of the classroom.

As the day came closer and closer to an end, we re-enforced the necessity for each team to focus less on the content and more on the interface. Using the analogy of a Sony Playstation, we explained that the design of one game will only result in one game. The design of a platform, on the other hand, can result in endless opportunity. Leveraging this philosophy, the teams are challenged to think at a much larger scale in order to focus their efforts on the development of a new platform / methodology / kit of parts that both the teacher and the student can learn together with.