Chris, I am grateful for your comment and your contribution to my continued thinking. Thanks so much. I am most intrigued by the term "formal instruction." What, exactly, does that mean? I ask, partly, because I viewed the session on which this post draws as "formal instruction." Albeit the session involved tinkering, making, play, and discussion of Edith Ackerman's research. We set conditions so that the learning could be emotionally felt and cognitively experienced. So, there was a combinatorial strategy that was purposefully designed into the session - into the instructional design as part of the UbD plan for the admin meeting.
Bill, It's great to see you here, on Teachers Guild. I so appreciate your comment and questions. Thank you.
I am not "worried" at all about the amount of time that it takes for tinkering and play to lead to shared outcomes. To be sure, the ideas expressed in this post are 1) not stand-alone, but part of a more complete system, and 2) meant for adding to a specific ideate phase where suspension of judgement helps spur richer thinking.
To go a bit deeper, I just read this article: http://nextgenlearning.org/blog/students-design-tinker-create-and-discover-through-maker-based-learning I love the quote: "The maker mindset is almost magical. Educators light up. Through discovery and play their passions are reawakened." –Greg Klein, Rogers Family Foundation
In this particular learning session (a.k.a. "a meeting"), we were invoking feeling and thinking about WHY we are engaging in maker, design, and engineering programming. Both purpose and play weave together to reveal emotions and insights that are fundamentally important to learning, as well as to administrative planning to set the conditions for expansive and exciting learning - deeper learning.
So, for this particular idea shared, we gladly traded "efficiency" for "effectiveness." The resulting discussion and planning were enriched because the activities tapped the "magic of the maker mindset" and allowed for the administrative group gathered to dig deeply into what this type of learning can create and generate and nurture in learners.
Does pacing matter? Sure. I think it does. In this case, the pace was changed intentionally so that we could dive into Edith Ackerman's research with a different emotional state and cognitive awareness primed and ready. We were working on the MV Mindsets of "collaborator, communicator, solution seeker, innovator, and creative thinker." So, we prioritized certain desired outcomes above time, and we hypothesized that time spent tinkering here - by adults - would quicken our overall pace because of a different - FELT - level of empowerment and enrichment.
So, the experimentation was part of an intentional and purposeful arc. Not simply a time filler in a meeting. The follow-up work has been exciting and invigorating, and many learners - young and old(er)- are experiencing more agency, partly sparked by that scribble-bot making on that August afternoon.
I, too, miss connecting with you. I am excited by our conversation being scheduled in January!
I love the idea of the mile markers and innovation alerts. I just Slacked your post to my MVIFI team. This is such an elegantly simple idea that could transform a culture and confidence of a people and place. We've been talking about putting out sandwich boards like those that announce menus on sidewalks outside of restaurants. I think your ideas are a real stretch better.