Tinkering- My Inspiration for 2015


As part of the #YourEdustory challenge, I am trying to blog more often. This week’s topic is what is your one word inspiration for 2015. After a lot of thought, I have decided the word that will inspire me with students and my school is “tinkering.”

I like the idea of tinkering–making, exploring, and playing all come to mind when I think of tinkering. It’s a mindset and an action. One of my favorite professional development opportunities during the fall of 2014 was participating a three-day tinkering workshop at the Exploratorium. The fun and joy we all had during the workshop–I want that to be my classroom and my school.

We played with circuits, made marble runs, talked about growth mindset, and created scribbling machines, light displays, and a giant chain recreation. Though electronics is not my forte, I never felt overwhelmed or that I couldn’t do something. Every “failure” was an opportunity for learning. Okay–that doesn’t work–what should I try next? ” Learning fast” was what I was experiencing as I tinkered with the materials.

Tinkering also seems less overwhelming than saying “making.” Having just completed an online class on making through  Sonoma State University (with a partnership with Make Magazine), implementing a Makerspace can come across as overwhelming, but tinkering, tinkering is fun!

(Check out the SSU Maker Certificate Program if you are interested in making–they have both online and in person classes–http://www.thestartupclassroom.org/maker-course/)

Resources on Making and Tinkering
Project Mash’s Tinkering Toolkit
The Tinkering Studio (at the SF Exploratorium)
Transformative Learning Technologies Lab (at Stanford)
Maker Education YouTube Playlist

About Jessica Lura

I am the director of teaching and learning at public K-8 charter school in Northern California. I work to integrate technology and hands-on learning into the classroom. I develop and lead professional development for my school, helping teachers develop project-based learning and design thinking units, integrate technology and digital citizenship in the classroom, and create opportunities for real world interactions and projects. For my efforts, I was named Santa Clara County's Office of Education Charter School Teacher of Year for 2013 and a 2014 Comcast All-Star Teacher. I am also a Google Certified Innovator
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