In formal learning environments such as classrooms, learners are too often positioned as passive -- listening, watching, attending, consuming -- rather than encouraged to engage as creators -- designing, making, producing, constructing. In this course, students will (1) investigate the theoretical foundations of learning by creating and (2) explore how to design learning experiences and technologies that support creating as a central activity. Topics will include constructivist and constructionist theories of learning, the role of digital and physical materials in learning, how interest and motivation support learning, the social nature of learning, and reflective learning practices. Investigations and explorations will be supported through readings, as well as hands on experimentation with (and critical analysis of) construction-oriented learning experiences. Students will participate in class discussions about readings and take turns facilitating a portion of class time, which will involve selecting an additional reading and/or preparing an in-class activity that explores the theme of the week. Additionally, students will develop a project related to the theme of "designing for learning by creating", for example, proposing a new technology/experience, developing curricular resources for an existing technology/experience, or analyzing an existing technology/experience. The project should be connected to both the course themes and student interests. Anyone who is interested in exploring the theory and practice of learning through designing, producing, making, and creating is encouraged to enroll.
Digital and network technologies create new opportunities and new expectations for learning and teaching. How do teachers and learners make sense of and negotiate these opportunities and expectations? This course will focus on developing nuanced understandings of the relationships between learning, teaching, and current technology trends, by considering current trends through the lens of critical theory and the practices of design thinking. Trends are updated with each course offering to reflect current cultural interests, but topics from previous offerings of the course have included: MOOCs, coding, flipped classrooms, connected learning, games, big data, open education, edupreneurship, and peer learning networks. Students will attend weekly class sessions, contribute to the course learning community (both in person and online), and think carefully and critically about learning, teaching, and technology through weekly reading, exploring, and reflecting activities. Anyone interested in exploring teachers' and students' experiences in the digital era is encouraged to enroll.