i'm just an educator stumbling upon new ways to do my job better (i hope)

Colearning, Week One: Feels a Lot Like a Normal Class

One week in and--if I’m honest--colearning feels a lot like regular school to start the year. It has some of the hallmarks of a regular class, with regular students, in a regular school; so we have to do things like hand out syllabi, talk about norms and expectations, and send home forms to be signed. They sat. I talked. They listened. I asked questions. They didn’t say much. I talked some more. They listened some more. They sat some more.


Then there were the things they did that looked typical of kids who need more structure. A first attempt at peer reviewing writing became an empty, off-task conversation for some and an opportunity to play minecraft for others. (The Ghost of Classroom Past smiled wryly at that. Unstructured time with use of computers? Rookie mistake.)

But there were flashes of what the class might become: a five-minute freewrite during which everyone wrote the whole time; not a single groan when I asked for 300-500 words to be written overnight; and a general willingness to go along, to trust that I would deliver the class I’d promised…soon.

Soon is tomorrow. We kick off Maker Mondays with an exercise that should help them think about narrative and character development: imagining the “nonsynchronous selves” in their own lives. It’s not the makerist of Mondays, but it’ll give them something to workshop on Wednesday. And exercises in 3D printing will be coming…soon.

Colearning, Week Two: Finding a Little Rhythm

Colearning, An Introduction (Part Two)