Thursday, February 19, 2015

Models of Learning: A team building intersubjectivity activity

Models of Learning
This semester I am teaching a graduate course for pre-service teachers aptly called, Learning and Technology.

I had a wacky idea for our first class about models of learning. I wondered what would happen if I collected a wide range of random art supplies and asked my students to build their own three dimensional models of learning. You see, all the graphics about models of learning are flat, but learning isn't flat, why shouldn't the models be three dimensional? Some of my groups even created four dimensional models with an element that changed over time. They ranged from wacky to profound, however all of the groups had rich conversations about how learning works as they built their models. I did this with graduate students, but I also think it would a a wonderful process for teachers to try at a staff meeting, especially at the beginning of the school year.

You will need: A wide range of craft supplies, the stranger the better. Chop sticks, styrofoam balls, balloons, fuzzy balls, clothes pins, tape, glue, pipe cleaners, and more were all in the bag of supplies I dumped on the table. You may also want your own copy of the slides below.

Step 1: Building the models. 15-20 minutes is plenty of time for this.
Step 2: Explaining the models. Split teams into groups and have them gallery walk to view each team's creation. Have one person from each team stay with their model to explain it. (Don't skip this step.)
Step 3: Make a video. (We are bringing in the technology now.) The gallery walk gave teams practice explaining their model; now just get out the phones and make it a video. The narrator can remain off camera.  (Remind them to shoot horizontally. I forgot that part.) Provide a Google Form or other method for participants to share the link to their video. Then create a playlist of their creations.

This slides I used for this activity. You can get a copy of them here.