Ed tech leader Jackie Patanio & I building Emoticons.
Imagine that when students come back to school, rather than telling them to take out a book, read chapters 1 & 2 and answer the questions at the end of each chapter, instead you invited them to play and make stuff. And, what if this stuff was all standards aligned and paired with the assessments that make some administrators happy?
If you're an innovative educator like @JPatanio or I, this type of learning by doing is right up your alley. We were invited to Lego Education's VIP event where they unveiled their new products and lessons for the school year and delighted children and adults with opportunities to play with basic Legos that help students explore emotions and more complex options like LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 (opens in new tab).
The Lego Foundation has found via their research the incredible power of learning through play. This research is developed in conjunction with MIT's Mitch Resnick and his Lifelong Kindergarten research group. You can make a case to do this in your classroom, by accessing the research yourself on the Lego Foundation's website.
Don't know how to get started? Well, Lego has that covered too. They have a suite of lesson plans (opens in new tab) you can access and filter by subject and grade level.
It doesn't end in the classroom either. As students become more adept there are opportunities to move to more complex projects starting in elementary school with Lego FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions.
Click here to watch students show off their work.
Teachers can get prepared to provide this learning to their students by visiting the LEGO Education Academy (opens in new tab), free online learning courses. You can also visit a selection of these courses on the Microsoft Educator Community (opens in new tab) where teachers connect and collaborate, find training and lessons, take their classes on virtual field trips, and earn badges and certificates on a personalized hub created for educators by educators. Teachers can also access courses and earn badges for LEGO MINDSTOMS Education EV3 (opens in new tab). These self-paced courses take teachers from beginner to classroom-ready in successfully integrating LEGO Education solutions into existing STEM curriculum and daily lesson planning. You can explore the three available courses in the Microsoft Educator Community – Getting Started (opens in new tab), Programming (opens in new tab) and In the Classroom (opens in new tab).
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.