What we found today: Monday, September 17th, 2012

by Chad Sansing

HAL 8bits by  armincifuentes

HAL 8bits by armincifuentes

  • The Wired Design blog covers Make It So, a book about the influence of science fiction on contemporary design. While I’m struck – kind of sadly – by how many examples criss-cross militaristic contexts, I’m interested in the tension between the familiar and the strange in both sci-fi and design. Regardless, it’s worth asking kids to visualize what they’re reading sand writing in science-fiction and dystopian lit, not only to check for understanding, but to see how tone, mood, and perspective get translated from words into artifacts.

  • Enjoying Andrew Carle’s thinking on middle-school maker spaces here. Pinball, stickers, games, food, and MaKey Makey boards FTW. I think Andrew is spot on in his characterization of a visible maker space as a driver for culture change in a school. Maybe I can get some windows put into my walls.

  • Digging around Stanford’s Epicenter, a hub for “unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of undergraduate engineering students across the United States.” I want one for middle schoolers. I’m forever unsure of why we’re not pursuing inquiry-models of education founded in making awesome stuff with all learners.

  • I saw news of GameDesk’s PlayMaker school not too long ago, but just found my way back to the rest of GameDesk’s site. I dig its Mathmaker program, which has me thinking of how to start a coding/design/programming initiative for student achievement in the humanities.

  • Bootstrap is another student-programming initiative meant to help kids between the ages of 12 and 16 become coders and designers through algebra and geometry. Bootstrap and the Northern Virginia Computer Science Teachers Association are hosting a workshop at George Mason University on October 20th, 2012. Sign up here.