Experimenting with Learning New Stuff Isn’t Just for Kids

I’m continuing to play with a free collage-making app that I recently downloaded… and wondering about its use as tool for learning. I can see kids using it as a way of organizing digital images to visualize themes, describe content, play with words, create stories, and work from an endless trove of their own ideas to use such tools for personal learning and collaborative sharing. Today, I’ve created a simple collage to capture different ways that kids and teachers use learning spaces – exploring choices, preferences, and opportunities inside and outside classroom walls.

This learning spaces collage represents a very tiny slice of possibilities and potential for and of learning. It’s about entry points through a crayon box full of learning tools, projects, processes, and space designs. It’s about the definition of teacher and learner as synonymous with passion, imagination, curiosity, invention, creation, design, building, engineering, producing and consuming in a Post-Gutenberg age of search – connect – communicate – make, both face-to-face and virtually. It’s about learning work and learning play, sometimes in buildings we label as schools and increasingly everywhere but in such buildings.

Here’s my collage creation on learning spaces – likely not a final draft, and my first attempt using some of my flower images. I am experimenting with backgrounds, borders, sizes, and choosing and placing images. It’s about figuring out how many images are too many or too few, just as a writer needs to know when there’s enough words on the page to call a poem a final draft.

While I don’t have either training in or particularly good intuition about anything that draws upon artistic capability, I continue to try to make sense of the arts as a pathway to learning. I’m fortunate to live in an age in which contemporary tech tools make my work on improving that capability not just easier but more accessible, just as using an Universal Design for Learning process provides a multitude of choices for any child who need different support and tools to access the information they need to navigate school curricula. Accessibility today includes opportunities to connect with collaborative learners not just in my face-to-face community, but also virtually. Collaborative learners willingly offer their own questions, ideas, resources, and feedback, and in doing so, we learn together.

Finally, for me, it’s not about the final product at this point. It’s about the process of learning to create the product. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about a grade on this assignment.

Flowers