If you have seen the video at the top of my home page, you have a little glimpse into what my day was like yesterday. I spent a year trying to get these wonderful tools into our school. I am so grateful Tim and Deb stepped up to let me get them here.
My day with the makeymakey's started with my students. These are some incredible men. They have the talent, curiosity, resilience, and perseverance we strive to show students everyday. I literally explained I want to let teachers try the makeymakeys out and I needed there help, then unboxed the makeymakeys and got the heck out of their way!
I showed them what a makeymakey was and how it had been used. I showed them the task I wanted teachers to undertake and asked them to test it out for me. I had a two hour slot with teachers to fill with this activity. The students looked at the instructions (found here) quickly un boxed the makeymakey and blew my socks off. In 5 minutes they had test coursed complete and confirmed the scratch program we were set to use worked just fine. That was the end of my formal input.
It was then a flurry of " Jonesy can we use this, can I try this?" "That didn't work now what do you think we should do next guys?" and a whole lot of "It works!". I haven't see them this excited yet. they pleaded with me to bring them back for double block. " Jones we really have to try and make a better power glove, I have so many ideas"
I thanked them for trying out the teacher portion and to be honest got worried I had made it too easy.
After school I set up the 3d printer and the makeymakey supplies up in our Multipurpose room and hoped that teachers would have even a sliver of the fun the boys had. As I talked about what a makeymakey was, how the boys had tried it and how teachers might use this in their courses, I felt the tension in the room rise . It was visible on the faces of most teachers. I thought I was sunk!
I underestimated the life long learner in my colleagues. They stepped up huge. They jumped in, even with their trepidation. They asked questions they made mistakes, and had some technology glitches that they just worked through. It was possibly the best experience observing teachers I have ever had. I got to see teachers be students and then reflect on that for their teaching. I was honestly in awe of their resilience with a very new situation. I hope every student watches the video so they can see that teachers model learning, that they themselves are still learning.
The tension left the room and all I could see was concentration, laughing and fun. Just fun! I want to be in the mix next time. I feel really fortunate to have watched all of this but at the same time wished I could have just been one of the kids.