The year began with much excitement and hesitancy from the students, and me, as we investigated these domains. New equipment such as Mindstorms EV3s and a Robo3D printer forced us to constantly reflect, learn, and relearn as we worked together to plan, design, and create.
When the course started, I had no intention of running it as a flipped classroom, and although it never truly evolved into this, to my delight the students took their learning home and expanded upon it. They developed new skills and knowledge with help of online content, experts, and sometimes, parental support. More importantly though they shared this learning with their peers and me. I ended up becoming a student in my own class as my students taught me much more than I could them.
This, in turn, spread to other classes as the students took their learning there and applied their new skills to new situations showcasing their learning in those areas too. Encouraged by this, students not in my class were coming to me to use the equipment too.
However, the coolest part for me was when I had students I did not teach coming up to me asking me what I was planning for next year and how excited they were to take the class. More amazing learning will take place next year as I will be moving classrooms and setting up the Tom Baines Maker Space in the former Industrial Arts room.
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