Technology as material, fostering inquiry and observation, engaging the world

Children’s Innovation Project embraces innovation as finding something new inside something known. This frame for innovation allows a slow space for children to find small, authentic discoveries and reflect on themselves in relation to the materials they explore. An approach of technology as raw material further supports children’s innovation as it nudges children to work deeply at the grain of technology as they explore with Circuit Blocks, electronic toys, other devices and components. We don’t attach value to technology itself, and we approach technology as a means to learning, not an end. Through a focus on the language-logic systems of technology, children gain access to the thinking of technology, instead of just using the stuff of technology. This access to thinking is supported by teachers who, inside this approach to innovation and technology, also have an opportunity to slow down so they may notice closely processes of children’s thinking. As children explore with a focus on process, not product, children have time to practice habits of mind to notice, wonder and persist and thus begin to embody these habits as internalized sensibilities for their own learning. Children’s Innovation Project supports learning that is interdisciplinary, driven by creative inquiry and aware of the importance of context. Our primary motivation is learning about learning— student learning, teacher learning and community learning. In this way, we seek to shift current educational conversations about making and innovation so educators and policy makers might focus more on supporting processes of thinking and less on technology products.

Children’s Innovation Project was last modified: July 7th, 2015 by Matt Hannigan