|Sept - Dec 2016|
|Global Digital Innovation|
Tinkering at TINKERING STUDIO
An immersive and engaging approach to embracing computers and technology – that is what Seymour Papert brought to the world. South African born Seymour Paper, who died in July 2016 and whose legacy still lives on and is recognised as the founding thinker and doer in getting learners especially children to engage actively with technology as curators and creators of content and not as passive recipients. As Papert said ‘The best learning takes place when the learner takes charge’
Why Tinkering and Making matter
In the shift to a world of makers, creativity, creators and tinkering– Tinkering Studio and its tinkering magic is rapidly making waves. The tinkering mindset is made easy and possible – and as Ryan Jenkins, Tinkering Studio Education Developer, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco tells us that its constructionist model is attributable to Seymour Papert.
On asking Ryan why was Tinkering Studio created, Ryan tells us that was Tinkering Studio came out of a series of art/science/technology based professional development workshops that were part of the Playful Invention and Explorations (PIE) project. As the exploratorium moved to a new building we wanted to create a public workshop for visitors to explore materials, learn new tools and get a chance to create personally meaningful projects.
Engaged by this Digitalnfo wanted to know more about what underpins the programming behind Tinkering Studio and Ryan shared that Tinkering Studio acknowledges it is based on a constructionist philosophy of learning developed by Seymour Papert and others that states that people learn best when they are actively engaged in creating something that reflects their personal path to understanding.
We heard more about how the digital landscape at Tinkering Studio is evolving and Tinkering Studio is currently experimenting with incorporating computational elements into tinkering activities, figuring out ways to combine the physical and digital worlds to increase opportunities for personal expression.
By creating many different entry points for activities and by supporting people to follow their individual paths we hope to create an environment where people of all backgrounds can participate and enjoy art, science and tech experiences.
Digitalnfo has heard that Tinkering Studio is active in other countries. How many countries and how does it get there?
All of Tinkering Studio activities and resources are open source and many museums, makerspaces and schools have taken these ideas and adapted them to different contexts. Tinkering Studio has strengthened ties through workshops and conference presentations both at the Exploratorium and different locations around the world. They also have a online MOOC on coursera where people around the world can learn about their approach and share ideas.
We told Ryan we hope to bring Tinkering Studio to South Africa in some way, and asked what his thoughts were on that? If not physically just yet Digitalnfo thought it would be great to post a video of a tinker make activity with easy to find items on our site.
We got a resounding — Sounds great! We’re happy to help where we can. We have pdfs on our website for several different activities including marble machines, paper circuits, and scribbling machines. There’s also a good video of the space in action from the online course: https://vimeo.com/143935779
Now thats Tinkering on..