Learn like a kindergartener

There’s an article going around at the moment about learning like a kindergartener. It’s by Mitch Resnick, of Scratch fame.  I love him, he reminds me of the dad of a close friend of mine, who’s sadly passed away now, who was always full of great ideas (and who used to come through Paris when I lived there as a broke student and take me out for nice dinners with his wife!).

I first saw Resnick in his classic TED talk, which is definitely worth a watch.

Resnick says that we can learn a lot from how young kids learn.  In fact, his MIT lab is called the Lifelong Kindergarten, because he thinks we should never *stop* learning like little kids! His view, and I’m paraphrasing, is that in a world changing as quickly as ours, kids (and all of us) need to be creative learners. It’s not enough to know a bunch of facts, we also need to learn how to learn, how to adapt, how to create. I love hearing him say this because this is one of the key philosophies behind Fire Tech Camp!

What do kids learn when they go to tech camp?  Do they learn the foundations of how to program? Yes, they do!  But just as important is how they learn to create something – how to think about a problem, and a solution, how to imagine something fun. Trying it out. Seeing what works and what doesn’t. What can you make better so that your game, app, robot is that much more fun, more cool, more interesting? Share it, play with it, talk about it, tweak it, tinker with it, improve it, fold in new ideas!

We all understand that pre-school kids learn through play. The thing we lose sight of, as we and our kids go through formal education, is that it doesn’t stop at kindergarten! We all can and do learn through play and experimentation. I can’t wait to see the ways that our Fire Tech Campers take the tools that we give them and experiment with them, stoke their own creative juices, strengthen their own abilities to learn to innovate by being playfully creative!



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