On day three at the MA New Literacies we started off the day with a bang as Karen Brennan joined us for the keynote. Karen’s talk focused on Creative Computing and Computational Culture. The talk focused on the need to empower students in the reader/writer nature of online information. This is a common thread that we focused on in our Digging Deeper session on Online Content Construction. Karen focused on the opportunities in coding and community with our students.
What fascinated me by her presentation was the complex, intricate games, productions and environments that students built from humble beginnings in Scratch. Karen started the talk by showing us how simple it was to make a cat dance back and forth, and have some music play when the cat would move. From there she went into a sequence of digital work product created and shared by students. Across the creations the students displayed a sense of ownership, identity, and love in their work.
I was struck by this notion of “interestingness” and how it intersects with the computational culture that Karen repeatedly discussed in her talk. We were left with a couple of questions following her talk.
Do we have a place for this computational culture in our classrooms?
Will we lose this sense of “interestingness” by bringing it into classrooms and “schoolifying” it?
What is the first step…and what ages are appropriate…for incorporating a “make” culture in authentic teaching and learning?
Image CC by kanobu