Gever Tulley is leading the Tinkering workshop. He is founded the tinkering school which offers an exploratory curriculum to help kids aged 8 to 17. St. John’s is alive with the sound of hammers!
Uruguays Rodrigo Arbodela comes out talking about the need for education for all children. He discusses his project, through giving children in Uraguay a laptop each as a “vaccine for ignorance”. Rodrigo says that the greatest challenge of all is to enable all kids in every country to have the same access to knowledge. While discussing education, and its importance Rodrigo mentions the changing in technology, he says there are new technologies to help children learn, especially the laptops he says that the latops change the kids world.
Mark Frauenfelder came on right away discussing household inventions. These included a revolving bird-feeder, a “bacon clock” and a tea bag popper. The worlds biggest iPod can use old LP records and digitalizes his music with this modified hi-fi cabinet. VCR cat-feeders which utilise VCR motors to time the feeding for cats. Numerous examples are listed alongside these few. Mark says that if kids could do the following, cloning jelly-fish DNA, make a robotic black-jack dealer, and robot ‘guards’. Modern-day shools only teach children to be scholars, they hear information, but they are not actually doing anything. Frauenfelder says that hands-on experience in building robots, and these other types activities would develop children as young ‘Makers’. A curriculum was created using simple wooden blocks, and through using tasks to fulfill physical needs. Whilst doing these activities, children learn about physical elements of the earth such as color, size and numbers. With a “Kite Curriculum”, children learn how to handle different types of materials, giving children “a sense of self-ethicacy”. This whole curriculum is based on just creating a box kite, which, Frauenfelder says traditional schools ignore. While wrapping up his speech, Frauenfelder talks about “Cigar Box Nation” which uses cigars boxes, which are never used, to make guitars. Frauenfelder believes that through experiencing first-hand, and ‘learning by doing’ children will become “makers”.
Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald begins his speech with a very deep thought of “Augmented Reality”. There are several layers in the type of reality, which are built through the web, and cell phones. Lens-Fitzgerald talks about how there is very little that really exists and is not in digital format as well. Maarten says that you cannot control the media and information that comes at you. He discusses that there is information everywhere and that you get info whether you want it or not.
Ed Baafi is transforming programming from being complicated, to being used for everyday people. He calls his generation, Generation “D”, standing for Democracy, DIY and Digital. Baafi discussed the history of computer, which went from being a hobby, to having people actually buy computers. Modern-day literacy is considered ability to use Microsoft Word, and other computer programs. In the twentieth century literacy was the ability to read and write. Baafi refers to ‘democracy’ as the sharing of information, and a love to share. Publishing was democratitized by blogging, which allows people to write freely and about what they please. The stages Baafi discusses, go form blogging, to hacking, to kids programming. Baafi’s inspirational speech shows the new generations talent and ability in terms of programming and democratization.