As I have blogged about previously, one of the learning experiences that my students are undertaking is having a robot move to a specific piece of music within certain parameters. In short, it is a robot disco. The kids had a free choice to pick whatever piece of music that they wanted.
They started with some direction from the fabulous Nicola Flannagan and they have been cruising ever since. I have never had any experience with robotics and it is a learning experience for me. Our school has some older robotics gear. After some setbacks at the start (eg the old software wouldn't run on Windows 7) we have faced most issues head on and overcome them.
I will attempt to share some of the videos from the disco later on in the week. Has it been a valuable learning experience? My word is has. The kids are forced to think mathematically, logically and creatively to solve problems. As they face problems, they are required to work collaboratively to solve problems as I have absolutely no knowledge of how to solve the problems. We basically said "Here is the gear kids, here is the task, go crazy!" So far this strategy has been going well. But the key question to ask is why is this strategy working? I think that the answer is that the kids know that they have no 'back up plan' in myself. I can't solve any problems as I don't have the knowledge to help them. Watching the different learners use each others strengths has been insightful for me but I truly feel that the kids realise that I have no clue what I am doing and therefore they have to rely on each other to be creative and solve problems.
So how can I create more opportunities where I don't know 'diddly squat' about something and put the kids totally in charge of the learning journey? It is an interesting notion and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.