TECHxture- Beyond EU Code Week Switzerland

Reflecting upon our successes of this year’s EU Code Week extravaganza we were left wondering, ‘What next?’. The journey we began one year ago continues to evolve through natural curiosity and the growing urge to do thing differently- to challenge the traditions of curriculum and design of the school day.

Our hugely successful MakerFaire, hosted by GEMS World Academy Etoy International School, was the result of a collaboration between educators from five International schools in the Lake Geneva region. We had over 120 attending participants experiencing creative opportunities built with code. Focusing on creation through the arts opened the door to previously unimaginable ways of doing things whether making music on Leap Motion or controlling robots to design visual art, it is clearly evident that today’s experiences allow everyone to be a musician or artist.

A recent TEDx event in Geneva, ‘Exponential Beauty’ challenged us to look for beauty in rise of technology in our lives as a way of overcoming our fears of this growth. As we reflected over the experiences we provided through EU Code Week at an ‘unconference’ and an ongoing Twitter dialogue, we had the realisation that the world of code and technology is as rich with textures and mixed media as the works of art in any gallery- #TECHxture was born. Providing rich learning experiences, where we can experience creating and building through all senses, opens us to a reality where we can appreciate the beauty within technology.

Here are a few of the many making bright spots- post EU Code Week 2014, some challenging conventional lesson structure of school, some born out of either lunchtime, home of after school engagements.

I am left wondering ‘What if extracurricular was curriculum?’

Where can we make space for maker-spaces in school, where learners can inquire, develop curiosity and a deeper sense of what ‘project based learning’ really is?

One student remarked, “Why can’t we just leave stuff out?”, another, “Why does the school bell mean we have to stop?”

 

Scribble Bot creation

 

Coding Minecraft in Python on Raspberry Pi

 

Soldering a DIY Gamer from ‘Technology will Save US’

 

Prototyping Makey Makey switch as part of a Rube Goldberg Machine

 

A group of students remixed their favourite songs in Mozilla Popcorn Maker for a Physical Education dance project, another designed a cardboard play area in Minecraft then built it.

 

These experiences are hands on, spontaneous, non linear, sometimes planned and sometimes unexpected. Mistakes and taking risks with learning are embraced!

Building opportunities for such serendipitous discoveries are essential for the future if we are to look at new ways to solve problems.

There is a great need to rethink the very nature of ‘school’ if we are to create opportunities to explore the diverse textures of our future.

EU Code week began our adventure and it’s an exciting one!

Are you ready for it?

Continue the discussion with @markshillitoe #TECHxture