“The goal of education, it seems to me, is to make learning interesting and exciting for its own sake. The fact of the matter is that vegetables are tasty (especially when cooked in spicy Indian curries), and math is fun. So is social studies and poetry. Not because we fake our students into thinking so, but because these fields contain ideas that are powerful and heart- wrenching, that speak to the human condition, that help us understand our place in the world.” –Punya Mishra
Learning Technology by Design was more than just a course on how good and bad design affects learning. It was a fellowship study about how good design makes life better and how bad design makes life worse.
Design isn’t just a tool to use in our work, it is a daily interaction and being able to recognize its impact on our lives can allow me to be a more effective teacher. I think lesson number one is that there are very few designs that are totally good or totally bad, most have elements of both. For example, my car can remotely start, but only from a range of 50 feet. My favorite t-shirt has an oder resistant chemical treatment which makes it the perfect gym shirt, but in order to ensure that the treatment doesn’t wear off it must air dry instead of quickly drying in the dryer.
There is give and take to all designs, this impacts the daily decision making that comprise our lives. As a teacher, specifically, I need to weigh the affordances and hinderances of any technology that I implement in my classroom.
I’ve started to encourage my students to think about the overall design that they couch their ideas inside of instead of focusing solely on ideas. When evaluating their work, I no longer collect it… instead I visit them individually and in small groups, asking the same request over and over, “could you explain your design to me.” This question takes learning from low to high blooms by simply placing design as a higher importance than the content itself. To design is to teach, to teach is to become a master of content.
I’ve decided to showcase two artifacts that I feel best represent my journey of learning by design one is a learning module I designed as part of CEP 817, the other is a reflection on design couched within a fictional short story: