Pilchuck inspiring me beyond glass

I had the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with the class I’ll be co-teaching online in a few weeks. It’s a “Program Planning” course (LRNT 503) from the Royal Roads University MALAT cohort (MA in Learning and Technology).

I am still bursting with ideas from Pilchuck, and although the LRNT503 course is not at all about glass I believe that my experience at Pilchuck has given me new ideas for ways to address its goals.

At Pilchuck, Bruce Mau referred to technology and said “now we can do anything, what will we do?”

He encouraged the Pilchuck group to consciously design our lives and our environments. A perfect thought for the MALAT students I am working with, who will be designing online educational environments. Bruce Mau, a big BIG picture designer, gave me a renewed understanding of the scale of design principles. It’s something I want to share as I teach this year.

For instance, the intersection of arts and science can be made more explicit as an educational goal. “Massive change” for education. “The Third Teacher”  — interactions for learning. Kids interact with adults, peers and their environment — as program planners, the group I’m teaching will be making decisions about learning environments and should spend time reflecting on how these shape the learning experience.

Also, collaborative learning is something that Royal Roads has always emphasized, and it was beautiful to see it in action at Pilchuck. In my session with the MALAT group I described Pilchuck’s environment of artistic collaboration and hopefully made it clear that the same creative energy can be applied throughout the MALAT program. Students will work together to solve problems, create a set of online resources that will stay with them long after the course is completed and, most importantly, they will begin to think about plans that can be implemented in their real life workplaces.

I ended my discussion by considering Bruce Mau’s statement that “sacrifice won’t work”. As humans, we won’t stop loving travel, communication, playing, making art and so on, so we will continue to consume things. That means in order to be sustainable we have to make smart things more compelling than stupid things. And that’s a design problem!

MAKE SMART THINGS MORE COMPELLING THAN STUPID THINGS.

When I wrote this on the board I saw many of the class members smiling. I hope a seed has been planted!

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