School's Out: Mexico City

After a week back in Florida with family, today I'm flying to Mexico City. Last year's winter break provided so much inspiration for my own art practice, and gave me a chance to connect my students with other cultures in a meaningful way.

Mexico City is home to one of my absolute favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. I'm looking forward to being surrounded by the colors, textures and inhabitants of the city that inspired her. Here are some of the places on my list to explore:

• La Casa Azul - Frida Kahlo's home

Museo Tamayo - contemporary art museum

Mama Rumba - salsa dancing

Fork to Learn

I was inspired by this kid's project on DIY so I forked it. Forking a project is like paying that DIYer the ultimate compliment, and an excellent way to learn something new. The forking tree tells a story of where an idea originated, as well as how others were inspired to remake an idea into something that they can call their own.

Plus, now I have a bunch of beeswax candles to give away as winter treats for all my pals.

Webinar: Mapping Standards to DIY Skills

As I mentioned a few weeks back, we're attempting to map how DIY Skills align with various educational standards. Last week I had a fantastic conversation with other educators on the Educator Innovator webinar about our progress towards this effort. There's still a lot of work to be done, but by working closely with a great group of educators we're getting closer to creating an excellent resource.

Interested in contributing to this project? I'd love to hear from you! I've been meeting weekly with educators to talk about DIY in the classroom here. DIY Classroom Hangouts happen every Wednesday at 5p PST.

 

Sketchbook Peepshow

Sometimes it's important to show more than tell. So, I'll be providing periodic peeks into my sketchbook, rather than ranting.

DIY

I started teaching in 2008 - developing the children's education programming at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. I sort of stumbled into this role, not fully realizing the journey I would embark on. Five years later, I've been teaching ever since and thoroughly enjoying it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how powerful it was to let my students take on the role of educator.

In February I joined an impassioned team of makers at DIY in their mission to create a community for kids to learn through making and share what they’ve learned with their peers. Having relied on their resources to support my own students, I was already a big fan of the work they were doing, and eager to join. My role is to support DIY in the real world. I’ll be seeding and supporting real life DIY Clubs around the world, and creating resources for educators to utilize DIY in their classrooms.

I've already met some amazing educators around the world who are using DIY in their classroom, as well as parents supporting DIY Clubs and mentors sharing their skills with the youth in their community. Seeing the projects that kids are sharing through DIY has been incredibly inspirational. Kids are building, making, hacking, growing, and they’re learning so much through these experiences. I am so excited by the work I'll be doing at DIY, and look forward to seeing how these programs develop. Curious about starting a DIY Club? I’d love to hear from you.

Self Organized Learning Environments

What happens when children teach themselves? Sugata Mitra is an educational researcher posing this bold question. His Hole in the Wall experiments reveal that, in the absence of supervision, children can teach themselves and each other, if they're motivated by curiosity and peer interest. In this TED Talk Mitra shares his vision for Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE).