Bill MacKenty

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Experiential Learning and Technology

Posted in Blogging Teaching Diary on 15 - February 2010 at 10:52 PM (14 years ago). 252 views.

I’m sitting here at work on Monday, February 15th. It’s a federal holiday, yet here I sit, cleaning up my desk, writing, and tending to some projects I haven’t had time for.

Why am I here, and not with my wife and 9 month old?

A robot.

In the room behind me, there is a group of students (who are here during their February break) working feverishly on a robot. They are partaking in the FIRST competition - and this reminds me why I love teaching and technology.  They bought a drill press (with a laser guide) to make the structure of the robot. They are excited, motivated, and absolutely focused on building this robot. It is a truly delightful thing, to see kids lit up about technology. With very little experience, they have built wireless controllers, steering, and even coded a simple autonomous control. They have done a simply wonderful job of building this robot.  They are fairly sure they won’t win this competition, but they are aiming for rookie team of the year.

I often talk about games in education because I see how motivated the kids are. It is amazing to see the energy a student will put into learning when it is something they really care about - and this is exactly why I love experiential learning - and the strange looking robot behind me.