preview

Constructionism

Decent Essays
When people hear the label ‘digital natives’ or ‘millennials’ a typical shared though by many is that they, the young people that these labels are referring to, are good with technology—usually this assumed technological gift is equated to something ridiculous such as they are born with a cell phone in their hands and that they will be a computer genius before they can walk. Though these outrageous assumptions are often made in jest, there does seem to be a bit of underlying belief to them; this belief can restrict the amount of technological skill still developing children who are, in fact, not born with advanced knowledge of technology are able to gain. Because of this, through an observation conducted at a Sphero Robot programming event…show more content…
Though he does think that things such as educational television shows can have a small impact on children’s education, he asserts that learning is most greatly impacted by doing or creating. It is evident that many agree with this theory since we have seen a great emergence of maker spaces in libraries, and robot programming events like the one where this observation took place (Wheeler, 2014). In Papert’s book, Constructionsim, he said that there is no scientifically proven “best” way to learn—however, he asserts that constructionism is most certainly a better way for learners of all types than the traditional classroom instruction (1991). In constructionism, a child’s imagination and reality collide; this was especially noticeable in the context of the Sphero Robots event, where children were encouraged to program the robots to do whatever they…show more content…
The program I observed took place on Saturday, April 29th in the children’s center story time room at the central branch. The program was called Sphero Robots, and it was targeted at children ages eight and up. The summary and description listed on the library’s website explain that children will learn basic programing of a BB-8 droid (spl.org). The program was scheduled from noon to 2 pm, and when I arrived at 11:30 am there was already a child and parent waiting for the program to begin. The program was a part of teen service learning—which is a partnership between the library and high schools where students receive service learning credits while learning valuable skills. There were seven high school students who were completely in charge of creating and running the program; they were supervised by one of the Teen Services Librarians who only stepped in when one of the teens requested she do so. I wanted to see how the children interacted with the droids—were they excited to learn to program, or were they more excited to just play with them. I also wanted to see how the parents and teens interacted with the children while they were in control of the droids—what kind of instruction methods they would use, how much independence they would give the children, and how they would react to the children who were uninterested in learning to program and just wanted to play
Get Access