A quick interjection of thought on this development which I’ve been following since it’s announcement.
The creation of a position commonly referred to as Professor of Lego but in actual fact is Professor of PEDaL in the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University.
I’m not blowing my own trumpet I just wish to show that throughout history many great ideas are born at the same time but in different locations.
Seven & years ago Chuck and I set out to create a meaning contribution to the art and science of learning. That journey has morphed over the years and finally one outcome of our wider project now fits in to Computing, Way back we could give it a solid name we just called it blended learning, sounded a bit like voodoo magic to schools when we introduced it.
At the heart of our wider concept we wished to create a skills based system of learning that uses play to aid kids to learn by themselves or as we often say ‘Learning how to Learn’ this is important because as we know by the time you’ve learnt a subject at school its outdated changed or obsolete, not a great system really is it? Factor in the rate of technological development and … Therefore “Teach a man to fish …”.
A few years ago UTC’s were being opened to address institutes and industries worries about skills shortage there focus is on hands on learning! What a novel concept? This ideas didn’t appear overnight.
Lego Foundation have been working with MIT & Cambridge for a number of years. The excellent platform Mindstorms in 2001 was launch as a result of research. Now in 2015 the Foundation have funded Cambridge to open another new area of exploration Play Education Development and Learning aka PEDaL. Did this happen in the blink of an eye?
I’m connected with groups all over the world trying to do similar things to help kids explore play as means of instruction to use their creativity to find solutions to problem or as we like to say “Solution Seekers”. These groups didn’t magically appear.
In a few years time people will say wow where did that concept come from it just appeared like Hocus Pocus! No it didn’t. It’s been floating in the ether for some time probably more than seven years but a critical mass of minds around that time gave it momentum. It’s now entering a mid phase of development and getting some serious recognition thanks to the balls of Cambridge and Lego.
I will of course be applying for the job at Cambridge along with my 13 year old son, I’m sure my academic achievements will kick me in the nuts as I have none. Armed with as AWESOME plan, knowing I’m a practising practitioner and connections to like minded people around the world, give me a head start of a paper application (in my mind). If none of that swings the pendulum in my favour then I shall eagerly follow PEDaLs’ development and hopefully make a meaningful contribution to there knowledge base.