Grinding New Lenses

Grinding New Lenses is a design project focused on creating modular, digital design focused curricula that promote systems thinking dispositions in young people. Led by the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University in partnership with the Institute of Play, Depaul University and the National Writing Project, the project aims to empower young people to view the world as a set of complex systems by engaging them in the process of describing, creating, and modeling and making interventions in systems through using new media - game design, digital storytelling and physic

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    Seed is your jumping off point, building the foundation for your project. It helps you define your idea, vision and audience.

    How to develop systems thinking dispositions in young people by engaging them in design practices using digital technologies. In this example, we document our efforts to create curricula based on digital tools that engage kids in design, description, modeling, and iterating around complex systems. Each of the curricula focuses on different design practices using different digital platforms: - Game Design with Gamestar Mechanic - Digital Storytelling with Scratch - Computational Textile and Physical Computing Design with the Lilypad Arduino

     

    What are you designing, creating, or researching?

    • Modular Systems Thinking Curriculum • Summer and year-long Workshops serving Chicago Public School students as well as other students in urban, rural and small communities • Pilot Studies contributing to research in the learning sciences, game design, media education, human-computer-interaction, and informal education • a Large-Scale Study aimed at documenting the development of general systems thinking dispositions • Assessments to capture and measure systems-thinking competencies

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    The project was inspired by work done at the Quest to Learn school in New York City, where the entire curriculum of the school has been re-imagined based on principles found in game design and where systems thinking is a central organizing principle for how young people should be engaging in the world. The GNL project is aiming to make the kinds of pedagogical practices around systems thinking found at Q2L accessible to educators around the country through easily adaptable modular curricula.

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    These are the main research questions we're working with: • How can we create curriculum to support individuals in better understanding how systems work? • How can teachers be supported when using such a curriculum and integrating it with their existing practice? • What are the pedagogical and curriculum design implications of supporting a systems thinking curriculum? • How does the designed curriculum support individuals to see the world as a system?

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    Sprout is the story of your project, its process and evolution. It illustrates how the work's getting done.

    These are the main research questions we're working with: • How can we create curriculum to support individuals in better understanding how systems work? • How can teachers be supported when using such a curriculum and integrating it with their existing practice? • What are the pedagogical and curriculum design implications of supporting a systems thinking curriculum? • How does the designed curriculum support individuals to see the world as a system?

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    Bloom is a celebration of your end-product, a reflection back on your process and a look forward into the future.

    The work we're most excited to share, the 3 modular curricula we're creating (Game Design w/Gamestar Mechanic, Digital Storytelling w/Scratch, "Short Circuits"/physical computing w/LilyPad Arduino), are slated to come out as a book series from MIT Press in late 2012. Watch this space!

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