Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SparkTruck Challenges Kids to Learn

SparkTruck hit the road over the summer with the goal of giving kids the chance to play with new high-tech tools, such as robots. Eugene Korsunskiy, a teaching assistant at Stanford University, helped create the project as a way to present children with open-ended problems and let them figure out the solution on their own.

At one stop, a teacher warned Korsunskiy that the approach of giving the students space to come up with the answers instead of providing the right response wouldn't work. SparkTruck staff did see students get stuck on design problems they presented, and even become frustrated by the process. But they also watched as the students ultimately figured out the problems.

“After an interaction like that, you see a gear shift in [a kid’s] head,” Korsunskiy said in an article in Wired. “Once you make it clear that you’re not there to provide the answer, they completely rise to the challenge.”

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