Monday is our school’s Professional Development Day and a few of us have been enlisted to showcase a variety of tools that will be found in our school’s makerspace. They’re cool cools and give students and teachers a jumping point for creative thinking. However, one of the many challenges that I will undoubtedly face will be that of curricular connections: How will this piece of technology fit in MY classroom? How can I fit this technology into MY current practice? Why would I bother spending time creating something that doesn’t explicitly scream the content of MY subject area? Why must I learn yet another piece of technology?
Let’s be honest, the technology that we are playing with will be surpassed by new technology tomorrow. Just like my subject area, Home Economics, the world of technology is highly connected and “subject areas” do not exist in isolation. Tomorrow I’ll be chatting about wearable technology and fashion and giving participants the opportunity to play with circuits, LEDs, and connective thread. Fashion and wearable technology is connecting a myriad of so-called “subject areas” from math, science, and fashion but also the humanities. Fashion and technology, particulatly consumer electronics, have connected more than ever. Apart from the technical side of how the electronics work, much of fashion’s aim is to serve as an activist for connectivity. I believe it would be wise to conceptualize our students’ future has highly interdisciplinary and teach it as so.
The tools that we will be playing with on Monday are going to flourish dramatically in the hands of our students – maybe not immediately, but we can’t limit the future modelling apathetic or negative views towards innovation. The fact is – in order for us to see the full potential in this technology we have to get it in the hands of our students. If we struggle to use the excuse that we have to “learn yet another piece of technology” we are making the teaching of our students about the us. It isn’t so. Giving students the opportunity play with the latest technology not only challenges our practices and our students’ creative processes, but sets students up for a forward thinking and innovative world. Frankly and personally, the world I was seemingly being prepared for in high school (in the early 2000s) didn’t include the need for static rote memorization of facts. Ultimately, I didn’t go into teaching to teach the same lessons year after year. Let’s change this.
Below is a series of videos entitled “Make It Wearable” from The Creators Project that I stumbled on during my research on wearable technology. What I value most are the themes of each of the episodes, from communication, health, to daily life. Enjoy.
1) Human Communication
2) Human Health
3) Human Expression
4) Becoming Superhuman
5) Daily Life