When most of us think of "learning" we envision sitting in a classroom with books, a syllabus, and a teacher. But the truth is that there are other ways of learning that are often more effective and almost always more engaging. Tackling a project that requires you to learn as you go. Delving into a hands-on activity. Or just dabbling with materials you have on hand. The MIT Media Lab, in conjunction with Peer 2 Peer University, are inviting you to explore these ideas with them in a giant social experiment. They are launching the Learning Creative Learning online course and you’re all invited to register free of charge.
You can learn more about the class over at MIT, but it is led in part by Mitch Resnick and Natalie Rusk, both of whom I have had the pleasure of working with via the Computer Clubhouse program (which they co-founded back in the day). And although I admit to occasionally butting heads with them on implementation, I am the first to say that they are both brilliant and creative people. Mitch directs the Lifelong Kindergarten group (doesn’t that just sound like fun?) at the MIT Media Lab and Natalie is a Research Scientist there. Go read their bios, because I can’t do them justice.
The course, which begins on February 11, will involve readings, online video chats with panelists (which will be available for viewing at later dates), and hands-on activities. You’ll be assigned groups which you can work with or not. I will say, having done my Master’s program online through Lesley University, that it is NOT easy to do collaborative work with strangers online. I suppose it’s a character building experience. I believe that you are also able to register as a part of a group, as long as one of the members registers first and obtains a group code. In any case, the syllabus looks fun and engaging, as well as thought-provoking. There are some phenomenal speakers on that list. There are no grades, so this is simply a matter of your own desire to learn, grow, and create.
Whether you’ve always wanted to "attend" MIT, you work with young people, you love tinkering and creating, or you’re just curious, I’d suggest you jump on in. You’ve got nothing to lose.