Papermaker’s Tears

I was fortunate to learn from a group of artists at The DCA when I planned a project called ‘Paper’. The first live learning event was paper making, during this the artist introduced the concept of papermaker’s tears. This inspired a wee bash at animation.

(Another example of Papermaker’s tears)

Aspirational, Autonomous, Awesomeness!

Some time ago we were invited to Be Very Afraid 5 at BAFTA with Stephen Heppell to share what we had learned from providing groups of children with a Nintendo DS and Nintendogs. (Just a wee reminder that at this point in history there were no iPads and I had just received the first iPhone as a Christmas present.)

Piloting and further roll out led to a research project. I learned a great deal about signature pedagogies through this project and this is the presentation I gave when I spoke with David Miller at the Game 2 Learn Conference in Dundee.

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 10.04.52

 After many years I still hold on to these thoughts from those developments

  • The importance of play and child led learning. Children require space and time to learn. Observing from a distance and judging when to support and when not to is an art!
  • Shared devices require and enable collaboration. Enabling space for ‘huddles’ and the opportunity to move between ‘huddles’ builds capacity and confidence.
  • Summarising, making time for explanations, creating ‘how 2s’ is a valuable skill. There is a great example of this in the Moshling Zoo prezi.
  • A game can provide a challenging text. The incentive to read for information motivates children to decode.
  • And to name but a few it involved children in thinking strategically, planning out scenarios, collaboratively solving challenges in teams while having fun – essential life skills.

I further confirmed this for myself when I had the opportunity to develop some of the CfE capacities through the use of Moshlings Zoo for the DS with a Primary 1.

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 11.35.24

The rewritten CfE technologies outcomes now include explicit mention of computational thinking. I have had the fortunate opportunity to focus on developing these concepts and approaches this past year. I have found the Barefoot Computing resources particularly helpful. I really like using the concepts and approaches poster to unpick the learning throughout the process. The game play and consequent creativity through the DS projects most definitely involved creating, collaboration, debugging, perseverance, evaluation.  The bullet points above continue to permeate the pedagogical approach I develop with the children I teach.

I still think these are my top 3!!

  1. I think we have a moral obligation to be aspirational for young people, to have high expectations of every individual.
  2. We need to create learning spaces and experiences that enable autonomy.
  3. The context and process of that learning should be awesome.

Triple A learning!!




Tea Party Time

After studying different pottery designs I supported some young artists to create their own.

We collected a selection of leaves and flowers.

These were arranged in many different ways until the artists were satisfied with their design.

The natural design was printed.

Every step was photographed and different stages in the process were printed.

The prints became teacups with the help of the wonderful Red Ted Art teacup printable.

These fabulous cups adorned a rather wonderful garden tea party.


Re: Random reflections

Important to go back and reflect, recall, recap upon experiences sometimes to recover, often to rediscover and most importantly to retrieve the best parts to create with. I think I will discover that there are most definitely recurring themes to the developments I have participated in.

If I keep returning to these, reusing them, then hopefully the best bits can be recycled.

Simple idea

Take time to look onto the surface of the water on a lake, puddle on a dull day. Lovely play to be had with the shadows projected onto the surface of the water. (Note to self – find photos taken)


BTW – I love this shop I had the fortunate opportunity to visit their pop up shop in Liberty some time ago.