Build useless machines, it’ll be worth it.

Simone Giertz builds useless machines for a job, and cruises around talking about them. I know, talk about the perfect job. But as she says, “if you want to be the top of your field, make sure you’re the only one in it.” You can check out all the crazy things she builds here on her Youtube Channel. As a Technology Teacher of a subject where students come along and make things to take home to their ever so excited parents we often question what it is they take home. Will the parents see the value in it? Will they understand the process the student took to get there or why? Is it ‘GOOD’ enough in the parents eyes? At our school, long gone are the days where twenty students sit down and churn out the same pencil case on their sewing machine, over prescribed by the teacher, no student choice and definitely no creativity allowed out side the box my control freak sewing teacher crammed us into when I was young.

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(Original Sketch notes available for purchase and digital display, please make contact.)

As Simone’s TED Talk progresses I find myself at ease with those questions we ask about our student output. We take off the pressure, our students design what they want, how they want. To solve a need around a problem that is genuine to them, that happens in their world. Thirty something Simone’s in one class, taught by two teachers is somewhat chaotic. But it’s a chaos we’ve created, and I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I look forward to the day I get an email from a parent asking “what the hell is this?” Because I know we could confidently reply with the reason behind the object. It’s a known fact brain capacity grows through play. So go on, invent something, have a play.

 

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