Our self-directed project, inspired in Google’s 20% policy, gave our students a choice in their own learning path, picking their own projects and learning outcomes.
Their final products are now ready to be shown.
A few final products:
Santiago and his vending machine (video)
Mattia and his Vr viewer (video)
Mattia and his robotic hand (video)
Simon’s home projector (video)
The videos above not only show evidence of the students’ performance but they also reveal how they felt during the whole process. They are implicitly self-reflecting on their own experience.
Some of our Students’ Reflections
Mattia’s reflection on his Vr Viewer:
Mattia completed the rubric on his effort and achievement throughout the process. There was a metacognition time when he reflected about his learning.
Mattia was extremely engaged with this project and curious to try new things so he decided to create a new prototype. This time it was a robotic hand. Mattia is a clear example of a successful self-directed learner simply because he is motivated by internal incentives and enjoys learning.
Simón’s final reflection
These were Simón’s words:
This project has been a rewarding and surprising journey. We realised that we had opened the ceiling to what students are able to do as it helped them develop certain skills and interests that they were not aware they had.
- Some students were independent learners who always found the way to overcome obstacles on their own and achieved their goals mainly due to their persistent attitude. They were so enthused that even wanted to keep on working on their project during break time or asked for extra periods.
- Other students wanted immediate gratification and got easily frustrated when meeting difficulties. Some of them turned directly to the teacher but others just gave up and asked a peer for help. This shows that the effectiveness of self- directed learning depends as much on the availability of knowledge as on the learner’s attitude.
- A few students were so motivated and engaged with becoming self directed learners that they took on greater freedom and carried out some tasks at home. Such is the case of Matias (video) who created several vending machines at home.
- Something that called our attention was that the majority of the students chose hands-on projects. This speaks for itself as they are students that were born immersed in screens and surrounded by devices.
The Maker Studio was the ideal environment that students used as a creative space where they were given the freedom to explore and take the initiative and responsibility for their own learning. Students worked with Chromebooks and headphones to check tutorials showing motivation, self-discipline and independence.
Our roles were to:
- Inspire and act as mentors
- Challenge or provoke the learner to take risks
- Provide the necessary conditions in the learning environment
- Be available for cooperation
- Encourage students to cooperate and consult with each other
- Learn alongside our students
- Share decision-making with students
- Support students in using the skills they have acquired
When we embarked in this project, we were uncertain about the results but now we can conclude that it has made our kids curious and passionate, finding it extremely challenging. A combination of hard work, failure, iteration and fun were the perfect ingredients to a successful project.