We are all different and we celebrate being different. However, at the same time, we also like putting labels on people. I’m a tall woman, so often people will ask “How tall are you?” as if that is the only quantifier to my being. Similarly, I played competitive netball when I was younger and people will automatically ask my daughter “Do you play netball?” We see a parent being a surgeon and automatically people will wonder if the child will follow in their footsteps.
Let us embrace individualism, accept people for who they are without putting people into little boxes and we will see less discrimination, less bullying, and fewer children suffering from depression in schools.
In our last newsletter we spoke about “Competition amongst students” and I want to raise another point leading on from there. There is something profoundly stirring in our society. We need to abandon traditional standards and we need to look at personalising the way we learn, our approach to life, the way we play, learn and deal with everyday scenarios.
This also harkens back to my opening piece. We need to start by embracing people’s individualism and their differences. People should not be ashamed of who they are or what they have not achieved. This needs to be reflected in our education system. We need to stop comparing children and gauge them by the scores vs the classroom score. That is, we need to encourage competitive ambition without putting pressure on children if they fail.
How can we individualise learning? That seems impossible, but is it?
If we can apply Maths, Science, Biology, English to everyday, real-world problems, students can relate to the problem and come up with their own solutions. New institutions are popping up where students follow an interdisciplinary, problem-based curriculum, with the London Interdisciplinary School starting this fall. Instead of studying law or medicine or geography, students tackle real-world issues like mental health, inequality, or tech and ethics. They learn to use quantitative and qualitative research methods such as ethnography, storytelling, and machine learning, while applying different subject lenses to the problem at hand—say, economics, psychology, or statistics. Teachers have to be versatile, not just single-subject experts.
People are all motivated by different scenarios. There are times to collaborate and there are times to compete. It’s good to learn how to compete in a meaningful way and just as important, it’s good to learn how to fail. We need to learn from our failures and use the mistakes we have made to become better individuals in society. If we can introduce humour and interactiveness with students I believe the engagement will be higher. Students learn more when they are engaged in learning, and that leads to fun while learning.
Kai’s Clan’s unique feature is collaboration. In our projects we want students to collaborate, some students may have a niche for maths, or coding or design. So put a diverse team together where they can apply their knowledge to the 60+ lesson plans. Our collaboration is two-fold: both within the classroom and interschool (regional or international!). Students can also code their robots from anywhere in the world, so a teacher can set up the kit in their classroom, and students can log in and code the robots from anywhere in the world. Kai’s Clan is the first robot platform that can be coded virtually.
Registration is open for the Global Chess Challenge. Enter a team of up to 4 students and design, code, and play the ultimate game of chess.
We are also very excited to bring back the School Space Race for another year in Term 3. Only this time it will be bigger. We plan to bring it to the international stage and invite any schools from around the world who are interested, not just for those who are in New Zealand. So watch this space!
A big thanks!
We have just returned from a very successful InterfaceXPO2021 where we ran 3 workshops. The feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive and we want to thank every teacher that participated in our workshops. They learned how to make a Smart Garden, and how to Race their rovers on Mars.
Congratulations to the winners of Kai’s Clan Starter kits, we can’t wait to get you engaging with your students. If you are interested in becoming a Kai Ambassador please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Kai at one of the following events.
Interactive Breakout Session:
EDT: Friday, June 4 @ 6:15p – 7:55p
NZST: Saturday, June 5 @ 10:15a – 11:55
Informational Breakout Session with Live Q&A:
EDT: Saturday, June 5 @ 4:50p – 5:35p
NZST: Saturday, June 6 @ 8:50a – 9:35a
For more information check out www.seaperch.org/2021-season