Embodied Learning and Digital Media

October 26, 2017 – The Video Art Issue.

William Kentridge, South African, 1955 – Journey to the Moon, 2003
Inspiring Objectives: Imagination; Pretend Play; Curiosity; Spatial, Kinesthetic and Vestibular Perception; Documentation.

Welcome!

My experimental and rather provocative article Responding to Disruptive Students published on Edutopia last month scored 79,594 views and has been shared on Facebook alone over 3,500 times. This is a success! On both platforms, Edutopia and Edutopia’s Facebook page, readers asked many questions and left thoughtful and controversial comments about the article. To address these, I’ve been working on a companion. Look forward to the Responding to Disruptive Students Supplement in November’s newsletter!

A few days ago I headed a professional development session for the talented educators of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center in Washington, DC. Usually, in my hands-on workshops and PD sessions, we work on ‘developing learning environments’ using out of the box analog materials exclusively. This time, while experimenting with the topic ‘inspiring through documentation’ I suggested watching a few works of video art.

If you are new to this kind of inspiration source, or if you have never thought of video art in relation to your work in early education, please enjoy these two little masterworks:

Francis Alÿs, Belgian, 1959 – Fitzroy Square, London 2004
Inspiring Objectives: Auditory Perception; Spatial Organization; Locomotion; Vestibular and Kinesthetic Perception; Eye-Hand and Foot-Hand Coordination; Curiosity; Creativity; Toy-Free Play.

Richard Serra, American, 1938 – Hands Scraping, 1968
Inspiring Objectives: Fine Motor Skills; Curiosity; Spatial Organization; Vestibular and Kinesthetic Perception; Pretend Play; Social Emotional Learning; Physical Interaction.

Inspiring early educators by finding effective ways to nurture self-guided learning is my job. Dear subscribers, I need your help: Would you ever use or show this kind video artwork to inspire your colleagues or your students? Please let me know!

Lately, I’ve been doing some research on meaningful ways to integrate technology and media into early learning spaces. My approach may be old school, but my goal is to trigger active and effective embodied learning experiences rather than entertain students with fancy, close-ended digital products. I’m very interested in hearing and reading your opinion as daily practitioners.
Please drop me a line and share your thoughts with me!

Talk soon, Tommaso


A life without a swing is a misunderstanding.

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