Digital Big Band 2018

November 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm Leave a comment

By William Church, CEEO Collaborator

2From September 17th through the 21st I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to attend and present at the Digital Big Bang 2018 conference.  My visit was hosted by LEGO Education and their partners, Gammaco. The conference was part tech trade show and part education expo.  It was all future facing. There were events, booths, and presentations related to Big Data, IOT, Artificial Intelligence, as well as transportation, homes and cities of the future.  There were robotics and coding events for kids and teachers. There were drone races and start-up business competitions.

1My role was to share a perspective on teaching 21st century skills.  In particular, I focused on the importance of curiosity, hands-on work, reflection, and embracing failure through iteration.  It was exciting to share many projects from twenty years of classroom work with K-12 students. At the beginning and end of the talk I gave a big shout out to Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), Dr. E’s Challenges, Novel Engineering, LEGO Engineering, and Community Engineering.

As an added highlight for my time in Bangkok, I was able to speak with teachers and students from the region.  We could cut through language and cultural differences and talk the STEM and Maker language. I particularly enjoyed speaking with several groups of students about projects they were working on.  Out came phones. We pointed at things with puzzled and enthusiastic looks. Ah ha! I see, this button connects to this which does that. But, how does that work. Tap tap on the phone and in just a few translated words, the basic gist and purpose of the invention could be communicated.  I observed a new standard for asking students to document their project — can you communicate your idea to someone from around the globe and get them excited about your creative solution?  For these Thai students, the answer was a definite, yes.


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LEGO Engineering Conferences in India E-Team at the CEEO

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