This week, our instructors in CEP810 gave us a somewhat odd task. We had to complete a specific cooking assignment, such as slicing cheese, making whipped cream, creating a veggie tray, or mixing together a fruit salad. The kicker was we weren’t able to use conventional tools. We had to allow someone outside of the course to choose three objects for us to use (a plate, a bowl, and a utensil), and then we could only use those tools in order to create our food item.
You might be asking yourself, “What on Earth does this have to do with technology and education?” Actually, the two are rather closely connected if you look at the process you have to use to make your food item with unconventional tools. In reality, most technology tools are not created for education. However, teachers have gotten very good over to years at taking a tool that is used in another industry, and re-purposing it for educational use. In order to do this, you have to think deeply about what your objective is, and what capabilities your tool has, as well as the medium you are working with. The same process applied with my making a fruit salad using an egg scooper. I had to think about my goal (fruit salad), what capabilities and properties my scooper had, and the medium I was working with (the various fruits). I had to be creative, flexible, and adjust my strategy on the fly; all things that need to be done in the classroom when you are re-purposing a tool for education.
When it was all said and done, I actually thought my salad turned out pretty well. My process might have been messy, but in that mess, a lot was learned about the tool I was using. If I had to do it again, I could do it better, understanding more deeply what my tool was capable of. Sounds a little like introducing some new tech into your classroom, doesn’t it?
Please enjoy the video. I had fun making it, and my family certainly got a kick out of the process.