The Media Innovation lab (miLAB) at Sammy Ofer School of Communication held a conference on Creative Learning by the Creative Learning Research Team. The goal was to present the activity of the research team and to create a gathering of peers towards the creation of a community combining social leaders and educators, who will spearhead the formation of new educational models in society.
This research team focuses on ways of promoting learning through accessible educational technological tools for children and adults. The team's group project, the "MakeTec" which is a project of the Sara Fine Center for Digital Literacy, and was established three years ago at the "Beit Ariela" children's library. In short, the lab's students train teenaged mentors who come to MakeTec as part of their after school Social Commitment program. Theses mentors teach young kids between grades 4 and 6 through peer learning. Rona Sadan, director of the lab's research team, says: "MakeTec is founded on three major principles: initial technologies, so that every child, from any background, can come to play with the technology; inner motivation, meaning that any child can come to create from their own imagination; and creating a "third area" for children, a safe, free area, where they can come willingly".
The conference dealt with various issues in the field of learning through technology and invited speakers and researchers in the fields of formal and informal education.
Dr. Oren Zuckerman, Founder and Co-Director of miLAB, spoke at the conference saying: "for me the technological revolution is only beginning. If we look at what has happened with personal computers, they have become a basic product with which we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. If we look at cellphones, we are looking at something between five to five and half billion devices to date. Technology's positive potential on our lives is tremendous, we have the power and the responsibility to try to make the 21st century, and the technology around us more creative and more active".
Noa Morag, Director of the Media Innovation Lab (miLAB) and researcher in her field, spoke of the meeting point between technology and digital personal production and social structures and specifically on women in this field. "It is interesting to follow not only what people are creating with this new technology but also what this technology creates in people, new identities, whether identity also creates exclusion, how women see themselves in the field, and what their motivation is to enter the field".
Tal Ben-Yosef, who founded Tal Makers two years ago, said that it is important to start the creative process from a very young age when children are very creative, and make sure that the teams are heterogeneous, some programmers, some artistic, some experts in mechanics. "The mentor is not the sole source of knowledge - even more than that, they must not be the source of knowledge." Asaf Brimer, the founder of the Moona Community Center in Majdal Krum, explained that the most important message is the feeling of ability and growth, providing opportunity for others to grow. "Most of the learning is done through creative activity and the number of projects and activities that are created, especially multiculturalism, is huge".
Another speaker was Tom Sofer, the founder of FabLab in Madatech in Haifa and who recently set up a new technology trend at the Dror Galil School of the Ministry of Labor, which is to combine technology with teaching and generate interest among the students. "Which is the most relevant way to study."
Roni Dayan, Director of the Information Technology Division at the Ministry of Education, shared the Ministry of Education's challenges in the application of technology within schools. "Until a few years ago, technological education did not interest most of the students, who brought the robotics suddenly.
At the end of the conference, all guests and speakers were invited to a roundtable session. Each was able to express his opinion on various issues related to current issues of education and technology such as the challenge of internal vs. external motivation, auxiliary materials advantages and disadvantages, mentoring versus teaching, peer learning and more.
The creative learning group of the Media Innovation Lab sees this conference as the first step towards further conferences, and we will continue to strive for fruitful connections between academia and the public educational space in Israel. The research group opened a Facebook page for more information and contact with the group:
#creative learning Israel