True Learner Empowerment

Drone 3D

We recently had a couple remote controls from our educational drones drop to the ground resulting in broken joysticks.  Accidents happen and we completely understand this, but thanks to our amazing staff and students this is not the end of the story.

An elementary student was empowered to help engineer a new joystick using our school’s 3D printer.  She worked with Mr. Hinnenkamp to create a tiny joystick sleeve that fit over the broken drone remote controls using a design program called Tinkercad.  Everything works as good as new now, and our students had the opportunity to experience authentic innovation and learner empowerment.

This is precisely why we feel it is critical to put students in the center of their learning (even if it means things get messy or broken every once in a while).  Kids have the capacity to innovate, engineer, think critically, and solve a myriad of real problems; they don’t require worksheets to do so!  All students deserve the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology in a safe and supportive learning environment.  If the first time students have the opportunity to innovate and invent using real-world tools is high school or college, then we will have failed them.

This is more than a story about drones or a 3D printer.  I took the opportunity to speak with the student that helped repair her drone remote control.  The pride she exuded when she explained to me how she had fixed something that was accidentally broken was unmistakable.  There was a humble confidence that I had not seen before.  As we finished chatting I asked her how this experience made her feel and her response literally choked me up…I nearly cried.  Suffice it to say, the opportunity she was given to fix her drone remote meant the world to her.  And THAT means the world to me.

Thank you, teachers.  Thank you for truly empowering our students.  I honestly LOVE how our entire team empowers students and supports our kids in learning skills they will need to thrive today and excel tomorrow.

Drone Controls

Advertisements

About Dr. Brad Gustafson

I am an elementary principal and author in Minnesota. You can connect with me at www.BradGustafson.com or on Twitter via @GustafsonBrad

Posted on May 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on The Missal.

  2. Natalie Petersen

    Great to hear! That’s some real life problem solving right there! 🙂

  3. Brad this is excellent. You are empowering students to be lifelong learners and that is amazing. What’s so cool is that I can’t even imagine having the skill set to accomplish what your student did. I think that is because as an adult I have put limits on what I can and cannot do. You aren’t allowing that to happen to your students and that is awesome.

  4. Love the connection between student empowerment and the educational technology. We, too, have both a 3D printer and a drone. Our challenge has been how to make both relevant to student learning. Looks like all we need to do is break something. And we’re pretty good at that.

    • Breaking barriers to student creativity and student agency would be a great start! I find that the more connected student learning is to opportunities/innovation outside of school the more relevant it becomes. Sounds like you are well on your way in this journey. Thanks for reading and checking in. ~Brad

  1. Pingback: The Rush | Adjusting Course

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Principal of Change

Stories of learning and leading

In Kids' Shoes

Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators

Reading By Example

Rethinking the Role of the Literacy Leader

Engage Their Minds

Great Minds Don't Think Alike!

Adjusting Course

Responding to the Needs of the 21st Century Student

On The Leaders Edge

A Reflection of Life, Learning and Leadership

Digital Eyes

Looking at Education Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills

Shelley Burgess

Reflections of an educational learner and leader

The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Thrasymakos

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

Engaged and Relevant

Just another WordPress.com site

pernilleripp.wordpress.com/

Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension

Jessica Johnson @PrincipalJ

Lead Learner, Elementary School Principal, otherwise known as PrincipalJ

The Thesis Whisperer

Just like the horse whisperer - but with more pages

%d bloggers like this: